The new Midnight Shot NV-1 from ThinkGeek can take photos in complete darkness and even see through some types of fabric and materials.
It has become increasingly difficult for a compact digital camera to stand out in today’s saturated market—but one that offers superhero night vision and x-ray powers? That’s a whole different story. The Midnight Shot NV-1 ($139.99) from ThinkGeek does just that. The NV-1 can take photos in complete darkness and even see through some types of fabric and materials.
At first glance the Midnight Shot looks and functions like any basic digital camera, only when its night-shot mode is engaged do things get interesting. In night-shot mode the infrared blocking filter normally over the lens retracts to let all infrared light through, at the same time a super-bright IR LED—invisible to humans—illuminates the subject. You’re probably not going to be taking any family portraits in night-shot mode, but it does present a new option for those who would like to immortalize dark moments without a blinding paparazzi flash or for those wanting to experiment with infrared light.
The LED’s infrared light can penetrate various fabrics and materials which the human-visible spectrum cannot. This allows the Midnight Shot to see right through those same materials. This type of effect can be accentuated by adding an infrared filter to the setup. In night-shot mode the NV-1 records both infrared and visible light; an infrared filter would eliminate the visible spectrum. Even though the effect is limited to thin fabrics and other low density materials, ThinkGeek is quick to remind customers that they should “Respect the privacy of [their] fellow humans and [not] use the Midnight Shot NV-1 Night Vision Camera for evil”. You may recall that some time ago Sony unintentionally released Nightshot enabled Handycams with a similar feature—promptly replacing the model with a reworked version preventing daytime nightvision.
The Midnight Shot has a 5 megapixel CMOS sensor with a 7.45 mm lense and 8x optical zoom, it comes with a USB charging cable, wall adapter, wrist strap, manual and carry bag. Out of the box the NV-1 provides 16 megabytes of internal storage, but most will want to expand that with an SD card. In addition to still photography the NV-1 also supports recording video in AVI format at 640×480. While the Midnight Shot NV-1 isn’t going to replace anyone’s DSLR or even point-and-shoot, it is a great addition to any photographer’s arsenal for its unique abilities.
With privacy concerns permeating all aspects of our day to day lives, do you think there should be restrictions on cameras which allow this type of infrared mode?