Several videos have emerged of concert lasers damaging the sensors in DSLR cameras.
One particular example
shows lasers damaging the sensor of a Canon EOS 5D MKII
. It appears that the laser burns the CMOS sensor, while the user is creating a video, rendering it permanently damaged in just a few seconds of exposure.
It is suggested that the lasers cause the damage by heating up the sensitive surface of the sensor. The ILDA (International Laser Display Association) say that camera sensors are often more sensitive to laser light than the human eye. What's more the damage to one pixel can also cause a whole vertical or horizontal row of pixels to stop working properly, making the damage even more visible.
The lasers can cause dead pixels, which may be visible on photos with areas of uniform colour. Any camera with a CMOS sensor could be susceptible, so it's recommended that if you attend a concert where there are laser beams to take extra care not to let the beams directly hit the sensor of your camera.
For more information on avoiding laser damage to your camera, visit the ILDA site