This is How Shooting the Sun Can Melt Your Camera

Planning to photograph the upcoming solar eclipse? You’d better make sure you have the right solar filter to protect your camera. Here’s a 2-minute video that shows how shooting the sun without protection can completely melt your DSLR’s guts.

The folks over at Every Photo Store in Dubuque, Iowa, decided to do a test to see what unprotected solar photography can do to a camera. They mounted an old Canon Rebel XT (AKA 350D) to a $10,000 Canon 400mm f/2.8 IS II lens, pointed it up at the sun, and watched to see what would happen.

With the mirror down (and without even shooting a single photo), things started smoking and the mirror mechanism quickly had issues flipping up all the way after just a few moments.

Next, the mirror was locked up using a paper clip to show what happens when the shutter and sensor are exposed to the midday sun. In just seconds, a good amount of smoke began pouring out of the mirror box.

Looking into the camera, they found that the focused sunlight had melted through the shutter and sensor:

“We made this video to make people aware of the damage they can cause to their camera by pointing it at the sun without a solar filter,” Every Photo Store tells PetaPixel. “We burned through the shutter and sensor in a matter of minutes!”

Always use proper protection when shooting the sun, folks!