Canon PowerShot S100 Infrared and White Balance

Today I decided to experiment a little bit more with infrared shooting using the Canon PowerShot S100.  I set up a group of the objects I use for general photography, making sure I had one green and one red item.  I took all of the photos in Aperture Priority mode.  The first one below is the scene as it looks “normally,” using the Custom white balance setting.  I used a photographic gray card to set the custom white balance.

The next image below is just about the same, except that I used the camera’s preset Tungsten white balance setting.  I was somewhat surprised to find that the image looks different.  The lighting was by standard incandescent lights, indoors at night, so I would have thought the preset Tungsten setting would have matched the Custom white balance setting, but it seems somewhat off.  (Mainly, the light blue background shows up as gray.)

The next shot, below, is the infrared image, taken with an Opteka R72 (dark red) infrared filter attached to the lens using a Lensmate filter adapter.  For this shot, I set the white balance using the Custom white balance setting, and using the green of the model truck as the color to set the white balance with.  As you can see, the result gives some of the infrared appearance, and also, unfortunately, includes a “hot spot” in the center, which is characteristic of this type of infrared shot in many cases.

Finally, below, I included one last image, just to show what the scene looks like when it’s taken without the infrared filter, but still using the custom white balance set with the green of the truck.  As you can see, this is a fairly wild look, just to illustrate how dramatic a change an odd white balance can cause in an image.


1 thought on “Canon PowerShot S100 Infrared and White Balance

  1. Simon

    It would be interesting to know if the camera was “IR enabled” by removing the hot mirror in front of the sensor. The s100 is quite hackable with the sensor sitting right below the LCD and the hot mirror held in place only with a soft gasket (no sealant).


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