SJCAM SJ8 for NIGHT VISION? Please help

elchivatto

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I want to modify the new SJ8 PRO Action camera, removing the IR filter... But do you know if it's possible? Is it easy to do that? I only found people doing it with older models from the same brand, but I want to buy this new model because it's specs.
 

kamkar

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You can always do that, the IR cut filter are on the back of the lens, so you just have to unscrew it, and if possible remove the IR filter or replace the lens with one without the filter.
But i should warn you the sensor of the Sj8 are far less optimal for IR light compared to sensors with fewer pixels and so also larger more sensitive pixels.
So you will probably need more IR light Vs if you used a better sensor/camera for the job.
It is pretty much the same as for any action camera lens swap / refocus, so plenty of how to videos on youtube.

No idea how to open up the Sj8, i would assume you can take off the front panel / plactic. though that little screen do worry me a little, i have never had my SJ6 apart that are much like the SJ8.
 
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elchivatto

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Thanks for replying! Actually what I need is a portable camera with a very good quality for night vision, and at least 1080p 60fps. So, what do you think? It's better to buy a new camera and modify it, or buy an special cam for that purpose? Please, let me know your recommendations
 

kamkar

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One of the most popular sensors ATM in dashcams are the Sony IMX 291, it is a sensor really intended for and also much used in CCTV cameras.
But CCTV cameras have a B&W mode they enter at night when their active IR cur filter disengage, this B&W mode are often missing from action and dash cameras so without a IR cut filter the footage will have a magenta hue to it.
I also think the B&W mode might help in bettering the contrast for night mode recordings in CCTV cameras.

I am not aware of any action cameras using the IMX 291 outside of the warrior G1S but it is a camera with no screen so you will have to aim it with its app, but it do have a long battery time +4 hours as i recall.
You can see the difference in light sensitivity in this video that compare a gopro with its XX megapixel sensor Vs the just over 2 megapixel of the IMX 291



There are also a range of little cheap home CCTV cameras, but i dont think any of them support the 60 FPS you request, but those have the active IR cut filter and the B&W night footage, and some might even have a IR light to aid in complete darkness, and they can often be powered by a USB power bank.
We have a dedicated subforum for CCTV cameras / use of little action and dashcams as CCTV cameras in the home where you do have light.

IR modified action camera.

As you can see not that good performance with IR compared to just my 5 - 6 years old CCTV camera i have aimed at my car where it is parked in the back yard.


A modern CCTV camera would put my old one to shame, i really would like one of the newer cameras but cant afford it on my pension.
 
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elchivatto

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Thanks for your help! I have to say sorry because my knowledge about this technology is very limited. I'll explain you what I need, and hope you could help me. I'm going to a trip with some friends, and we'll be in the forest and mountain at night, so I need an action or portable camera capable of recording with IR flashlights, doesn't matter if the camera has this IR lights or need to use an external torch. What I need is a modern camera capable of recording at 1080p 60fps at least, and preferable with wide angle lens like the gopro, all the action will occur close to the camera, so no need for zoom or large IR lights. I found some body worn cameras with IR lights incorporated but any with 60fps, that's why I was thinking about buying an action cam like the sjcam models and remove the IR cut filter. So, what do you think? I thought the latest sj8 pro model would be the best, but maybe there's another better option with bigger pixels like the oldest models (sj5000, sj7, etc) or maybe another brand. The important thing is it has to be easy to remove the IR filter
 

kamkar

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The only gopro like camera with a 1080p sensor that also have a good low light performance in the GIT 1 from gitup, but again it is just 1080 / 30 FPS
Actually many cameras capable of 60 FPS will fall back to 30 FPS in low light conditions as that give the camera longer tine to collect light for each frame Vs if 60 FPS was used.
Off the top of my head i cant think of other action cameras that have a low megapixel count and light sensitive sensor, and also can do 1080/60 FPS

Going to other action cameras like my SJ6 legend /SJ6 AIR and SJ/star the problem are the same, they also have 12 - 14 -16 megapixel sensors so they too will not be optimal for low light recording.

Myself i have experimented a lot with removing IR filters on cameras to film thru my rifle scope when i hunt rats at night, but all my attempts was poor until i changed to analog CCTV cameras that was much more light sensitive than the other cameras i tried.
But then you are down in SD resolution and also just 30 FPS.

Analog cctv board camera thru 6 - 30 X scope.

8 mpix camcorder with no IR filter Vs 1080p dashcam with no ir filter. ( ir light in use are 10 W zoom able ir emitter )


I have a DIY night vision goggle made with a cheap FPV headset and a 700 TVL board camera, with it and a IR light i can walk around in darkness just fine.
 
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elchivatto

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Hahaha the aurora is too expensive, man.
OK I don't know what to do :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
But I really appreciate your help!
Maybe a CCTV should work fine, but I have to find some with 60fps. But how to do it portable? And where to see what I'm recording, is it possible to connect it to my cellphone?
The gs1 warrior is really good, but only 30fps
Thank you!
 
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elchivatto

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Do you know if the G1S can see IR light? Because if it can, maybe this is the best choice. I could help it with IR flashlight and that's all :)
 

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Do you know if the G1S can see IR light? Because if it can, maybe this is the best choice. I could help it with IR flashlight and that's all :)
How about a Gitup F1? You could mount that nicely on top of your IR torch. The lens on that is easily accessible, can be swapped without disassembling the camera once you have removed the glue. I don't know how the standard lens works with IR if you remove the filter, but you can screw any M12 lens in as long as you don't mind a bit of vignetting in the corners and keep the standard lens for daylight use. The sensor on that is probably the best available for low light in a 4K action camera, I think a little better than the SJ8 sensor, it has bigger pixels.

I would be tempted to use a Viofo A129 with the rear camera mounted on the torch, that has a very good sensor for low light. There is also a proper IR version of the rear camera coming soon with a lens actually designed to focus IR light properly and built in IR LEDs, although you may still want your torch.

The only gopro like camera with a 1080p sensor that also have a good low light performance in the GIT 1 from gitup, but again it is just 1080 / 30 FPS
Actually many cameras capable of 60 FPS will fall back to 30 FPS in low light conditions as that give the camera longer tine to collect light for each frame Vs if 60 FPS was used.
Off the top of my head i cant think of other action cameras that have a low megapixel count and light sensitive sensor, and also can do 1080/60 FPS
The Gitup G3 has a IMX323 sensor in the rear camera that is probably a little better than the Git 1, certainly has better sound. The rear camera being on a cable may or may not be a disadvantage.
 

kamkar

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The G1S can see it just fine if the IR cut filter are removed, it use the IMX 291 sensor.
Yes you should relax the 60 FPS demand, that just make it near to impossible to do, and 30 FPS should be fine unless you scramble around really fast or try to capture something that move really fast.
And as i said before i have a sneaky feeling even if you do find a 60 FPS camera it will be coded to go down to 30 FPS none the less if there are little light, as that will give the sensor 2 X more time to capture light photons for each frame.
Fast movement and low light dont really combine well, thats why you see people doing really fast slow motion recordings they need extremely strong lighting cuz if you capture say 100.000 FPS then you alsi max can have a 1/100.000 second to capture light, so there better be a helluva lot of it.
And even then it is also why you often see slow motion recordings being a little dark despite they being made in bright sunshine.

In our dashcams it is also one reason why we loose so much detail in night recordings, cuz slow exposure speeds like 1/30 second are far too slow for recordings capturing motion, the rule of thumb in photography are to never go under 1/500 second exposure time if you try to capture movement, even faster if it is say a motorsport event where we talk even faster movement than walking / bicycling / running.

It is no problem capturing images in just the light of the moon, but it better not be of something moving as you need a exposure time measured in seconds.

Thats the moon in the background.


If you notice the stars are not dots but streaks and you can see some blur in the tree to the left as there was a little wind that night, it mean i have used a little too slow exposure time here, and the earth are spinning pretty darn fast the the wind moving the tree branches / leaves a little.

Photo is a replica viking curch originally build around year 1000, its remains was found under the floor of a current curch when it was restored.
It is located at the museum for natural history just south of my birth town of Aarhus here in Denmark.

One thing about this photo freak me out.
So the light source is in the background, so why are there a line between light and shadow on the side of the roof facing me and my camera, there was nothing but the building site of the new museum behind me and its roof facing this direction are just a slope with grass on it, but it was not build at the time of the photo.

 
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elchivatto

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Your comments are really helpful! Thank you everyone!
 

Nigel

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One thing about this photo freak me out.
So the light source is in the background, so why are there a line between light and shadow on the side of the roof facing me and my camera, there was nothing but the building site of the new museum behind me and its roof facing this direction are just a slope with grass on it, but it was not build at the time of the photo.
Maybe a security light on the building site that you didn't notice at the time. A single 100W spotlight half a km away could easily cause that effect.
 

kamkar

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Yes, i have also been thinking maybe the light pollution from Aarhus town that are some 5 Km behind me
 
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elchivatto

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Hello again guys! After thinking a lot about your advices, it looks like the best option will be to buy the gitup F1 and remove the IR filter. You said that it will be easy to replace, right? That means that I could use a lens for day and another lens for night and easily mount the IR lights. Am I right? I never did anything like that to a camera, so I think that this will be the best choice for a newbie
 
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elchivatto

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Oh, can you share a link to see how to remove the gitup F1 lens and replace it? Thank you!
 

kamkar

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I am not sure how easy it is to remove the IR filter from the back of the lens, they are normally glued in place, but i have never tried to remove the IR cut filter from a lens like action and dash cameras use.
I have always just gotten new lenses without the IR cur filter ( actually those are by far the easiest to find as that is what is used in CCTV cameras where the active IR filter are on the socket you screw the lens into )
But i am sure you can find guides on youtube about how to remove the little pice of glass the IR filter are.
The IR cut filter are often a square pice of glass, in some cases it cam also be round.
Here you can see a lens, where you can see the purple IR cut filter on the back end of the lens.


Here is a picture how a active IR cut filter can look in a CCTV camera, they do come in a few different shapes but in general its the same.
Put power to the little plug and the filter engage for daytime mode, cut the power and a little spring disengage the IR filter so the CCTV camera can see its IR light.


OBS: IR cut filters can also appear blue in color, i think it depend som in what angle the picture is taken and the kind of lens used on the camera that took the picture.
 

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I think the F1 would be ideal here, but getting the right lens without knowing exactly what the factory uses might be a case of try and try again. PM "Viofo" here on the forums and he might give you the lens specs.

Phil
 
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