Real-time viewing of scenes in the near-UV has applications in creative UV photography, astronomy, and forensics . There are a number of CCD video cameras optimized for ultraviolet imaging that use sensors that are specifically designed for this application. Many of these are based on Sony’s ICX-407BLA CCD chip, which is a Lumogen-coated sensor usable down to 200 nm. Unfortunately, these cameras are not inexpensive (over $3,000).
However, Sony makes one analog black-and-white machine-vision camera that is UV-sensitive which is sufficiently affordable that it has attracted some attention for use in creative, astronomical, and forensic near-ultraviolet photography. The XC-EU50 camera has a peak sensitivity around 369 nm, and sensitivity down to 300 nm. The camera produces analog video with 768 (H) x 494 (V) effective pixels, so at 0.38 megapixels, it is nowhere near DSLR resolution, but this is not bad at all given its sensitivity in the ultraviolet. The camera retails for around $700, but surplus XC-EU50 cameras often show up on eBay® for a fraction of that price. However, the XC-EU50 is not as special as its specifications would make you believe, and DIY alternatives can be made at very low cost.
The following Technical Note discusses my experience with the XC-EU50: UVIRimaging_dot_com TN 2016-2 – Near-UV BW CCD Video Cameras
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