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Fujifilm's Crime Camera: Fujifilm Finepix S3 Pro UVIR
by Ben Stafford -  8/9/2006

Fujifilm has announced a modified version of their Finepix S3 Pro.  This new limited edition camera, the Fujifilm Finepix S3 Pro UVIR, is modified to be sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light.  This camera is the first "factory made" digital SLR to be specifically designed for UV and IR photography.

The camera is essentially the same as the standard S3 Pro, but the standard UV and IR filters have been  removed.  Photographers have been doing this on their own for a while and several third party companies will do the same modifications, but you void your warranty.  With the S3 Pro UVIR, you stay legit.

Also, the camera's Live View CCD allows a live preview for up to 30 seconds.  This allows for easy preview and focusing, which can be a challenge when doing UV and IR photography.

So what makes this a good camera for police, medical reseaerchers, and the military?  Here are a couple paragraphs straight from Fujifilm's press release that best explain it:

"While UV and IR photography are not really like the "X-ray vision" of comic books that lets you see through solid objects, both UV and IR can be used to reveal sub-surface details that are invisible to the naked eye. In a recent example provided by Brooks, police used differences in reflectance made visible only with IR photography to positively identify a charred body in a gangland murder. It revealed the victim's prison tattoo, which was invisible under ordinary light.

In a similar manner, both UV and IR photography can corroborate the presence of gunpowder, show altered signatures and the difference between similar-looking inks on a document, or make bone fragments stand out in a plowed field. Medical researchers and police investigators use IR and UV photography to find injuries below the skin. They can even determine whether an assailant wearing a specific ring punched someone, or if a set of two-week-old, no-longer-visible bite marks were made by an alleged perpetrator's teeth.

Infrared photography is also a great tool for nighttime surveillance with "invisible" IR flash or under IR-rich sources such as common street lamps -- the same basic principle used in night-vision glasses. And since different plants reflect light in different shades of color or gray under IR, it can be used to detect illegal plants such as marijuana or opium poppies growing in a farm field. "

The Fujifilm Finepix S3 Pro UVIR will be available in September for $1800.

Fujifilm Finepix S3 Pro UVIR product page