Check Out This Infrared Drone

We've seen infrared-modified cameras before, but not like this.

Philip Bloom has always had an affinity for modding his cameras to see infrared light, by removing the filter designed to block the wavelength. The additional light drastically affects the colors. Most importantly, it doesn't require any post production to do this.

The drone used here was an DJI Mavic 2 Pro. It was modified by Kolari Vision. In fact, you can even purchase modded versions of it right on their website, including IR lens filter kits. Reassuringly, they claim that “All conversions include a professional focus re-calibration to infinity.” Bloom also did a small comparison between a regular drone, the infrared drone, and an infrared LUT. It's pretty obvious why you'd turn to Kolari Vision for the real deal.

Another smashing Infrared video from Bloom, this time with the Sony RX100 IV.

I can't see DJI selling a drone like this, but one use case comes to mind. Since the sensor is getting more light poured onto it, the low light performance benefits. This could have industrial purposes — although DJI already sports a “Radiometric FLIR® Thermal Sensor” on an enterprise version of the Mavic 2, and Zenmuse XT cameras.

Still, my favorite use case of this was from Irish artist and photographer, Richard Mosse. He juxtaposed war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo with the pretty, luminous, colors from a discontinued Kodak film. In my eyes, Mosse's documentary is an art form that is entirely separate to documentary. It’s the creative use of infrared that pushes the subject beyond reality.

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3 Comments

ANDREW WILDER's picture

Why are all of the shots with water reversed?

Maybe a play off of the reverse green from the infrared?

Joe Black's picture

Most interesting drone footage I’ve seen in a a while