Add An Infrared Illuminator To Your Night Vision Video Camera

It is often thought that night vision camcorder technology is only accessible to the military or by having the ability to buy the latest high tech night vision equipment. Currently, however, things are rapidly changing and many cameras and camcorders have truly exceptional built in low light and infrared vision capacity.

The current usual and lowest cost method of capturing video or images in no or low light is by using infrared illuminators.

One camcorder example is the Sony Night Shot camcorder which pioneered this technique over ten years ago.

The recording surface used inside the video cameras can record IR light. This enables the unit to capture high quality video at times when there is no light. And on a number of models, an internal near infrared light source is built into the camcorder to give better results when recording when there is low or no visible light.

When shooting indoors where there is some visible light, this system performs very well. People find, however, that the cameras seem to perform poorly in very low light situations, such as shooting outdoors in the dark. There is a lack of a strong infrared light source to illuminate an outdoor scene using only the somewhat limited internal IR light. But, by adding an additional external near infrared light source, very good low or no light footage can be taken.

Add on illuminators range from accessory units you can get from the company who manufactured your camera to very high powered units from other suppliers. Many external illuminators are fairly inexpensive, and more powerful battery powered external light kits that will give adequate extra IR light in the 100 foot range can be found for a few hundred dollars.

By using an added IR illuminator of adequate power, it’s possible to set up a useful night vision video camera without a huge cost outlay. The additional infrared invisible light that you use is invisible to the naked eye, but you can see through the LCD viewfinder on your camera and view in the scene in what will look like near daylight conditions. The use of additional IR light really takes away the ‘graininess’ you often see with low light photography.

Give this a go yourself in low light situations. It will be surprising to find that the camcorder you use can do a lot more than you thought.