A few years back we did a project where we converted a digital camera to be sensitive to infrared. This was not as difficult as one would imagine.
The camera was small and the images were pretty low resolution. It was a good first attempt, but we wanted to try converting a camera with a bit more capabilities. Looking around, we realized we had a collection of Canon S-100s laying around. We could take one apart to see what would be involved. It would not be a problem if we messed up as we could just save it for spare parts!
Taking things apart is easy. Putting them back together is a whole different story. The one lesson we learned from all of our years of "seeing how things work" is to make a map of which screw came from where. Trust us, you will NOT remember.
Taking the Canon S100 apart was relatively straightforward. There were a LOT of tiny screws, plenty of flat cables, and some pretty interesting engineering. However, once we found all of the key structural points, the pieces came apart easily. The trickiest part was opening up the lens assembly. The housing is part of the zoom mechanism. There a few gears which must be placed in the proper order to get it all working again. We are not completely sure how difficult that will be. The big problem is that there will be no way to tell until EVERYTHING has been put back together.
Once we had the lens assembly opened and the CCD freed, we realized we didn't have to approach it from that direction to get at the IR filter! The CCD was accessible from the back. Three screws held it in place. From this approach, we could skip a large part of the disassembly process. All of a sudden, this project appears a lot more doable.
Here is a photo of the complete disassembly of the Canon S100 camera. Nothing was forced and no parts were broken during the tear down. We are pretty confident we can put it all back together again. We are going to review our notes, gather the various filters for the project, and attempt the IR conversion. Anyone else game? [Permalink] - S100 IR Conversion