INFRARED PHOTOGRAPHY AND GHOST HUNTING SPECIALISTS.
Nightvision, full spectrum and infrared cameras and camcorders,
paranormal meters, trigger devices and IR illumination.

Infrared Kite photography – Infraready to the rescue

We equipped one of our customers with an Infrared Converted Canon Camera to attach to a kite used to achieve some stunning IR aerial images.

 

kite camera photography

Click below to read more about the camera and how Nigel Beighton achieves such great images from up high!

To read Nigels actual blog and see some great images, please click the link below

http://www.photoir.net/author/nigelbeighton/

 

New camera: Canon SX240

The new 660nm modified Canon SX240 (replacement) camera has arrived, from the ever helpful Andy at Infraready, to replace the broken Powershot n as my main infrared camera dangling from a kite.

Canon SX240

Getting CHDK on to it was very easy. I used the ACID tool to find the firmware version and just loaded the specific CHDK build files (stable 1.4.1) on to a formatted SD card.

The Indestructibles site lists the steps perfectly: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Install-CHDK/

CHDK Download page: http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/Downloads

CHDK status screen

 

CHDK Intervalometer Script screen

Interval shooting mode

One of the first things I noticed is that the SX240, unlike the Powershot n, will reload CHDK after images have been captured – which is great and so much more convenient than having to use a freshly copied SD card each time.

There is also a note on the Wiki that RAW capture does not work correctly when in Auto mode; not an issue, however, as my intention is to shoot purely in Shutter or Manual mode, when flying and Aperture mode when using normally.

The SX240 also has two good features, over the Powershot n:

  1. Custom white-balance – although capturing RAW with CHDK, this helps with the JPEG files when not using CHDK.
  2. Shutter Priority (“Tv“) – when swinging off a kite line, having a fixed shutter of 1/500 or 1/1000th is very helpful.

Will post the first sample images shortly.

Replacing the Powershot n

So the little 590nm modified Powershot n finally came to a destructive end from mother nature and, on reflection, my ill-considered kite flying – I should have flown a kite more stable for bigger gusts on the day. We learn.

walking to a broken camera

The lens took most of the impact and will now not extend or retract. I guess it could be repaired, but it is not worth it and I would like to change it for something less fiddly. It has been good as a light-weight flyer, but I have struggled at times, especially while holding the line, with the small touchscreen and CHDK settings.

Next, it is a Canon Powershot SX240, as I decided to continue using CHDK for access to RAW files and interval timer scripts; saving the weight of an external interval-timer unit. The SX240 is still light-weight, inexpensive to buy used and convert. It also has a shutter priority mode, unlike the Powershot n, which should help with swinging around on the end of a pendulum.

I looked at a few other compact cameras, like the Olympus TG (tough series) but could not find anything inexpensive to buy, with a built interval-timer that supported short intervals around 1-5 seconds and unlimited shots (until the card is full), which is what CHDK scripts will do. I also looked at using older GoPro models, which can now be converted for IR, however, don’t like the smaller sensor images and fixed wide angle – fly too high and the images are too wide losing detail.

The Canon A series (good optiA810, A1300-1400, A2300-2600, A3300-4000) are generally cheaper than the SX series to buy used and lighter, however, they don’t have helpful options like shutter priority.

Canon a810

Infraredy (the ever excellent and helpful Andy) are already converting the SX240 to 660nm and it should arrive for the weekend. I decided on 660nm just for something different from the Powershot n’s 590nm and did not want the more color-limited options of 720nm, 850nm etc.

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