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IR Camera Flashes
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Nikon SB-910
Canon 600EX

 

Our infrared (IR) camera flashes currently are available only with a 715nm IR filter.  Because of the intensity of the flash, you will see a noticeable red flash when unit fires if you are looking directly into the flash.  This is because the human eye does have some sensitivity above 700nm though the eyes response is low.

These IR flashes should be used with a modified IR-Only or IR+Visible digital camera or IR film camera.  Using an IR flash with a stock camera will work poorly.  

The range of the flash will depend on the camera ISO setting and the cameras inherent sensitivity.  Different cameras have different IR sensitivities.  The primary factors on camera sensitivity are:

bulletCamera sensor size: Bigger sensors can have bigger photoreceptors which can gather more light
bulletCamera pixel resolution:  As you pack more pixels into the same sized sensor, sensitivity will drop because the pixel surface area is smaller.
bulletCamera sensor amplification:  Some of the cameras, especially the small point an shoot cameras, pack a bunch of pixel into a small sensor.  A typical point and shoot camera has a sensor about the size of a fingernail which is about 1/8 the size of a typical APS DLSR camera.  To compensate for the small pixels, the manufacturers amplify the point and shoot sensor data much more which leads to more noise.  Most digital SLR cameras keep this amplification low because they want as clean a signal as possible.
bulletCamera sensor construction:  Most camera sensor use the same sized pixels.  Fuji Pro DSLR cameras have an unusual design in that they pair a large and small photoreceptor together to gain dynamic range.  This means the Fuji Pro cameras (Fuji S2 Pro, S3 Pro and S5 Pro) are better at seeing more levels of light to dark.  It also means that the 12 megapixel Fuji sensor chip only takes a 6 megapixel image, but with better dynamic range than a typical DSLR.

Many of the current Canon and Nikon digital cameras require an intelligent flash such as the Canon 600EX Speedlight or Nikon SB-910 speed light.  Some of the higher end pro cameras like the Canon 30D, Canon 5D, Nikon D200 & Nikon D300 can accept a flash connected to their PC connection like our Sunpack 622 IR flash.  

  Relative Flash Range
Canon 600EX Speedlight 190 Feet / 58 Meter
Nikon SB-910 Speedlight 125 Feet / 38 Meter

These infrared camera flashes can be used to take pictures at night with little visible light emitted.  Depending on the camera, its sensitivity, ISO setting, lens diameter, aperture and shutter speed, these flashes can extend the camera range to 100 meters or more.  Please don't ask us if what the performance is with your particular camera.  We can't test every combination because it simply would take too long.  As a general rule of thumb, the electronic flash with a 715nm IR filter on an IR+Visible camera will have a similar range to a stock camera with a stock flash.

Potential Uses

bulletTaking pictures in the dark with a minimal flash
bulletSurveilance at night
bulletCar and truck license plates at night.  Because of headlight glare, it is difficult to take pictures of license plates at night.  By using an IR+Visible with an IR 715nm filter or IR-Only camera, you can illuminate the license plate from a considerable distance.
bulletNight time animal studies

 

 

 

 

                                

 

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Last modified: September 18, 2013