Filming in the Dark With a Night Vision Video Camera

Often when people talk about night vision video cameras they think that they need a special or very expensive camcorder. And while it's true that many consumer camcorders aren't equipped 'out of the box' for night vision work, they are (mostly) all capable of taking low light or no light footage.

To test your video camera to see if it can film in the dark using an infrared light source, just take your TV remote. Have someone point it at the camera while you film and if you can see the infrared light from the remote you’ll know that your camera can record infrared light.

If your camcorder does not have a built in infrared light source (a well known brand that does is Sony’s NightShot cameras) you can still do excellent night filming by adding an external IR light source. Add on IR lights are available in many different types and models.

Investigating paranormal activities is one of the most active fields where people are using video cameras in no light situations. Additional IR light is definitely needed and with it people have captured footage that make even the most skeptical non-believer take a second look. Ghost footage videos can be found on YouTube and many other places on the Net. If you think your house is haunted or can’t explain some type of night time activity, just set up your camera with a bit of extra infrared to ‘light things up’ and either you’ll find out what non-supernatural event is causing things to go ‘bump in the night’ or get some some really great ghost shots!

IR Image

Wildlife photography at night is another area where you can experiment with use some extra IR lighting to see what is really happening in the night time hours. Some great footage can be captured of the antics of some of our nocturnal friends. Hunters commonly use night vision trail cameras to record the comings and goings of deer and other game animals. And you can use your video camera to to the same. Film footage can be much more interesting than still shots.

Set up your camcorder on a tripod with a full charge on your batteries, and let it record starting at dark in an area where wildlife feeds. You might be surprised at the results you get.

Remember that cameras don’t have to ‘close their eyes’. If you give them enough IR light, they can see no matter how dark it is to us. Try experimenting with using some extra IR light and you’ll expand your skills for what you can do with a night vision video camera.