Night vision can be a great feature if you’re shooting nature footage, or if you’re using your camera for some kind of security setup. Or, indeed, if you’re friends with Scooby Doo and you want to get footage of some ghosts. It’s kind of amusing to skeptics to see how many of these devices market themselves as “ghost hunting” cameras, but the fact is that whatever the reason you have for wanting night vision, there is a camera with night vision for you.
One major factor when choosing a video camera or camcorder is its night vision capabilities. Night vision is commonly measured in terms of “minimum lux.” This refers to the minimum amount of light needed for the lens and image enhancers to produce a visible image. Top quality camcorder with infrared night vision requires as little as 0.0001 lux or the amount of ambient light available in a cloudy or a moonless night.
For those that just want a camera with night vision, you will want to look at what others have said online. These reviews give you a good idea of what is the best camcorder for you. Below are a few for you to review and perhaps get you started.
What Is a Camcorder with Night Vision?
To understand how night vision camcorders work, we have to understand the technology first. Night vision technology provides users with some vision in total darkness and improved vision in low-light environments.
The most common applications include surveillance, night security camera, night driving or flying, wildlife observation, and search and rescue. The military often uses night vision technology, but the technology is also applied for recreational purposes, like use on home video cameras or during night hiking. Camcorders with night vision are sold in many stores today, and significant electronic brands offer different models with night vision technology.
There are two ways night vision cameras work, one uses passive infrared light, and the other amplifies existing light.
Active night vision systems. It involves a camera and a bright light that beams near-infrared radiation to the surrounding area The camera with this system is sensitive to this light and picks it up.
Passive night vision systems. This system uses an image intensifier tube in amplifying existing light. Particles of light hit a grid then the grid produce electrons travel through a vacuum chamber with a voltage applied across it. The voltage drop causes the electrons to accelerate through the tube and hit a phosphor screen. The collision with the phosphorous screen produces visible light that can be seen with the naked eye.
Best Camcorder for the Money
The Bell and Howell DNV16HDZ-BL is a pretty decent camera in its own right, with full HD and a 10x optical zoom. But The infrared night vision is really high quality on this and there are plenty of test videos on the internet that show you the slightly teal-tinted night vision mode. Night vision footage is impressively clear and crisp with well-defined
Reviewers even comment on how well the night vision works and say that it is “amazing”. They do caution that the battery is not removable and once it can no longer be charged, the camera will not be useful. The Bell and Howell Camcorder with Night Vision is a strong contender for those on a budget.
Top-Rated Camcorder on the Market
It’s also possible to just buy a regular camcorder with night mode, although there are a few features you need to keep an eye out for, such as the sensitivity of the CMOS. The Canon VIXIA HF G10 is a pretty superb camera in its own right, with not only the ability to shoot in IR mode but also the ability to capture regular images in extremely low-light conditions. And because of the 1/3″ 2.37 megapixel CMOS Pro sensor, low light situations, and night vision videos are handled well.
The HD CMOS Pro uses pixels that are approximately 61% larger, giving it a terrific performance when other cameras would simply show you a black screen. When you’re not shooting night footage, it’s an exceptional piece of kit with superb quality, an excellent lens, great build quality and 32gb of flash memory included.
The Canon digital camcorder with night vision is a bit bulky (measuring 3.5 x 3.0625 x 6.375 inches) and heavy, weighing in at 20.8 ounces with the battery. A lot of its weight is due to the camera’s most attractive features including the substantial wide-angle lens, 32GB of onboard storage, 1/3″ CMOS sensor. But despite the larger size and weight, it’s still relatively comfortable to hold.
Consumers report that the Vixia Canon Camcorder With Night Vision is of prosumer quality as the picture, color and image are excellent. They mention that even in low light, you still get a decent picture.
Best Prosumer Video Camera on the Market
If you really want to break into the professional ghost hunting market, the Panasonic AG DVC 30 is a reasonably priced prosumer model that has actually been used on the TV show Ghost Hunters. This model has an outstanding Zero Lux IR mode that offers pretty much unparalleled night footage. A great feature here is that it shoots in crisp black and white, rather than the teals and greens found on other models.
Although small, this camera gives a solid feel with its magnesium-alloy chassis gives it a nice solid feel and its 2.4 pounds balance well in your hand when shooting high definition and in night vision mode.
It’s also got a nighttime range of 16ft, plus a 16x optical zoom. The Panasonic camcorder with night vision camera also includes the same A/D converter and RGB gamma processor used in the popular AG-DVX100A, which is regarded as one of the industry’s leading DV cameras. It’s a really impressive camera in so many ways and is perfect for night shooting, but the most impressive feature is the price: it is an absolute bargain.
You will need to purchase an IR light separately to get the best results, but if you’re serious about ghost hunting then you will probably already have one. The makers of this camera claim that it’s also suitable for Bigfoot research, so you can cover a whole range of paranormal footage with it.