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Digital Full Spectrum Cameras....


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#16 OMPRDave

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:39 PM

Are there accurate ways to analyze the images recorded by these cameras? It would seem to me that even though an amazing anomaly is captured we would have to be able to figure out exactly what frequency along the known spectrum of the light source is being recorded in it. Without that ability to know what the camera is seeing an anomaly would remain just an anomaly and really not viable as proof of anything paranormal.

Any thoughts?
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#17 Joven76

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 10:25 AM

I would have to agree with you Dave... That's why I've been personally looking into the 3 camera idea that CaveRat had earlier in this thread... That however can get a little expensive so that's on the back burner right now for us... LOL
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#18 CaveRat2

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 03:45 PM

Dave, that would be a matter of knowing the characteristics of whatever filter you areusing. If a filter passes a certain wavelength then by knowing that it is a simple matter to deternine if what you are capturing affects anything within that portion of the spectrum. Another reason to include all data related to whatever devices you are using when posting any evidence.

#19 OMPRDave

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 05:58 PM

Thanks....always good to be able to note these things.
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

#20 PhenomInvestigator

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 05:02 PM

When dealing with full spectrum it's important to think about how the camera responds to the various wavelengths. We are interested in the near UV, Visible and near IR regions.

Unlike what you might expect, UV images do not always show up in the blue channel and often IR shows up in all three color channels. For example, if I recall correctly, the Fuji cameras that use CCD imaging technology capture UV mostly in the blue channel. The Nikon that we are using happens to capture UV in multiple channels (on CMOS) which means that the signal ranges from Red-Orange (at 365 nm) through Pink (at 375 nm) to a deep Violet (at 400 nm, just at the base of the Visible spectrum).

It is wise to filter, especially if you are interested in only one part of the spectrum or want to reject one part of the spectrum. In our case, we have already pretty much rejected the IR as of interest based on prior research for many decades. But we are very interested in the UV. So we use IR cut filters to remove the IR light. This has to be a very steep filter with no IR bleed through (tough to achieve btw) and with no tendency to inhibit the UV (which means it must be quartz glass). With this filter in place, we see Visible and UV light only. Since in our case the UV appears in the redish range mostly, and we have effectively stopped normal red light from entering the camera lens, we can safely presume that any red images are indeed UV related. And we know from our prior testing what approximate wavelengths we are seeing.

The testing was done using precise point sources calibrated plus or minus 5 nm. These findings were confirmed by an optical lab as well.

We like to keep the visible light in the image so we can know what was being photographed. One problem is that when we shoot in available light (which is mostly not UV) and try to capture UV images only, we rarely can see most of the scene. So we prefer to allow visible light through and simply ensure that the IR light cannot reach the imaging systems.

Each camera will behave a bit differently especially in UV spectral response. So the comments in this post are meant to help answer the OP's original question as well as illustrate some of the challenges working in this area.

Edited by PhenomInvestigator, 07 September 2009 - 05:04 PM.

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#21 afterlife

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 05:34 PM

I use a digital full spectrum camera on our Investigations & I have to say that is one of my best pieces of gear. I have caught some really good photos with this equipment. On The last Investigation our team did, I captured a moving apparition about 15 seconds after one of our members described seeing a white misty light about two feet off the floor. I have also captured a still picture that is really good. You can visit our site to see the pics. @ www.postparanormal.com click on the blog and read the Investigation regarding Old Towne Pizza. I do agree with what caverat said about knowing what light spectrum the apparition was caught in. Through my own experience I believe the energy's or spirits can be seen better in the UV range but UV lighting can be a little dangerous. Try this web site if your looking for a full spectrum camera(www.maxmax.com) The guy who runs this makes his own optics & replaces them in cameras & camcorders. All professional quality but this process voids any warranty on the camera/camcorder CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO VIEW THE PHOTOS.

#22 foolery

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 07:03 PM

Christopher:

Actually, consumer-level video cameras are able to record in full spectrum but filters are inserted at the factory to eliminate the non-visible wavelengths (normally anything below 400 Nm or above 700 Nm). You can send a camcorder out to have these filters removed, but (1) this tends to be expensive and (2) the way these units are utilized on TV doesn’t make much scientific sense…

For anything to be viewable (either by our eyes or another recording device), either light needs to strike the object and be reflected back to the recipient OR the object needs to be an emitter of that wavelength of light itself. While GHI tends to leave static IR light sources and cameras around, you don’t see the team members walking around with IR/UV lights to illuminate the areas usually… so to see anything with JUST a FS camera, the subject would need to produce its own source of light at that particular wavelength (conceivable but unlikely, as anything generating enough energy to be datable on an EMF meter wouldn’t come close to being powerful enough to generate even an electrostatic light).

It’s my impression that these things are more for glitz and production value than anything serious toward actual research or investigation. As Tech Manager for a local paranormal investigation team here in New England, I’ve done many experiments with my own FS cameras and have come to find them little more than expensive, cool-looking toys.

foolery



I was curious if anyone here has ever used a Digital Full Spectrum camera like the one they were using on GHI just the other night... I'd like to hear what results you've had...

Also, Barry said he built this camera... If anyone has ever done something like this before, can you share your knowledge on how to do this??? Thanks...

Christopher



#23 Ten301

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 12:32 PM

I like technology as well as the next person. I have full spectum cameras, have done plenty of IR photography (both film and digital) and did UV only photography years ago with a quartz UV-Nikkor lens and filters to block the visible and IR spectrum. With all of this, I've come to one conclusion:

It doesn't matter if you're using a $5.00 disposable camera, an IR only set-up, or spring for the really big guns to shoot only in UV (hard to find, as the UV-Nikkor is long-discontinued). If you're going to "get the ghost", you'll get it. I think we're trying to rely too much on technology, which is probably fueled (at least in part) by all of the "me too" ghost hunting shows out there. Wow...it looks cool! But what has it proven...zilch...zero. I guess someone is getting rich selling all of this stuff.

There is one thing that I've noticed over the years that DOES make a difference, and it has nothing to do with technology, and doesn't cost a penny. Groups tend to go in to a site like gangbusters (or like "Ghost Adventures"...those guys are complete idiots and do everything wrong). You should go it with as little fuss as possible, be respectful, introduce yourself to the spirit(s), ask their permission, and only then start the investigation. Look at it his way; would you cooperate with a group of rude, obnoxious, disrespectful people invading your space? This is especially true if you're dealing with a haunting from a different era; being polite, respectful and having good social manners was very importand in years past (and should be today). It helps to give them a brief description of the equipment (in terms as simple as possible) and what you're trying to accomplish. Invite them to participate.

Try this instead of throwing money at the latest sexy gadget. You and your group will have more money in your pocket and much better results.

#24 Illuminated One

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 12:21 PM

Barry said he had a couple guys work on the camera. I can't remember the component added, but it's difficult and apparently they wrecked some $600 cameras in the process. He mentioned that they are looking into importing the cameras but cant due to US law.

Considering spilling glass making secrets could get you tried for treason until the 1960's, it is possible. On a side note, the FS camera made an annoying blinking that was picked up by the IR on our camcorder.


I just watched an episode of GH the other day and Britt one of the GHI investigators was using this camera. He said that they installed a new chipset. But that the information he gave.

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#25 PhenomInvestigator

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 12:51 PM

One other point which just occurred to me - don't know why I didn't mention it before.

If one is using a Full Spectrum camera, you should be shooting in an ambient light environment. You should NOT be lighting either with IR or UV. The reason is that the IR and even more important, the UV spectrum is easily flooded by any other lighting irrespective of its spectrum. Lighting with UV to capture something that is naturally UV emissive will actually mask it. The same is true of IR. Even worse, IR light can destroy UV images whether the light reflects or originates from a natural source. For these reasons, you want to avoid lighting the scene, especially using IR lights. In theory you should see nothing in the UV spectrum with a Full Spectrum camera should you do so IF you are looking for UV emissions.

On another point, I would question the quality of images you will get using consumer grade equipment and more importantly consumer grade lenses and filters. Again, the quality of the glass is critical especially to UV photography. If you have gotten little or nothing in the UV in the past, this is likely due to using glass lenses and filters which actually block UV emissions, meaning they never get to the camera.

Just a couple of other random thoughts.
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#26 CaveRat2

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 10:17 AM

I would agree, depending on what your goals are. Keep in mind that while we treat each a a separate entity, IR, visible light, and UV are all part of the same spectrum. Another way to consider it would be to treat each color as separate. If one wanted to view red only, one would use a red illumination and red filter on the camera. Items of other colors would be missed. The same applies if one used blue. The unfiltered eye could see all colors, but selective fltering and illumination narrows the range of perception. When it comes to IR and UV, they are simply "colors" (bandwidths) which our eyes do not cover. With broadband equipment they are treated exactly the same as colors; filtered and illuminated

#27 azepeda

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 03:17 PM

The camera Britt uses on GH and the ones seen on GHI are not store bought jobs. They were built by Andy Coppock and go well below 200 nm. He changes the chips and grinds his own sapphire optics. Most of the stuff he captures is in the 175 nm area. No filters used and no light sources. The chips are super sensitive. In fact UV light sources would be dangerous, just as IR light sources can be dangerous if you look right at them. They can fry your retinas without you realizing it. The anomalies I've seen captured this way are all self illuminating in their bandwidth. Hence no illumination is required, just ambient 'full spectrum' light. Just my 2 cents.

#28 Old Guy

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 05:08 PM

Most of the stuff he captures is in the 175 nm area.

I'm a litle confused. If it's a digital full spectrum camera, why is his "focus" (sorry) on the far UV? 100 to 280 nm is for killing germs.

... just as IR light sources can be dangerous if you look right at them. They can fry your retinas without you realizing it.

Not to dispute your point, but you'd know it. Prolonged exposure to IR is known to cause cataracts, but the thermal property would warn you well in advance. Your whole body would "fry."

The anomalies I've seen captured this way are all self illuminating in their bandwidth.

What anomalies?
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#29 Spectercam

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 04:46 PM

Let me toss in some information. There is a LOT to be said on this topic. I am the founder and owner of SpecterCam. I have been building and using FULL SPECTRUM cameras for- well- lets just say a little while now and was doing so before they came into the "light" they now have (pun intended). My cameras are built one a time with my own 10 fat little fingers (to borrow a saying from Bill Chappel). My cameras are on the leading edge of paranormal work. Currently, Barry Fitzgerald of Ghost Hunters International uses my gear. So does Bill Murphy from Syfy's Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files. As does many teams all over the US. I am not a newbie to this field. I do serious research and have designed experiments for others to use in productions and other public venues. I tell you that to tell you this: My opinions are more than just conjecture and small talk, so maybe they will be worth something in this topic ;-)

1. I respectfully disagree with some of the things I have read here on this topic. No offense by that- just based on my experience and knowledge.

2. If you are doing SERIOUS research, being able to select a band via filters is fine. That said MOST teams dont care so much where an anomoly occurs in the EM band, they just want to capture the video and take home the evidence. For that reason, selective filters are not the way to go, UNLESS you are shooting in bright light. That is because the visible spectrums can in some cases have a tendancy to overpower the invisible spectrums and cause overexposure.

3. This thread has really talked about SEVERAL cameras and they are all diffrent, but some readers may be mislead by this so it needs attention.

One camera seen on the shows is a small SVP model palmcorder. This is a cmos based imager with a filter. The maker of that camera has a VERY strong opinion that you MUST filter out the visible spectrums leaving only IR and UV. I disagree. They will tell you that the visible light will overexpose.... well, that COULD is true if shoot out in the bright sunlight, however, we (paranormal investigators) do most of our hunting at night.... using that palmcorder at night in very dim situations, as we are normally in, you will find it lacks the ability to be a truely useful bit of gear. And, if this IS your only camera, and there is enough light, and something happens in the 400 to 700nm range, you just missed it. I think it is a serious limit and most teams cant afford that.

Another camera talked about here is one that uses quartz lenses and has been said to go sub 200. Let me tell you up front that I have not tested that camera BUT even air starts to attenuate UV-C at 200nm. You are talking about a floride lens, spec CCD and more- so you are talking about a $4000.00 camera- or more- but I have never seen the price tag on that one. Lets get back to reality here and that is- most paranormal teams cant afford that AND DONT NEED IT. My opinon of those numbers (sub 200) is frought with doubt, but even then, UVC kills cells, requires LOTS of added light and is hard to work with.. is that really something we should be messing with? For most people reading this- NO.

The last camera that has been made refrence to here is a digital SLR that Barry uses. It is a converted SLR and you can have one made as well- around $600.00. Great bit of gear- Barry uses one quite often. It has captured still photography evidence.

Last, be careful about yet another seller out there that has jumped on the band wagon with a palmcorder. In the attempt to make a profit they are selling something that they really cant even tell you anything (scientific) about. The add they display contains false information. Buyer beware.

4. So, lets look at this closer: If there is a claim of paranormal activity that your looking into as a team and especially a reported visible sighting, they (whom ever saw it) dang sure did not have equipment on hand that was capable of that so why would you feel the need to go there? There are many reasons to go into the UV and IR bands- I would be glad to discuss them in detail. I and others HAVE captured evidence of paranormal activity using full spectrum cameras (see just a few of those videos at my website). Some of which I am sure we would have missed if using a normal camera. Most teams DONT have the option of setting up three or four cameras and so you have to leverage your gear to the maximum level of information per peice that you can.

You can find more information on my products at www.SpecterCam.com and I would be glad to answer questions if you have any. My gear is in use in the field by some of the top research teams. My site has more information as well. Good luck in your hunting and research!

#30 CaveRat2

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 08:04 PM

I agree with the previous post in most areas. It is quite true that as a rule there is really not much need for the average investigator to even bother with going into the extended bands. Generally speaking if you are going to capture something you'll get it in visible light. And if you opt to go into the wider bands, you need to be aware that light / energy in those regions behaves somewhat differently than visible light. Lenses focus slightly different, characteristics differ, etc. This leaves wide open the possibility of an untrained photographer capturing and misidentifying some anomalies.

The point was made that most could use a full spectrum camera instead of multiple cameras because most only want to capture something without caring what band it originated in. That may be true, but I assume most who want to do serious research into wider bands also want to gain some data regarding the characteristics of what they captured. For that you need to be selective, and while costs certainly do increase, good science is not always cheap. The investigator will need to determine the degree he wants to study whatever evidence he captures and select an appropriate camera system. It is toward these more indepth groupos that I directed my comments regarding the recommendation of separate systems / filters.

Quartz or Floride lenses, speced CCD imagers, and other specialty equipment is fine IF your protocols for your particular experiment requires those characteristics. And if you aren't aware of those characteristics, and how they may affect your particular experiment, you should not be writing the protocols or procedures for such a project! Leave that to the experts in optics / photography. (I have been doing this research for 35 years and I wouldn't even attempt that; I'd bring in an expert or consultant!)

So whether you go with a single wide spectrum camera or multiples is more up to the degree you want to get involved. The comparable in the EVP field is whether you really want to study your EVPs or whether you are content with simply "What does it say?"




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