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09-20-2015, 08:31 AM   #1
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Startracker on the K-5IIs or any Pentax

I was talking to a photographer friend about the Startracker feature on the K-5IIs and he asked if I was worried about burning out the sensor with very long exposure pictures. I hadn't thought of that as a problem.

I'm in Missouri, we can have warm nights in the summer. I frequently go out at night to shoot thunderstorms, meteor showers or comets when they are in the sky. Those photos are typically between 10 and 30 seconds each and I know air temperature can contribute to hot pixels under those conditions. I know that cameras like the Orion line for telescopes have coolers on them to cool the sensor.

So is there a danger of causing some kind of damage, permanent or temporary by using startracker on the different Pentax cameras that have the capability?

09-20-2015, 08:44 AM   #2
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Long exposures aren't going to burn out the sensor. Consider that people routinely use DSLRs for recording thousands of hours or more video where the sensor is constantly exposing and reading out to the chip. The only substantial difference between video and long still exposures is the way that the chip is interpreting the data coming form the sensor.

The purpose of cooling the sensor is to eliminate noise in photos rather than to protect it form burnout.
09-20-2015, 08:50 AM   #3
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Air temperature isn't the only factor. I shot 10-30 second exposures in Carlsbad Caverns, where it's 50-56 all the time, and I still got hot pixels.

For stars, hot pixels are a bigger concern because they can easily be mistake for stars.
09-20-2015, 09:17 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
Long exposures aren't going to burn out the sensor. Consider that people routinely use DSLRs for recording thousands of hours or more video where the sensor is constantly exposing and reading out to the chip. The only substantial difference between video and long still exposures is the way that the chip is interpreting the data coming form the sensor.

The purpose of cooling the sensor is to eliminate noise in photos rather than to protect it form burnout.
I hadn't thought of video because I don't shoot a lot of video with my cameras. That's a great point. Thank you

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