I do not know if this has been asked or considered by anyone else, so please forgive me if I'm just being redundant.
I have seen many panoramas which the sun, in a clear blue sky, is photographed directly. A perfect example is the banner photograph above. When shooting analog or film based photography, this is not normally an issue, but I have concerns over letting the sun ever enter the field of view of the imager chip. The impact does vary with the design of the digital camera, i.e. whether it employs a physical shutter or if the lens is always focusing light onto chip. Regardless, just as it is considered dangerous to visually gaze at the sun for risk of retinal damage, I do not want to put my camera at risk of degrading, destroying, or damaging the imager.
In reviewing various camera manufacturers, I have never seen anything in the specifications regarding the absolute and accumulated damage thresholds, nor anything which define a safe exposure limit when the sun is in the field of view.
Has anyone ever considered this issue and I would appreciate advice on properly protecting my camera from sun damage.
Thank you in advance.