You've probably heard horror stories and seen viral videos of expensive cameras being ruined by lasers and stage lighting.
Now Sony has released an official warning on the subject.
I feel like it's no secret at this point that lasers are generally a bad thing for digital sensors. Just check out how easy it is for them to get destroyed.
The digital sensor is a beautiful thing.
It's a miraculously mind-blowing piece of delicate technology that is truly a remarkable feat of microscopic engineering with endless tiny little photosites that can capture light and convert them into an energy signal that is then converted into a beautiful digital image, until—
Poof, just like that, the lasers at your brother-in-law's Journey cover band show that you got paid 100 dollars to film just destroyed the whole thing.
In what I can only imagine is a response to a decent influx of recent complaints, Sony has released an official statement on their website (published on July 30, 2021, and discovered originally by Image Sensors World) on the matter.
Sony states, "Do not directly expose the Lens to beams such as laser beams. This may cause damage to the image sensor and cause the camera to malfunction. NOTE: In either outdoor or indoor environment when there is a laser display, tendency of direct or indirect (laser beam bounce from reflective object) damage to the camera CMOS Sensor is still very high."
To my personal knowledge, this is the first I've seen of a company stating officially that this is a problem.
I don't know about you, but I think I'm just gonna avoid footage of lasers altogether. Seems like an easy sacrifice to make. No more lasers, got it.
However, you may be surprised what sort of stuff falls under this issue. For instance, in the example below, someone just shooting some footage of tattoo removal had their Sony sensor ruined.
I've seen it happen once on set with projectors as well in a faked movie theater scene. People filming protests in Hong Kong have even had their cameras ruined by protesters using lasers as well.
It's not exclusively one type of laser, or one type of sensor that can be damaged.
So, suffice it to say, just be careful what you're pointing into your lens, and make sure it's not a laser.