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Fujifilm announces infrared X-T1 camera for fine art and crime scenes

Fujifilm's latest X-series camera is its least expected yet. The X-T1 IR is a variant of the fantastic X-T1 mirrorless camera, and matches it in just about every regard apart from its sensor — this model captures light from different parts of the spectrum, including ultraviolet and infrared as well as visible. The range is around 380nm to 1,000nm, whereas the human eye typically responds to light between 390 and 700nm; in other words, the XT1 IR will show you information that your eye can't see.

Why would you want an infrared camera? Although niche, the technology has several functional and artistic uses. Crime scene investigators often use infrared photography, for example; because the images can show differences in temperature, they can expose things like objects in pockets or liquids more obviously than a traditional photograph would. In the art world, infrared cameras can be used to help ascertain a painting's authenticity by seeing sketches below the surface. The expanded light sensitivity also makes infrared cameras useful for astrophotography. And the unorthdox, often haunting color reproduction of infrared photos is often used as an artistic technique.

A neat out-of-the-box solution for infrared photos

Many digital cameras can be modified to shoot infrared photography — regular cameras come with a sensor filter to block out the unwanted wavelengths of light, which aren't desirable for typical photos. It's possible, if often difficult, to remove these filters, but many people settle for adding external filters to their lenses, which block out all but the infrared portion of the spectrum and require very long exposures as a result. By making the X-T1 IR infrared-capable from the start, Fujifilm is providing a neat solution for those who want to shoot infrared photos out of the box.

xt-1ir

The XT-1 IR will be released in October for $1,699.95, a $400 premium on the XT-1's launch price. Fujifilm hasn't made product images available yet, but we're assured that the new model looks identical to the regular X-T1 beyond the logo that you can see above. Following astrophotography-focused cameras from Canon and Nikon in recent years, it's an encouraging trend to see camera makers produce models focused on small but important markets.