How to Convert a Camcorder to Night Vision

Written by joseph rodriguez
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How to Convert a Camcorder to Night Vision
Using night vision technologies will enable video recording in dark situations. (Nambian Night Sky image by Mick from

Like many professional videographers, novice camcorder users often are exposed to a wide variety of situations not particularly ideal for recording video. Filming at night or in other environments lacking light can cause video footage to appear grainy, unclear or dark. By using IR, or infrared, lights, it is possible to capture images that appear to be lit by a traditional lamp.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Infrared light

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  1. 1

    Power on your camcorder in an environment in which you have access to light controls for testing purposes. Locate the "Night Vision" or "IR" control on the camcorder's body. This switch often is found on the side or near the camcorder's lens.

  2. 2

    Switch the control to the "On" position. Advanced camcorders may have normal and "Super IR" control options that provide more infrared light.

  3. 3

    Turn off the light source(s) and point the camcorder at a relatively dark area. Move the control switch between the various night vision options and choose the appropriate effect. Higher IR settings may cause video quality loss on some camcorders.

  1. 1

    Slide the external lamp's brace plate into the shoe mount located at the top of your camcorder. Check and replace the lamp's batteries if it does not utilise the camcorder's power source for operation.

  2. 2

    Power on the infrared lamp to the "On" position using the control switch, usually located on the top of the lamp.

  3. 3

    Turn off the lights at the location and test the lamps capabilities by pointing the lens at a relatively dark area.

Tips and warnings

  • Use an infrared lamp that matches your camcorder's mounting capabilities. If your camcorder has a cold shoe mount, use a lamp that uses its own battery power. If your camcorder has a hot shoe mount, use a lamp that utilises the camcorder's battery pack for power.
  • Using pre-equipped night vision functions often cause footage to appear green or black and white in appearance.

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