A new life for DSC-F707

New toys make for new inspiration. A few days ago I got a new camera, an Olympus TG1 and immediately took it into the bathtub to see how it would do underwater. As far as I can see it is a great camera and I’m not going to write a review about it. You can find those else where. Buying a new camera gave me the courage to take my previous DSC-F707 apart. The flash is broken and I wanted to fix that. In order to get to all the parts of the flash unit I would have to take the whole thing too far apart. That was not a good idea so no flash. So maybe an external flash would work. Are there schematics for that? And seaching over internet I found a page about IR photography and that the F707 is the perfect camera for that. With the only limitation that Sony had limmited the shutter speed in order to limit the IR photography modes to night time. Hey that is not fair.

So I was taking a look at the innerts of the camera anyway so why not find a way to get this mode working during the day. The IC in the schematic that does the shutter and IR filter control is LB1940. But the thing is so small that it would probably destroy the camera if I would solder on it. Also the tracks on the pcb are unreachable. So no bananas. Then just before giving up and closing the camera I thought, lets give the solenoid a try wit an external magnet. And that worked!!

So after closing the case it did not work with the small magnet I was using. So with a small stack of neodenuim magnets it worked.

The greenish hue of the picture during night mode is a software setting. When the night node switch is set and the mode is switched back to normal with a magnet, the greenish hue stays. So that suggests that this is only to make it more look like an old nightscope. Those where green because of the fluoricent screen athe the end of the photonmultiplyer.

If you place one magnet on the spot the solenoid does not have enough power to switch the filter. So you can play around with the night shot switch.



This is the placement of the magnet. One magnet is enough to ‘freeze’ the solenoid in one position.


This is a shot in IR mode with a magnet. You see the red coloring.


This is a shot in night mode in the normal way.

In a few days I will make some shots outside in IR mode. But first I have to buy an IR filter.

btw this is the article that inspired me to start lookin for ways to make IR photo’s


  1. Simo says:

    I just wanted to give a MASSIVE THANK YOU for taking the time to write and share this. I have an old f707 (was my first digital camera) and after significant scouring of the net to try to find a way to use the IR unrestricted and none of the methods appealed. Then I found this page! Such an elegant solution, I bought a 10x10x10mm Block rare earth magnet for a few bucks online which arrived today and literally less than a minute later i’m shooting in IR with full manual control outside of night-mode restrictions. Just waiting for IR filters in the post now. Chuffed. Best hack ever for IR and these cameras. I could hug you.

  2. arpruss says:

    It works for me, too. I’ve been looking for something like this for years. I am just using a hard drive magnet, and some exposed negative as an IR filter.

  3. arpruss says:

    One issue I’m having, though, is that manual focus seems off in IR mode: distant objects require focusing past infinity. I think it works fine with auto focus, though.

  4. John says:

    I have tried the magnet trick, and it does work. As far as damping down the IR signal during the day, I use two polarizers lined up for exinction and an ND8 filter. I find that the using the film (2 layers) leaves pictures a bit fuzzy.
    ….. john

  5. John says:

    Hi again,
    I forgot to mention. I would like to find a way of making the flash, or hot shoe, activation in IR mode. Now, it only fires in non IR.
    ….. john

  6. Daniel says:

    Got one back in 2010 since I had no money for anything better. Got many cameras since then, but NEVER gave up my f707. I guess I even got spoiled for such great lens, also the swivel lens design is very useful. At only 5MP and a small sensor it still beats the hell out of many modern cameras with crappy optics.
    Thanks for sharing, I was considering getting a V3 but I guess the 707 will be enough.

  7. John Clarke says:

    Hi Daniel,
    I’ve had the F717 for a few years now, pretty much the same camera as you F707, and it does take nice IR images. Also, the IR and neg at the same time, creates some interesting effects. I tried the magnet trick, and it works, but seems to be somewhat iffy wrt performance. To take pictures in broad daylight I have had success with two methods. One is back to back polarizers, so that you can reduce the incoming light to a manageable level. The other is, of course, a visible cut filter, which will remove most of the visible spectrum, and (depending on what filter you get) varying degrees of the near IR spectrum. But this is an expensive option. You may also have to use an ND 8 or more. Both of these work pretty well, giving highly contrasted skies, white leaves and grass, and black water. But you still have to remove the green cast, which I’m told is characteristic of Sony IR cameras.
    ….. john

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