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Old January 7th, 2007, 11:06 PM   #1
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Have I Damaged My GS400!?!?

Hi ppl,

Down in Sydney today we had a cool overcast summer day with grayish clouds. Anyways, the Sun was peering through the clouds and I thought I’d get some ‘timescape’ (I think that’s what the technique is called…when you shoot shadows for example, then speed it up later in post) shots on it.

I grabbed my GS400, tripod, and went out to my backyard. I had my GS400 pointing at the Sun for a good 30 – 40 mins. My GS400 has a HOYA UV Filter on it…dunno if that does anything though?

Now, have I damaged my GS400 in anyway? I’m really worried that I have…
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Old January 7th, 2007, 11:31 PM   #2
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If it's still working at the moment, you're probably okay. In the old days of tube based cameras, one look at the sun and your camera was done (especially the cameras based on saticon tubes).

CCD's are more resilient but it's a good idea to limit the exposure with ND filters.

-gb-
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Old January 8th, 2007, 12:47 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply mate.

I had my GS400 pointed at the sun for about 15 minutes all up. I dunno if my UV filter does anything? I just had a mate recommend I buy one once...

I looked through the GS400 manual, and it doesn't say anything about not shooting the sun...I mean, the front cover of the manual even has a picture of a sunet on it...

I'm still paranoid though...

Thanks again!
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Old January 8th, 2007, 06:22 AM   #4
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I just did the math, I shot the sun for 18 1/2 minutes...
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Old January 8th, 2007, 02:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Preston
I just did the math, I shot the sun for 18 1/2 minutes...
Can you shoot now and get normal footage as you did before shoot the sun?

Regards
Leigh
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Old January 8th, 2007, 10:59 PM   #6
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I shot some footage today and played it back and it all seemed fine. However, I'm still worried I damaged my CCD's....is this just paranoia? Is there any sort of diagnostics test I can run?

Thanks for the replies ppl!
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Old January 9th, 2007, 07:12 AM   #7
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I VERY anxious about my GS400...maybe if I contact Panasonic, they can help me in some way?
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Old January 9th, 2007, 07:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Preston
I shot some footage today and played it back and it all seemed fine. However, I'm still worried I damaged my CCD's....is this just paranoia? Is there any sort of diagnostics test I can run?

Thanks for the replies ppl!

John,

Yes, it is just paranoia! If you shot footage and it still looks fine, the camera is OK. Don't worry, go have fun and film something.

Mike
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Old January 9th, 2007, 09:35 AM   #9
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Thanks Mike. Your words kill some of my anxiety ;)

However, I can't seem to kill the paranoia hehehe ;)

I was just worried that I may have damaged the CCD's to the extent that colours would be washed out a bit? Or maybe my brain is just making things up now...?
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Old January 17th, 2007, 03:00 AM   #10
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I shot a timelapse of the sun setting down for about 30 minutes. I didn't zoom into it, but it was in the frame pretty clearly. And my hc1 didn't destroy itself, which was nice.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 09:38 AM   #11
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Understanding your situation

Hi! i completely understand your paranoia coz i experienced it too! hahaha. I shot the sun for 30 minutes (a sunset timelapse) and afterwards.... i said to myself.oh... gosh... i forgot, this cam is brandnew out of the box and I didn't consider damaging the ccd by shooting a sun timelapse... days after that I felt so paranoid .. i emailed panasonic... lo and behold, a japanese representative emailed me back and said that shooting the sun can damage my camcorder etc... I asked for symptoms if my cam was permanently damaged.. no reply. Nway, I'm pretty sure our cams weren't damaged. At the first place, they're still working fine without any degrade in quality etc.... You'll know if your cam is damaged when it can't shoot anything and have white spots on the recorded image etc.
Go and have fun with your cam. Just forget about being paranoid coz you can't do anything "over spilled milk"
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Old May 13th, 2007, 11:10 AM   #12
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i always shoot the sky in timelapsed variables, be it normal speed recording for timelapse in post, or by setting interval recording for hours on end... never had a problem with DVX or MX cameras.. the GS being newer, should be as resilient
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Old May 13th, 2007, 11:30 AM   #13
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Just curious

On a side note John. I know how serious your concern is but I just wanted to ask someone from Austrailia - Do you folks consider us here in the states "down under".

I just started thinking about that for some wierd reason.

thanks
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Old May 18th, 2007, 11:38 AM   #14
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Mike's right - if the camera shoots and replays ok, then it's survived the ordeal. You really need to test it shooting an evenly lit grey card - something like that - so that you can spot any pixel failure on replay into a good TV.

The UV filter will do nothing for you - apart from spoiling your image. I've gone on about this at length, so won't repeat it all again.

Your GS400 has internal (undocumented) neutral density filters. If you film in the auto mode the camera will stop down to about f/4.5, then - if it gets brighter it will keep adding to the internal ND and generally won't stop down further.

If you shoot in manual and keep dialing in a smaller and smaller aperture, the camera does exactly the same thing. It stops down to f/4.5, stops there, and more and more ND is applied. If you rewind the tape, push 'play' and turn on the display, you'll see it says you shot the timelapse sequence into the sun at f/16 or even f/22.

Nonsence of course, diffraction losses would make the footage unuseably blurry. Panasonic are simply giving you an extrapolated aperture reading that is a direct correlation of the amount of ND that's been added without your knowing.

tom.
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