I've been an amateur researcher/investigator in the field of UFOlogy for 25+ years and have also been in the video broadcast medium since the
70's. I was a audio/video representative for a large national top-5 Electronics Distributor and had to learn the ends and outs of every piece of gear
we handled. So video and audio for broadcast, prosumer and consumer markets would all flow to me at some point.
With regards to IR.. Many new cameras will not allow you to shoot in IR during the daylight without either modification and/or filtering added on. If
you are not a qualified technician or have a lot of money to have the equipment properly modified, you are in for a wake-up call.
One workaround is to go with some of the earlier Sony Hi-8 cameras that are pre1998. Now obviously the quality will not be as good on analog Hi-8
videotape versus a digital, but there are some advantages to using the older models. Which I will go into below.
The older pre1998 model Sony's had superior Infrared capabilities compared to what they have had on the market for the past 8-9 years. Why so? Well
back then, they found out that with the combination of filters and the right wavelength of Infrared, you could supposedly get what was dubbed as the
"X-Ray" effect. This became extremely popular with those that walk a thin line in the sexual defiant department and were recording people with a
sort-of "See-Thru" your clothes effect during the daytime. In actuality you couldn't see through clothes but you could make out edges of underlying
apparel. Because of this, Sony (and Panasonic) stopped making the IR in the wavelengths necessary and went one step further in making it so you could
only use the "NightShot" feature at night. But the earlier models can still be found on eBay and will record with an adjustable IR exposure manually
and can be used during the daytime. All models since are automatic exposure and can only be used in very low to no light. To understand perhaps how IR
works, I'll do a real brief explanation, (below is on the techy side)
People will argue that all cameras can record in Infrared, and will use the old trick that every Video salesman used which is pointing the IR remote
at the camera lens. The signal emitted by an IR remote control contains two parts, the control pulses and a modulated carrier wave. The control
pulses are used to modulate the carrier, a popular modulation frequency being 36 and 42KHz. The signal is radiated by an IR diode, typical wavelengths
in the 850 and 950 nm region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Although this light is invisible to the human eye, it can be seen as a bright spot with
a camcorder or digital camera. But in the case of capturing "UnKnowns", what we are discussing is utilizing a filter in addition to the camcorder to
block out and record only within a narrow wavelength of 700nm to 850nm. There are other filters available, but beyond the 850nm range I've not
experienced any success... This could all be a coincidence though and just not my having anything to capture in the areas I was visiting with other
researchers... There are no set standards, and I'm only relating my own personal experience after 8 years use with Infrared filtering with
Camcorders. I have used "IR" before that initial time period with still and digital cameras and had always wanted to try it with the video medium
since Videography has been my forte' for 30+ years.
One thing I'd like to add is that the quality of your recording will be quite "noisy" and pixelated as it blocks out the other wavelength of light
being captured. But it's a trade off of course to get something on tape that you normally might not be able to capture. In the 8 years of using
additional filters, I've been very pleased with my results. Examples below are of captures being investigated that were shot in IR.
Comparisons of particulates/unknowns of IR Captures
Plan on spending many.. many.. many hours of neck-straining boredom when your out hoping to catch something... In many cases we are are at the mercy
of whatever time-frame and/or schedule of these events even happening, and it's all a gamble of luck and educated guesses, and we spend 100's of
more hours searching than we actually get in capturing an event.
In my attempts to better isolate an event for recording/capturing purposes, I made a a platform that holds two camcorders and one pair of hi-powered
binoculars on the same stand which is attached to a heavy-duty 'fluid-head' tripod. One camcorder is set in a wider focal range, and the other is
equiped with a multiplied optical converter that extends my telephoto range (without having to go into digital mode). The below photo shows this
simple setup with just one camcorder and one pair of binoculars. The hardest thing with this kind of setup is collimating the camcorder to be sighted
in conjunction with the binoculars view. But once done, no matter where I look through the binoculars, the camcorder will be "spot-on" and I can hit
the record button without ever removing my eyes from the binoculars and the object I'm tracking. Below is one of my first homemade setups (I have
several now that are made out of Aircraft aluminum and hold up to 4 cameras/devices)
I've been able to record a number of strange audio on videotape that for reasons unknown would not get picked up on a digital camera nor a handheld
digital audio recorder. There is a flurry of theories and conjecture as to why that is, but I wont go into those. But suffice it to say that the more
backup and 'tools' at ones disposal, the better the chance to capturing an event. So if one device does not pick something up, perhaps the other
did. So I run both analog and digital side by side. For an example of these strange sounds, the links below are of our ATS investigation at James
Gillilands ECETI ranch.
Strange Sounds Captured On IR Camera
And we had to record some control sounds to compare it against then try rule out a number of other factors which are located here:
Ambient Control factors and My Thoughts
I dont know if this link still works (I think it does), but this is a daytime IR capture of an object back in 2006 (I think) of an object I first saw
hovering near a cloud while the wind was blowing against it (Cloud movements confirmed that too from my POV). But as I was getting ready to record, it
went behind the clouds.. So the first portion of the video is my scanning the edge of the cloud several times hoping to catch it again.
May 27th Daytime Capture of a UnKnown in IR
By the way.. if you decide to move up to the category of infrared shooting using Generation 3 or 4 optics.. Since your already going to be spending
anywhere from $3500.00-$10,000.00 dollars on a unit.. for the love of all that surrounds us, go with a monocular that has a camera adapter hookup. Why
anyone would want to go with goggles is beyond me.. Sure, they are great for looking at 'things' personally.. but for capturing on video, they will
not work well at all.. And really what is the point of trying to capture something if you cant record it properly..?