Take Care to Avoid Camera Damage if you Plan to Photograph Monday's Solar Eclipse

Aug 18, 2017

Taking a Photo
Credit Zorah Olivia / Flickr

Lots of people will try to take the perfect shot of Monday’s solar eclipse.  While you should make sure your eyes are protected if you look up to view the eclipse, you should also protect your camera lenses.

Randy Smith, store manager at Bedford Camera & Video in Springfield, said pointing your camera at the sun can cause significant and expensive damage.

"At the very least, you know, it can damage the sensor, which is what captures the image, and that's one of parts of the camera--a more expensive part.  It would cost quite a bit to replace a sensor in a camera, certainly," said Smith.

If your lens is small enough, according to Smith, you can hold a pair of eclipse glasses over it.

"You want to be sure you cover the entire lens, you know, and those glasses are pretty small--the solar filter part of them is pretty small," he said, "so that might work for cell phones, certainly, or a point and shoot-type camera with a smaller lens."

He emphasized making sure the entire lens is covered at all times.  If you travel to the path of totality, it will be safe to take pictures without a filter only during complete coverage.  Here in Springfield, we’ll see 96 percent coverage, so there won't be a safe time to view the eclipse with the naked eye or take a picture without a filter.

Solar filters are available for cameras, but he said they’re hard to find right now.  His store is sold out.

While he wants people to enjoy safely photographing the eclipse he offers some good advice:  "don't get so caught up in that that you miss the event."