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Blog posts Drone Night Imaging

Drone Night Imaging Camera and Technology

Nighttime imaging for camera drones is very important in modern drone applications. Aerial photography enthusiasts of night vision drones also explore the night landscape, and some security departments use night vision drones for inspection, firefighting, search and rescue missions.

At present, the most common night vision cameras on the market are: infrared night vision cameras, infrared thermal imaging cameras, starlight night vision cameras, and full-color night vision cameras. Here are some basic introductions about camera lenses and their technology for drone nighttime imaging:

Ordinary infrared camera

Ordinary infrared camera images

Ordinary infrared night vision cameras are currently the most common cameras on the market. It relies on infrared light to illuminate the object to be photographed. Even in a dark environment, it can capture images that are invisible to the naked eye. Drones equipped with infrared cameras will be able to see everything in the dark, but the detail and accuracy of the picture capture is not enough.

Starlight night vision device

Starlight cameras are security cameras that use image sensor technology to produce high-quality color images in low-light conditions. The camera is equipped with an infrared cut filter (ICR), which switches the device to night mode to reproduce high-quality color images in low light conditions. In night mode, the IR cut filter is disconnected, allowing infrared and visible light to reach the image sensor. This feature is good for security purposes as it improves night vision in low light conditions, even with only faint starlight illumination.

Starlight night vision comparison chart

Starlight night vision is superior to typical infrared night vision in terms of image clarity and quality. In drones equipped with starlight night vision, the starlight camera can provide color night vision even in low light conditions where other infrared camera drones have to turn on the infrared lights.

Recommended Drones with Starlight Camera: Autel EVO MAX 4N

Full-Color Night Camera

The biggest feature of full-color cameras is that they can realize 24-hour all-weather color monitoring images. Full-color cameras generally use super-large aperture lenses. When the light is extremely low or even close to no light, the camera will automatically use soft lights for supplementary light. Capture full-color dynamic images in real time! Currently, there is no full-color camera lens for drones in the drone market.

Starlight Vision V.S. Full-Color Night Vision

Infrared Thermal Imaging Camera

Infrared thermal imaging technology can help drone camera systems capture heat signatures and convert them into images. Using this technology, camera drones can perform night-time imaging in complete darkness and can capture thermal images that are invisible to the human eye.

Thermal Drones 640t In Line InspectionsThermal Drones 640t In Line Inspections

Compared with infrared camera drones, thermal imaging drones have stronger nighttime imaging capabilities. It relies on heat reflection instead of infrared wave reflection, and has a wider detection range, which is better for finding everything in the dark. Infrared thermal imaging drones are versatile and can be used for building inspections, security patrols, search and rescue, wildlife observation and more.

Recommended drones with thermal imaging cameras: Autel EVO II 640T, Autel EVO MAX series.

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