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    BisectedBrioche's Avatar

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    Default What parts of the spectrum do electronic cameras pick up?

    The other day I was taking a photo of my hob (an induction hob that glows red to show it's on), and the entire image was oversaturated because my phone's camera was (I'm guessing) picking up some non-visible light.

    Can anyone think of any other examples of this? Because it's kinda neat.
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    Default Re: What parts of the spectrum do electronic cameras pick up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bisected8 View Post
    The other day I was taking a photo of my hob (an induction hob that glows red to show it's on), and the entire image was oversaturated because my phone's camera was (I'm guessing) picking up some non-visible light.

    Can anyone think of any other examples of this? Because it's kinda neat.
    Common camera sensors can pick up UV to a certain extent and infrared light. Infrared photography is even its very own thing.
    Last edited by Iruka; 2020-02-27 at 10:03 AM.


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    Default Re: What parts of the spectrum do electronic cameras pick up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iruka View Post
    Common camera sensors can pick up UV to a certain extent and infrared light. Infrared photography is even its very own thing.
    The sensors can. But some cameras filter one, the other, or both out to a greater or lesser degree.

    A fun test is to use a smartphone/tablet camera or webcam to look at the end of an infrared remote control while pressing its buttons.
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    Default Re: What parts of the spectrum do electronic cameras pick up?

    Yeah, I've done that with my phone camera, and you can see the light on the remote control blinking through the phone camera even though you can't see it directly. Most stuff outside the visible spectrum gets blocked by the glass used in camera lenses, though, which is why you need to get specially built ones in order to view stuff in the far infrared or ultra-violet.

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    Default Re: What parts of the spectrum do electronic cameras pick up?

    I wonder what materials they use for lenses. For some scientific instruments they have lens covers and container windows that are transparent to the wavelengths they are looking for, but completely opaque for visible light.
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    Default Re: What parts of the spectrum do electronic cameras pick up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iruka View Post
    Common camera sensors can pick up UV to a certain extent and infrared light. Infrared photography is even its very own thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by gomipile View Post
    The sensors can. But some cameras filter one, the other, or both out to a greater or lesser degree.

    A fun test is to use a smartphone/tablet camera or webcam to look at the end of an infrared remote control while pressing its buttons.
    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Yeah, I've done that with my phone camera, and you can see the light on the remote control blinking through the phone camera even though you can't see it directly. Most stuff outside the visible spectrum gets blocked by the glass used in camera lenses, though, which is why you need to get specially built ones in order to view stuff in the far infrared or ultra-violet.
    That's pretty cool. Shame there aren't any more practical purposes for it without more specialised equipment.
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    Default Re: What parts of the spectrum do electronic cameras pick up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bisected8 View Post
    That's pretty cool. Shame there aren't any more practical purposes for it without more specialised equipment.
    Well, lots of security cameras use near-infrared LEDs for illumination in the dark. If by "specialised" you meant "expensive," many of them are pretty cheap.
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    Default Re: What parts of the spectrum do electronic cameras pick up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Azog View Post
    I always thought that cameras can pick up the whole spectrum unlike our eyes.
    No camera we have created can see the entire electromagnetic spectrum. We have different types of cameras that can cover just about the entire spectrum, but each type of camera only covers a set range of the spectrum.
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    Default Re: What parts of the spectrum do electronic cameras pick up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    No camera we have created can see the entire electromagnetic spectrum. We have different types of cameras that can cover just about the entire spectrum, but each type of camera only covers a set range of the spectrum.
    And some of them are not very camera like. For example, the Very Large Array is a camera for radio waves (well, microwaves), but it doesn't have a nice array of pixels anywhere in its signal path. In fact, up until the data gets turned into a picture, it looks like nothing special.
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    Default Re: What parts of the spectrum do electronic cameras pick up?

    Quote Originally Posted by gomipile View Post
    Well, lots of security cameras use near-infrared LEDs for illumination in the dark. If by "specialised" you meant "expensive," many of them are pretty cheap.
    I meant more like "have to go out of your way to find and own". A lot of specialised things cost the same as their more general counterparts (or don't cost a lot when the alternative is "nothing"), but you just won't get them unless you need them.

    Specialised screwdrivers, for example.
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