As I mentioned in some of my recent posts I have just been up to Whitby with a friend. These trips are great as we talk about all things photography including quite often the new equipment we would like. It was during one of these discussions that I had to admit I would really like an infrared camera. In the past I might have sought to purchase an old DSLR and have this converted but that wouldn’t fit with my new lightweight approach.
After a lot of consideration and debate I think I have two choices. The first would be to purchase and convert an LX5 whilst the other would be converting a micro 4/3 camera. To be honest, I would love to have an infrared LX5; the lens is excellent and the camera fits in my pocket. What puts me off is that I have heard the LX5 suffers from hot spots under some conditions. I would hate to have an otherwise great image ruined by this so I am loathed to go down this route.
Realistically then it’s probably down to a choice of which micro 4/3 camera to purchase and convert. If I chose the GF1 I would worry about the age of the camera and the cost of the conversion in the UK is about twice the cost of the camera. Alternatively the cost of a new GX1 is now down to £315 after £50 cash back. This seems to be amazing value for money but I still need to find a conversion service that has a good reputation.
Now if you are reading this and wondering why I am not doing my Infrared conversion in software, it’s because it’s very difficult to create a realistic effect without introducing a lot of artefacts around edges in the image. It’s very difficult to get just the right look and to be honest I would rather have a converted camera that I can snap away with.
You will hear more about this in the future as I have convinced myself I need an infrared camera.
6 thoughts on “Micro 4/3 or LX5 Infrared”
Hi, all very interesting but I think there is too much LX5 in the last days. Have I to consider it as “the new standard zoom” of a lighter light equipment? Will I go on with a OMD5, 9-18, 45-200 and LX5 (7?)? Lighter but also better than my 14-45?
I love color photography but your b&w images have touched something inside me: I thank you very much for this, I have a new project now. May be it will not be a success, but it doesn’t matter: photography has helped me to see and not only to look at, and this is enough.
Thanks Sergio. Sorry there has been a little too much LX5 for you recently. There will be more about other aspects of light weight photography shortly. Great that you like my black and white work as its my favorite way of working at the moment.
I agree, camera conversion is the only way to go, if not you are limited to long exposures as the amount of available light has to be enough to overcome the cameras inbuild IR sensor – often running into minutes. So this adds the weight of a tripod, perhaps a filter holder etc. Also using filters you limit yourself artistically to long exposures – using a converted to IR camera you free yourself to the freedom already gained with being able to handhold. I shoot a lot of IR and this year I will be converting my spare Sony a450, I have had a quote of £300 but I would do your research well, as you suggest not all camera’s cope with the conversion. Good luck – Neil
Thanks Neil, I also ruled out filters because of the slow exposures (although some movement might be nice) requiring a tripod.
To balance things out here you know that I have an LX5 that lives permanently in my car & is always available to me when I do not have my DSLR with me. Therefore for me you can talk all you like & publish as much info about the LX5 as you care to do so. One thing that will always stick with me is you publishing the info on how to use hyperfocal distance with the LX5.
The other thing that I would like to say is please publish all you can about a cheap way of doing infra red photography. I love the images & if there is a way of producing good infra red images without having to pay out a small fortune to do it then I want to know. I have tried filters several times but they do not produce what I am trying to obtain.
Keep all these blogs coming – they are great. The one off tips are so good without having to read a book to get the same info.
Thanks Paul. I will try to cater for all readers and if I do turn anything up on cheap infrared I will post it here. In the interim the next post will be about light weight tripods.