Digital camera hacked into near-infrared camera

in hacks, infrared by the machinegeek | 3 comments

The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science(PLOTS) provides this detailed tutorial on hacking a Canon Powershot A490 digital camera to allow it to record images in the infrared light spectrum. The mod involves opening the camera and removing the infrared light filter. To view only infrared light, replacing it with a piece of exposed color photographic film taped over the front of the lens which filters most visible light but allows infrared in.

Such a modded camera is useful for studying the amount of infrared light reflected by plants, which is thought to be an indicator of their health.

Via Citizen Science Quarterly.

This entry was posted in hacks, infrared and tagged , , .


  1. That’s actually a pretty common photography hack. And some cameras make it much easier to do. For example, the old Sigma SD10 SLR (not sure about the more recent SD14, but probably that one too) has a user accessible hot mirror (IR band stop filter) you can remove in 5 seconds with a phillips screwdriver :)

    Got some examples here (some with an IR band pass on the lens, some without, to achieve a pseudocolor effect):

  2. Drone says:

    They should run the CHDK firmware on the Canon A490. Booting with CHDK does not affect the native firmware in the camera and opens up full control and lots of features like time lapse, high dynamic range photography, bracketing, manual focus, etc., etc.

  3. They probably are. Why else choose that make/model? :)

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