Infrared Converted Canon G-15

Started Jun 12, 2014 | Discussions thread
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JeffryZ Senior Member • Posts: 2,374
Infrared Converted Canon G-15

First what that means.  I bought a G-15 and sent it to a company to convert it to shoot in the near infrared for me.

The camera normally has a filter over the sensor which blocks most of the infrared spectrum from reaching it (IR can degrade digital images so companies try to block it).  If you want to shoot infrared, you put a filter in front of the lens which blocks most of the light and allows the IR light to get through. But with the internal filter blocking most of the IR light and the external filter taking out most of the visible light, not much is reaching the sensor.  That means you need long exposures to capture enough light for a good image which is OK for landscapes and if you are patient. The darkness also makes seeing what you are trying to shoot a challenge (usually set up camera including focus and then put on IR filter and use experience or trial/ error on what exposure will work.

The conversion removes the internal IR blocking filter and replaces it with one which stops most of the visible (some is still getting in which is fine) and allows mostly infrared light in.  Now you can use "normal" exposures to capture images and hand hold shots.  You can even capture action. Focus and exposure are much easier.  But keep in mind- such a camera will no longer capture "visible light" (regular) photography anymore.  It is a commitment.  If you want to try, use a filter and see if you like the effect enough to pursue it more.

I have had a camera converted previously (a 6 megapixel Fuji which did a decent job) but wanted better image quality.  The G-series Canon are probably some of the best point and shoot cameras around.   I wanted something fairly small (the G15 is a bit larger than most P&S cameras though) so it is easy to carry along with a DSLR.  I didn't want to get a big body converted (costs a lot more too which was also a consideration).  The image quality is a huge step up from what I had before.

So enough explanation and a few picture examples. I have only had it a couple weeks and am amazed at some of my images already. Note- to get the typical white foliage in IR images you need to set a custom white balance.  Take the reading off something green.  If you can't do a custom white balance try the "Tungsten" setting.  It is pretty close.  When I did the IR custom white balance on this camera, it came out with a beautiful warm mostly black and white.  With my older camera the custom balance was more red and I had to process my images more to get them to look nice. With these, I have had to do little processing.  The G15 will shoot in RAW but I had troubles with Photoshop getting the color balance right so I am shooting JPEG fine.

Pics in next post.

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