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Latest additions ... 'Night Shot' Digital Infrared

Thames in central London Looking up into trees Canal boat on Wey

To recap: the imaging chips used in digital cameras are usually very sensitive to near-infrared light. This ought to make them a dream for us subluminals but this light also spoils normal colour photos. So most cameras block out the infrared to a greater or lesser degree. Sony's 'Night Shot' feature enables the infrared blocking filter to be flipped out of the light path at the push of a button. This should make these cameras ideal for infrared photography, but unfortunately the facility is somewhat crippled by forcing the camera to operate with fully-open iris and relatively long exposures. This was supposed to counteract so-called 'X-Ray' photos taken through people's clothing.

Horse in field Memorial statue Iron cross in foliage

With care, and suitable neutral-density filtering, such cameras can be used for daylight infrared photography. In my case, I use a Sony DSC F-828 with a Hoya R72 and 12 stops of ND-filter. The images this camera produces are excellent, with good tonal resolution, especially if you use the RAW facility. There is no false colour, possibly because of the 4-colour chip used in this camera.

Reeds in river Pine cones Tree

The live preview with this camera, and the fact that it's digital, allow for more experimentation. The shallow depth of field is sometimes a problem but it does allow for good separation of foreground. Most of these are also cropped, as I find I prefer a wider aspect ratio than the standard digital 4 by 3.

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