Camera Confusion

Written by: Amber Atteberry


Full spectrum cameras, thermal cameras, night vision, IR, SLS… There are many kinds of cameras available to the paranormal investigator. But what does each camera do, what do these terms mean,and how are they useful in ghost hunting? Here we will unravel the confusion between these types of cameras.

We are surrounded by all kinds of light - some of which we simply cannot see with our natural range of vision. The human eye can only see a limited wavelength of light- there is a much wider range of invisible light surrounding us. It is believed that spirits can occupy these wavelengths just beyond the scope of human vision. Therefore, it is useful to have different kinds of cameras handy to help us broaden our range of vision.

IR, UV and Full Spectrum Cameras

These cameras can “see” more than what a normal camera or human eye can see. Normal cameras have the same range of light a human eye can detect, and contain a filter to block out IR (infrared) and UV (ultraviolet) lights that are invisible to the human eye.  Normal cameras include these to aid photographers- people usually want to photograph things that are similar to how the human eye sees them. UV cameras and IR cameras have removed those filters for each type to specifically go into that range of light. Full spectrum cameras have removed both the UV and IR filters and will take photos both into the UV and IR. Be sure to use a Para4ce Spirit Light as an illumination aid when you use one of these cameras. You can not use these cameras in complete darkness. There always has to be some light even if it is not much.

Thermal Cameras

Thermal cameras detect and visualize heat signatures, allowing investigators to identify temperature fluctuations that could indicate the presence of entities or paranormal phenomena. They read the heat radiating off of objects and create a map of these heat signatures. Spirits have been known to draw heat from their surroundings to manifest, thus creating a cold spot. You can read more about how to use thermal imaging cameras here.

Nightvision Cameras

Night vision cameras use infrared illuminators to see in complete darkness. This can be useful for capturing activity during investigations in low-light or pitch-black conditions, such as in abandoned buildings or graveyards. They are specialty devices that amplify existing light into images we can see, creating the signature greenish imagery that comes to mind when we think of nightvision.

SLS Cameras

Also known as Structured Light Sensor cameras or Kinect cameras, The concept is based on the technology used in Microsoft's Kinect sensor. The camera sends out an infrared light pattern of a grid of dots or lines which bounces back and from that the camera can process the light data and make a map of what it is seeing and will outline people as stick figures. To the amazement of users, stick figures of an extra person moving would sometimes appear even if no one else was supposed to be there in the room! Paranormal researchers have found that they typically find these extra entities on the screen at known haunted places and the interesting thing is that they are able to interact with them. For instance, ask them to raise their arms up or stand on a chair and then the stick figures does just that! The image seen on the screen is always mirrored from reality.

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