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Thread: HDR Sensor damage?

  1. #1

    HDR Sensor damage?

    This may be a silly question but here goes - Is it possible to damage the image sensor with over exposed shots? Say I shoot a scene with multiple exposures with the intention of combining them into a single image. Some of the shots will have portions of the scene that are completely "blown out" , i.e. over exposed, on purpose. What effect does this over exposure have on the image sensor life?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    California, USA
    Real Name

    Re: HDR Sensor damage?

    Some have certainly expressed concern that overly long or large aperture exposures in very bright sunlight can damage the sensor. This might include setting the camera to manual, using a 5 minute bulb exposure with the lens set to f/1.4 or f/2.0. Then again, this would totally over-expose the image and there would really be no reason to do this. The only other time to be concerned is when using mirror lock-up. This may have been in a Canon manual at some point, if I remember correctly. Extreme sensor heat can certainly shorten its life and increase image noise.

    However, I think that as long as you employ proper HDR technique, such that the most exposed image does not completely blow highlights in every region of the image, then you should be fine. This would mean that for typical shots, they are over-exposed by no more than 3-5 stops or so, depending on the lighting. If you need more than 10 stops, you might want to reconsider the framing/lighting/subject matter, etc. Sensor damage is surely a valid concern though.

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