IR conversion of G3

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Herb, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Herb

    Herb Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 16, 2011
    Anybody ever have a professional conversion of a G3 to IR? I have a canon 50D and really like it, but it is big. I used Life Pixel for that conversion, might want to try for a G3 conversion, but dunno if the mechanics will allow it.
  2. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Lifepixel will convert G2s, and GH2s, so I don't think the G3 would be a problem. But you can ask them and find out for sure.
  3. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Honestly, I think a traditional DSLR with a mirror box will be far better suited for a conversion that places a IR filter (cuts visible light) in front of a sensor specifically designed for the visible light spectrum.

    Think about it.

    You have a filter that cuts a lot of visible light sitting right on top of a visible light intended sensor. What do you think you will see if you look through the viewfinder of a DSLR? Now, What do you thin you will see if you look throught the EVF of a mirrorless camera? One is going to be a whole lot easier to compose. Unless the sensors in the G3 is sensitive enough to IR to render a good image from which to compose.... on a sensor relying mostly on its red photo-sites. Of course, I'm just speculating. I use a rangefinder for IR photos which is great since the viewing optics is different from the picture-taking optics.
  4. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    The sensor in any digital camera isn't a "visible light" sensor. The sensors in all digital cameras are very sensitive to IR. Which is why camera manufacturers install IR cut filters over the sensor. An IR conversion removes this filter and replaces it with one that passes only IR, or IR and a portion of the visible spectrum (depending on what filter you choose). So there's no issue with lack of sensitivity.

    Panny m43 cameras work very well this way. The LCD and EVF are more than capable of amplifying the light to form a good visual image with which to compose. The EVF will also show you what the sensor is going to record, which is not the case with an optical viewfinder. And the comment about "red photo sites" applies as much to a DSLR and a rangefinder as a mirrorless camera.

    And mirrorless cameras offer a big advantage over a DSLR with PDAF for IR use. IR light focuses quite a bit differently than visible light. (That's why old MF primes, and a few digital cameras, have IR focus indicators on them.) A camera with CDAF automatically focuses IR correctly when an IR pass filter is installed. So does a DSLR with live view, but we all know CDAF on DSLRs is a weak point. The difference between IR focus and visible light focus is an issue with rangefinders, too.

    I've exchanged messages with a couple of people on DPR who have IR converted m43 cameras. They all say they work very well. And the images they produce are excellent from what I've seen.
  5. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Please read how a Bayer array on the sensor works:

    Understanding Digital Camera Sensors

    "A Bayer array consists of alternating rows of red-green and green-blue filters."

    Not all sensors are equally sensitive to IR. And sensitivity to IR doesn't equate to a sensor that was designed to operate in IR.
  6. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    DSLRs that have been converted have a mirror. The photographer looking through the viewfinder sees the world as normally and only the camera itself captures filtered image.

    This is different since for mirrorless cameras relies on the sensor for both composing the photo and taking the photo.

    Yes.. I know about focus shift...

    Also note... I didn't say it wasn't feasible. I just think a DSLR converted is a better tool for the job.
  7. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    You just don't get it. The problems you *think* exist don't. There are plenty of IR converted m43 cameras in the field that work just fine. Better than DSLRs, in fact.

    I know how a bayer filter sensor works. And it works the same in a DSLR as it does in a mirrorless camera. Think about it logically: If the bayer sensor presented problems in capturing enough IR light to view on the EVF it would present the same problem capturing the image. Or to put it differently, if the sensor can capture the image, it can display it on the EVF or LCD. And, in fact, on Panasonic m43 bodies it does both just fine.

    You say "I just think a DSLR converted is a better tool for the job." The key word is *think* since you clearly have no experience with either. The truth is just the opposite. MILCs have no problem displaying an accurate, bright image. Converted MILCs eliminate the focus shift problem that DSLRs and rangefinders have. And MILCs provide the photographer with an accurate preview of what the IR image will look like; optical viewfinders leave the photographer guessing. A DSLR with live view allows the same preview, but no DSLR focuses very well using CDAF.

    MILCs are the perfect cameras for IR conversion, superior to DSLRs for all the reasons listed above.
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  8. Giant bubble guy

    Giant bubble guy Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    I just checked on lifepixel and they have the G3 listed as an option on their website. And I have to say I completely with Meyerweb. M43's are a better choice for IR conversions for exactly the reasons stated by him above.
  9. Herb

    Herb Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 16, 2011
    IR conversion for G3

    Yep, I checked the Life Pixel site (finally) and they go into some discussion about how mirrorless works better in focus than mirror. Sounds like a plan.
  10. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    BTW, I have a G2 I'm sending to Lifepixel as soon as I pay off the Christmas bills. :)
  11. sancarlos

    sancarlos New to Mu-43

    Dec 17, 2011
    South Carolina
    Having owned both a Canon 50D converted to IR, and a Panasonic GF1 and GH1 converted to IR, just wanted to comment on this thread.

    Basically, hands down the Panasonic cameras are much easier to use and give better results than the Canon 50D. I made a few nice images with the 50D but the focus was off on many images -- this rarely happens with the Panasonic cameras.

    Based on my experience I have decided to have a G3 converted to IR. If I though a Canon 60D or 70D would work better I would have bought one and had it converted.

  12. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
  13. Herb

    Herb Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 16, 2011
    IR conversion

    Lifepixel has a site that shows $250 conversion for G3, was $400.
  14. Brian S

    Brian S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 11, 2009
    I have the first DSLR made for Infrared, had Kodak leave the IR cut filter off of it. 20 years old. The Kodak DCS200ir is not even on the book of the Kodak DCS, I'm not sure how many were made. At least one, no more than 50.

    I just had an Olympus EP2 converted to Infrared. the latter is much better and easier to use. Also cost $11,400 less than the Kodak.

    The color Dye in the Bayer pattern Mosaic Filter on the EP2 and most Silicon sensors used in Digital cameras do not absorb IR. Somewhere around 800nm they stop absorbing, and allow IR to pass. Otherwise, there would be no need for the IR absorbing glass in front of the sensor- the RGB dye would do it all. It doesn't.