Sony A100 Digital Camera Infrared Photography Test

We test an unmodified Sony A100 dSLR camera with a Hoya R72 IR filter to see how it performs for infrared photography.
The Sony A100 is an interesting camera in many ways. We wanted to see how it performed in the infrared part of the spectrum.

Sony A100 Digital Camera
To do this we took a Sony A100 out with the standard kit lens and a heavy duty Manfrotto tripod. We used a Hoya R72 infrared filter to shoot a series of tests.

Sony A100 Digital Camera
A RAW image, 30 seconds, f5.6 and 100ISO

Sony A100 Digital Camera
The Red channel

Sony A100 Digital Camera
The Green Channel

Sony A100 Digital Camera
The Blue Channel

The obvious thing you can see from the above unprocessed channel images is that, compared to other cameras we have tested, the Sony A100’s Bayer filter (and perhaps the IR blocking filter) interact very differently with the Hoya R72’s filtration than we are used to seeing. The green channel is very underexposed, yet with most other digital cameras this is our preferred channel to use.

Below we show the above channels processed in Photoshop to stretch the exposure histogram as much as possible whilst minimising clipping.

Sony A100 Digital Camera
Red

Sony A100 Digital Camera
Green

Sony A100 Digital Camera
Blue

Now to look at image noise we took a series of shots at varying ISO and show you the red channel. Please note that our favored test location has willow trees and in some shots becaus eof high winds at the time there are blurred willow branches in the shot. This doesn’t detract from the ability to judge image noise.

Sony A100 Digital Camera
100ISO 15 sec f3.5

Sony A100 Digital Camera
200ISO 8 sec f3.5

Sony A100 Digital Camera
400ISO 4 sec f3.5

Sony A100 Digital Camera
800ISO 2 sec f3.5

Sony A100 Digital Camera
1600ISO 1 sec f3.5

As you can see, even though the exposure duration is reducing as we go to higher ISO settings, the noise level still ramps up very quickly. Now noise is not necessarily bad, and can be used for great creative effect, you just need to know how your camera behaves.

The Sony A100 is certainly capable for taking some interesting IR shots. Some of the following images were taken from the red channel and some from the green.

Sony A100 Digital Camera
Red channel

Sony A100 Digital Camera
Red channel

Sony A100 Digital Camera
Red channel

Sony A100 Digital Camera
Green channel

Sony A100 Digital Camera
Green Channel

3 Replies to “Sony A100 Digital Camera Infrared Photography Test”

  1. HI, I am using an unmodified Sony A100, with a Hoya R72 IR filter. the problem that I am having is that inspite of everything that I try I am not getting any IR type pics? I have even had exposures of up to 10 mins, and I am gettng nothing more than a reddish tinge? Please advise.

  2. Put the camera in manual mode, fit the filter, try f4 and 30 seconds at 100ISO, full sun and outdoors. The result should look something like the first IR image here. Cover the eyepiece if you can to stop light leaks and put on a good tripod. Either use a remote or the self timer.

  3. Put the camera in manual mode, fit the filter, try f4 and 30 seconds at 100ISO, full sun and outdoors. The result should look something like the first IR image here. Cover the eyepiece if you can to stop light leaks and put on a good tripod. Either use a remote or the self timer.

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