Home Optics Experiments PE-1000 CCD Camera & Night Vision


  • Pinhole Camera
  • Camera Obscura
  • Objective
  • CCD Sensor
  • Magnification
  • Iris and Depth of Field
  • Spectral Sensitivity of CCD Chip
  • Active Night Vision


Basic experiment

Intended institutions and users:

Physics Laboratory

Engineering department

Electronic department

Biophotonics department

Physics education in Medicine



How it works ...


PE-1000 CCD Camera & Night Vision

Educational PE-1000 CCD Camera & Night Vision Lit

The principle of creating an image  through projection on a surface is known since ancient times. Aristotle observed images of the sun through holes generated by the leaves of a tree, while Arab scientists used this principle in astronomy to observe the solar eclipses. The most clear and detailed description is made by Leonardo da Vinci in his work “Codice Atlantico” where for the first time, the structure of the human eye is commented as a “camera obscura”.



But most of our respect should be paid to Giovanni Antonio Canaletto. As a painter he used the principle of the camera obscura in a very practical and commercial application. Although he did not take photographs as one understands it today, he imaged scenes and objects on canvas through a narrow hole in a curtain and  painted them. With the help of this technique he was able to produce more than 900 paintings during his period. Later Giovanni Battista Della Porta suggested for the first time that a lens may be applied to the hole. This was the initial step for the invention of the portable “camera obscura” as a working tool for  outlining at that time.

In the frame of this experiment a high performance industrial CCD zoom camera with USB computer connection is applied. Parameters like diaphragm size, position and the influence of lenses on the brightness, sharpness and dimensions of the image are investigated. The variable diaphragm demonstrates the effect of depth of field. Furthermore a LED emitting invisible radiation to the human eye is provided to study the exciting technology of active night vision.

PE-1000 CCD Camera & Night Vision

The series of pictures taken with the CCD camera shows an example (A) at full illumination and (B) in the darkened room. Due to high sensitivity of the camera a dimly shape of the object can be seen. In that moment, when the NIR LED is switched on and the camera switched into the NIR mode, a bright black and white image of the object appears. The leaves of the plant appear in white colour, indicating the reflection of the NIR radiation. To document the recorded images the frame grabber and the  note pad is used. For each measurement with different parameters like the iris diameter, focusing, exposition time and so on a file for the students report is created.

PE-1000 CCD Camera & Night Vision Example I
PE-1000 CCD Camera & Night Vision Example II
PE-1000 CCD Camera & Night Vision Example III

A. Full light

B. No light

C. NIR LED illumination

PE-1000 CCD Camera & Night Vision