How Does An Infrared Camera Work?

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What is an infrared camera?

Infrared cameras are devices that record images and video with wavelengths of light outside the visible spectrum. Known as the IR spectrum.

Infrared cameras detect different wavelengths than normal cameras, and are typically used for night photography. Typically, they are used to finding people who are lost in forests or other wildernesses.

How does infrared light work?

Infrared light is an electromagnetic radiation just like visible light. It consists of waves that are longer than those of visible light, so infrared cameras can see better in the dark and have a higher resolution than standard night vision devices, which use low-res infrared LEDs.

IR lights for your camera: There are many ways to provide IR (infrared) lighting for the purposes of filming at nighttime with an IR camera – some more affordable than others! We stock many different lights as well, just use the search feature on the top of our site and search for lights.

How to convert a digital camera to infrared

To convert your camera to night vision, you would need to remove the IR filter from inside the camera. It’s usually under the lens or just above the CMOS sensor.

There are software changes on some cameras that may improve video quality in the dark

  • You can convert your digital camera to infrared by changing a few settings. The most popular setting is the “HDR mode”, but there are several other modes that have been used for converting cameras too:
  • Black and White Mode – this will change all colours in an image into shades of grey
  • Greyscale Mode – similar to black and white, but with more gradients of colour between pure black and pure white
  • Monochrome Mode – converts images into one specific colour tone (such as sepia) instead of just greyscale. You can also adjust how desaturated you want the final photo to be!

Which Infrared camera is right for my application?

Look for an infrared camera with the highest resolution and image quality that your budget allows. If your application calls for high-resolution images, make sure to get one with a detector resolution in the range of 220 megapixels or greater.

Most infrared cameras have fewer pixels than visible-light cameras, so pay close attention to detector resolution. Higher resolution infrared cameras can measure smaller targets from farther away and create sharper thermal images, both of which add up to more precise and reliable measurements.

Is the resolution important?

To capture good detail in photos and videos, some manufacturers will boast about the “resolution” of their display screens, but it’s the detectors that determine how many pixels you are capturing for viewing later.

The resolution that is most important when taking images with infrared cameras is the detector. Find a system with IR camera sensors that includes a visible light mode capable of illuminating your environment with an intelligent lighting system.

Look for an IR camera that stores and outputs standard file formats.

Many infrared cameras store images in a format that can only be read and analysed with specialized software.

Standard JPEG pictures are essential. You should also look for an infrared camera that streams MPEG 4 video through your USB cable if you want to show friends or family the latest evidence of paranormal activity.

Ergonomic Features

You can use a lighter thermal camera to inspect longer. If you’re carrying a heavy camera, you will get tired of holding it quite fast.

The lens system can move, so you don’t have to keep the screen in front of you. Cameras that have touch screens are the best kind of cameras because they are easier than ones with just one button that takes you through many menus.

Consider Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your camera

Pick an infrared camera with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or both ideally. Using a USB cable or taking the memory card out are still viable methods of transferring photos and video to your computer.

Buts it’s much easier and more convenient if you can just come in, plonk your camera on your desk and copy all the footage to your computer.

Choosing a water-resistant or waterproof model

Some infrared camera models are not resistant to water at all, and if you get caught out in the rain, it could damage your camera. This is the last thing you want, especially if it costs you a substantial amount.

There are many infrared camera models out there which are water resistance and waterproof. It’s worth doing the research first to ensure you know what you’re getting, and what yours is capable of.

Protecting your investment

We offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, if there are any issues at all, we will refund you unquestionably. You will have to return it first, of course. There are many additional ways to protect your investment, such as taking out home insurance, and ensure your camera is covered under it.

Technical Support and Training

If you purchase your camera from us and need help, you can check the instructions included with the camera. You can use Google and YouTube to find more information and videos.

And if you’re still struggling, we are more than happy to help. You can email or call us anytime of the night or day, and we will do our upmost to assist you.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!