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Infrared modifications
  • I currently bought a small surveillance camera with 6mm lens, for 15 usd on ebay. i was surprised that it can film in almost complete darkness- and this is done by auto switching into the infrared light spectrum, BUT it does NOT have lights on it. It uses the Infrared spectrum of the normal street and house lights.
    Does anyone have thoughts on this and- why this is not available on hdslrs as night shot mode?
  • 6 Replies sorted by
  • As far as I know:

    The sensors on HDSLRs have a special coating that blocks infrared light, because the infared part of the spectrum would otherwise degrade image quality.
    There are cameras where this is done with a special filter that can be moved away from the sensor, but the quality of this system is not as good as the coating method.
    And with this small surveillance cameras don't have good image qualitiy any way, so no coating doesn't make much of a difference. Night vision is here more important. And it is true that in the infrared part of the spectrum even pitch black nights are well iluminated.
  • You can convert most digital cameras to accept more of the infrared spectrum
  • @Dazza Thanks for the link, very interesting (I didn't know that its that easy to get the filter off the sensor).

    Well, we had HD, 3D, 4k, 120fps+, HDR,....
    ...maybe the next advance would be a IR+visible+UV spectrum camera. But not compressed into 3 colour channels.

    This would need a 5 colour sensor (5 different micro filters in a new bayer-pattern) and a new image format that can save 5 colour channels.
    It would be very interesting what you can do with this extra colour information. The processing would be something not so different from HDR images.

    Maybe there is a research project somewhere?
  • @Dazza "This would need a 5 colour sensor (5 different micro filters in a new bayer-pattern) and a new image format that can save 5 colour channels."

    Couldn't the additional data be stored as additional alpha channels in .TIF or .PSD file and then loaded by the software later on through tagging, rather than requiring an entirely new image format? I'm just going off of my memory of how we would layer on tons of alpha channels/depth cues/etc. onto 2D renders of 3D scenes back in the mid-90s.
  • its really a shame that the infrared blocking coating can not be switched on/off...
    has someone ever tried using infrared lights (like 48 ir leds for 10usd from ebay) to light a scene at night? (of course, not for scenic productions.)

    i dont have one now, but the GH2 does see the blinking light in front of the tv remote, so id like to know if its enough to light a scene with IR...
  • The IR filter on the GH1/2 sensor stack is VERY effective, almost no IR light reaches the sensor. With the filter removed, GH1s and 2s become extremely high-quality IR cameras. You can also have the UV filter removed and achieve full-spectrum sensitivity. I've been filming full-spectrum 3D with a modified pair of GH1s for some time. The quality is great....

    The company that did my modifications is Their website is very informative about digital IR and UV photography.