Canon 30D Digital Camera Infrared Photography Performance

We test the Canon 300D for infrared photography use, unmodified, using a Hoya R72 filter.
The Canon 30D camera is a capable camera. But how does it go shooting infrared using a Hoya R72 filter.

Canon 30D

Canon 30D

To test it out we went out with the camera, the Hoya R72 filter, a Canon 17-35mm f2.8 L series lens and a good tripod and cable release. Weather was sunny but with high cloud.

Canon 30D Infrared Photography
This the RAW image straight from the camera.

Canon 30D Infrared Photography
With a bit of processing you can get this.

So let’s look in more detail at the images that result from using different ISO settings.

100SIO (30 seconds at f2.8)

Canon 30D Infrared Photography
Red

Canon 30D Infrared Photography
Green

Canon 30D Infrared Photography
Blue


3200ISO (1 second at f2.8)

Canon 30D Infrared Photography
Red

Canon 30D Infrared Photography
Green

Canon 30D Infrared Photography
Blue

As you can see, the IR blocking filter in the 30D is very efficient, so the green and blue channels (that have no visible light contribution) are quite under exposed. Only the Red, which the R72 filter allows some visible red to contribute to, is well exposed. This camera thus needs lots of exposure to shoot IR unmodified.

The images below look at the image noise in the Red channel at varying ISO settings:

100ISO 30 seconds at f2.8
Canon 30D Infrared Photography

200ISO 15 seconds at f2.8
Canon 30D Infrared Photography

400ISO 8 seconds at f2.8
Canon 30D Infrared Photography

800ISO 4 seconds at f2.8
Canon 30D Infrared Photography

1600ISO 2 seconds at f2.8
Canon 30D Infrared Photography

3200ISO 1 second at f2.8
Canon 30D Infrared Photography

You can see that even though the exposures are getting shorter as we raise ISO, the noise rises quickly

However, if you give plenty of exposure and keep off the higher ISO settings you can still get some great shots with this camera.

Canon 30D Infrared Photography

Canon 30D Infrared Photography

Canon 30D Infrared Photography

Canon 30D Infrared Photography

Canon 30D Infrared Photography

Canon 30D Infrared Photography

So if you have a 30D you should certainly give IR a go.

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