Can Taking Pictures of the Sun Damage a Camera?

Can taking pictures of the Sun damage a camera? Looking directly at the sun definitely damages the eyes, so it’s reasonable for someone to wonder if taking pictures of the sun can damage a camera.

Every profession has their main tool for operation. For photographers, it’s their cameras, and they are their heart and soul, and God forbid if something were to happen to the camera or the camera lens, I’m sure it would create quite the havoc, and we wouldn’t want that now, would we?

The skills of a photographer combined with the best camera helps capture the perfect image, and that perfect image then tends to become a door to millions of memories. Making sure that their memory-making camera remains in good condition is a photographer’s responsibility.

There are many ways a camera could get damaged; some are obvious while some aren’t. Here is one of them – “can your camera be damaged by taking pictures of the sun?”

Can you damage your camera by taking pictures of the sun?

photography of sun

Photographers wouldn’t want their equipment to spoil and being impaired by the rays of sun does seem a bit far-fetched, but not entirely impossible. So before getting into technicalities, let’s answer this question in a much simpler way. Taking pictures of the sun cannot damage a camera’s lens, but it is possible that exposure of your camera lens towards the direction of the sun for long hours can cause damage. So probably avoid that during day time photo shoots!

Furthermore, there can be instances where the image sensor could get damaged by the harmful UV rays, even after a short exposure; depending on the model of your camera.

It really all depends on the shutter speed of the camera. If the shutter is open long enough then the sun might be able to do some damage.

However, if your camera setting is set on automatic, you risk less damage, as your camera will pick a faster shutter speed, probably hundredths of a second; which isn’t enough time to damage anything.

Sunrises and sunsets don’t count as the sun’s rays aren’t as harmful during this time around. Maybe the afternoon sun is the one you need to be on the lookout for.

The chances of this kind of damage in SLR and DSLR models is less in comparison to the point and shoot models. This is because the point and shoot models tend to keep their shutter open the entire time you’re using the device, and since there is no mirror to redirect the sunlight from the image sensor, there are higher chances of damage.

The SLR and DSLR models have a mirror to reflect off sunlight so that it causes less damage to the lens.

However, if your camera has a UV coat over the sensor, then you’re probably safe. This is something that should be taken care of while purchasing a camera.

If you don’t know for sure whether your camera sensor has been damaged or not, a purple blotch at any side of your image might be the first clue that your camera needs to be checked.

To make sure we don’t leave any questions unattended; sunlight exposure can damage your phone’s camera as well.

How to prevent unnecessary damage to your camera by the Sun

Since we know that not all camera models are safe from damage, you need to get creative in ways that you can protect it from the sun, especially necessary if you are planning a big outdoor daytime shoot. Here are some tips that may protect your camera lens from getting fried.

  1. Make sure that the lens cap is on when you are not using the camera anymore.
  2. After taking pictures of the sun, put the camera back into the camera bag. This will allow the camera to recover from the heat.
  3. If you don’t have a camera bag, you can wrap your camera in a towel or any soft material that would protect the camera and its lens from any more direct or indirect sunlight.
  4. If you have a big photo shoot and you cannot attach and detach the camera lens, then maybe arrange some umbrellas for some extra shade, to give your camera protection during the shoot.


In conclusion, just remember this little thumb rule, It’s exactly how your eyes function – direct exposure for a long period of time towards the sun will damage your eyes, now apply the same, for your camera lens.

As long as you remember and follow this, your camera is safe from damage! Remember, the photos are only going to be one of a kind if the camera has been taken care of in the way intended with no impairment to the camera lens or the image sensor.

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