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Old 21st August 2009, 18:40   #1
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Default Caution: Do not take photos/videos during a laser show.

Yes I know it sounds weird but it's true.

My neighbour has a Canon EOS 400D D-SLR. Recently he had gone to some rock concert and shot a few pics there.

When he transferred them on his PC he noticed that the first few were ok but after that all the snaps had a horizontal white line across them. He tried taking some more snaps and those snaps too had this line.

He took it to the Authorised Canon Service centre on Brigade road and they told him that the sensor had to replaced as it was damaged. The bill would set him back by Rs. 20,000 for a new sensor.

When my neighbour described the problem and showed the pics to the engineer at Canon, he informed them that the damage was due to the laser beam at the rock concert hitting the sensor. The power of the beam burnt the sensor.

So guys be careful when shooting with your expensive cameras during any laser show. It may turn out to be very costly.
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Old 21st August 2009, 18:57   #2
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He must have used the slowest shutter speed settings, which exposed the sensor to the direct laser beam. But i have heard this for the first time.

Because professional shooting these concerts have more expensive cameras, they do shoot them don't they.
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Old 21st August 2009, 19:03   #3
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How can that be possible? Those laser beams directly didn't fall on the sensor, did they?

I am quite surprised.
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Old 21st August 2009, 19:08   #4
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How can that be possible? Those laser beams directly didn't fall on the sensor, did they?

I am quite surprised.
Maybe they are those dancing laser types.
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Old 21st August 2009, 19:10   #5
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Maybe they are those dancing laser types.
Highly unlikely though!

If they can burn a camera's sensor, they can as well burn cameraman's retina, which I suppose would be equally delicate, if not more.
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Old 21st August 2009, 19:18   #6
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Usually the lasers are pointed at sky - not at the audience.
And what we see is the dispersion of laser light from the dust particles - no less different from what we see from white clouds.
In fact sometimes they deliberately introduce smoke.

How can that damage?
Or was the laser directed at the camera when the snap was taken?

Last edited by alpha1 : 21st August 2009 at 19:19.
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Old 21st August 2009, 19:25   #7
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Well yes he said it was a rock concert with a lot of lasers dancing around everywhere. At some point the lasers did fall on the people at the show and it may have been possible that the point at which the shutter opened to take the image was the time the laser beam fell on the sensor.

He is not fully convinced so I'm also doing some googling to see how true this is. Also posted it here for opinions.
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Old 21st August 2009, 19:41   #8
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The following links do say its possible for the sensor to conk-off if the laser directly hits it.

Sure an eye-opener.

Laser safety for cameras - International Laser Display Association
could laser light burn CCD ? - Photo.net Digital Cameras Forum

<snip>
I suppose it might be possible for an eye safe laser to damage a sensor if it were static and the light was focused by the lens onto a single spot for a while. One thing about laser light is that it is coherent can be focused down to a diffraction limited spot, so you can get very high intensities over very small areas. </snip>
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Old 21st August 2009, 21:19   #9
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I'm not sure what a laser was doing pointed at people. isn't it dangerous ?
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Old 21st August 2009, 21:36   #10
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Interesting info. Thanks for sharing. Will be careful in future when shooting scenes like this (though it's quite a miserable pic).
Attached Thumbnails
Caution: Do not take photos/videos during a laser show.-pict0031.jpg  

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Old 21st August 2009, 22:14   #11
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I dunno if this information helps, but a few years back, I've faced similar issues (random white lines) with two of my Canon cameras but it had no connection with lasers. I learned through some photography forums that such problems plagued some production batches and the culprit was in one case a faulty connector which fails during large temperature variations (failed during Winterlude festival in Ottawa) and in the second case a production fault in the CCD.

I contacted Canon through the web-form and they asked me to send the cameras to them and even included a UPS label for shipment. What happened next took me completely by surprise...One of the camera was a 5 yr old model and they simply upgraded me for free to a latest model and in the second case (2 yr old model) they replaced the CCD for free and gave a 1 yr warranty on both.

Canon is undoubtedly the best in customer service IMHO. They have won a lifetime customer in me and all my cameras (3x P&S and 2x DSLR) has been Canon since then.
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Old 21st August 2009, 22:50   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
I'm not sure what a laser was doing pointed at people. isn't it dangerous ?
You surely missed the dealers party at taj (arranged by sam).The lasers were directed towards our eyes.Even some of our bhpian buddies went out coz of it.
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Old 22nd August 2009, 11:50   #13
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Nonsense, the technician is talking through his hat. It is just your friend's bad luck that such rare chip failure had to occur for him.

A white line in the pic is an indication of one of the rows of the sensor gone - mechanical or electrical failure of the sensor chip. It is the same a what you will see on an LCD display if one row terminal /switch is knocked out.

A laser has nothing to do with that - at most it will saturate a spot on the sensor. It is not possible for enough power to be transmitted via the laser-show laser to the sensor to knock the sensor out. If it was so, it would have first turned human eyes blind, and I mean retinal burn. The intensity only causes momentary saturation in the eye, which goes away after some time. Camera sensor is much less sensitive.

Also, laser show lasers are not as focused as much as lasers used for surgery or cutting - so it is near-impossible to affect one row of the sensor. If at all, it will affect a swath of rows.
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Old 22nd August 2009, 12:34   #14
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I do not agree..if the laser is capable of burning the camera sensor for which it has to travel through many lenses and still damage it. Then the human eyes is no match to it. The people at the concert will all go blind.
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Old 6th September 2009, 11:24   #15
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Default laser rays in a disco blinds people in russia

Recently i remember reading an news item where the 40 people got blinded by a laser light show at a disco in russia.

Last edited by rags : 6th September 2009 at 11:31.
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