Infrared Sensitivity Comparisons

On this page I want to compare the ability of various cameras to take infrared pictures.
Thanks to all who lent me their cameras or data, please visit their sites.

If you are irritated by the different filter names, see my filter page for glass designation and more info.

Read here, why white balance might affect IR sensitivity.

Make         Camera                  Filter         lightloss [EV] comments more info
Canon PowerShot G1 89B (715nm) -8.9 shot in b&w Steve
Canon PowerShot S2 R72 -9.7   here
Canon PowerShot S3 R72 -10.3   here
Powershot S50 Hoya R72 -10.2?   here
Powershot S60 Hoya R72 -10.3   here
PowerShot Pro70 Hoya R72 -7.9   here
PowerShot S110 = Canon Ixus v Heliopan 715nm -10.7 needs "manual" mode here
Powershot A200 Heliopan 715nm -11.6 needs "manual" mode here
PowerShot S330 = Canon Ixus 330 Heliopan 715nm -10.4 needs "manual" mode here
Ixus 500 Heliopan 715nm -9.3   Daniel
Powershot A510 Heliopan 715nm -9.3   Daniel
Powershot A540 Heliopan 715nm -7.8   here
Powershot A620 Hoya R72 -10.7 needs "manual" mode here
300D = Digital Rebel Hoya R72 -13.3   here
List of various lenses and their suitability for IR imaging mattchase
Fuji / FujiFilm
FinePix F11 Hoya R72 -8.4   here
FinePix E550 Heliopan 715nm -9.3   here
FinePix S602 Heliopan 715nm -9.5   here
FinePix 4700 Heliopan 715nm -9.1   here
FinePix S7000 Hoya R72 -11.2   here
FinePix S9500 Hoya R72 -12.5   here
FinePix IS-1 850nm
B+W 041 orange
No. 25 Red
"factory-modded" here
FinePix S3pro Heliopan 715nm -11.7   here
Jendigital JD 5.2z3 Heliopan 715nm -7.9 nice here
DC4800 Hoya R72 -6.2   here
Z740 Hoya R72 -10.4   here
P850 Hoya R72 -8.9   here
Maxxum 5D Hoya R72 -14.0   here
Z-20 Hoya R72 -12.65   here
DC2050 Heliopan 715nm -9.0   here
D7 Heliopan 715nm -7.5 hot spot almost invisible here
D7IR (modded) Heliopan 715nm -2.6 hot spot visible here
A1 Heliopan 715nm -13.0 good info on Daniel's page-> Daniel
Hoya R72 A200 -13.0 forget it here
2300 Heliopan 715nm -5.0   Daniel
CoolPix 950 Hoya  R72 720nm
Tiffen  87 780nm
B+W  093 830nm
all converted to grayscale "scho"??
CoolPix 2100 Heliopan 715nm -10.2   here
CoolPix 5400 Cokin 007 -7.0   here
CoolPix 5700 ? ~720nm
Hoya  R72 720nm
  Ed Knepley
CoolPix 8400 Schott 715nm glass -10.6 Seems like a HotSpot + filter prob.? here
D2x Wr. 89B 720nm
Wr. 87C 850nm
~ -10
~ -15
  Bjørn Rørslett
D50 R72
OEC 720nm
OEC 850nm
~ -7
Very sensitive here
D70 ??
Hoya R72
sharp! Ed Knepley
D100 R72
µ mini Heliopan 715nm -8.7   Daniel
X-2, C-50Z Heliopan 715nm -8.5   here
X-200, D-560Z, C-350 Heliopan 715nm -10.7   here
FE110, X705 Heliopan 715nm -6.7   here
C300Z, D550Z Heliopan 715nm -9.9   here
750 Hoya R72 -9.6   here
770 Heliopan 715nm -11.1 Get that tripod out. here
2000 Hoya R72 720nm -6.7 very nice colours here
2020 Heliopan 715nm
Hoya R72 720nm
very nice colours here
2040 Hoya R72 715nm -9.6   here
2040IR (modded) Heliopan 720nm -2.3   here
2100 Hoya R72 -6.2
a bit too magenta
-0.7 exp. comp.
3000 Wratten 70 665nm ~-7 not really IR, but daaark red Wrotniak
3040 Heliopan 715nm -9.0   here
4040 Heliopan 715nm -11.0
Great manual controls might save your day. here
5050 Hoya R72 720nm -11.5
5060 Hoya R72 720nm -11.2   Wrotniak
7000 Hoya R72 720nm -8.7   here
8080 Hoya R72 720nm -13.5   here
E-1 Heliopan 715nm
Heliopan 780nm
E-10 Hoya R72 720nm -11.6 Pro camera means strong filter Wrotniak
E-100RS Hoya R72 -6.7 extremely red. Same scene as the Uzi, but metered much brighter in visible light! rrawzz
E-300 Hoya R72 720nm
Tiffen #87 780nm
info in all RGB channels Wrotniak
DMC-LC5 Hoya R72 -6.3   here
FZ7 Heliopan 715nm -9.6   here
FX01 Hoya R72 -7   here
*ist DL Heliopan 715nm -6.0 very sensitive dSLR here
*ist DS Heliopan 715nm -6.7 very sensitive dSLR here
*ist DS IR Hoya R72
noname 950nm
modded camera Thomas
K100D Hoya R72 -7.4 sensitive + SR here
K10D Hoya R72
noname 950nm
Optio S60 Heliopan 715nm -8.4   here
Optio 330 Heliopan 715nm -9.8   here
Ricoh Caplio GX Heliopan 715nm -7.6
Fairly sensitive here
Ricoh Caplio GX8 Fuji SC-72 -10.8 hotspot Fukuhara
Rollei Prego da3 Heliopan 715nm -9.2 lowest cost digicam here
GX-1S Heliopan 715nm -5.7 ~Pentax *ist DS2 here
DSC-D770 Heliopan 715nm -10.2 "Pseudo" SLR with great control here
Mavica FD200 Hoya R72 -9   here
DSC-H1 Hoya R72 -10.0   here
DSC-R1 Hoya R72 ~ -11   here
DSC-S50 Heliopan 715nm -8.0 nice images but strange semi-manual modes. here
DSC-P32 Hoya R72 -10.7   Daniel
DSC-P93 Hoya R72 -11   here
Mavica MVC FD-88  Slowest shutter: 1/30, dark lens, low ISO = useless for IR :(
TCM (?)
3MegaCam Heliopan 715nm _very_ sensitive here
Bazoo Heliopan 715nm -7.4   here
5M DigitalCAM Heliopan 715nm -7.9   here

If you want to contribute to this table (which would be great) you can do the following:
  1. Choose a normal subject (no macro, neither extremely bright nor extremely dark). Landscapes are great.
  2. you don't have to use a tripod. If the picture is blurred that is okay!
  3. turn off the camera flash
  4. For comparison purposes it would be nice (but not necessary) if you could set your camera to automatic white balance.
  5. take one shot without the IR-pass filter
  6. if the IR image is too dark, switch to night-mode or overexpose until it seems ok.
  7. immediately after that take one shot with the IR-pass filter (preferably a Hoya 72R, a Heliopan 715nm or similar) capturing the same scenery
  8. do not process the pictures in any way
  9. sent both pictures to the email address on my contact page
  10. do not forget to specify the name of the filter
I will then post your pictures with full detail as shown in the table(s) below. I will normally include your eMail adress as a spam-proof picture (as on my contact page). If you don't want to, please tell me so, I then will only give a brief credit. If you run a site with your own pictures, I'll just post the light loss here and a link to your site. (Like I did with Wrotniak's very nice IR page.)
Gisle's IR page might also be of interest to you: He lists average daylight exposure values.

Some remarks about the comparison pictures:
Using fixed ISO and aperture priority is a mixed bag when comparing sensitivity. Reason:
1. Cameras only have a fixed set of shutter times and apertures. There are (usually) no values in between. But when using auto ISO most cameras are in fact able to set the ISO value to values between the fixed ones. For example when the 2020 allows ISO 100 and ISO 200, then Auto-ISO can select ISO 130. This of course makes exposure very adjustable. Setting to a fixed ISO makes getting the right exposure more difficult for the camera and thus hinders comparison. It might even be that the camera uses not exactly the chosen ISO, but a slightly different value and does not show it correctly in the EXIF data. For pretty much the same reason, aperture priority is a bad idea.
2. However, there is one situation when fixed ISO is the way to go: Sometimes, the sensitivity between ISO 100 and 200 (for example) of a camera is not doubled. Then you should use fixed ISO to make sure that the EV remains comparable. With some cameras, the potential error resulting from wrong ISO naming is very large. Conclusion: If you are not sure, use fixed ISO and auto mode for shutter and aperture.
Actual exposure value (aEV) tells you how much light was available to the CCD chip / film. It is similar to the traditional exposure value (EV) and light value (LV) but takes the film speed into account. I find it much more useful than the traditional EV. When I first posted this site in the start of 2004, I could only find around two sites promoting the inclusion of the ISO value. Now, in October 2004 I see that has a nice EV calculator
which computes EV and includes ISO. So from now on, I'll call it EV, too - and drop the "a".
Exposure Value computes as:
EV = log2[Aperture2/exposureTime * (100/ISOspeed) ]
EV=0 corresponds to (for example) a 1 second exposure with an 100 ISO film (or your digital camera set to ISO 100 equivalent) and an 1:1.0 lens. The famous Leica Noctilux (pdf link) would be usable. Excuse me, but I have to salivate each time I see this marvellous lens.
For a translation of EV into words, see the table provided by

In the table above, I have listed the light loss, the difference between the EV with/without IR filter. If you want more details, click on the link(s) in the "more" column - each camera has at least a page on my site showing at least the two pictures with/without IR pass filter and their EXIF data.

What to learn from this?
  1. Nothing beats the 2040IR in infrared sensitivity with its extremely fast lens.
  2. Some cheap digicams can provide great results
  3. Only the early 2MP cams (Nikon 950 and especially Olympus 2000/2020) give great results with automatic white balance. More info here
  4. The D7/D7IR show the feared hotspot - though only midly.
  5. The modified cameras see so much IR that the removal of visible light has only about a 3 stop effect on exposure time.
  6. Modded cameras have a dramatically fast shutter speed when used for visible and IR light at the same time.

Please note: ISO on digital cameras is only an equivalent of film ISO. If you buy for example a Kodak ISO 100 film and a Fuji ISO 100 film, you can be very sure that they need the same amount of light to expose to the same degree. Sadly, manufacturers of digital cameras are less exact. You cannot be sure that ISO 100 on a Minolta is the same as ISO 100 on a Sony! You cannot even be sure that one manufacturer's camera model is the same as another. It is for example apparent that the D7 is more sensitive than the Olympus 2020. Thus, the ISO 100 of the D7 is not exactly equal to the ISO 100 of the Olympus.

copyright 2004...06 by