"Burning" a CCD?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by RBMKAlpha, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. RBMKAlpha

    RBMKAlpha TPF Noob!

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    Hey, if you have a digital camera, can really strong light sources such as:
    • The sun
    • Electrical arcs
    • Powerful electric lights/LEDs
    Permenantly damage the CCD in the camera? Not really sure if this is possible or not with modern CCDs. I checked around and on two sites the answer seemed to be "no" but I'd rather be careful.
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I would say pretty confidently that the answer should be no from the sources you've described. Strong sources of X-Rays would certainly damage the camera's CCD I understand.

    http://www.stsci.edu/hst/acs/documents/handbooks/cycle12/c07_detector3.html

    I think your main concern should really be your eyesight, not the camera - if you are photographing such things you must be careful and adopt appropriate protection e.g. welding mask or whatever. If in doubt, don't look!

    Rob
     
  3. Kent Frost

    Kent Frost TPF Noob!

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    Most electronics have warnings to keep them out of direct sunlight. Of course, most outer bodies of cameras can handle it, but the CCD/CMOS sensor seems to me like it could be damaged if there is prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
     
  4. RBMKAlpha

    RBMKAlpha TPF Noob!

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    It seems logical that brief exposure would be certainly OK, but prolonged exposure could be a problem.

    The brightest object I was photographing were the high-power LEDs I had, which were bright enough to leave a dark spot on your vision for a few minutes if you looked at them directly. There wasn't any apparent damage from that, but it's a lot less than an arc welder.

    Oh, and here's something else - you know how sound levels is logarithmic? Like something that's just a bit louder requires ten times or so more energy? Isn't light intensity as far as human perception kinda like that too?
     
  5. pursuer

    pursuer TPF Noob!

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    Yes, perceived brightness is also logarithmic.

    I think anything bright enougth to possibly harm the CCD would require such a short exposure time that there is no need to worry. I can't imagine any reason to take a long exposure of the sun, but I suppose if you did the focused light would significantly heat up the CCD.
     
  6. jcharcalla

    jcharcalla TPF Noob!

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    I have burnt a webcam I had doing timelapse of clouds. I totally forgot about the sun. Opps... Now there is a line on the video showing the path of the sun that day. So I would say yes it's possible and shouldent take long exposures of the sun.
     

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