Imagine capturing the perfect shot of the sun with your beloved camera, only to later discover it has been damaged. As a photographer, your camera is your most cherished tool, and protecting it is paramount.

But what about the sun itself? Just as staring at the sun can harm your eyes, you may wonder if taking pictures of the sun can damage your camera.

In this article, we will explore this question and shed light on the potential risks and precautions for photographers. So, let’s delve into the intriguing world of sun photography and uncover the truth about its impact on your precious gear.

Key Takeaways

  • Taking pictures of the sun can potentially damage a camera’s lens and image sensor, depending on exposure duration and camera model.
  • Direct exposure of the camera lens to the sun for long hours should be avoided during day-time photo shoots.
  • Sunrises and sunsets are less harmful to camera equipment compared to the afternoon sun.
  • SLR and DSLR camera models are less prone to damage from sunlight compared to point-and-shoot models, due to the presence of a mirror to redirect sunlight from the image sensor.
  • Camera sensors with a UV coat are safer from sun damage.
  • Purple blotches in images may indicate camera sensor damage.
  • Sunlight exposure can also damage phone cameras.
  • Tips to prevent sun damage to cameras include using lens caps, storing cameras in camera bags or wrapping them in soft materials, and providing extra shade during outdoor shoots, such as using umbrellas.

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 like how direct exposure to the sun can harm your eyes, the same principle applies to your camera lens. By following this simple rule, you can ensure that your camera remains safe from damage. Remember, taking care of your camera is crucial to capture unique and memorable photos.

So, keep your camera lens and image sensor free from impairment, and let your creativity shine through your lens. Happy shooting!