Canon eos 5d mark iii camera

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III (Infrared) Camera

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The Canon EOS 5D Mark III (Infrared) Camera

Please note: This is an infrared-modified (715nm) 5D Mark III. It does not take regular images!

We have had this 5D Mark III modified for IR photography. The low-pass filter was removed and replaced with an internal 715nm infrared filter. Instead of capturing three different colors of visible light, the camera now sees three different wavelengths in the near-infrared spectrum.

You use an IR-modified camera just as you would a normal SLR: autofocus works, live view works, and in-camera metering works. Exposure times are similar to a normal camera.

For those of you who are not familiar with IR photography, the look is very different: you’ll want to read up on shooting in IR and the post-processing required for the images.

The modification disables the automatic sensor cleaning function so the camera may report to an error when powering up if you set it to clean the sensor when starting up. Ignore this, it will work just fine.

Our Take

What’s the difference between 715nm and 830nm conversions? Not a whole lot. The 715 conversion lets in red visible light, the 830nm conversion doesn’t so there are a few differences:

Exposure time on an 830nm conversion will be about twice as long the 715 conversion (both cameras auto-expose accurately, though). This can be the difference between ‘need a tripod’ and ’don’t need a tripod’. The 830nm conversion uses all three channels (R, G, B) fairly equally, while the 715nm uses mostly the red channel. In theory this should make the 830 images a bit sharper. In practice, maybe, maybe not. The 830nm conversion has a “more IR” look: skies are darker, clouds whiter.

You can get images with a 715nm in artificial light, but indoors (especially with fluorescent light) there’s not enough IR floating around to really get a picture with the 830nm conversion.

Truth is, unless you are waaayyyyy into this, it doesn’t make a lot of difference — unless for some weird reason you’re shooting IR under fluorescent light, then avoid the 830nm. I can’t imagine why anyone would do that, but I know for certain if I don’t mention it somebody will.

You can find more information and a few thumbnails comparing shots from the two versions HERE

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