Infrared (night-time) time lapse photography project

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by johnQuixote, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. johnQuixote

    johnQuixote TPF Noob!

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    Hello!

    I have a project that I've got and I need some advice on equipment to accomplish the goal.

    I manufacture cold weather sleeping bags and will be running some tests that I need to document.

    I need a camera that will shoot night time photos without a visible flash, so I was thinking that a camera capable of night time infrared photography would be a good place to start.

    This camera would also need to be able to take photos at set intervals, such as every 5 minutes during the night (about 6-8 hours worth). The intervalometer could be integrated or an add-on that interfaces with the camera.

    I don't know that an IR filter would do the trick, but I'm looking for advice from you who have much more experience with this type of photography than I obviously do.

    My thanks in advance for you help!

    Sincerely,

    John
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IR filter is not the issue here. An anti-IR filter is. All digital cameras have one as camera sensors are inherently very sensitive to IR light. It is thus common for digital IR photography to require long exposures (large amounts of light, far brighter than what a flash can output), without having the camera itself modified.

    With regard to the flash, flashes themselves put out a lot of IR light too. I know definitely in the film days it was possible to put an IR pass filter on a flash to block visible light and take an incognito photo using IR sensitive film without anyone seeing the flash. I can only assume that if you have a camera modified for IR photography the effect would be the same.

    What are you trying to achieve with this?
     
  3. johnQuixote

    johnQuixote TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the input, Garbz.

    In order to document my tests I need to be able to take a sequential series of photos in the dark documenting the temperature, the time, and me sleeping. I don't want 6 - 8 hours of video, but a time lapse sequence.

    Therefore I am looking for IR photography for this sequence, as the IR light will not disturb me in my sleep.

    It sounds like I need a camera to which I can attach an intervalometer for the time lapse requirement and whose IR filter is easily removable.

    I'm asking for recommendations for such a camera.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ahhh well there are a few problems. Camera shutters are loud, camera flashes make an annoying buzzing sound, and an IR camera has only one purpose IR, so they are expensive.

    Other than that most DSLR cameras fit the bill. The Sigma DSLRs are the only ones with a filter which is easily removable, but any camera can be converted and there should be some stores available which do this for a small fee. Also most cameras can have some aftermarket intervalometer. Nikon D200/D300s and upwards come with them built in, but even cheap Canon 350D have aftermarket battery grips available from ebay with a built in intervalometer. Failing all of this it should be trivial for any of your friends who do electrical engineering to whip one up.
     
  5. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    what about a camera that is used for survailance work? Fuji makes one
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Depends on image quality really. An IR CCTV camera may be well suited come to think of it.
     
  7. johnQuixote

    johnQuixote TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking at the Sigma sd14 and it's feature of being able to easily remove the internal IR blocking filter.

    Does anyone here know if there is an intervalometer available for this camera?
     
  8. Orgnoi1

    Orgnoi1 TPF Noob!

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    Well first off I guess I would need to know if you are attempting to get a thermal image (far IR) or an visable image (near IR)... you mentioned recording temperatures so I wasnt sure... with that though a DSLR will not measure ANY forms of tempertures as its only near IR...

    I guess in the situation you are trying to accomplish you could use a static IR light and not flash... but you will still need a dedicated IR camera or your shutter speeds will be extremely slow... so for that little part of the puzzle you will need to contact Lifepixel (West Coast) or MaxMax (East Coast) and get a camera converted or buy one from them already converted.

    I have not personally seen a Sigma sd14 converted as of yet... but that doesnt mean that much... I use three different Canons converted in various nanometer levels... so I can answer specific questions pertaining to those if you like...
     
  9. johnQuixote

    johnQuixote TPF Noob!

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    Yes, not thermal imaging, just visible IR images.
     
  10. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Why do you need it to be IR, why not just use a longer exposure?
    Then, any camera would do.
     

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