Friday, 21 August 2015

Starlight Board Camera

I decided to invest in a low light board video camera to see how much it could see at night;


It works on 12V and has a 1/2 inch CMOS sensor producing 800TVL (TV lines) and comes with two 3.5mm wide angle lenses. One with IR filter and one without. I used the one without and a small amount of digital zoom. Stated sensitivity is 0.00008 LUX. Size is near 1.5 inch (38mm) square.

Fading daylight:
Snapshot Cal 150807_0000

Snapshot Cal 150807_0007

For comparison this is what the Nikon could see about the same time:
Screenshot 2015-08-08

Set it up looking through the kitchen window. Connected to the MacBook via a EzCap video capture device and saved some video every so often. With such a wide angle lens the bats look very small but the camera saw more activity than I did with the naked eye. Easier to see them with the video at full screen. As can be seen by the final clip it gets very noisy when the light level get too low.

I may be able to improve things. The camera comes with another board which has five push buttons. Once plugged in the main board it gives access to a menu to control video gain, contrast, etc..  There are various ghostly apparitions reflected in the window - me and an automatic light which detects movement in the kitchen.


  1. It's not too bad. It does seem a bit soft but then it's not a big job to sharpen in post.

  2. Adrian: Maybe two things re the softness - IR and visible light usually have different focal points. A very wide angle lens gives a lot of data to resolve on a small sensor.

    1. John , never thought of that... I ought to have done as I have plenty of lenses marked up with IR. I have never used IR film or digital it always looks a bit weird.

  3. Very nice! There's a lot going on outside that we just don't get to see with our eyes.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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