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Ask The Expert: What kinds of protective filters should be used when taping sunsets?

QUESTION: Hello Chet,
When filming a sunrise or sunset, what kinds of protective filters should be used to avoid damage to camera components?

ANSWER:  First, please check the Owners Manual for your camera.  The older model cameras could/will be damaged by pointing directly at the sun.  The newer CCD or MOS image sensors have less or no issue in this regard, but again best to check with your camera manufacturer to be sure.

I understand that some photographers/videographers use special filters to protect their camera gear and get the best images.

I personally, have used my Sony A1U (CCD chip) directly into the sunset with no damage -- the video below is a short collection of some sunset shots I videotaped in Hawaii.  I should add that I learned from my wife (a still photographer) that some of the most vivid and dramatic sunset colors occur after the sun goes down, especially if there is good clouds on the horizon.

Additionally, here are some web pages with good additional info:

Solar Eclipses & Video
Filming A Sunset

Tips & Tutorials by the Casablanca Expert, Chet Davis