sas.jpg (10235 bytes)
techtitle.jpg (9316 bytes)

Hutech Modification of the Digital Rebel

One of the issues with the Canon Digital Rebel is its lack of red sensitivity.   This is due to the IR filter used by Canon and can be overcome by the removal or replacement of this filter.  Some individuals have been successful in doing this modification themselves, but the operation is fairly involved and there is a signicant risk of damaging the camera.  Having little experience working on small electronics, I didn't feel comfortable attempting this myself.  Fortunately, Hutech Corp. provides a service to either remove the filter or replace the filter with one that passes more of the red part of the spectrum to the sensor.  The removal of the factory filter makes the camera unuseable for normal daylight photography and requires a separate IR filter for astrophotography.  Hutech's replacement filter eliminates the need for a separate IR filter and allows the camera to be used for daylight photography with the use of a custom white balance setting.

I decided to send my camera to Hutech to have it modified.  Since I wanted to be able to use the camera for normal photography, I opted for the replacement filter option.   I sent the camera in on a Tuesday and it was back in my hands by the following Monday.  I was very please with the speed  communication and service Hutech provided.  Some individuals who have performed the  modification on their own have reported the autofocus on their cameras no longer works correctly.  Hutech's solution has no impact on the camera's autofocus.

Below are sample images taken with the modified camera.

wbpostmod.jpg (136885 bytes) wbpostmodcustom.jpg (128565 bytes)

Post mod daylight scene using the camera's auto white balance setting

Post mod daylight scene using a custom white balance setting

As is evidenced by the image on the left, the modified camera is now highly sensitive to red.  The camera has also gained sensitivity in green and blue, although not to the same extent.  Using the custom white balance setting gives accurate color balance as shown on the right.  Once set, this setting stays in the camera's memory and one can easily move between the auto and custom settings.


helixpremod.jpg (75785 bytes) helixpostmod.jpg (75127 bytes)

Pre mod stack of 7 images exposed for 600 seconds at ISO 400.

Post mod stack of 8 images exposed for 300 seconds at ISO 400.

Important Note: The comparison above is not meant to be a scientific analysis/comparison of the camera's capabilities before and after the modification.  The processing steps for both images were very similar, but I did not record the exact steps and settings use for the pre mod image.   Also, the exposure length and number of images is different.  Having stated that, I believe the images above do give a good indication of the results of Hutech's modification.

Note that the image on the left was made with 600 second images and the one on the right was made with 300 second images!  As shown on the right, the red sensitivity has increased dramatically.  In fact, I had to decrease the red levels slightly to get an asthetically pleasing image.


[Home]   [Techniques page]