"One concern I have is that when making picture at end of the day with Wide angle, can I damage the sensor because the pixels will receive too much light on a tiny surface. Have no idea of the risk in practicing these subjects. I am often worried to damage the camera."
Above is part of an email from one of my readers. I replied him personally but maybe this concern is also worth a short note. Namely, there has been some discussion at photography forums about sensors said to be damaged because of sun. This is a similar situation to kids burning paper with magnifying glass.
Personally I have never damaged film or sensor with too much light hitting on either. I have shot countless images with sun in view and never had any problems. I have walked in hot, sunny areas with camera on and a wide angle lens focused far enough without any problems.
A trusted source at Olympus replied my question and told me that there is nothing special happening with burnt sensors. This is not a typical japanese company denial statement. With trusted source I mean what it says: I can trust this person. Burnt sensors is simply not a trend nor any special issue among all other reasons why destroyed cameras come back to Olympus service. I did nor check other companies because I would expect the same response from everyone.
As I see it, the only way you can damage your camera´s sensor with "magnifying glass effect" is to leave it on a table or such with power on and a wide angle lens, focused roughly at infinity, facing the sun. This goes for every compact digital camera, every mirrorless digital camera and every other digital camera with live view mode on. I can perfectly well imagine that a sensor can be burnt, but I am not going to try how fast. Just carrying a camera around with power on seems not to be fast enough, otherwise I should have lots of burnt sensors...