Experts warn not to use cell phone camera for 2017 solar eclipse

What you need to know when watching the big event this August.

BOISE - As you've probably heard staring at the sun can hurt your eyes and even make you go blind.

Well, it is a similar concept for a camera lens.

So, if your one of the thousands planning on getting a glimpse of the 2017 solar eclipse this August, you're going to want to come prepared.

And sunglasses aren't going to cut it if you plan on glancing up.

“There is glasses that have this special solar filter built into them, they are special glasses to view the eclipse with,” says Pat Nagel of Idaho Camera.

Solar glasses can be found easily online and will be available at Idaho Camera once the event gets closer.

But before you pull out your cell phone to shoot this historic event, you should know it could do serious damage to your phone's camera.

“When we were all little kids, some of us used a magnifying glass to burn things with the sun, that is exactly the same thing that happens with a camera, it can actually burn the sensor,” says Nagel.

Your best bet would be to get a solar filter but Nagel says he isn't aware of any for cell phones.

We searched too, with no luck.

However, many retailers sell solar filters for regular cameras.

But that doesn't mean you can't use your cell phone at all.

“You can shoot the sun when it is totally eclipsed, 100 percent, you can shoot it out of filter and with a cell phone, but if it's 99 percent you’re going to fry your camera,” says Nagel.

As the event gets closer Idaho Camera will be offering free classes on Saturdays about how to get the best picture of the eclipse.

You can also head to BoiseAstro.org.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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