Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Digital Camera Infrared Photography Tests

We test the Canon 450D for its infrared photography capability in this review.
The Canon 450D/Rebel XSi is the latest iteration in this well received digital camera series of models. Starting with the 300D, and going through the 350D and 400D, this has been a hugely popular series for Canon is excellent image quality and other features at a good price.

For this test series we took a 450D out into the field with a tripod, cable release and a Hoya R-72 infrared filter. The images below illustrate the range of false color you can get with this camera. Unfortunately the hot filter in the camera is quite strong, and so your full sun exposures lie in the 30 seconds at f4 and 100ISO area. With an R-72 filter and this camera there is roughly a two stop exposure difference between the red channel and the green/blue channels.

Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi
Default Adobe ACR version

Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi
After a Hue adjustment

Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi
After doing levels individually on each channel

Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

Below we have 100% sections of the center of the image at varying ISO.
100ISO
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

200ISO
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

400ISO
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

800ISO
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

1600ISO
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

You can see that noise is quite well controlled in this camera and is very useable up to 1600ISO.

To further help you in making your shooting decisions with this camera, I’ve included below 100% sections for the red and green channels at three ISO settings.

100ISO
Red
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

Green
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

400ISO
Red
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

Green
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

1600ISO
Red
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

Green
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

From the three shots below you can see that you can get quite different renderings between the three channels if you are seeking a monochrome image. All work, it is a question of which you prefer.

Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

Red
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

Green
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

Blue
Infrared photography with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

The 450D is an excellent camera for infrared shooting. Unfortunately the Live View does not work in infrared, which is a shame. But apart from t
his the 450D works well in infrared. If you have a 450D, give infrared shooting a go.

Infrared photogra<br />
phy with the Canon 450D or Rebel XSi

A sample RAW file is available over on the RAW infrared photography samples page.

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12 Responses to “Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Digital Camera Infrared Photography Tests”

  1. RoundFebruary 22, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    Just a note…

    The article “Canon 450D/Rebel XSi Digital Camera Infrared Photography Tests” contains no information. Problem or removed?

  2. WayneFebruary 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    Fixed. The RAW files will be up by tomorrow.
    Thanks for the note.

  3. Claire GrimshawJuly 1, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    My pictures are coming up black, does this mean my exposures aren’t long enough? Do I have to set it manually? I got the impression my camera would set the shutter speed to that required for the correct exposure, is this wrong? You’d recommend ISO 100, f4, 30s as a starting point?
    Thanks in advance
    Claire

  4. ShaunSeptember 21, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    awesome! this is a lot of help!

  5. ShaunSeptember 21, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    awesome! this is a lot of help!

  6. NeufJuly 8, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Interesting. I have the Xsi and have difficulties pulling off a good IR photo – shooting in RAW. I’ve read other articles that say this camera doesn’t shoot well in IR. I’m using a 720nm filter but it’s not a Hoya, as they are a little too pricey for me. Maybe my filter is the problem? Will play around with it some more.

    • Wayne CosshallJuly 10, 2012 at 7:46 am #

      The key is lots of exposure. With a 720nm filter the red color channel will get much more exposure than the green and blue, so expect very red images that will need to be converted to mono in Photoshop, probably just using the Red channel. Also make sure you cover the eyepiece to avoid light leakage. I haven’t seen this on a Canon, but you never know. Use manual exposure, 30 seconds, widest aperture and 100ISO as a starting point and adjust from there.

      • NeufJuly 10, 2012 at 8:25 am #

        Thanks, Wayne. I’ve tried long exposures but they end up so noisy they’re useless. I’ll keep plugging away.

        • Wayne CosshallJuly 10, 2012 at 8:30 am #

          Make sure you have the ISO set to 100ISO, not Auto. Also shoot in RAW as there is no sharpening applied to the image automatically.

          • NeufJuly 10, 2012 at 8:43 am #

            I do shoot in RAW. I thought I had tried all ISO settings but I’m going out again tomorrow to try again. I’d love to get the results you get, especially those three photos of that small pond.

  7. WayneJuly 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    Auto exposure with many digitals does that. Go to manual, try 15 sec, f4 (ish) and 100ISo and look at the result with the histogram display turned on. Adjust accordingly.

    Remember IR levels can vary a lot depending on cloud cover, etc.

  8. WayneJuly 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    Auto exposure with many digitals does that. Go to manual, try 15 sec, f4 (ish) and 100ISo and look at the result with the histogram display turned on. Adjust accordingly.

    Remember IR levels can vary a lot depending on cloud cover, etc.

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