The Cameras

 

  

                              

The Sony Handycam and the Panasonic NV Series Movie Camera

 

Sony and Panasonic both offer camcorders with a very similar feature, known as Nightshot 0 LUX (Sony) or Nightview 0 LUX (Panasonic).

The features work in a similar way by shifting an infrared blocking filter aside internally  to allow infrared light to reach the CCD and thus enhance picture quality in very dark conditions.

These cameras are the only ones which are ideally suited to infrared x-ray because of this facility. Infrared x-ray relies heavily on the fact that the cameras can see longer wave-lengths of infrared light than a standard camera can.

Other camcorders (or colour video cameras) normally employ infrared blocking filters because infrared light affects the visible colours and can degrade picture reproduction, so these types of cameras cannot normally be used for x-ray.

The Panasonic NV Movie Camera with Nightview is not available in as many countries as the Sony Handycam with Nightshot and is consequently given less attention. In general, suppliers of infrared filters aimed specifically at the x-ray market tend only to cater for the 37mm Sony Handycam - but this may change if demand grows. All current models of Panasonic NV Movie Camera with Nightview 0 LUX use filters in 43mm.

MAGICVU™ IR FILTER (O-LUX)
Select Panasonic digital PalmcorderŽ camcorders allow you to record video in near total darkness with incredible detail (images record in black and white, blue or green). The camcorder uses infrared light to record images up to 10 feet away.

 

Monochrome Cameras

It is worth noting that most black and white video cameras do not employ infrared blocking filters. This is especially true of the cheaper smaller CCTV type units.

This can easily be demonstrated by observing people walking past such a camera and noticing that black or dark coloured clothing sometimes appears white or light grey.

These types of camera can certainly be used for infrared x-ray but be aware that the resolution and general picture quality is often poor compared to a camcorder and they are usually more awkward to use.