Friday, August 07, 2020 21:45

Infrared Video Camera

Infrared (IR) Video Camera


True Infrared Video cameras can only be produced by Sony as they have the trademark for true 0lux sensors. Obviously filming in total darkness is going to require an Infrared Illuminator. At one time when the hard drive cameras that we use were new, there was an added accessory, an IR illuminator that fitted on the hot shoe of the camera and took its power from the battery. We still have a few of these, although they are starting to be temperamental in use, but they are at least 10 years old. Nowadays it is much simpler to buy an additional illuminator with its own battery to go alongside the video camera. With the prevalence of CCTV systems Infrared Illuminators are very easy to find. Any illuminator will work, the more leds the better as IR light dissipates very quickly. Most Illuminators the fall off (the point at which there is no IR light) is about 10 feet from the source. To light a large room, you would need a few illuminators unless the camera was close to the subject.

We use the DCR-SR series of cameras (either 190 or 290), these all have hard drives to store the footage on, ranging from 30Gb to 80Gb which is ample for a single night, as the batteries only last about 90 minutes each. You can also use these cameras to take photos in nightshot mode which can be useful at times (as a flash can blind people in the dark)

When setting up our cameras we always set the clock to 12 hours behind the actual time. This is for one reason. If we had set for the right time when the footage is transferred to the PC it would span two days (because our events usually start at 8pm and finish at 2am). We have one set of footage from 8pm until midnight and then another set from midnight to 2am. To illuminate this problem, we set the clock for 12 hours behind the time so that when transferred we have just one folder with all the recordings from that day.

We use these cameras because they are simple to use, quite cheap to buy (compared to buying new cameras) and transfer to a PC is easy. The quality of the recording at night is limited by the IR illumination so it doesn’t matter what the quality setting of the camera is. The recorded footage will be have a green tinge or black and white.

These cameras can be picked up for about £100 on eBay (the price when new was up to £650) for a DCR-SR290 which is the top of the range. IR Illuminators range in price from about £20 up to £100 depending on how many LEDs and battery type (most CCTV ones work from a rechargeable 9v battery pack)

Social Share Toolbar

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.