Digital Camera IR Filter Removal

We’ve run across the idea of IR filter removal in the past. [Tony Z] pointed out this nice little how-to on removing the IR filter from a Canon a540 or a530 digital camera. I’m pretty blase about gutting electronics, but even I get a bit nervous about opening up recent model digi-cams. It’s so easy easy to jam sensitive gears… (don’t ask) Aside from my bad mini-dv experiences, the sub-200 6 megapixel platforms could make some interesting projects.

You guys are rocking at the Design Challenge! Keep those entries coming.

12 thoughts on “Digital Camera IR Filter Removal

  1. Not very original, but nice to know if you own that model. What would really be special is if they were publishing a large database of instructions on how to remove the IR filter on a wide variety of cameras. I have already pried the IR filter off of my backup CVS camcorder and am thinking about doing it to my ancient Kodak.

  2. By doing this you make you camera become more sensitive to IR “Infrared”. To the typical photographer this is useless. BUT, to someone who couples their camera to a telescope this is great. You can pick up much fainter stars and galaxies.

    This doing this to a camera that you will be using to take normal pictures is pointless. Unless you like looking at pics with a lot of red hue.

  3. Hey, also, if you put a piece of developed film in as a new filter, it will filter out everything but IR light, giving you an entertaining toy. This is the kind of fun thing that one does to a cheap webcam though. I did that to one cheap webcam I have, and now it works excellently in low light, but the color is washed out and it is very gray. Entertaining toy though.

  4. I just found it to be an interesting read.

    My store has a demo a530 that the lens cover is failing on. If it gets much more banged up it might make for an inexpensive scratch and dent hacker that I can attach to our telescope.

  5. I’ve done this with a cheapo Olympus. I wouldn’t dare do it to a new(ish) camera. I also added layers of congo blue filter inside the camera to make it IR-only. I think outdoor shots are way more interesting than indoor ones.

  6. Hey. I have a canon IXUSV AiAF. I’m thinking about removing the IR filter but if I were to do so would it effect photos taken (apart from showing high temperatures and seeing IR better)? If so, how?

    Also, could someone make a section for my camera model. I tried finding the lense assembely but had no luck (or gave up, I dont remember).


  7. WOOT. I did this with a Samsung S850 that I fixed and it works perfectly. Also, if you don’t have negatives of pure white you can just open an old floppy and use some of the actual disk.


  8. Zach,I’ve dismantled several digital cameras (not camcorders) to remove IR filters. You should find the filter between the lens assembly and the photo-sensor (the small chip on the board). Sometimes the IR filter is glued on. In which case, you will need an Xacto knife. The filter should look like a thin piece of glass with a slight tinge of blue or red to it (depending on which angle you look at it). Be very careful not to hurt yourself or smudge the lenses.

    If you don’t have much experience pulling things apart and putting them together again, I suggest you experiment on a cheap camera first. As a side note, do NOT touch the contacts of any large capacitors in the camera (google ‘capacitor’ if you don’t know what it is). I usually discharge capacitors with a resistor (100ohm – when discharging caps, using a bigger resistor is better) when possible. If possible, check the charge of the capacitor with a multimeter to ensure it’s safe to work around.

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