Has anyone shot footage of welding? I don't want to ruin my equipment and I am not sure of how to protect the sensor. My best guess is to shoot with the lens protected by a welder's hood (glass). My default choice is to buy a cheap camera for the necessary shots. Any ideas/comments are appreciated.
I can tell you it is not a great idea to shoot it using tube-based cameras, from experience:-) Today's imaging chips are much more robust. You will likely though get some artifacting on the chip, a bright line at the hottest part of the image, the arc.
If you can shoot from an angle that obscures the actual arc, but leaves the sparks and lights up the welder's helmet/face, you're halfway there, and that's a more interesting shot usually, anyway. But yes, filtration. Pre-set white balance, manual iris, shoot only as much as you need.
In addition to what Mr. Suszko said, is this just "B-roll" for something, or are you shooting instructional footage where we need to see the actual arc/flame, how to move the work piece, how the metal melts, how the joints are secured, etc, etc?
If you are shooting instructional video, I would try to do it outdoors because you will need A LOT of light to compete with the arc and maintain proper exposure of all the interesting bits.
In addition to everything said, I shot a series of instructional welding videos. The instructor's requirement was to be able to see the arc, bead, and piece.
I used a JVC GY-HM700CHU camera and experimented with different grades of welder's shields to get the right combination of f-stop, shutter speed, filter and light. I cut the welding lens to fit into a 4"X4" matte box filter holder. I pre-set focus, panned, zoomed and monitored on an LCD monitor. I poked the cam lens out between welder's screens and the results were good. Audio was off-cam "live" and V.O.
Welding equipment manufacturers and others have examples on YouTube, etc.
(Still frames of flames, sparks and smoke are very impressive.)