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Old September 24th, 2007, 04:33 AM   #1
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see-in-the-dark camcorder

A few weeks ago, I met this guy from New Jersey, staying at the same motel. I think he was "on the job." He had this camcorder, about the size and shape of a Sony VX2100, but plastic, for IR. He let me play with it, after he made me put the strap around my neck. He told me it set him back $12,000.00 USD. It was the neatest thing. (I tried it at night of course.) The camcorder even picked up the image of his hand from leaning against a car...just for a few seconds. For the life of me, I can't recall the name of this camcorder. (There ore lots of shady people in Harrison Hot Springs---not him. I think he was "on the job.")
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Old September 24th, 2007, 05:50 AM   #2
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Color? Or just basic IR night vision? You're sure he wasn't just using the night vision mode and joking around?
I haven't heard of anything like that. Sounds cool.

From what I know, IR can't be picked up with colors, since it's operating on a completely different frequency, so you can't tell what light rays in the color spectrum would be absorbed.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 05:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Frank Granovski View Post
The camcorder even picked up the image of his hand from leaning against a car...just for a few seconds.
That sounds like a thermal camera. Helicopters have them for search and rescue because people (who are warm) stand out white against the cold ground. Do a search for FLIR (forward looking infrared.)
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Old September 24th, 2007, 06:39 AM   #4
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Cheap night vision (ie anything on the cameras most of us use) is based on a light emitted from the camera, hence a brighter circle in the middle, and maybe some ambient light.
If it was more expensive and better, then that would make sense, if it was actually picking up IR, not generating it.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 07:13 AM   #5
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I have a FLIR camera at work. In order to be sensitive enough to provide a useful image the sensor has to be cooled down quite considerably. To achieve this it uses a Sterling engine. It's really quite cool (literally!)

It generates pseudo color images at 320 x 240 resolution.

To learn how to use it, I ran my ailing John Deere tractor/mower without the covers on the engine!
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Old September 24th, 2007, 10:24 AM   #6
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yes , the behavior of camera and price indicates a FLIR (thermal) camera.
it is no very useful for common people (you would have more use for a light intensifier (night vision) , and they are far more cheaper, starts at few hundred dollars, or comes for free with your nighshot mode on your video camera).
it is very nice for firemen to see through smoke, even find bodies through walls.
you can use it to check your house for warm leak... but 12.000$ to play about 1 hours with a gadget is a bit expensive.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 11:13 AM   #7
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We had one at my former employer. It was a $47,000 dollar thermal imaging camera. I placed my hand on a desktop and this thing still detected a faint image of my hand print 10 MINUTES LATER.

The color you see in the image is like the color coded Doppler wx radar. Different colors in the display represent different reflected thermal levels. This unit I was messing with was also about the size of a consumer camcorder.

It was used by the plant facilities personnel to check large breaker panels for circuits that were getting too hot from excessive current due to aging wires, etc.

-gb-
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Old September 24th, 2007, 04:15 PM   #8
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"That sounds like a thermal camera." Yes, I beleve that's what it was.

The guy was an investigator and on the job---probably part of some sort of investigation into the drug smuggling into the USA from there or the terrorists who own a large hotel around the corner from the little motel we were both staying at. These terrorists took down a jet, some years back, killing around 350 passengers. Last year, one drug operation nabbed a dope smuggling ring smuggling dope into the US via a plane and helicopter. Other than that, Harrison Hot Springs is a quiet place.
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