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Need Help Picking Out A Camcorder For IR Light

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I am looking to purchase a camcorder to replace my recently broke Sony dcr-hc38 handy cam. i really only used the camera at night with nightshot.

From what i can tell sony no longer makes cameras with nightshot, or at least ones in my price range.

I am looking to get a camera from either sony or canon but i need it to be able to see IR light in complete darkness.

From what i can tell from some things posted online is that some of the new recent model camcorders can do this but only certain ones.

Does anyone know for sure what cameras can do this?

If its not possible how would i be able to make the camcorder see Infrared with like a filter or something.

I really want to go get one tommorow because a bunch of models are on sale and the sale ends tommorow.

My price limit is $650 before tax.

Thanks for any help
post #2 of 15
The Sony HDR CX760v, PJ760V, PJ710V all have nightshot (no-light infrared) capability. They are higher-priced than $650.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply,

The camera does not have to have nightshot it just needs to be able to see ir light.

From what I read on a "ghost hunters" web site, they say the following models work :

Sony :
Hdr - cx 190
Hdr - xr260v

vixia hfr 300
Vixia hfr 32

Now this is just a website saying this. Nobody can confirm this for me.

Who knows if the cameras have been modded . I just want to be able to use the camera in complete darkness with ir.

Thanks for any help
post #4 of 15
Security cameras with IR LED lighting can video IR. Also, some of the hunting cameras that photograph animals at night are also IR. Both types of cameras with LED IR illumination are surprisingly reasonable in cost.

Example, I have no experience with this hunting camera

Normal video cameras have an IR blocking filter to exclude IR because it produces such an unnatural video. For example, cigarettes, in particular, appear very bright in the videos.

I am not familiar with the SONY cameras but if they produce both normal looking pictures and at the same time can video IR then the IR filter cutoff wavelength may only extend just beyond the visible wavelength limit at about 700 nm, to say, 700-750 nm for example. ? What is 'nightshot' and its spectral transmission. ? Cameras designed for near IR response can exclude visible and cover farther, say, from 710-1050 nm. ??

What is your application?
Edited by Chas Tennis - 12/12/12 at 7:57am
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure what nightshots spectral transmission is.

And I'm just using the camera indoors mostly in the dark
Nothing high end or anything mostly just playing around.

But I do want a better quality camera because I do use it to film graduations and events like that.

So I do not want a hunting or security camera for that and I don't really want to purchase 2 cameras.

The guy at the store told me I was expecting to much . But I told him I don't think I'm expecting to much when my 300$ handycam did it and now I'm willing to spend $650

post #6 of 15
FYI, Here is some information on the SONY night shot.



Please let us know if you find a current camera to duplicate its visible and IR results.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
thanks for those links, unfortunatly they did not give much info on how to make a new camera pick up on IR .

Im trying to get ahold of some people that say they use these newer cameras for IR , but this is proving to be very difficult.

I dont know what to do, i cant afford the canon xa10 as much as i would like to get it
post #8 of 15
Last Saturday I recorded a few videos using a 4 year old Sony SR45 I recently got off of eBay and a couple of Phantom Lite IR illuminators, a 25 and a 50 LED model. The range of the IR light drops off fast in complete darkness so I'm not too impressed with the lights or the camera. I'd like something better.

A close in video:

Close, medium, and disappearing out of IR light range:
post #9 of 15
The effective distance for IR shooting using the built-in Sony camcorder IR emitter is 3 meters. Sony sells an accessory combo regular video light and infrared emitter that extends the nightshot range up to 20 meters:

http://store.sony.com/p/HVL-HIRL/en/p/HVLHIRL#features ($66 street price)

The light is powered via the active interface shoe and is coordinated with the nightshot button on the camera (HDR-CX760V). With this combination you have extended-range IR shooting and excellent regular video as well.
post #10 of 15
I found this today while looking for info on my camcorder and want to know if you know for sure that the Sony HDRXR260V can record in infrared light? I have one and will be attaching IR lighting to the camera. I have read everywhere that it isn't capable of recording IR light. If you have any input on wether or not it can I would appreciate it. I just bought it yesterday and am up in arms if I need to return it or not.
post #11 of 15
Here is the link to the full HDR260V user guide: do you see reference to IR or 'Night shot' in there?


This camera does not support IR mode. Nothing anywhere says it does. On the other hand, that is a feature of the 760 and 710.
Edited by markr041 - 3/17/13 at 6:33pm
post #12 of 15
open it up and take out the icf
post #13 of 15
Are you sure all it needs to do is see IR light? How would you play that back since it would still not be viewable. Do you perform a shift in an editor or something?
post #14 of 15
Originally Posted by fishywishy View Post

open it up and take out the icf


    Yes, if the Infrared Cut Filter (ICF) is removed, practically any camera should be able to see near-IR light.  The difficulty is that some cameras/camcorders use a coated lens as the ICF, which means that focusing will be messed up if it is removed.  As long as the ICF is a separate, flat sheet of glass right next to the sensor, there should be no problems focusing after it is removed (been there, done that).



Originally Posted by dnoyeB View Post

Are you sure all it needs to do is see IR light? How would you play that back since it would still not be viewable. Do you perform a shift in an editor or something?


    Camera sensors (both CCD and CMOS) can see a rather wide range of frequencies beyond visible light.  The sensor's pixels also have no concept of color.  So, to get color, a Bayer Filter is employed inside the sensor.  The Bayer Filter is basically a mask of alternating red/green, green/blue filters.  With this filter, certain pixels can only see red, some only blue, and some only green.  However, those filters are "leaky" and will let some IR light through.  Also remember that the sensor itself doesn't have any concept of color; the software interpreting the data from the sensor has to know what color filter is over each pixel.  Then, the data is encoded in the YCbCr colorspace using either JPEG (photo), or H.264 (video).  Thus, no colors beyond the YcBcR colorspace are physically encoded.  To see near-IR light, we are depending on the "leakage" of the Bayer Filters to allow some IR light to reach the individual red, green, and blue filtered pixels.  Generally, the green filter leaks very little IR light, while the red and blue filters are quite leaky to IR light.  Because of this, IR light is seen as purple in photos (or videos) shot with a color camera where the ICF has been removed. :) 

post #15 of 15

I have a list of camcorders on our website that gives most of the models of camcorders that feature the Nightshot/IR mode.





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