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News & Insight

Warning: Lasers Can Damage Your Camera Sensor

By Joseph Cha on November 19th 2013

Don’t Film or Take Photos Directly Into Lasers!

For some this may seem like common sense, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. In the video below we see a cameraman filming with a Canon 5D Mark III in a club with lasers. As soon as the lasers shine onto the camera’s sensor a line of dead pixels appear.

Lasers Damaging Camera Sensor Video


Before Laser Damage Left | After Laser Damage Right

Before Laser Damage Left | After Laser Damage Right

In the image above we can clearly see a dead line of pixels that goes up and down the screen. This ruins the shot and makes it impossible to record anymore quality footage. Here’s another video of a laser damaging a camera sensor, this time on the Canon 5D Mark II.

Some people who have had this issue were able to fix it by simply turning off and on their camera. Others have had to pay $1600 to replace the sensor. Either way, be careful out there. If you’re shooting an event with lasers be sure to take extra precautions to protect your gear!

[Source: Reddit]


I’m a photographer and cinematographer based in Southern California. When I don’t have a camera in my face I enjoy going to the movies and dissecting the story telling and visual aesthetics.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Emily

    I take photos for a local nightclub, and I’m always cautious around their lasers. After having a dead pixel scare, I looked into it a bit more. The best way to avoid any damage is to shoot at smaller apertures.. Being at a different height than the laser will keep it from hitting your sensor directly too.

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    • Christopher

      Interesting .. would love to see some of you pix .. link us up!

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    • Daf

      I and a few of my photography friends do too.

      One or two have had 5D’s killed because of lasers!

      Mostly a danger when recording video.

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  2. Joel

    I don’t shoot many concerts or clubs (or anywhere that lasers are used) so just curious but what’s the workaround?

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  3. J.T. Shaver

    I mean I guess this is important info, but really?

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