IR heat images - help and advice


Mu-43 Veteran
Jan 1, 2011
Edinburgh, Scotland
Hi Guys,

I hope you can help with this. My dog, a two year old black lab, has been lame since April. He's been to the vet, had examinations, X-rays, CT scans, the works and yet the cause / source of his problem remains undiagnosed. Could be his wrist, elbow, shoulder or even triceps muscle.

I had a brainwave: have a look at him with an IR camera to check for hot spots. So I borrowed a night vision scope, waited for dark and had a look. I could clearly see a green tinted version of Harry with some brighter highlights but I don't think the bright spots represent heat; I think they are just shiny bits that reflect more IR.

This brings me back to cameras and filters. I've looked at the IR threads here but they are, while very interesting and unusual, mostly of trees and landscapes. I want an IR image that shows up a heat signature. Can that be done based on my EP 1 or EPL5 or even if it involves buying an older DSLR?

And if so can anyone here give me the step by step instructions I'd need?

Many thanks in anticipation from both me and Harry.


Mu-43 All-Pro
Mar 21, 2013
N Essex, UK
Real Name
What you need is a thermal imaging camera. Which use a completely different sensor technology than normal cameras. Normal cameras can be modified to see to NEAR infra red (NIR) to about 1100nm things have to be very hot to emit at the wavelengths they can see.. Electric hobs can be seen to emit NIR when they don't glow in visible light, but temperatures below 100C won't be enough.
NIR images from converted cameras are typically reflected infra red from sources such as the sun, though I have photographed tungsten filaments in IR.
Thermal cameras are VERY expensive, you might be able to rent one for a few hundred bucks a day or if you're very lucky find an obsolete model on e-bay.

You're more likely to find the problem by touch. There are some reasonably cheap non contact thermometers available but I'm not sure if their resolution will be sufficent.


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Jun 26, 2010
Key West FL
Thank you Mike and Evan,

I suspected there was some difference between IR and heat. You've clarified that for me.


They are neighbors, but not the same. Both are "infrared", but spaced wide apart in the specturm. It's much like red light and blue light are, on one hand, both "visible light" but still quite different.
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