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Wild Films Ltd

Night Vision Camera for Wildlife

What You Ought to Know About Night Vision Cameras For Wildlife

Night vision has been around for a long time.

These days, beyond its original uses (go here to check out our post on the history of night vision), ‘night cameras’, or night vision cameras, are used for filming in, for all intents and purposes, totally dark conditions – and the technology is particularly useful for filming wildlife. So, if you have any wildlife film ideas, it’s a good idea to factor in how you’re going to use night vision.

Night cameras for wildlife have gotten extraordinarily popular. 

At Wild Films, we have a modified Sony FX3 Night Vision Camera for Wildlife – built specifically for that purpose (and is a totally unique piece of kit). it allows full spectrum filming (at least until physicists can figure out the rest of the light wavelengths) with UV and infrared on board.

Why Night Vision Cameras?

Even though night vision technology has been around for a long time, there has been significant changes in the way that cameras are built, modified and used.

Where video cameras are made of plastic casing, metal and are usually wired up, and can risk having a lot of saturation and noise in the image (and all of that gets reflected off the subject too) —  the best night vision cameras for wildlife can be completely quiet, and be powered by batteries. 

If necessary, the sensor can be very small – but the quality might not be as good. Sometimes these cameras can be put in static positions inside bird boxes, fox dens, hedgehog burrows/nests or as a common ‘wildlife’ filming example – keeping on eye on kennels and shelters. These ‘pocket camera’ or ‘jacket cams’ are very similar to the night vision cameras you see being used by police officers and security staff, usually worn on their person, or in CCTV and security cameras themselves. With these smaller night vision cameras, because the sensor is small, the depth of field is narrower – much, much more focused than a normal video camera.

The technology in high-end night vision cameras, like our modified Sony FX3 night vision camera, or of course in the popular natural history thermal imaging camera, the Pulsar Helion XP50 have much better sensors and have hugely improved night vision exponentially since the tech was invented, so these cameras are capable of capturing much more detail in dark conditions than ever before.

What is Night Vision?

Simply stated, night vision is a camera that operates at a higher sensitivity level than the human eye. At these wavelengths, it sees clearly in the dark.

Night vision cameras or night vision cameras use either daylight or infrared lights to illuminate their scene and capture what’s in front of the camera. Daylight cameras also use special lenses to capture the scene with more depth. Infrared lights are useful for night vision because they can pick up on heat. This can be especially important if a predator is nearby…

Night Vision Cameras for Wildlife

We run our Night Vision Camera shoot scenes with our Sony FX3 Night Camera for Wildlife.

The camera itself is not light sensitive, so it won’t suffer the drawbacks that come with a traditional camera, such as dynamic range loss, aberration and noise, etc. The camera is essentially useless without this set up.

This helps us as natural history filmmakers to display the world of wildlife at night – this is something you can achieve too.

It’s all about filming what you would normally never be able to see in the time of day.

Conclusion

Unless you have a specific mission or purpose, night vision cameras are a great addition to your wildlife filmmaking arsenal, and something that can be employed for wildlife observation, natural history documentary production, and even in conservation or wildlife protection work.

The Sony FX3 Night Vision Camera for Wildlife is super helpful for filming wildlife at night. It’s not every day you get to add such a unique piece of equipment to your filmmaking kit!

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