NIR Camera vs RGB Camera Conversion

Hello everyone.

We are looking to develop a UAV for crop surveying where the stress identification will be performed mainly by an infrared camera. We are not looking to spent too much money on the sensor and have been considering modifying a normal RGB camera. Are there any major advantages for using an off-the-shelf infrared camera vs getting a normal camera converted? 


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    • Thanks so much Knut, very useful information. We will look to use a modified Canon to start off with. 

    • Fyi - here is quite a bit of spectral response data from MaxMax.

      Disclaimer: I neither work for nor profit from MaxMax, but I do develop NDVI software.

      Camera Technical
  • The are companies that sell already modifies GoPro cameras form NIR. The advantage of using one of these is that they are not that expensive and you have access to all of the standard GoPro gimbals and other equipment. 

  • It was unclear from the way you asked the question whether or not you were aware that you need a visible AND a NIR band to calculate NDVI. Having both on one sensor makes image processing much easier. Be careful of "IR" conversions that only take out the NIR blocking filter. You also have to block red, and the high end of NIR. If you need good data it is worth getting a camera from a professional with a good track record. is well proven. Event 38 may be worth looking at too.

    • Baie dankie Deon! We are aware that we need both types of sensor, however we were considering mounting the two cameras on a single gimbal. We do need good data and both options you suggested look great. Would you happen to know of any South African alternatives, or places where we could get the conversions done locally? 

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