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JB80

Could I damage my sensor with a long over exposure?

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This may just be me being paranoid but could I damage my sensor on my dslr with a long overexposure?

Basically I managed to take one 48 minute exposure of the sky, the end result was really bright as you would expect but can this do damage to the sensor?

I ask because the images I took the next night process with a horrendous amount of noise and get worse when stretching, I have never had this much noise in the past. I have tried with a few sets of Darks and bias too which makes no difference but haven't had the opportunity to do any more night shots to try again with fresh data.

Is there a test I can do, presumably with the lens cap on or something and what should I look for that would I tell if any damage was done?

Hopefully I'm just being paranoid and it's cloudy so I'm thinking too much about it but any advice would be great.

:)

Edited by JB80

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I think it very unlikely.  AFAIK only the sun would damage an image sensor.   The night sky would simply fill the pixel wells with electrons.  They would also fill with dark current with a very long exposure without cooling.

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Thanks Gina, that's what I was lead to believe but I couldn't really find anything specific about it so I let my mind get carried away.

Any idea though as to what would a damaged sensor would do to images?

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If you mean DSLRs then some cameras will shut down at a certain point but its quite extreme and nothing you probably might encounter doing AP. There is a risk and was some mention on photography forums that certain Canon cameras display banding when very hot. It did not seem an issue with the Nikons or others using Sony sensors. If your sensor was damaged you would know about it quite soon, asuming you could take images there would be obvious issues like banding, part of the frame missing, areas of very high or low exposure inconsistent with the rest of the image. A lot of cameras will  flash or report the error message on the LCD and disable the camera from taking images when the sensor or other mechanisms are inop.

In normal use dust is about the only thing to worry about if it gets excessive and that is pretty easy to deal with.

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I have discovered how tough these sensors actually are. I once had my QHY5 cam / ST80 guidescope pointing directly at the sun without realising the lens cap was off. I only realised after a few minutes, which means that the sensor was exposed to the sun for that period. It still seems to work fine! Maybe I was lucky.

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Thanks all for the reassurance, the weather hasn't been playing ball to give it another test so I'll have to wait. 

It was probably an over active imagination, duff data somewhere down the line or even poor seeing. Although the thought of a new camera is enticing so it would of been a good excuse.

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I read in a thread somewhere that there is a way of remaping dead/stuck on pixels in the canon it involved runing the sensor clean option and removing the battery at some stage  but i cant remember the details of the steps required, worth a google search but not sure if this would help in this situation though.

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Hi

With DSLRs and one shot colour CCD I thought the main damage that "could" occur was physical damage to coloured plastic film that forms the Bayer matrix on top of either the CCD or CMOS sensor. As it's plastic it can be UV degraded (or melted in extreme cases) with long and consistent exposure to light, particularly UV wavelengths.

I researched this a bit a while ago and damage thorough over exposure seems quite rare.

Thanks

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Hi

With DSLRs and one shot colour CCD I thought the main damage that "could" occur was physical damage to coloured plastic film that forms the Bayer matrix on top of either the CCD or CMOS sensor. As it's plastic it can be UV degraded (or melted in extreme cases) with long and consistent exposure to light, particularly UV wavelengths.

I researched this a bit a while ago and damage thorough over exposure seems quite rare.

Thanks

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Don't tell Gina you might be able to melt the Bayer matrix substrate with UV light - I can feel more experimentation coming along!! :laugh:

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Not too much UV light at night though.....

Indeed, the chances of damaging sensors at night through over exposure are very low I reckon, pointing the scope at bright sunlight for hours and hours is a different matter.....

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