Most paranormal investigations are done at night when there is a less chance of contamination from outside sources. In the early years there wasn’t much available for an investigator to capture evidence in total darkness.
Most camcorders and still cameras required a light source which defeated the purpose of investigating in the dark. Like most items investigators adopted equipment used for other applications.
Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) provided the answer since those cameras were designed to be used in the dark and most had built in infrared light sources. While this was perfect to monitor a fixed area there wasn’t anything for the investigator to use on the move.
In the mid to late 90’s some manufacturers developed cameras that worked similar to CCTV as they can see the infrared spectrum of light and had built in infrared illumination systems, one being the infamous Sony NightShot Plus. The paranormal investigator reached deeply into their pockets to arm themselves with these camcorders.
Most cameras on the market today have infrared filters that block that spectrum of light. Even though many manufactures say they work in 0 lux the cameras just like our eyes can’t see infrared light. Even with an infrared light source the screen will be blank.
Some manufacturers still do offer an infrared capable camera but they are a bit costly. There are companies that will actually modify a camcorder and remove the infrared filter which are widely used by many paranormal investigators. This modification most always voids the manufacturer’s warranty.
Point of view (POV) has become a popular way of recording an investigation as it is the perspective of the investigator. You see what he sees. Many investigators use no flashlights or other sources to see in the dark and use only the viewfinder as “their eyes” to maneuver in total darkness.
Infrared cameras are now a major component in most paranormal investigator’s tool bag. They are getting smaller, lighter and most of all becoming more affordable.