There are a number of options on cameras for infrared photography – here is an overview.
Its possible to experiment with infrared photography either by reverting to film, or by using infrared filters on a regular digital camera. In truth, neither is much fun – so if you are serious about infrared photography it is likely that at some point you will want to have a digital camera converted for infrared shooting.
My first infrared camera was a Sony Alpha 6000 mirrorless camera. Which is small, light and compact enough to be included in the camera bag most of the time but with a 24.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor produces professional quality images with enough resolution for big prints.
It is possible to use filters in front of the lens to experiment with infrared, but this requires long exposures and presents some technical challenges in getting a sharp image. A better option is to have a camera professionally converted to infrared.
This involves having a filter on the sensor replaced with one that allows infrared light to pass through. There are different types of infrared filter available which allow different frequencies ir through, producing different effects. I went with a 720nm filter – which is good compromise allowing high contrast monochrome, but also allowing some visible light to hit the sensor creating the ‘false’ colour blue sky look that you see throughout this site.
Choosing a filter for your infrared camera is important, as once its done – its permanent, so vital to do your research and choose the best filter for the work you intend to do. I found my choice to be between a 720nm conversion and a 665nm which allows a little more visible light into the mix. I think 720 is a great place to start – but I’m already planning a second conversion – this time at 665nm.
You can opt for a ‘full spectrum’ conversion which allows any flavour of ir to be captured by fitting filters over the lens – while this is very flexible from the camera end – it wasn’t for me as I wanted to have the optionto use lots of different lens – and didn’t want to have to buy and carry mutiple filters for different lens sizes.
I went with a mirrorless camera rather than a DSLR as the digital viewfinder is great for reviewing eposure and focus in the bright light that is often best for infrared. A DSLR would work just as well in liveview with a hood over the screen – but again, more stuff to carry! In general, there are fewer focus calibration issues with mirrorless compared to DSLRs.
The conversion on my infrared camera was done by Kolarivision.