24 October 2005, 00:47 by mark hoekstra

how-to turn a digital camera into an IR-camera

First of all, I know this has been done before (with webcams for example), but I thought it would be nice to give you an extensive insight view of how I transferred my old digital camera (which would probably fetch only $30 on ebay or such) into a infrared camera. The whole idea is just that a lot of people probably have old cameras laying around, collecting dust, so why not make one of your old cameras an infrared one?

Actually, this is a project I finished just before The Make Faire. I showed it at the Faire and now you can see it here too!

So here we go:

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The camera… In my case a Fuji FinePix 1300. It’s a camera I always enjoyed using, a perfect point&click camera where you hardly could go wrong. But hey, it’s 2005 and 1.3 megapixel isn’t that impressive anymore :-)

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First look inside, you can see the display and the smartmedia-reader.

ADDED: a safety tip, tape of those two terminals (I put a blue circle around them on the above pic). These terminals are connected to a huge capacitor on the other side of the PCB and believe me, you don’t want that to discharge on you!

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Warning Here is where I went wrong in the beginning, but well, you can also learn from other peoples mistakes, so that’s why I post these pics here. I went looking for an infrared-filter in the lens-assembly… which I took apart in the next picture… which in the end didn’t seem necessary...

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Luckily I managed to get it back together, working and all… phew…

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The lens-assembly as a whole could come off and then you get a peek at the CCD and the reddish glow you see in this picture is actually from the infrared filter…

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I had to make a custom screwdriver to be able to get this tube, which normally holds the lens-assembly, off.

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Here you can see the CCD-chip with the infrared filter on top.

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...and another pic, where you can see the special glow this filter gives.

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...and a pic from the side, where you can see there’s actually a small glassplate (the filter) on top of the CCD-chip.

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...I looked quite long at this, trying to find a solution how to get the filter off, in the end I could just pry it off by using my fingernail…

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...the CCD-chip in all it’s glory…

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...time to make another filter, we want one which will block all visible light but won’t block infrared light. Luckily the trick of using filmnegatives for this was mentioned in the Infra Red Webcam How-to, so credit where credit is due.

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Here you can see the IR-filter, consisting of a little piece of glass and some rubber and one of my earliest attempts of making an evenly sized filter myself.

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...and this is what my table looked liked, once I had a working filter. The filter in the end consisted of two layers of film-negative and, to be honest, it took me about 15 attempts of making a filter and place it without fingerprints or other dirt, on to the CCD-chip (and yes, that meant 15 times of opening up and closing the camera before I could test yet another filter… ;-))

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But… in the end, we have a working filter in place! Time to close the camera for the last time…

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First test-picture… Tux looks a little white in infrared…

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...and my CRT-monitors don’t display a picture at all, when viewed in infrared only…

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...this is the actual pic made with the infrared camera.

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...trying to photograph a glass of cola.

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...which looks like water in infrared!

...and then… an IR-flashlight!

Well… an infrared camera is fun, but you definitely need some kind of infrared lightsource to make it really fun and (a little bit) more usable :-) So, looking around for parts which would enable me to perform such a task… I ended up looking at one of my hand-crank-flashlights (which I also used as a power-source to my iPod) and that seemed quite an ideal basis for this, having 5 white leds as a light-source already, how hard can it be to exchange them for infrared leds? A little investigation told me an infrared led takes around 2 volts, while a white led takes around 3.5 volts… (actually, it’s the guy at my local (and favourite!) electronics-store who tells me these kind of things, so I don’t even have to google for these answers :-) ).

So, what I needed was 5 infrared leds and 5 resistors of 330 ohm.

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...the setup…

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...the original PCB with 5 white leds.

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...and the backside with 15 ohm resistors, which were to be replaced.

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...one of the blue leds. I had to cut the legs of the leds down to almost nothing to use them in the original PCB.

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...and the result with 5 blue leds in the PCB.

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...the backside with all the resistors replaced.

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...and assembled back together again, with the lens in place.

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Now, here you can see the flashlight doesn’t actually light for the human eye… I’m aware of the fact that a handcrank flashlight which doesn’t visibly light is one hell of an approach to nothingness… :D

...but, on the display of the camera you can see it actually produces a light (in infrared)... I actually have to check with my camera if the infrared-flashlight is on or off…

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...lighting one of my Sony Playstation2 dualshock2-controllers.

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...and here I am, lighted and photographed in pitch-dark with these two gadgets we just made/modded.

If you have any ideas/suggestions or comments, please put them below.

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  1. Flashman @ 24 October 2005, 14:38 :

    Now that’s sweet – next time I find some old digital camera around, I’m totally going to give this a shot.

  2. Aaron @ 24 October 2005, 14:57 :

    Great tutorial! I can’t wait to try this.

    I wonder if there would be a way to replace the flash with a high powered infared light. That would be great to have it in an all in one solution.

  3. Charles Lacroix @ 24 October 2005, 17:04 :

    You thing we can archive to do x-ray like camera with a similar procedure?

  4. mark @ 24 October 2005, 22:48 :

    well, i don’t think so, this infrared-thing works cause CCD-chips are sensitive to infrared-light but for use in a digital camera they use an IR-filter so only the light we (as humans) see is captured (which is of course what you want for a photocamera).

    It is however similar to the Sony nightshot-thing in videocameras which were rumoured to have a slight see-through effect, but the band of infrared-light which is captured is way too small(at least, that’s what I think) to see humans as glow-in-the-dark or such. ;-)

  5. John @ 24 October 2005, 22:56 :

    Outstanding hack and great tutorial! I have a Nikon 950 that will go ‘under the knife’ any day now (ok, I’ve been saying that for two years now…). I do have a Canon PowerShot 310 that might make a good hacking subject… The mod should be less traumatic on that camera, the Nikon has loads more parts in it.

  6. dan @ 24 October 2005, 23:54 :

    I did this with on of my webcams a while back, and it’s really nice because i have blue ropelights that are rather dark, but to the infared camera its bright as day, great for midnight chats. also, it makes sweet pictures, because it basically makes all colors (clothes, etc) grey, and sort of takes life to a time without color. oh, and its just freekin cool.

  7. Todd @ 25 October 2005, 01:15 :

    Is it possible to apply this to achieve night vision? That is, w/o the IR flashlights?


  8. Brian @ 25 October 2005, 03:25 :

    I had tried this with a kodak recently but stopped at the same area that tripped you up for fear of damaging my (once) expensive camera. I might have to try again now.

    a nice add on would be how to rewire the flash into an IR flash. i am assuming the LED/Resister method would work, just need to figure out the ratio.

    Then we would have the real deal.

  9. Pbros @ 25 October 2005, 04:20 :

    I’m looking for something to show me where cold air is coming in from the cold outside world. Would this work for that?

  10. Saf @ 25 October 2005, 04:26 :

    Wow i like this mod, although i gotta say that infared light seems like a week ass 1 lol, judging from the pics you posted.
    I was wondering would it be possible to make a high power infared light, then mod the camera an light into a head mounted unit (like a unit which goes on the side of the head or even shoulder), then have the lcd attached to your wrist, and then go around like rambo an shit an see people an stuff in the dark while they dont know you can see them lol, that would be a cool mod, night time hide and seek anyone?.

  11. Saf @ 25 October 2005, 04:29 :

    was just hinking also, is there anyway to make an actual military grade night vision unit from any digital camera/camcorder in the market at present?, i sen a few on ebay but they go for like a few £1000 which is pricey to be able to see in pitch black lol.

  12. jonhos @ 25 October 2005, 04:38 :

    @ #9:
    You’re thinking of the kind of infrared camera like police helicopters and tanks have. This camera mod will not produce a similar device-nor are even the the police/military devices likely sensitive enough for what you’re looking for. The device capable of measure minute temperature change in the air is rather expensive and ungainly. A better method for you would be to invest in several thermometers or even some dry ice so as to create fog to show you the path of the air.

  13. JDog @ 25 October 2005, 04:48 :

    Todd, you cannot achieve night vision without some form of illumination, as I’m sure you are aware. Passive night vision (the kind you get in those cool green goggles the military use) rely on starlight or other ambient light sources for illumination. It would not be all that smart to use a nice high-powered IR source on your night-vision goggles when you are trying to take out those pesky highjackers – it’s way too easy for them spot the IR beam with simple gadgets like a camcorder in nightshot mode!
    Active night vision like this article describes are much cheaper and easier to make. The reason that the passive ones cost so much more (something like $200 for a simple monocular one) is that they use a special image intensifier tube to amplify and display the ambient light, hence the greenish tinge (it’s actually like a miniature TV tube in there, and because we can differentiate objects best in shades of green, that’s the color they chose).
    If you have a camcorder with Nightshot mode, point a TV remote at it and watch the flickering pattern of the IR LED – kinda cool, but hardly useful. Light amplificatin goggles (or scopes) amplify more light frequencies than just IR, which is why they work in dim moonlight or even starlight-only situations. The other type of night vision you often see used is on TV; you know, when the cops chase the car thief or hoodlums down and you get to watch it from the air? That’s called FLIR, or Forward-Looking InfraRed, and it is also passive. The difference is that the sensors are sensitive to thermal radiation instead of visual radiation. Great for seeing still-living enemies in the rubble of that building you just leveled with your Hellfires.
    IR scopes are fun to play with, and to build. I once built one using an old Sony Hi8 camcorder (broken) and a couple of cheap B/W CCD cameras I had kicking around. It’s fun to use for those all-weekend paintball games.

    Brian asked about rewiring the flash for IR. I doubt you will have much luck actually changing the strobe out (although you can buy IR stobes for big $$); an easier way would be to replace the lens of the flash with an IR transmissive material like layers of 35mm film or the front cover from an old TV remote (the really dark dark red bit of plastic on the front is an IR filter). In fact, an easier way to make an IR flashlight is to simply block the visible light with a filter, like I just described. I did this with my MiniMag, and from 3 feet away, it’s invisible to the human eye. Makes one heckuva light show for the NVG, though!

  14. Shiftlock @ 25 October 2005, 05:45 :

    What wavelength do the IR diodes emit? I have a very unique 980nm laser pointer that takes 2 AAA batteries, and has an output of just over 500mW. This is enough to pop a balloon from across the room, or melt solid plastic from close up. Yes, it will also blind someone if pointed in their eye. If the light from a laser like this were dispersed, or if an IR laser diode were used in a non-focused configuration, then it would put out a ton of IR. DPSS green lasers, like the green laser pointers you see for sale (which are getting less and less expensive) have an 808nm pump diode in them that would probably be perfect. So disassembling a cheap green laser pointer would be a way to get tons more IR than LEDs. BE CAREFULL DOING THIS OR YOU WILL BLIND YOURSELF.

  15. C @ 25 October 2005, 06:10 :

    Lets clear up a few points here. The sensors in digital cameras and camcorders are sensitive to NIR or Near Infra Red, which means it is just above the range that is detectable by the human eye. Objects do not emit near infra red, unless you get them hot enough. Like iron doesn’t emit visible light unless you get it hot enough. That is why you need a source of ilumination, like its been pointed out, not that useful if you’re enemy has the same technology, which as proved here is not that difficult. Then there are sensors which are sensitive to thermal infra red like stated above. Most objects DO emit thermal radiation (either produced like a human body or car or released like pavement cooling off at night). FLIR, while it does stand for Forward Looking Infra Red, does not describe all thermal sensors. FLIR is also the company name of one of the major manufacturers of thermal imaging cameras (dicslosure: I am an employee). Forward Looking Infra Red specifically refers to some of the early aircraft pods that carried thermal infra red cameras in fixed orientation to the aircraft, usually looking forward.

    FLIR does make a lot of the gimbaled camera systems on helicopters that you see on TV when the cops are chasing the bad guys. These are fairly expensive systems that can cost anywhere from a couple hundred thousand to a couple million dollars.

    However there are thermal cameras that are in the high hundreds to low thousands of dollars. These are usually Bolometers which is a type of thermal sensor. These sensors are definitely sensitive enough to see a few degrees diference in temperature. I spend all day looking at images from these cameras. You can see some amazing things. Studs in walls, veins under skin, hand prints left on surfaces where somedy touches something for only a second, cold air flowing in through poor window and door seals, levels of fluids in tanks the applications go on and on.

    If you are interested in some pretty nice infrared applications of miniature thermal IR cameras check out www.indigosystems.com and look for the photon or micron product.

    or check out www.flir.com

  16. Waterhead @ 25 October 2005, 06:29 :

    In order to get around the whole fingerprint thing, did you consider cotton gloves?


  17. Pablo @ 25 October 2005, 09:16 :

    Re: #9:
    pbros, if you need to find air leaks, nothing works better than a lighted candle.

    And cheaper than any digital camera.

  18. Geoff @ 25 October 2005, 10:26 :


    I’ve just found this site in my IR Webcam page stats.

    Very impressive instrucions, much better than mine.

    Do you mind if I link to this page from mine next time I update it?


  19. Leonel @ 25 October 2005, 10:47 :

    Hay mark, thanks for the excellent tip, i read your post in the morning and now i have my old polaroid fun flash turned into an IR camera, alas i lost the pc cable years ago, hehe, so no infra-red pictures to store by the moment.

    It was very difficult to get the IR filter off. If someone has another polaroid fun flash, my advice is to look inside the lenses piece for it. It’s glued, so be careful but constant.

    BTW, i never think that the companies made this cameras extremely hackeable till i almost break mine. Also i adjusted the constrast for better results.


  20. mark @ 25 October 2005, 11:27 :


    Wow, thanks, it was your how-to I used to make this one :-)

    >Do you mind if I link to this page from mine next time I update it?

    No, of course not, please go ahead :-)

  21. Pauly @ 25 October 2005, 12:39 :

    Very interesting, found you via http://del.icio.us – good work!

  22. Saf @ 25 October 2005, 14:43 :

    Cheers JDog, very informative and usefull info there for night vision, but if i ever go to war im sure the british army will provide me with state of the art gear where needed.
    What i was on about when using a infared light to illuminate people at night, was like in city environments, say im walking through a park in the middle of the night (like i would be with the weirdos around that time), and i wanted to see what was in them dark shadows etc, i could switch on the light an camera an look at the lcd too see everything, now i highly doubt that sum weirdo will be sitting in them shadows with the same technology, and from the infared beam i emmit flank me an do shit etc etc lol, so basically in the city unless theres people who mod there camre to pick up ir too, then i would be invisible in them shadows, like say if i was stalking sumone to beat the crap outta lol (obviously with a valid reason, ie the fuk threw paint stripper on me brothers car), they wouldnt know im there from the ir cos they would have no way to know its shining on them, but i would have a nice clear view of them illumiated in all there ir glory.

    Now i understand in a military/counter terrorism senario i would be a sitting duck (like in predator 2 when they wore them thermal suits to stop the predator picking up ther ir radiaton and seeing them, but it knew they was there an switched its viewing spectrum to see the halogen lights beam an used that to own them lol), an basically if i done that in such a situation i would deserve being sniped in the head lol.

  23. ScottB @ 25 October 2005, 14:57 :

    I did a great deal of research IR work in college and for Eastman Kodak… You can make a IR light or Flash by covering the unit with an Kodak Wratten 87C filter. It only allows IR light thru. Although with the flash you will see a red blip when the flash goes off… and depending on the brightness of the light you choose you may see the fillament. The 87C works at about 850nm. This filter is cuttable… so you can size it easily with some tissue and a pair of good scissors. Use Gaffers tape (black) or if you cant get ahold of that you can use Duct Tape… The duct tape is kind of one time use… once you apply it, leave it.
    Depending on the size of your light (hot light) you may need a heat absorbing glass… like those Giant 1000W lights you plug into your car/truck…

  24. Nick @ 25 October 2005, 16:39 :

    500mW laser from 2 AAAs? That’s pretty amazing… But even then, despite the very high power output of your class IV pen laser, you could easily match raw output for 5% of what it would cost with LEDs.

  25. Justin @ 25 October 2005, 17:33 :

    I have some left over Infrared LED Arrays from a similar project I was working on.

    There are 15 LEDS in the array with 870nm peak wavelenth. I’ll sell them for $5 a piece plus shipping, and I will include a wiring diagram to show you how to create an infrared flashlight with it.

    Justin H.

  26. Popher @ 25 October 2005, 18:05 :

    As will have been mentioned, I hope, the CCD is sensitive to the Visible Light Spectrum and ONLY the near-infrared part of the Infra-red spectrum. “Heat” is seen in Far and Mid IR, not at all in Near. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared

    I did this project, or one similar, myself. I broke one webcam (scratched the lens in anger) but got one to work. Try looking through matt-black (and i mean BLACK—i.e my Black cat is not see-through) objects… With a strong IR source behind it (a halogen bulb, say).
    Viens show up well also.

  27. Alexander @ 25 October 2005, 18:27 :

    Cool mod!

    After reading your howto, I modded our Konica Digital Revio KD-220Z. I took some pictures while modding the camera and of course some IR pics.

    Here we go:


    I still have some trouble with the autofocus, but I think a thinker replacement (glass) for the IR filter will fix this.

  28. adaminc @ 25 October 2005, 18:59 :

    What if you took a piece of that film, and put it infront of the flash, would the flash then give off infra-red light?

  29. Duck @ 25 October 2005, 20:28 :

    Now, I was under the impression that you could increase the sensitivity of a CCD by pumping up the voltage to it. I know this would be risky, but does anyone know much about it? I’ve heard this is why better digicams draw more power, and an old camera I ended up breaking (junk casio a friend was throwing away) seemed to operate better with higher ampage power supplies. With the same concept, couldn’t we amplify the light coming into the camera.

    Also, the NICE nightvision systems of the US army are dual mode, where they combine light amp and infrared into one beutiful picture (funny brown images) they are two seperate systems combined by a computer, but couldn’t the same basic concept be achieve with no filter on the camera? I know this ruins the IR only photography, but for night vision setups…

    Also, anyone know if the average CCD can go above human sight range? Hello UV leds! :) (I hope)

    As far as a piece of film infront of the flash, its probably too thin, though thats an offhand guess and you could double up.

  30. Duck @ 25 October 2005, 20:39 :

    Quick googling says that UV just my work, though it seems finicky. I just need to get a camera I’m willing to tinker with now.

  31. sabre @ 25 October 2005, 22:45 :

    Just a quick thought. Would this work on a simple digital camcorder? Like maybe the CVS disposable digital camcorder.

  32. Duck @ 26 October 2005, 02:09 :

    As I understand it, the CVS digital camera doesn’t work, because the screen is for viewing taken photos only, but the camcorder should make a fine infrared spotter.

    On a related note, is there much of a difference in spectrum range of the CMOS chips in inexpensive cameras versus CCDs?

    (yes, I’m camping the forum to find answers to my life threatening questions)

  33. FrankenGeek @ 26 October 2005, 02:41 :

    To answer your question about the CVS Cams. Yes. You can look at http://camerahacks.10.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=1577 for some hacks regarding the CVS cams. Also try hackaday.com at http://digitalcameras.hackaday.com/. They have somethings there. I dont know if you have watched Attack of the show or not. www.g4tv.com/aots there they hacked a CVS cam to do IR and they added a few LEDs to the package so that you can have a pseudo night vision cam also added USB to it. Check it out.


  34. Flux @ 26 October 2005, 03:42 :

    You do realize that you could have saved yourself probally about 10 minutes cutting all those resistors to fit the pcb right? this was a big to-do on the camera-hacking forums. people don’t seem understand that if you put ONE resistor at the power source, you dont need one for each led… your led’s are kind of dim too, not sure wether thats an effect of the exposed film or not, as i’ve never performed this hack before – except on a cvs cam. Nice job alltogether though.

  35. dude @ 26 October 2005, 08:24 :

    I avoided his dirty chip/film problem by wiping both gently with a dry qtip. it seemed to work well enough.

  36. JDog @ 26 October 2005, 19:51 :

    Reply to Saf, in Post 22; I loved your reply, mate – laughed like mad! Paint Stripper? Jeeze Louise, I’d be all over ‘em like a fat kid on candy! One issue with using IR illuminators is that IR reflects off of a lot of stuff like tree leaves and bushes. My experience with using it for playing paintball at night is it works great for open spaces but is really lousy for CQB in the bush. What I really needed was a way to sneak a self-powered IR LED on the top of all my opponents’ facemasks! Ha, that would rock.
    Thanks to C from FLIR for the great info. Some facts there I was not aware of – you learn something new every day! One of these days I will post pics of my NV scope for y’all to drool over (just kidding – it’s ugly as hell!).
    Most IR LEDs operate in the high end of the Near Infrared range (say, around 1000nm). Some people can actually see into the NIR, up to around 900nm and will perceive a dull red glow from IR LEDs in some consumer devices. The power output of most LEDs in things like remote controls is around 35mW. Note my generouse use of generalities here, since there is an extremely wide variance in quality control and specs between manufacturers, and I am too lazy to dig up all the real facts on the subject!

  37. benny @ 27 October 2005, 06:06 :


    i want to attempt this hack. however, i was wondering if the negatives (filter to block non-ir) have to be used already. can i simply use a new roll of film? or must I take pictures with the film in order for it to work?

    thanks in advance,

  38. Shiftlock @ 27 October 2005, 08:58 :

    By the way, here’s a source for extremely high power IR lasers. http://www.cnilaser.com/_private/ep_pointer.htm
    This is where I got my 500mW IR laser that runs on 2AA batteries. Sure, you could match the 500mW with a bunch of LEDs, but if you ran 10 of these lasers, you would have 5W of IR, and you could focus it at a distance if needed. Thatwould be very hard to do with LEDs. A little off topic, but ridiculiously high power green laser pointers are at www.optotronics.com. These things put out over 200mW and run on 2 “C” batteries. They’re not crappy modified pointers, they’re real high power lasers. Anyway, I think laser diodes are a much better way of getting a lot of IR than LEDs.

  39. DUCK @ 27 October 2005, 22:29 :

    About the film, undeveloped film will let light through, not act as an ir filter. (You must develop unexposed film to make a good filter, assuming you get negatives, not positives from the developer)
    The development places (esp. the drugstores in my expeirence) are often willing to give you the unused frames that were developed for free, as they cut them out and would throw them away anyways.

    (I was collecting IR filters for some other toys, I haven’t built an IR camera yet)

  40. DUCK @ 27 October 2005, 22:36 :

    Oh yeah…

    Unless you want a true IR only camera, I don’t think the filter is necessary to make nightvision or the like, though the white balance may get screwed up.

    Also, anything about whether these mods affect the auto-focus?

  41. Geoff @ 28 October 2005, 14:51 :

    Whether these mods affect auto focus depends on the focus system. Some of them use a seperate range finder and move the lens to a pre-defined place depending on the range. Removing a significant thickness of glass from the system as this mod entails will upset these unless you put a similar thickness piece of glass in place of the filter.

    Some other auto focus systems look at a (usually horizontal) line in the picture and tweak the focus until they get the maximum contrast. I can’t see a reason why these should stop working but the range may be affected.


  42. mark @ 28 October 2005, 16:26 :

    >Removing a significant thickness of glass from the system as this mod entails will upset these unless you put a similar thickness piece of glass in place of the filter.

    I think this is the case here… The camera became slightly out-of-focus (you can see it in the pic of the two CRT-monitors) after the mod and I also concluded this had to do with the piece of glass removed. I should find an glass filter which has the same effects as the two pieces of film to solve this, or a way to bias the focus a little…

  43. DUCK @ 28 October 2005, 22:54 :

    I understand the first system pretty well, my concern is the second type, I was just wondering if the focus only used certain colors, ect.

    The only concern with the first type is the IR illuminator it uses. It generally produces a red or orange glow (reveals location, could we filter this?) and since its operating in NIR, could the IR flashlight setup throw it off?

    Depending on your camera, the IR filter may just be a coating on the glass, carefully removing that and coating it in a black paint without a NIR signiture ought to avoid focus problems, though I’m not sure about that.

    Finally, I was examining my Snoy Cybershot (no disasembling THAT though! :) ) and there’s a little light sensor (also on some film cameras I own) I assume this is the brightness sensor, with what appears to be a light red coating on it (IR filter?) I wonder if scratching it off would fix any light balance.

  44. Alan @ 29 October 2005, 02:52 :

    Very nice job on the pics. if I can get my hands on a cheap camera I might build one of these!

  45. Steve N Nordquist @ 29 October 2005, 11:39 :

    People, given that the IR filter is also A/R coated on both sides (on a camera that’s good in low light) and has the second function of blocking WATTS of fickle-laying infrared in day shots to prevent damage to the sensitive CCD, and also probably of blocking humidity (over 11%, which will damage the CCD’s performance (certainly in IR) wholesale, and inevitably, over time (hopefully 50 years+)) from the CCD (which has little passivation otherwise;)
    I propose that you plan ahead carefully while modding, flow dry gas, formulate your gorilla glue or epoxy carefully, use some IR-type AR glass blocs, and otherwise ooOO keep the IR filter around as a full-time aperature controller. OOoo Mayhaps there will be (or be room for) a spare analog control loop for a (second?) physical shutter? Much, much more preferably; imaging-compatible IR upconversion filters (i.e. putting a bag of tricks in front of the camera rather than hammering them around in the high-value bits of the camera.) Sun Prints for the ‘90s, eh?

    You who was going to !!!overclock your CCD.!!! No; dark current goes up and you ruin the device, mostly. That said, if you get a monochrome CCD, cool it and keep humidity under 8% at the CCD, use image amplification methods in parallel with FLIR wheels and thermopile (SbTe, etc.) photoplane converters, and design a cheap versatile infrared bag camera under 300 eBay dollars, you are a shiny godlike genius I want to shake offerings of wine and sage on ye, and are you single, girl?

    See Born & Wolf for the kinds of filters in use. The other device is almost certainly not a spare light meter, since the CCD can do that fine for itself…though an outboard one would be great on a professional camera to further prevent overexposures and other field photographer hazards. It’s probably the IR focus dingus, which just figures the subject is a better blackbody emitter or absorber in the near mid-IR than air or the ground, and picks a focus by picking a lens configuration that maximizes light in that range (where it thinks the subject oughtta be in a 50mm frame; say low left center.)
    You’ve already guessed that this makes taking photos of glass monitors super awkward; any applications?

    Lighting’s important. Lighting aperature’s important in IR…but no reason not to bounce a 4cm beam of flash through bushes, off further foliage.

    Awesome comments, people! Moments ago I was (...well, accidentally closing Opera, but…) looking for an Advantix SLR that had a 600mm bigger lens 600mm. Well, not 12mm aperature.

  46. Daverock @ 30 October 2005, 00:46 :

    tried ur trick, excellent i loved it BUT, take the CCD off the dig-cam board run it trough a pc cpu,very hard to explain right now, i do have it typed(on a old typewriter not connected to n e power source) but pricey! or even an exbox,I assume, never tried it yet cant be bovered

  47. Kronaxi @ 30 October 2005, 17:44 :

    wow…i want to try this one. Maybe you can keep the camera able to be used if you make a wheel with both filters on it (so you can easily switch filters.)

  48. Rory Bellows @ 30 October 2005, 19:16 :

    This idea certainly isn’t new. But fucking ell, this is a damn ripoff of Ka Nai’as project. Same fucking camera et all. The pictures are almost the same too. The fucker is too much of a chicken shit to admit he ripped this idea off and changed it by making a LED flashlight. Thats the hack, not the fuji camera hack, its been done you moron. You didn’t improve on it.

    Hey markie, how bout growing a pair and giving credit where credit is due you fucking piece of shit. I bet you don’t even have enough guts to approve this comment.

    You make me sick!

  49. mark @ 30 October 2005, 22:46 :

    Well, and what’s your problem? Like I said in the comments of HAD, I didn’t see that one, is that so hard to believe? (and with me, a whole lot of others didn't see it also, if I look at the amount of traffic I'm getting on this). I guess so, if I would’ve seen it, it still is possible I would’ve done this hack on this specific camera, since that’s the only old one I have. Since when is a hack only a hack when it hasn’t been done before? I post the hacks I do and it’s not up to me to link those on other sites… And about approving comments, I don’t approve comments, they’re approved by default, what do you think this is, paulstamatiou.com? (he didn't approve a comment I made):-)

  50. gogo @ 31 October 2005, 02:40 :




  51. shreya @ 31 October 2005, 07:50 :

    it was really superb.is it possible to make a camera using x-rays?

  52. Geoff @ 31 October 2005, 16:21 :

    From Ka Nai’as project. “A while back I saw someone had taken a webcam and changed it over to an InfraRed (IR) webcam.” Hmmm, I wonder who that was.

  53. mark @ 31 October 2005, 19:37 :

    >Hmmm, I wonder who that was.

    me too, he doesn’t seem to credit you the one whoever did that… :-)

  54. Jason Striegel @ 31 October 2005, 22:39 :

    Great howto!

    After you’ve removed the IR filter, your camera is instantly improved for astrophotography applications. You can also ditch the whole lense assembly and use your scope as a giant telephoto lense. There are some ideas for this here if anyone is interested.

    Are you up for doing a howto on removing the IR filter lense coating on the CVS PV2?

  55. Geoff @ 1 November 2005, 09:19 :

    I’ve played with webcams and astrophotography but live in the city where the light pollution makes it almost impossible. :( I’ve not tried it but I think using an IR filter may improve matters as most street lighting seems to put out very little IR.

    In fact I’d expect that just cutting out the sodium yellow light would improve things though those lights are going out of fashion these days.

  56. eric @ 2 November 2005, 06:27 :

    after reading this article, me and two of my friends were quite excited to try this out. during first hour today we just sat in the back of class and took this camcorder apart, removed the IR filter and put it back together in about 20 minutes. then we took a remote control and the camera under the school (the only pitch black place we could think of) and found our way around with the remote control acting as a flashlight, and the camera’s lcd as a means to see what the remote was lighting. we also shot a few videos, which turned out nicely.

    i’d like to add it is very interesting to see (via the camera) a bright light in someone’s eye, without them flinching or their eyes dialating.

    another interesting note: if you shine a remote control into a generic digital camera, even with the IR filter, you will see a bit of light. it seems that the IR filter is more like sunglasses for IR, letting IR through if it is powerful enough. (ambient light is not enough to pass through it)

    awesome mod/hack/whatever

  57. Robert Gordon @ 2 November 2005, 16:21 :

    Nice job! I did the same with a cheap CMOS digital camera back in April after reading Geoff’s page (there’s a link from Geoff’s page to it – http://m33p.be/projects/ir/). Mine was a quck two minute job but it works very well indeed!

  58. Osman Safdar @ 3 November 2005, 18:51 :

    Wowwww…......trust me I’m tryin to find me old camera since I read this.

  59. THE PAGAN WOLF @ 4 November 2005, 02:55 :

    Hey! GREAT JOB!! I don’t think you realize the potential of this hack, especially the fact your camera has a small LCD screen.

    I’d like to present to you this link


    the “Specter” is a digital night vision goggles that uses Invisible 950nm LED illumination with Ultra Low Lux CCD.

    if we look at what your hack is, it’s really one step closer to reverse-engineering that piece of kit. Imagine that, some cameras are close to 300$ with 2-3 megapixels.

    Hack it the way you suggested it, throw that in a goggle, figure out a way to get stereoscopic vision and mount the leds and you got almost the same piece of kit that costs not only 1,900$ but you can get it as a civilian (The specter is only available to military personel and law enforcement agencies).

    Kinda brings the whole hack into a new light doesn’t it?


  60. Marshall @ 4 November 2005, 03:34 :

    I tried this with my ancient digital camera, and I think that the IR filter is the lens.

    I can see the CCD chip, but theres no filter ON it, but the lens of the camera is glowing red.
    Is there no way around this?

  61. shweta @ 4 November 2005, 05:24 :

    wonderful !! i am amazed to see that u did that all by yourself and got an absolute makeover for the camera. WELL DONE!!

  62. kmm @ 4 November 2005, 11:38 :

    It seems like you have soldered the resistors i parallel rather than in series with the LEDs! This way, you will not obtain the necessary voltage drop.

  63. mark @ 4 November 2005, 13:07 :

    Well, it’s a little hard to see, but the LEDs themselves are in parallel and the resistors are exactly at the place where the old ones were and that’s in series with each LED.

  64. kmm @ 4 November 2005, 14:12 :

    Mark, you are right about the resistors!

  65. munzer @ 4 November 2005, 14:53 :

    How about turning your solar garden lights into IR lights and using a black and white video camera or webcam as a nice little night vision security cam. Would it be possible to install super bright IR leds on our cars and equip our windshields with something that would allow us to see the IR illumination. Would we then be able to drive around at night without our lights on. I also need some help with my portable power generator. Creates usable energy from . . .

  66. samir @ 4 November 2005, 21:01 :

    well i thought that an ir cam is much more than that iam gonna give it a shot plz eamil me with any new stuff u make or add me at msn

  67. Chris @ 4 November 2005, 21:05 :

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the HowTo on the IR digital camera dissection!

    I did surgery on my ancient megapixel Kodak DC200 camera last night and was able to remove the IR filter, but didn’t make a visible filter. What kind of problems might this cause?

    I ask because the images are now out of focus, do you suppose the refractivity of the glass filter that was there before is enough to throw off the focus of the camera? Did you have problems with focus?



    Sample (resized smaller) images:


  68. Jack2466 @ 4 November 2005, 21:29 :

    I don’t get it. Instead of ripping apart a perfectly good Digital Camera why don’t you just attach the homemade IR filter to lens of the camera for the same effect?? Maybe I’m missing something here.

  69. Justin @ 4 November 2005, 22:03 :

    To #68:

    The IR filter that is within the camera BLOCKS IR from entering the camera. It allows visible light to enter.

    When you remove the IR filter it now lets both IR and visible light into the camera.

    What this hack does is place a Visible light filter back into the camera so only IR light will be seen by the camera and visible light will be blocked.

    If anyone still wants any cheap IR illuminators, see post #24 by me.

  70. Frank @ 4 November 2005, 22:44 :

    Jack2466, if you attach a homemade IR filter to the lens of the camera then the IR light that the IR flashlight is giving off and that is bouncing off objects will be blocked by it, can never get into the camera and hit the CCD and the camera can’t see anything in the dark. Since the camera already had an IR filter from the beginnning then we would end up with a camera with two IR filters.

  71. Jason Miranda @ 4 November 2005, 22:55 :

    Long time Hackaday viewer, long time poster.

    I read through all the comments to make sure this wasn’t already covered but I would like to shed some light on your project vs. the other one.

    Personally I found the other one is far more informative and the people like Markie and Geoff definitely did not read it. Except to copy and paste that bit of text. While Geoff, you may feel that he got the idea from you he did not. If you clicked the link that is under the text you copied from his site you would see that it goes to a different project, and by providing that link he does give credit. Also Geoff, you do not mention IIRC or Internal IR Cut Filter on your project, the other web cam project does. The other project also does the IR heat pictures as well. So I believe he did get the idea from that site since Ka Nai’a mentions an internal cut filter and does the heat picture as well on the electric stove.

    The other project uses a Fuji FinePix 2300 while Markie’s uses a FinePix 1300. I can see why someone would think it is a rip-off of the other project.

    But what I am disappointed in is you still continue to claim this as your own original idea, to do this to a digital camera and not a web cam, while you should be giving credit to the other project since anyone else who ever stumbled upon this would see the creation dates and see that his site at least inspired yours.

    My final point, has anyone actually e-mailed or tried talking to Ka Nai’a to see his method, inspiration, or other hacks? I doubt it. He probably doesn’t even know this site exists yet all these people are going behind his back and either defending him or spreading libel about him. But I for one will bring this site to his attention, if for anything else just to get his $0.02 on this matter.

  72. Manuel Galán @ 5 November 2005, 03:18 :

    ¿No habeis pensado en salir un poco mas y buscaros novia, en vez de hacer tonterias con los cacharritos?

  73. mark @ 5 November 2005, 13:01 :

    #71, Jason:

    >Except to copy and paste that bit of text.

    Please enlighten me which piece of text I copied, cause I didn’t

    >But what I am disappointed in is you still continue to claim this as your own original idea

    ...and where exactly do I claim that? on HAD the post starts with ‘Markie admits it’s been done before’ and here I start 'First of all, I know this has been done before', (and that was before I even saw Ka’Nai’a's project). And yes, believe it or not, after watching Geoffs web cam mod, all things you see above is the result of how I modded my Fuji with that information and that information only. Of course, I fell out of my chair when I (through the HAD-comments) saw Ka Nai’a’s project with the Finepix 2300 and the amazing similarity with this write-up, but well, what does that change for me? Not a whole lot, this is my write-up of how I did this mod, if I’m not the first, so be it, that’s not my point and to be honest, I’m getting really tired of this ‘it’s been done before!’-thing. So what? If it’s been done before I shouldn’t be doing it anymore? What exactly is the case? I’m doing the mods/hacks I like/come up with, I credit the information I used and I hope it’s useful to the people who read it and that’s about it.

    >Personally I found the other one is far more informative

    Well, good for you, use both How-to’s and do your own mod. What is it you’re saying here?

    >while you should be giving credit to the other project

    Well, you certainly don’t know me or know what I stand for, I’m an open-source guy, I credit everybody and everything I use information from, but believe it or not, I didn’t see or use Ka’Nai’a’s information before I did this and that’s why I didn’t credit him in the How-To.

  74. Reader @ 5 November 2005, 21:18 :

    Found this site at howstuffworks.com…good stuff.

  75. reader @ 6 November 2005, 08:28 :

    you should use this to make a lightless security system or some kind of spy equipment. you’d be able to see people with the light but they wouldn’t know that their lit up. to bad they dont have laser pointers like that. u could use it for military purpose. line them up with a infared laser sight and they wouldn’t know. it’d be pretty damn sweet.

  76. Marcus Ninja @ 6 November 2005, 08:46 :

    This dude is just trying to help the other people to learn. I’ve never heard of K’Nai’a and if this mod had never been put up I wouldn’t have known about modding cameras for IR at all. Way I look at it is that all you guys riding this dude about his originality are just really doing your best to make sure this guy doesn’t bother sharing with us in the future.

    Well in the words of William Shatner… I can’t get behind that.

    Great mod, Mark, well written and informative. I hope you don’t let them get you down.

    Marcus Ninja

  77. B @ 6 November 2005, 21:07 :

    Agreed, I though it was a great idea. Now I just need to find me an old camera

  78. siva @ 7 November 2005, 08:48 :

    hi that is fantastic .. but what will be the result if we mix up the visible light with IR .. (not using the visible light filter)

  79. Alex @ 7 November 2005, 16:28 :

    it’s dumb why are u going 2 waste time doing that

  80. Alex @ 7 November 2005, 16:30 :

    cmon itsawastetime

  81. Alex @ 7 November 2005, 16:31 :

    yor aretard stopdoing this

  82. mark @ 7 November 2005, 17:09 :

    ...ah, how nice, on the frontpage of aol.com
    (turn world infrared)

    these last three comments already had me thinking... :-)

    (and gone already...)

  83. neil @ 10 November 2005, 23:58 :

    Awsome, i did this and it worked great. THX!!!!

  84. macona @ 14 November 2005, 21:27 :

    I did this mod to my okd Kodak about a year ago. The one thing you need to do is replace the filter with an equivilant thickness of optical glass. The glass being right in front of the CCD changes the focal point of the lens. The focus is usually controlled via an infrared focus system and it will just focus the lens to where it thinks it should be for the reading it gets. The will result in a near sighted camera. When I modded my camera I used a piece of AR coated glass that was an recticle for a scope. I scribed it with a carbide scribe then used a dremel tool with a silicon carbide (green) stone under a dribble of water running in the sink to finish it to size. (Water keeps the edges from chipping. You dont need much, just keep it wet.) I then used a Lee polyester IR filter cut to the same size. installed the new filter and glass in the lens and reassambled. I also remove the light diffuser from the flash and replaced it with the same IR filter material. The Lee polyester filter is better then the Wratten filter as they are cleanable (Not water soluable.) They will also hold up better as a flash filter whereas the Wrattens will burn up.

    Two days ago I also modded my Sony DSC-V3. This camera has the built in nightshot but it is limited. It only functions in standard and “P” modes as well as movie mode. Also you can not use the flash in this mode. I took apart the camera (much further than I had to.) and found how the night shot system worked. It is simply that the IR filter is on a solenoid. The camera moves the filter out of the way in night and back in normal. Seeing as there is proabably no way to get into the firmware there had to be a hardware hack. I found that the solenoid is controlled with a little surface mount (SO-8) H-bridge chip. I installed a tiny swithc that sends a pulse to the chip which manually moves the filter out of the way. Just cycle throught the nightshot modes to return to normal. Now I can use the camera as a normal color digicam and full IR mode by placing IR pass filter over the lens and flash. Or even better use the hotshoe or ACC plug to control an external IR flash. Only problem I have had is that the camera has a hard time focusing at full wide angle. Fix is just zoom in a bit.

  85. thunder7 @ 24 November 2005, 10:40 :

    to sweet ur a genious great work.

    I found your link in primehacks

  86. Da Man @ 26 November 2005, 20:12 :

    if uve got a powerable enough ir flash light a camera will pick up the invisible light when i mean a camera i mean a vid/picture phone will do it to

  87. Eric @ 3 December 2005, 02:38 :

    I just did this to an argus digital camera, real easy, real cheap. I timed it at 4 minutes 12 seconds start to finish. Now, what to do with the bit of glass… stick it inside a remote under the filter and in front of the ir led maybe? Hmm….evil

  88. Kyle @ 7 December 2005, 00:17 :

    In response to post 60, there is no way around it. the filter is actually painted on the lense. Thats the way they do it with the cheeper cameras and web cams mostly. Correct me If Im wrong

  89. alhattab @ 13 December 2005, 19:28 :

    If it is possible to modify this method to measure the temperature of hot object using the same technique?

  90. Wyres @ 19 December 2005, 21:41 :

    About LEDs and serial resistors:

    It would appear that the original LED flashlight had a serial resistor for each LED, and the serial LED/Resistor pairs were all in parallel. This is the preferred way to do it. Placing all of the LEDs in parallel, with one single current limiting resistor in series with all the parallel LEDs will probably generally sort of work, but presents some issues. Each LED will vary slightly by manufacturing variation, and have a different current draw, and as the knee voltage is so sharp could cause significant variations in light output and component life. Thus, separate resistors is better. And hey, resistors are cheap.

    It is OK to put multiple LEDs in series with a single current limiting resistor, you just want to have a separate current limiting resistor for each series of one or more LEDs. (hope that makes sense)

    LED light output is proportional to current. Thus, in the case where the higher voltage white LEDs are replaced with the lower voltage IR LEDs, it may be possible to put two IR LEDs in series, and adjust the series current limiting resistor appropriately. (to produce the correct amount of current through the LED, check your spec. sheet) The nice thing about that is that you are dissipating more energy as IR light as opposed to heat. Or, effectively twice the light output for the same power consumption.

  91. murray @ 21 December 2005, 15:15 :

    I might try this with an Olympus 2 MP I took apart for another reason…the display is fine reading from a memory chip, but the signal from the sensor is ‘scrambled, unsynched, whatever the term is. Only hope I have is to inspect the circuit board under a microscope for solder fracture or something.

    Anyone have any knowledge of the sensor signals?


  92. splint @ 6 January 2006, 21:13 :

    is there any way to use this concept to make some type of night vision goggle?

  93. keek @ 7 January 2006, 16:41 :


    I think the problem why autofocus doesn’t work properly is that the whole optics is adjusted to visible light. The refraction of IR light is different (smaller angle of refraction) and so the picture is not focused on the sensor.

    Older analogue foto lenses have a correction scale to focus properly when using IR-film.



  94. rarefluid @ 13 January 2006, 13:26 :

    Hey Mark.

    Nice blog.

    I used your how-to to convert my Logitech Quickcam Zoom webcam to infrared. The pictures are really spooky now ;-)

    I’m putting up a DIY-blog to with electronics and programming stuff, but there’s currently only one post ;-)

  95. vsp @ 17 January 2006, 10:46 :

    hwo can i make my gr-dv 900ag jvc cam do the infrared light?

  96. toxicdog @ 27 January 2006, 12:30 :

    what happends if i get out the IR filter from the cam and I takes photos?

  97. markie @ 27 January 2006, 13:51 :

    #96 then you will get normal pictures with some IR leaking through… I tried it before I applied the filter, but you get (ugly imho) distorted pics…

  98. fab @ 19 February 2006, 06:21 :

    what about putting the film in front of the lenses? would it work?

  99. Pete @ 2 March 2006, 07:52 :

    Hi, Just did this on an old Finepix 1400Zoom camera – works really well!

    and yes – it will work if you put a filter/film on the front of the lens but not as well (lens flare, reflecting).

    Top How-To!!!


  100. john @ 6 March 2006, 00:15 :

    I spilled all the lenses out of the lens assembly to my fun flash camera. does anyone know the order that they should be assembled?

  101. Pat @ 7 March 2006, 00:51 :

    No idea if this would work, but would it work if you simply popped the ir filter, then reassembled the camera… you could place the ir filter over the front of the lense to shoot normally, or but negatives over to shoot ir? Any thoughts appreciated.

  102. Tom @ 12 March 2006, 23:21 :

    Just hacked my Olympus C50. Removed the IR blocking filter and did not replace it with glass. Use an IR pass filter in front of the lens and that works fine but the focus is lousy. When I put the IR pass filter in front of an unmodified C50 the exposure is slow (1/2 sec) but the focus looks good. Can the lack of between the lens glass make that much difference?

    Tried placing the IR blocking filter in front of the lens. Still out of focus.


  103. Tom @ 13 March 2006, 02:28 :

    Encouraged and informed by post 85 I decided to give it a shot. I scribed and snapped a broken UV filter until I got a couple the right size. One of them fit right into the recessed mount. The UV glass is .073” thick and the IR blocking filter was .069”. Pretty good match.

    Fired up the camera and it worked! Replacing the IR blocking filter with a block of glass is a must on auto focus cameras.



  104. rita @ 15 March 2006, 14:56 :

    hey u all have been talking of simple lens mods but now i have a real problem. help me out. my video cam has a lens casing made out of aluminium casing i could not get off the ir blocker. help me to pry it out, without disturbing the main lens. the lens type is of creative type on cmos sensor screwable one lot.ii seems these chinese oems have glued the whole thingy. i thought of cutting the protruded part removing the ir blocker then glueing it all by acrylate glue after fitting visible blocker, but thought to check out if someone has any idea.

  105. Tim @ 15 March 2006, 18:34 :

    Sorry I didn’t reply to this back when it was much more active, but as far as the focus problems are concerned, I think that because of the nature of IR light, you also have to be careful with focus when using IR film. So, I’m not sure that focus problems are related as much to the removal of a thickness of filtered glass as it is to the physical properties of that part of the spectrum. If you’re interested, I’d google “focus infrared film photography” or similar and you’ll probably find more than you’d ever want. You might want to set your mod’d camera for landscape mode (or something like it) so that it increases the depth of field (the distance at which things will still be in focus). On most point and shoots the flower icon will give you shallow depth of field, which allows for more error due to IR, and the mountain range icon will give you more depth of field and, hopefully hide error. There will be a trade-off, however in how long the shutter will stay open…the more depth of field, the more time the shutter needs to be open, so you may need to find some balance between the two.

  106. rita @ 16 March 2006, 16:22 :




    SOMEBODY? ANY IDEA? or i have to proceed on a very destructive modding.

  107. rita @ 16 March 2006, 16:35 :

    stretching the subject further—does anybody have mods for converting the Olympus C365 XD card to send the video files to hard disk or usb pendrive via some interface electronics – so that one can use the Mark’s mod to an IR web-cam, for capturing a frame sequence. thnx in advance.

  108. Gadget @ 17 March 2006, 11:39 :

    The more apt title for the story would have been “Do It Yourself Ghosts” ;)

    But, seriously this is awesome stuff.

  109. Laug32bit @ 18 March 2006, 20:47 :

    I found a simmilar guide where they did the same thing on a webcam… He found the idea from this site.
    Oh, and I have to say that it is realy cool thing you did

  110. Richard @ 19 March 2006, 18:36 :

    Today I pulled apart the exact same camera you did your mod with. I also did the conversion. After i did it and took some photos I googled around and found your site. The only thing I did different was i didn’t put back a piece of glass, I just put the dark film where the glass was. I have noticed that doing close up Photos they come out very well but when I do photos far away it is slightly out of focus. I also noticed your Photos come out with a bluish tint mine come out with a reddish tint, this might also be due to the fact that I used developed film from a theater. If I manually raise the white balance on the finepix mine come out blue also.

  111. david @ 21 March 2006, 08:07 :

    i have found that the film negatives filter really work but was not as easy as it sounds it really takes someone with some skills to do this because you do not want to mess up on a new camera so practicing on an old one helps and i also found that in the right conditions i saw throw some faberics and someslighty thin to thick papers

  112. Jonny @ 22 March 2006, 00:28 :

    How stupid! Whats the point? Any use? Any “pretty pictures”? Nothing, just a simple “I take out the IR Filter Mod”, boring! If you could just show some more decent images than the ones you have. I rule.

  113. harouno @ 25 March 2006, 13:53 :

    j’ai besoin de cette camera

  114. Dan @ 25 March 2006, 20:42 :

    wtf dude some of the images are backwards? good going.
    im trying this modification right now.

  115. markie @ 25 March 2006, 20:51 :

    >wtf dude some of the images are backwards?

    uh? in what way are they backwards?

  116. ETH @ 2 April 2006, 21:16 :

    Added in www.electronicsthisweek.com

  117. Chris Hollis @ 7 April 2006, 05:38 :

    A brilliant and very comprehensive tutorial Mark :) I shall have to try this with my Fuji 1400 which I am planning to replace soon.

    Mentioned on my blog at http://ff3451.blogspot.com/2006/04/turn-old-digicam-into-ir-camera.html

  118. jack mynt @ 7 April 2006, 09:06 :

    cool my IR webcam really works

  119. bubba @ 9 April 2006, 03:16 :

    Once again, this is bubba… the outside world is calling for you… LISTEN TO IT!

  120. Steve H @ 1 May 2006, 21:34 :

    I followed your instructions, with some slight modifications on placement of the negative material. The camera of choice for me was an old DV4100 miniature video cam by AIPTEK w/512 memory card. It works great in concerts where lighting is very limited. I am trying to find a good light source now. Thanks.

  121. Steve H @ 1 May 2006, 21:40 :

    Oh yeah… the negatives ARE on the outside of the lense for removal and replacing the IR filter for normal shots.

  122. Deb @ 2 May 2006, 22:23 :

    Would you consider making me one of your IR digital cameras if I paid you well to do it??? I am a clutz at photography BUT very strange things appear in my photos that have been verified by Fuji Film Headquarters in Chicago. I’m talking definite human spirits appear and someone suggested I take IR film to this hotel the next time and I will capture more unbelieveable photos. I will be visiting the place I got some unreal photos the first of August and would love to try this type camera to see if I can capture it in greater detail. I would be happy to send you some of my photos and will publish them some day too as Fuji was very interested in backing for my photo exhibit but I haven’t quite captured the right photo yet. IR may help me achieve this. I would also make me you #1 photo assistant / consultant too if you’d be willing. Thanx for your input. All you have to do is tell me what to buy and I’ll get it and send to you and pay you for altering it plus site you on my photos when published as well as give you a commission! Thanx , Deb

  123. Charlie @ 5 May 2006, 09:07 :

    Very interesting. I have an old vhs camcorder. I wonder if I would be able to do the same with that!?

  124. 2nd Gen User @ 19 May 2006, 08:19 :

    Re Message 22. This happened in the Falklands.Argentitian sniper was using 1 Gen IR scope with IR light source didn’t know his opposite number had 2 Gen Passive. Result…? Head shot…

  125. Bob @ 24 May 2006, 00:37 :

    I have had partial success with a sony cyber shot DSC-P31, but the IR filter is bonded to the glass, and the pictures are way out of focus. Any ideas how to over come this????

  126. Geoff @ 27 May 2006, 11:30 :


    Thanks for the link to my webcam page.

    The page at ntlworld is going to move shortly to http://www.hoagieshouse.com/IR.


  127. nikki @ 6 June 2006, 15:16 :

    hi my name is nikki and i want to know how much is the camera, how well does it work, what year is it from. and does it take movies ? also how many pictures can i be able to store and how many viedos can i store.

  128. tpr @ 7 June 2006, 07:42 :

    i was wondering, i hacked my olypus d-380, but didn’t have any negitive’s to put over the ccd, so ididn’t and it wokrs fine in the dark, but also works ok with light(well it’s dark kinda) i was wondering if the lack of a light filter over the ccd will cause any damage? or will it just cause my camera to pick up regular and ir light. also, is there a way to ajust the focus maunally on the lens set up in the camera? mine is very un focused… very.

  129. markie @ 8 June 2006, 12:31 :

    >i was wondering if the lack of a light filter over the ccd will cause any damage?

    Euhm, no, it’ll only allow IR+ ‘normal’ light to be combined so you’ll get normal pictures with some halo-effects and such…

    >is there a way to ajust the focus maunally on the lens set up in the camera? mine is very un focused… very.

    Well, that’ll have to do with the glass of the filter now missing (more info on this is in this thread also). When you would put a piece of glass of the exact same thickness back, the problem should be fixed.

  130. Tony @ 9 June 2006, 06:12 :

    Not exactly minicams, but there are a number of companies that modify digital slrs to shoot infrared only images, and a few places that modify the P&S cams as well.

    As far as the problem with focus, the total thickness needs to be different than what was originally over the sensor, as has been mentioned, IR light focuses differently than visible light, and most of these little cameras don’t have apochromatic lens assemblies, so it becomes critical to get the calculations right (experimentation will pay off, try using thicknesses of microscope slide covers)

    Another trick, E6 film (color slide film) when unexposed but developed has various degrees of IR passivity, depending on ISO (the higher the ISO, the more visible light it passes along with the IR light) I like fuji velvia 50 ISO personally. it seems to transmit right at 810nm

    Edmund optics also sells infrared filter material in 1.5mm thick pieces. it’s a plastic piece, and fairly durrable, but passes a lot more visible light than I like (somewhat more than a wratten 89b equivalent) I believe it’s about 700nm cut-on wavelength.

    If you guys are interested, I can post links to some infrared images shot with an unmodified camera with corrected focus.

  131. Hoxie @ 13 June 2006, 14:17 :

    The whole capacitor thing. Yeah..I went there when I was 8 years old taking apart a camera. I must say, at the time it was something horrible. Lol.

    But this project is really interesting, and camera’s are easy to get cheap. And not too much work involved. I’ll try this one for sure.

    Thankyou bunches for sharing this tutorial and making it easy to follow!

  132. Randy @ 20 June 2006, 11:14 :

    Time to re modify the flashlight. Find out the current the LED’s can handle. Use ohm’s law to calculate the voltage drop required. If the flashlight used 3 nicad’s at 1.2 v each, then figure a source voltage of 3.6 volts. If the LED’s are high power like they use in a TV remote, figure 50 or more mA, not the 20 mA or so used for indicator lamps. You want illumination, not an indicator brightness. 330 ohm is typical for a display LED running on 5 volts. Notice the original resistors were 15 ohm. Anyway to pump 50 mA per LED at 2 volts from a 3.6 volt source you need to drop 1.6 volts at 50 mA on the resistors. That would be 32 ohms. Try a standard value of 27 or 33 ohm resistors. Enjoy lots more IR glory. Adjust values if your flashlight uses another voltage.

  133. Ralph @ 21 June 2006, 06:37 :

    I would love to try this type of mod on my Olympus Stylus 800 but i think i will wait a while unless someone can offer any type of mod for my cam that would be external only….even if the mod is not IR related….though i hope it is….

  134. horca @ 26 June 2006, 22:39 :

    I am trying to remove the IR filter of the CIF CMOS camera of a Siemens C65 cellular phone.
    I was able to remove the plastic body of the lens, but the IR filter is in a lower level inside the camera. I would have to remove the plastic body that is glued to the CMOS sensor. Before doing so I would like to know if somebody tried this before. If so, please let me know, Thanks,

  135. - @ 27 June 2006, 13:14 :

    my phone works without taking any filter out

  136. a @ 28 June 2006, 18:24 :

    I have a new way of making a infrared camera.
    It is very easy to do and much more efficiant.
    If anyone is interested please contact me at mr_head25@hotmail.com

    I (mark) mailed this guy to enlighten us all with this 'new way'

    Khaled Alameddin to mark


    if you want better results, Open a floppy disk, (you can open a floppy disk just by braking it),

    then remove a black film, and do the same thing as said on the article you read,

    just replace the film negative by the film you retreived from the Disk. ;)

    Works great


    Well, thank you Khaled. I'm not sure why you asked people to mail you before you gave this 'tip' (which is a known method) but whatever...

  137. markie @ 28 June 2006, 19:31 :

    >my phone works without taking any filter out

    lot of phones do that, most of them don’t have an IR-filter. But, you get IR and normal light combined. But if you would make your phonecam similar to the camera described here, you only have to place a filter which blocks normal light. That’s the filter made out of negatives…

  138. Ka Nai`a @ 13 July 2006, 19:52 :

    Just another boring day and googleing my name to see what pops up and I found this.

    I don’t see what the big deal is. It isn’t like there is more than one way to do this. Either you do it and only do a write-up or you do it with your write-up and pictures. The pictures will be the same.

    And to be honest I did this a while back, that picture I have of the street was taken back in 2002. I shared what I had done on Yoshi’s Forums (from TechTV) on March 2005 and people asked me for a write-up. I never got around to it until recently.

    I am not a hacker by any means. This is just something that is logical and it was something I did for myself as proof of concept before I modified other cameras. The last one I did modify is my Minolta Z2 but did not use the ol’ film over the sensor routine. I bought professional IR filters and professional IR Cut filters and have had spectacular results with it.

    The only thing I copyright on my page is images and text. But that goes without saying. He didn’t copy any of my text, any of my images, or anything else from my site.

    I know this post is coming in July when it seems the last post with coming in June but knock it off. Who cares who did what first. His will be more popular because he is into the hacking scene.

  139. kenneth @ 20 July 2006, 06:06 :

    how it make

  140. Chase @ 24 July 2006, 00:14 :

    can anyone tell me what i need to make a powerful ir flashlight that could be seen by something like a regular unmoded cell phone camera

  141. Nolan.T @ 25 July 2006, 21:32 :

    I did this with me motorola cell phone and it works great. but instead of the filter i used the sim card and did this…it worked great.

  142. norms @ 7 August 2006, 09:52 :

    hi ! i’m just amazed of what you did to that old digital camera turning it into IR camera. I had an idea but its better if we just communicate thru e-mail. my question is how deep can penitrate your IR. thru walls & floors.

  143. yetanothermoder @ 8 August 2006, 07:11 :

    Hi, I successfully moded a camera and fooled arround with the neg films.

    I covered the camera flash with 3 layers of films and as expected I could hardly see the flash in a dark room, but the camera could. So you don’t need to buy leds to make a flash for your camera or complicated circuits. Just apply a couple of layers of film over it.

    As for a IR torch, just use a regular flashlight and apply the neg films 2 or 3 layers should be enough. Works like a charm.

  144. yetanothermod @ 8 August 2006, 09:01 :

    Just happen to read somewhere that trash bags or floppydisks can be used as a filter !!! o_0

  145. FISH @ 9 August 2006, 13:31 :

    excellent work but the camera will cost me a lot

  146. Mike @ 22 August 2006, 17:16 :

    Have user IR chemical light sticks for several years with great success.

    Source: http://www.uscav.com/Productinfo.aspx?productID=9490&TabID=1&CatID=412

  147. satyam @ 26 August 2006, 10:14 :

    dear sir

    we are looking for a device that can scan and read the content of a book throgh the wall or table top.

    hope for the possitive response

  148. r0g @ 20 September 2006, 21:00 :

    147, just sit back and take a minute to think how not possible that is.

  149. Hans @ 28 September 2006, 12:41 :

    Dear macona,

    you mentioned a modifiaction on your DSC-V3. I have also one and I’m very interested in details.

    Could you contact me under hans-werner.koehn@t-online.de

  150. Olmec Sinclair @ 5 October 2006, 03:02 :

    I had no idea that the CCD chips actually filter out IR rays. Cool to see what you have done. I think I might try it when I upgrade to a new camera in the future.

  151. cms @ 19 October 2006, 06:34 :

    ahahahahh i have a webcam that comes with infra red feature already lolz and come with 4 infr red leds on it like wat u use on a remote for ur tv as lighting that human eyes cant see but the camera can see it it could see straight through the darkest tinted car windows or shades with ease
    lol have fun modding ur cams i wanted to buh then i found out about this cam lol
    its a MSI mini cam infra red MSI

  152. Cor @ 24 October 2006, 15:58 :

    Hello everybody,

    Very interesting how to.
    I have stables with horses and my wife is sometimes panicking when she hears something. I want to have a infrared webcam in my stables, there is enought to buy , but not with all the stuff i want.
    I want to have a pan/tilt camera with it’s own ip adress, wireless, and most important with infrared possibility.

    I just have seen 1 or 2 camera’s who has this all, but cost over 1500 euro’s.

    My plan is to mod a normal pan/tilt webcam like this one:




    Will it be able to modify such camera’s ?

    The other question I have is: will I be able to still use this camera with daylight?, and have good/reasoneable picture quality?

    My stable lenght is about 12 meters, with a good ir light source, (the commercial ones you can buy) will I be able to see what’s going on in pitch dark 10-12 meters away ?

    many thanks for your help,


  153. David @ 25 October 2006, 03:12 :

    147, Ok so you want to see through solid objects.
    This is easy; you first take apart the camera and remove the IR glass layer and replace it with 1 layer of Dragons skin. Only 1 layer of skin. If you use 2 layers you’ll be able to see through polyester and as you mentioned, you wanted to only read books through tables.

    My friend (who is an Elvis fan) put 2 layers of skin within a microscope slide and then into his camera.
    He put on his polyester Elvis costume and went to New York and made me take a picture of him in the busy streets.
    The results are here:
    Luckily he was wearing real leather boots, hat and underwear.


  154. Cor @ 3 November 2006, 21:10 :

    no one has an answer on #152 ? :-(

  155. Bob dole @ 4 November 2006, 23:50 :

    Yes for the first and probably not for the second. Sorry to dissapoint you :-(

  156. ivica-martian @ 7 November 2006, 14:37 :

    ...i have also found out how to make remote thermometer….hehe…send me an email…deda-marsovac@hotmail.com….Thanks!

  157. ivica-martian @ 7 November 2006, 14:39 :

    ....hmmm….I will do that as soon as i get a web camera..hehe…but i am curious what would happen,how would picture look like if i don’t use any filters…i just remove the IR filter in my camera and use it that way???..
    ...sorry,this comment should of got here before the first one…

  158. subhash gyawali @ 15 November 2006, 06:08 :

    i want to buy it plz tell me the price with discount me from nepal

  159. Big F. Cat @ 30 November 2006, 12:41 :

    -my boyfriend so did not appreciate my laughter waking him up from the other side of the house.(i did-thanks!)

  160. B.F.C. @ 30 November 2006, 12:44 :

    David you are #1 funny guy- married? re:#153

  161. Shawn @ 2 December 2006, 01:29 :

    I converted my old AIPTEK Pen cam (more cigar sized than pen) and tried various degrees of filtering. I have found that the flourecent lights give off almost no IR light.

    The applications for an IR camera can be numerous. It has been said that IR film has captured images of ghosts :)
    My editor at Haunted Times Magazine now wants me to write up the results of various tests I am currently doing with the camera.

    The Pen Cam is easier to convert, the lense screws right out of the camera exposing the CCD. Then you unscrew the holding ring and dump out the IR filter (careful, the lense comes out too, as well as an O-ring used to keep the filter from touching the lense. Also the holding ring is glued, so you need a razor blade to scrape if off). I have tried a clear filter so as to incorperate both natural light and IR (interesting results), a medium filter and the complete filter that removes all visable light. Now am going to work on various electromagnetic fileds to see what frequencies may give off IR or Near IR light.

  162. Needless @ 8 December 2006, 18:38 :

    Would a Canon PowerShot S10 do for starters? I’m just a newbie with a not-so-big budget.

  163. crimson huber @ 9 December 2006, 23:43 :

    I was wondering if you could send me some information on how a digital camera works, and how to build one. this would help me alot on my project in my computer class.

    thanks, crimson

  164. urfath3r @ 20 December 2006, 05:19 :

    hey cool. thks made an IR webcam without filter. now it shows real gd colours in da day and real good pictures in the dark. wee

  165. oliver @ 24 December 2006, 18:05 :

    have an “old” Sony Mavica mvc FD7. it does “see” IR from tv remote. anyone knows of the steps and cautions to take in removing internal IR filter? also what about thermal imaging with such camera???
    Thanks and merry Xmas

  166. wolfclan @ 28 December 2006, 01:02 :

    Re #48 — Hey markie, how bout growing a pair and giving credit where credit is due you fucking piece of shit. I bet you don’t even have enough guts to approve this comment.

    You make me sick!
    — Rory Bellows —

    Let’s see if this mouth piece returns to admit he was wrong in his accusations. It would appear that (Ka Nai`a 13 July 2006) #138 has confirmed first hand he has not been plagerized.

    I am amazed how tough people think they are when hiding behind their computers. Time for Rory Bellows to step up and appologize or is it you who needs to grow some first? Perhaps you might contribute something positive next time because so far your comments make us sick.

  167. markie @ 28 December 2006, 01:29 :

    haha, ah well… there’s just too much of these nutcases around who think they’re the hardware-hack-police and think they need to protect someone without asking and go blame or even threat the other… These must be people without lives, really. They totally miss the point about open-source and sharing this stuff with the world, cause that’s what it’s about. But in their demented view it’s about who got first on digg/had/whatever…

    There’s a piece about quite such a guy overhere too…

  168. ahmed from egypt @ 1 January 2007, 05:10 :

    woow man .. that’s so cool
    i just have a new cannon eos & thinking what to do with my old trust® 3.3
    i think im gonna give it a shot
    thanx man
    oh … happy new year from the country of pyramids ;)

  169. tony @ 8 January 2007, 09:30 :

    i havent tried it but theres a video on the net of a fart in infared it looks like pitch black smoke

  170. ismaiel @ 9 January 2007, 12:03 :

    Thanks more

  171. Robert @ 11 January 2007, 05:43 :

    I tried this on a Sony MVC-FD75 (the one with a floppy drive) and it worked pretty Well. The infrared filter in this camera looked light blue instead of red. The only problem I have is the focus doesn’t work very well. It’s a blast to play around with. I can finally see what happens when I change channels with the tv remote.

  172. Robert @ 13 January 2007, 06:03 :

    update: I got better results with this camera by using only one layer of film negative. My wife has a can of foot spray with a red cap. I discovered that I can see right through it with this camera.

  173. ben graff @ 23 January 2007, 00:26 :

    i shocked my self 3 times on that capacitator it was bad i tink i lost sum bran sells

  174. Austin @ 9 February 2007, 12:55 :

    there is a tutorial for how to turn a disposable camera into USB compatible to quickly transfer photos.. that’s what i’m looking for.. any help?

  175. Austin @ 9 February 2007, 12:57 :

    Robert, tell her to wear a red dress. Let us know the results :D I’d build on then :P HAHA..

  176. Funtional @ 19 February 2007, 05:00 :

    Glad someone took the time and made the effort to try this. I have; a Centrios Digital Video Camera, a JVC Camcorder and 2 Panasonic Camcorders. I think the JVC will be the first to undergo an IR conversion.

    One thing I was wondering about. Once you take out the IR filter, couldn’t you use externals filter to switch from IR to normal light? I’m into ultraviolet for mineral detection and thought it would be nice to switch from IR to UV to normal as needed.

  177. ColbySVG @ 5 March 2007, 23:58 :

    why bother having an infared falshlight if u cant use it? well, like, whats the use?

  178. jay @ 11 March 2007, 05:10 :

    omg okay i’m trying to make my digital camera into a webcam and i have no idea how. can you help me?

  179. nico @ 16 March 2007, 19:51 :

    great job on showing us all how to so carefully detailed. I am impressed on your details. Do you know or does anyone reading these responses where i can get the same detailed info on how to make a simple RFID detector? Or better yet a HF or UHF RFID detector?
    Thanks in advance.

  180. James @ 24 April 2007, 17:22 :

    Low cost RFID modules and kits.


    Hope this helps, James

    Great project idea Mark.

  181. Vicki @ 6 June 2007, 08:28 :

    Hey – if I send you my digital camera, can you convert it into an IR camera – for a price?? Even with your excellent instructions, I don’t think I could manage it. Could use a flashlight too actually.

  182. Bob @ 13 June 2007, 07:24 :

    Is it necessary to use resistors with the infared leds ?
    I’m guessing it depends on the voltage of the batteries used to power them?
    Will 3 infared leds powered by 2 AAA 1.5v batteries work ok without resistors?
    Any drawbacks from not using resistors?

  183. Bare1 @ 16 June 2007, 21:51 :

    I admit I didn’t read EVERY post here, but I’d like to contribute some info about IR photography. Sorry if any of this is repeated.

    The link below will take you to one of the premier optical filter companies in America, if not the world. Check out the 4” x 5” rectangular IR filter for $13.90. For bulk IR filter material, you can’t beat that with a stick!!! You can cut it to size for placing in front of your (conversion) camera sensors. It’s better than the film idea in that it maintains something closer to the thickness of the IR cut filter you remove during the conversion. This will help with focusing somewhat.


    The second tip is in the link below. Sony makes IR video lights of several different varieties. Some are meant to attach to a video camera hot shoe, while others are battery operated. The one in the link below, uses batteries and can attach to your camera with the mounting bar shown. Turn it on, and IR light emits. Great for IR work in larger areas.


    The last tip I’d like to share: if you have a camera you are converting to IR and it has a hot shoe for an external flash, use a piece of the IR filter material from Edmund’s Optics (see above) and place it over the flash output. Simple and effective.


  184. anusiak @ 2 July 2007, 02:40 :

    Thanks for the mod!...i just did this to my old Kodak DX3700 3.1 MP camera and the results are great!

  185. henrykins111 @ 6 July 2007, 07:42 :

    i just did this with my logitech webcam but i placed the ir filter externally so i could remove it easily. i haven’t yet gotten to try it though.

  186. IKE @ 10 July 2007, 00:51 :

    Is this a real infrared camera?
    Why disnt you take a pics of some animals?
    Can you shoot picktures like this:


  187. Brandon @ 26 July 2007, 20:10 :

    I don’t understand… all objects with a temperature should emit IR light, if you needed an illumination source, something is definitely not right. It’s mind boggling, You removed the IR filter and added a white-light filter, then it should be able to see all IR, not just what is being reflected off of the surfaces of the picture subjects. What I’m trying to say is, it should have been able to see the IR being emitted, not reflected.

  188. Mickey @ 7 August 2007, 02:36 :

    Sorry didn’t bother to read all posts, don’t mix termal imaging, and IR cameras, goggles or scopes.
    Try using your digital camera in a totally dark room aim it for the dark wall, and aim at the wall with any I.R. remote control and look in the display for your digital camera. No night modus needed ;)

    You can run, but you can’t hide ;) Mickey

  189. TechGuy @ 20 August 2007, 20:51 :

    if ur trying to make a night vision camera thats really good, dont put that negtive fils ontop of the CCD leave it with no filter, night vision cameras and goggles amplify all available light sources to give you a clearer image in the dark, so blacking white light is defeating the purpose of the night vision. I should now.

  190. Juicy @ 22 August 2007, 16:24 :

    I’m trying to make an ir cam for my car,mounting it on the front end, that’ll giv me the picture in my dvd player…. This should allow me to see much further and won’t endanger any trafic…. BUT! Ordinary rony cameras with night shot mode can illuminate just 20 meterrs?! Can i somehow add a filter to my far lights so they would emit only infrared light?! i hav a 200euros budget. Can anyone help me?

  191. Cody Sortore @ 18 September 2007, 03:54 :

    Dude I love the idea! That’s awesome, I’m gonna have to try that. Unfortunately don’t have an old digi camera laying around, but I’m sure I can pick one up for pretty cheap.

  192. Albularyo @ 26 September 2007, 11:43 :

    Isnt the Black Light “the flourescnet tube without the mercury coating makes a powerful IR light?

  193. gsgs @ 2 October 2007, 16:58 :

    can it be used to detect whether people
    have fever ?

  194. ronald @ 2 November 2007, 01:47 :

    you dont need to modifie your cameras regular cameras video digital are all the same. put an infrared filter in front of the lens and take a picture. you can see thick flames behind the black smoke from a fire and cant see anything with normal video. always put the filter in front of the lens it works try it i just did with my digital camera little dark but can see, if lighter filters can see better

  195. R.PADAKATHU @ 17 November 2007, 19:11 :

    Very nice i am very much happy to seen you invension, i also interest to do like that multiusuable things. i will try to do this, very nice .
    if it is possible could you mail me the things behind the digital altimeter, whether they using Piezoresister or some other material are there for sense pressure?

  196. David @ 30 November 2007, 13:43 :

    Longest IR wavelength is 1mm, so microwave is larger than 1mm (assuming wavewidth is equal to wavelength); therefore, holes in microwave screen door are no larger than 1mm, keeping microwaves from passing through. If the tent from exposed negative film is used to block visible light because it is too large to pass through, then even more IR is blocked because IR is larger than visible light. However, UV is smaller than both visible light and IR, so it should pass through the exposed negative film with no problem (the CCD apparently is picking up mostly UV with some visible light and some IR).

    PS Concerning reading a book through a wall, it might be possible using multispectral imaging and an AOTF which has been used to make the blacked out ink script on the Dead Sea Scrolls visible. I have read that most CCD’s (such as used on digital cameras) can detect into the IR up to 1.4 micrometers, but LWIR which is used to see emissions in total darkness without illumination, such as with FLIR, are in the 7 to 14 micrometer range. There are thermopiles that can detect much further than this.

  197. Duane @ 15 December 2007, 18:59 :

    I recently acquired a Sony Cybershot DSC-P51 for 15 dollars from a pawn shop. This camera has an earlier version of the night shot feature called Twilight Mode. In twilight mode the IR light is not filtered out, the flash is turned off and the shutter speed is adjusted by the camera. So all I needed to do was supply infrared illumination. And it works AWESOME.

  198. Duane @ 15 December 2007, 19:41 :

    Oh, and the filter of course. But only if you want to see only infrared light. For active night vision just use an IR illuminator. Don’t use this if your afraid of being seen by others with the same technology.

  199. malachai @ 28 January 2008, 17:49 :

    Would this work with an analogue camera? I noticed someone mentioned a Polaroid about 3 million posts ago, I know they were talking about a digital Polaroid but it got me thinking how cool an infrared Instant Polaroid might be.

    Has anyone tried taking photos with no filters? Like putting the camera back together before adding the daylight filter?

    Also, I don’t really care who’s idea it was to convert a camera, this is the website I read about it on so whoever made this must be doing something right.

  200. Mike Knopfler @ 23 March 2008, 16:59 :

    thanks for the trip ! it was great.

  201. crispin @ 4 June 2008, 23:02 :

    i got ir camera but at night the picture is very bright white is there any thing i can cover the ir leds with

  202. Scott @ 14 June 2008, 18:30 :

    186 & 187: People, NIR (Near Infrared) is completely different from FIR (Far Infrared) – NIR is just outside the visible light spectrum, but FIR is the energy emitted by warm sources. Camera CCD’s can see NIR (reflected “cold” IR) and can NOT see FIR from body heat etc, thats different technology. Its like saying “my pocket radio cant pick up TV signals…..why not” – well, it just can’t, because the part of the EM spectrum used by both is different.

    192: No! Blacklights emit UV (Ultra Violet) – which is the OPPOSITE end of the light spectrum.

    The CCD in a camera is sensitive to both NIR and Visible light, so they are built with a filter to REMOVE NIR, because NIR has weird properties for various colours, and is monochromatic anyway. Removing the NIR blocking filter and putting a visible light filter on causes the camera to see ONLY NIR which allows you to film in complete darkness.

    193: NO! (see above again)

    182: The LEDS need a fixed maximum current or they will burn out very quickly as they have no internal resistance to limit current and will “avalanche” and die. The resistors are to prevent that.

    177: Its so you can ILLUMINATE the area being viewed in complete darkness, so the camera can see just like in daylight but without making light visible to humans.

    Did none of you guys ever take science in school? These are basic concepts which have been well known and documented for YEARS!

    Nice mod OP, very well done.

  203. sebastian @ 5 July 2008, 19:46 :

    thanks for the post. i tried to use this technique but for some reason the auto focus wont work. and i can’t see through anything. do you know if im doing something wrong? thank you, sebastian.

  204. roy @ 21 August 2008, 09:59 :

    i have a nokia n93. it seems that the camera of n93 is sensitive to ir coz when i press any key of a tv remote and place the ir direct to the n93’s camera i can see the ir light, so i don’t have to modify it. i just want to ask if i can replace the camera flash (flashlight/torch) with an ir emitting diode like hsdl-4220 so that it can take photos/videos at night? or if i can relace the red backlight instead into ir (the red light that turns on when i am recording videos like the indicator of a video cam)

  205. Doyle @ 26 August 2008, 20:43 :

    Excellent! Found this while searching for infrared cameras on google — I need to take some infrared photos of my candle heater (real candle heater, steel and ceramic radiator above a candle flame on a steel stand), but after reading through the comments I found that this hack only picks up near infrared and would not work to photograph a heat source — still this was/is a delightful twistup to an old camera and exceptionally well presented.

    Side note — anyone into hummingbirds? Put “wearable hummingbird feeder” in youtube’s search box for one of my recent “inventions”


  206. loraksus @ 13 September 2008, 00:06 :

    If you can come across one – a kodak dc240 is incredibly simple. Pop the back off, undo 2 screws holding the sensor assembly, tap camera gently and IR will come out.

  207. yuan @ 18 September 2008, 14:44 :

    Damn, I forgot all about the taped parts.. When you said you dont want to get the capacitor charge on you, you werent kidding man! That was quite a jolt, I almost dropped the camera I was working on.. Kinda like a mini-stun gun.. LoL.. It really pays to read instructions carefully..

  208. Umar @ 19 September 2008, 21:53 :

    Do you have any place where you have details on how to make a LED that would emit about 500 plus lumens of light?

    BTW great sight

  209. Ulysis @ 25 September 2008, 17:57 :

    Very nice, i liked your idea, but here goes another idea. Try to make an infrared night vision, yeah ir vision, try to conect an ir cam to a video cam visor, the ones you find behind a vhs or old digital filming camera. The dc? batteries. mail me, I hav more ideas.

  210. bill beamon @ 7 October 2008, 21:11 :

    I pulled the IR blocking filter from a cheapo web cam and had to shorten the lens mount to move it CLOSER to the CMOS sensor to make it focus.
    I have my Sony T33 5Mp I’m considering modifying. It has a similar layout to the one you did, but is much more complex. Ideas? Thanks…

  211. Reserve Fund Study @ 9 October 2008, 08:48 :

    Reserve Fund

  212. deathnote @ 13 October 2008, 09:52 :

    get a led headlamp and replace the leds and inside chip with one powered right fo ir leds and swap the standard leds for ir leds to make a hands free ir night light for any ir capable equipment, woirks great.

  213. Henrik @ 14 October 2008, 19:01 :

    Very good and detailed instructions.

  214. tlocdawg @ 15 October 2008, 03:49 :

    RIP Mark, thanks for the great project, wherever you are

  215. ddro @ 15 October 2008, 07:44 :

    I think some people are confused about IR vs UV cameras. IR is usually used for thermal imaging (the people are red), whereas UV is usually used for nightvision (things appear green).

    Does anyone know of a way to mod a camera to switch between IR, visible and UV spectrums?

  216. Techie @ 27 October 2008, 13:06 :

    True night vision is based on amplification of the available light, not detecting IR light.

    Night vision goggles don’t ususally use any beam (which would make them easy to detect by the enemy). They take the few photons that come in and through an avalanche type process amplify them to millions and millions, which you then can see. This old technology dictates the green phosforous color of night vision.

    IR nightvision is based on detecting heat. To see the performance of the camera I would like to see an image of a hand in pitch dark. It should show up nicely.

    From the story of the person with bleu leds it seems that the spectral range also extends into UV. Blue LEDs do not emanate mucht IR (obviously), all white leds are UV leds as well (but can get hot). So if you’d put an visible light filter and an IR filter on the camera (green type), you might see interesting things (bee’s eye view ;-))..

  217. Thermoscan @ 9 December 2008, 05:11 :

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    • รับซ่อมและ calibrate กล้องอินฟราเรดยี่ห้อ Agema, Flir และ Inframetrics
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  218. @alex @ 3 January 2009, 12:53 :

    I think the digital camera see much better between 750 nm 850 nm (witch you can buy online) than the leds from shop (witch have between 875 nm 950 nm). The camera see much better in the dark with a lower wavelenght with a better near infrared filter from shop ( because the filmnegatives don’t let to much light at that wavelenght). When is completly dark you can see about 20 feet with 14 leds. And also you see the eyes of animals (dogs, cats, hamsters etc.) very shiny.

  219. UVmaster @ 3 January 2009, 19:25 :

    If you want to see cool in completly dark don’t use IR, use UV leds (about 340-375). The most cameras are sensitive to UV light and you won’t remove anymore the IR filter because the cameras don’t have UV filter inside. Just put above the camera a filter witch let only the ultraviolet light. That filter you can take from a black light bulb. Switch your camera to night-shot and set the white balanse because your pictures will come out blue. At 375 wavelenght led your eye can see a 10-20 % of UV. That meen a poorly violet light, But your camera see much well at greater distance (with an UV bulb you can see perfectly in your room but your naked eye don’t see almost nothing.

  220. andyar85 @ 12 January 2009, 19:59 :

    can you please post some IR photos, to see how this method behaves for nature shots(sky, grass, etc), because from your samples(all were indoor) I can’t distinguish if this is a good method for a IR camera modification or not. Plus, you have to agree with me, outside you get the full potential of IR light. So, please upload a few samples of nature or anything you may think in outdoor.

    I knew about the film properties and I think they are great and very very affordable, but I never got to use them at full potential. Since you have it already done(camera modification), it’s much more easy. Let’s see how one of your photos really looks after some processing :)

  221. Phil Colbourn @ 15 January 2009, 16:21 :

    I followed your instructions on my Canon PowerShot A200.

    The blog is here: http://philatwarrimoo.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-to-make-near-infrared-ir-digital.html

    I have not taken any good photos yet. It seems to need a lot of light.

  222. Infrared @ 5 March 2009, 00:11 :

    This is at best only NIR or near infrared, reading at the lowest level of the spectrum. Most digital cameras can partially view the near infrared. However it is only useful for parlor tricks and unable to see into the long range 8-14 Microns part of the spectrum, which allows you to see 99% more of the infrared spectrum.

  223. Dwayne @ 31 March 2009, 16:43 :

    Great work! will definately try this!

    btw – it has been documented on various occasions that inventors have made similar / the same product at relatively the same time without knowing about the other party’s research… so you guys worried about it being someone else’s – two words… GROW UP

  224. gnome @ 4 May 2009, 04:11 :

    Tried it with two Fuji finepix 1300 cameras. First of all , they both went a bit out of focus. It had nothing to do with removing the 1 mm IR blocking glass filter. With or without the IR filter the distance between the lens and CCD remains the same. You just have to make sure that you do not move the adjusting lever on the side of the lens. It controls the distance between the lens and CCD.

    I was not satisfied with small patches and distortions when shooting. Therefore I bought a couple of finepix 2.1 megapixels cameras (known as finepix 2200) very cheaply on Ebay. See the results below . All my thanks to Mark for the great idea.


    The pictures are straight from the camera, except that I have removed the slightly violet tint.

  225. Videogamer @ 10 May 2009, 11:07 :

    Easier mod. take a camcorder, buy an IR pass filter with the right thread size for your camcorder, then switch it into “nightvision” mode (which actually isn’t nightvision, becauase that uses an image intensifiere tube which camcorders don’t have, instead it activates a small motor which pulls the normal IR blocking filter out of the optical path).

  226. Videogamer @ 10 May 2009, 11:07 :

    Easier mod. take a camcorder, buy an IR pass filter with the right thread size for your camcorder, then switch it into “nightvision” mode (which actually isn’t nightvision, becauase that uses an image intensifiere tube which camcorders don’t have, instead it activates a small motor which pulls the normal IR blocking filter out of the optical path).

  227. Videogamer @ 10 May 2009, 11:07 :

    Easier mod. take a camcorder, buy an IR pass filter with the right thread size for your camcorder, then switch it into “nightvision” mode (which actually isn’t nightvision, becauase that uses an image intensifiere tube which camcorders don’t have, instead it activates a small motor which pulls the normal IR blocking filter out of the optical path).

  228. Videogamer @ 10 May 2009, 11:10 :

    oops. doubleposted. I forgot my javascript turned off, so I reenabled it and then clicked the submit button again because I thought it didn’t go through the first time, but it must have ‘cause there’s 2 posts now.

  229. John @ 23 August 2009, 02:18 :

    Ancient history, I know, but I would really like to do the mod in post #84. So macona, if you’re out there and willing to share some secrets, I’d love to listen. Email is johnnyeltrain@vt.edu. Thanks!

  230. Chris @ 1 October 2009, 08:04 :

    I have an old Kodak dc200 which has now been replaced with a newer zoom camera. I would like to try the IR mod on this camera but am unsure how to disassemble the thing without breaking it. Can anyone shed some light on how to go about doing an autopsy on this Camera ?.

  231. jarrod @ 31 December 2009, 15:10 :

    i am interested in doing ‘thermal imaging’, in order to do home inspection for leaks…the cameras for this start around $2000.00…is there a way a guy can build one of these?

  232. blayne @ 5 January 2010, 16:21 :

    how did you know what size resisters to use? did you just place the 2 neg filter on whats holding it in place and the 2 together? whats needed to do this tools etc , besides the cam and led lights and where can i find these items in canada? our radio shack stores are gone. thanks.

  233. Subby @ 11 January 2010, 16:34 :

    I have a suggestion – display a warning before you post pictures of that mug of yours XD

  234. lunartick @ 9 February 2010, 16:56 :

    Or.. you could just sellotape an infrared transparent filter over the end of your camera. The internal filters in these camera are not completley opaque to IR they still let some in, so by fitting an IR tranmitting filter (that blocks visible) over the lense, you will still image in IR, the auto brighness will adjust with plenty of gain, I did this with my olympus and got some nice IR shots, for no effort or money. NO MOD NEEDED!

  235. deepro bonnerjee @ 15 February 2010, 18:45 :

    do exactly know how these IR
    filters work ?

  236. 3086123 @ 17 February 2010, 01:27 :

    wow, awesome, just canibalised my old 2 megapixal camera, and it works! cheers!

  237. Craig @ 20 February 2010, 07:41 :

    Okay, I was reading through most of these posts, and I’m still a bit confused. I have a cannon power shot A470. I don’t think there needs to be any filter removal on this camera. To test this, without modifying it, I pointed a tv remote control at it, and I was able to see the IR lights coming from it. I can understand adding an IR filter to block all visible light, but what exactly is being removed ? I can also see the IR light in the 2 megapixel camera on my blackjack ii cell phone. whats the deal ?

  238. Alberto @ 23 February 2010, 19:28 :

    It works perfectly!!!

  239. cj @ 8 March 2010, 00:02 :


  240. connor @ 18 March 2010, 13:32 :

    the only one that is realy good

  241. Chris Hodapp @ 4 April 2010, 01:08 :

    Thanks for this! I tried it on my old Kodak EasyShare CX6200 and it worked perfectly.

  242. etgoleski @ 11 April 2010, 21:31 :

    use a tv remote it works just fine

  243. Joe Lavetsky @ 13 April 2010, 00:58 :

    I have a high-end Mamiya medium format camera w/ a Phase One digital back, I have a potential client that wants aerial photos w/ IR and color IR.
    Is there a filter that can be removed to achieve this?

  244. Glen @ 30 May 2010, 07:30 :

    Wow you got 243 comments and I’m the 244th. That means you are amazing. That was great! I learned a lot from you. I have one question. Can I use an Infrared light bulb (heat lamp) used for reptiles and birds as a lightsource instead of LEDs? I can buy it from PetSmart for $3 only. Thank you once again.

  245. Jim Turner @ 29 June 2010, 05:50 :

    That was RIDICULOUSLY easy!!! Your tutorial was awesome! I completed the hack in under two hours and now have my own brand new infrared camera. I am leaving on Saturday for Chile where I plan to use it to film the solar eclipse on July 11th and see if anything cool comes out. Thanks a bunch! Cheers, Jim

  246. Bolbol @ 4 July 2010, 03:15 :

    I don’t need all that ; my old mobile camera doesn’t have a filter so I only made the ir flash and the special filter.

  247. jay @ 13 July 2010, 13:31 :

    you have done great job

  248. Myweb @ 30 August 2010, 20:06 :

    Really interesting.. FOund information on a new Digital Camera With Built-In USB Connector


  249. battery @ 4 September 2010, 09:17 :

    I tried it on my old Kodak EasyShare CX6200 and it worked perfectly.

  250. Kirsten @ 6 September 2010, 07:06 :

    Mark – Although you won’t be reading this, please know that you have made a huge impact on a lot of people with your tutorial and your grace.

    Mark’s Family – I am deeply saddened by the loss of Mark (although two years later). I like to think that Mark is now up there beaming those creative thoughts into our minds for us, so that we can carry on inspired by the work he has compiled.

  251. michael crea @ 10 September 2010, 21:25 :

    hi. i did the same as you on your instruction. it was a success. got it back together. used two pieses
    of negative. but it does seem a bit dark. is this how it should be… thanks..mike

  252. Ruslan @ 14 October 2010, 17:44 :

    I unassembled my olympus c-370 zoom & it appeared 2 b not fit 4 that: no way 2 reach censor unless tear the cables. I shouldn’t have done that. then I unassembled olympus c-4000 which but whatever I do it’s out-of-focus (always macro mode). I can only shoot my fingers with that. I used same glass, thiker, no glass anyway it’s short-sited. I think the camera will not survive so many unassemblings

  253. Conspiracy Theories @ 3 November 2010, 19:06 :

    Very interesting article dude, it taught me some very useful things that I will definitively try out, cheers!

  254. InventingJoy @ 3 December 2010, 18:28 :

    This was fascinating. TY. I read that there is an infrared camera being used on animals to diagnose soft tissue conditions. Does this camera to anything like that? If not, can you link me to one that does? Anything you can tell me about it would be appreciated. btw, I came accross ur site while googling it. I use Sony Mavica cameras. I buy about 2 a year on ebay. I have a bunch sitting around bcs something is wrong in them. I’ll sell them for $10 plus shipping or will trade for advice, partial payment for the camera I’m looking for or? Thanks again for the great article I am bookmarking U. InventingJoy caringpro@yahoo.com

  255. adam @ 13 December 2010, 21:06 :

    you owe me a digital camera, this proccess does not work, the IR filter is built into the CCD. which by the way, looks nothing like your image. attempting to remove the filter removed the CCD with it. I will forward these details to my solicitor for action.

  256. flappy @ 16 December 2010, 23:08 :

    re #255: adam, what a complete asshole you are. mark died two years ago, you clueless simpleton. do not touch anything more complex than a slice of bread, it’s beyond your mental abilities.

  257. moncler pop star @ 18 December 2010, 12:29 :

    Vraiment super boulot!

  258. Michael @ 24 December 2010, 04:03 :

    i tested… i failed.. =(

  259. Geppie @ 26 December 2010, 19:35 :

    Hi, your trick of using filmnegatives worked very well! I had an old webcam, and it took me less than 30 minutes to convert it. I can now see through my coke!

    Thanks a lot!

  260. Madi @ 16 January 2011, 05:52 :

    I’m doing this for the science fair at my school. I’m just wondering, are you able to use a visible light filter for ANY kind of camera? Or do you have to buy one specifically for your camera? I’m hoping I don’t have to buy a new camera….

As mentioned in the Message from Mark's family this site has been made static. This means that it will be no longer possible to comment on his ideas and projects, but that we all can continue to cherish his creativity.

             you can find all of my projects overhere