Video into Sunrise/Sunset

7 replies [Last post]
LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

What precautions are necessary when pointing video cameras at sunrises and sunsets to avoid camera damage?

[This message has been edited by Les Winn (edited 21 January 2004).]

Les

Z Cheema
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Joined: Nov 17 2003

Don't point for to long i guess.
Turn off AGC and set aperture to manual so you get the full effect, otherwise it will never get darker as the camera pulls up the gain

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Not that it affects the safety aspects in any way, but don't forget to switch to the manual white balance 'daylight' option. If you leave the w/b in auto it will struggle to 'correct' that awful red sky.

tom.

cstv
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Joined: Jul 26 2002

i'm no expert, but it would seem logical to turn down the brightness (once the levels are all set) on your output (either viewfinder or LCD) to avoid burning images onto them since the sun may be moving quite slowly. but that's probably quite excessive...

you might want to try an ND filter.

oh, and a quick question! generally sensible to use manual settings for this, but how do you knwo what to set them at for a sunrise? short of guessing how bright the sun's going to be when it rises which would seem quite tricky. i am of course talking long term here for things like time lapse where the sun's going to change, not just a few minutes.

cheers,
mark.

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

I am more concerned here with damage that may occur to the camera by sensor distruction from excessive exposure to light and heat.
I seem to remember that the first astonauts on the moon ruined their camera this way.

Although staticon tubes were used in the (English)much larger, and specially made, cameras that filmed the first atomic bomb trials, they incorporated a device to protect from this eventuality.

Les

Jim Bird
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Joined: Sep 15 2000

Hi,

Often the best part of a sun/set/rise comes when the sun is below the horizon when the clouds are in the correct place and density.

I have shot the sun coming up and down with no noticeable adverse effects on the camera.

I do not point the camera at the midday sun, ever.

SAFETY TIP. You have to be careful not to leave the camera viewfinder pointing into the sun whilst sitting on the tripod or a window sill, or bad things can happen.

Jim Bird.

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

Jim Bird,
You are on the right lines. I was thinking of a shot at sunrise in the Sahara desert. That could have been better. I considered damage to the camera rather than correct exposure. I am, of course, seeking expert advice here.

Les

Minidonut221
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Joined: May 31 2004

As someone who's lost a DV cam to excessive sun shots and cloud movement shots for "passage of time, dawn or sunset effect" I recommend you use some kind of filter. Even with the exposure turned down, you can still burn unwanted images permanently into your camera. When it comes to the sun, a dv cam lense is fragile.