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Filming welding.

Les Henson

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I don't think it'll do any damage to the camera, but you'll find it very difficult to get anything other than arty shorts. Trying to film the actual welding will just swamp the camera with light, I think. Might be doable with pro kit or maybe just a decent SLR, but a point and shoot digi camera won't give you enough control to deal with the extreme conditions*.

* - I believe you can get special orange cameras for this... :lol:

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Does anyone know if it's ok to film or photograph electric arc welding with a normal digital camera. Would the intense UV light damage it or 'white out' the picture?

Hi Les,

You won't damage the camera. As you are dealing with a very bright light, you need a low ISO, fast shutter speed and a small aperture.

Most point-and-shoot cameras will probably not be able to achieve either. An SLR will.

If using a point-and-shoot, or video camera, your best bet might be to hold a Neutral Density filter in front of the lens. These come in various densities and basically reduce the light passing through them, much like your welding shield.

Edited to add:

After watching that video, you can see that the exposure get completely fooled once he starts welding. This is because the bright central section makes the camera think it's brighter than it actually is, thus under-exposing and giving a dark image.

The solution is to set the exposure manually, or if available, use exposure compensation to over-expose by a few stops.

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In good old LR style (my style anyway :rolleyes: ) why don't you cheat; tape some dark sunglasses over the camera lens. Got to be worth a try, and a lot cheaper than one of them posh camera with loads of letters that are meant to mean they're better than disposable ;)

EDIT: Might not work, but I'd be interested to see if it did. Any chance you could do a before and after sunglasses shot if you do have a go?

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Guest otchie1

Ah, what you need here is a camera with a Peak White Inverter. It'll spot the brightest bit of the frame (the Peak White, probably the arc) and invert it to black so that the auto lens won't be forced to close down.

It's usually a CCTV thing though, never seen it on a pocket camera.

If you want to see the arc then get a couple of polarising lenses, one in front of the other on the front of the lens. Rotate one until the picture is nearly black and film through that. An old pair of sunglasses might do but Jessops'll sell you some that screw on the front of your camera lens.

Or you could try squinting when you film it :D

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