Purpose of IR Filter in Color Cameras
An IR filter – or IR cut filter - is a color filter blocking the infrared light. There are several good reasons for using an IR-cut filter. Using a color camera to achieve realistic colors in white light requires an IR-cut filter. The color spectrum seen by the human eye is quite limited compared to the spectrum seen by a CCD camera. Especially, in the near infrared region of the spectrum the difference in sensitivity is significant. This is important to know since many light sources, including the sun, emit infrared light. A CCD color camera in daylight without an IR-cut filter will therefore see a significant amount of infrared light resulting in strange colors. Another reason for using an IR-cut filter is the limited color correction for many lenses. It is difficult to design imaging optics covering both the visible spectrum and the near infrared spectrum at the same time. Therefore, many lenses have different depth of focus for the visible and the infrared spectrum. Anyway, the IR-cut filter cuts away a significant amount of the overall collected light and thereby affects the sensitivity in a negative way. In general, color cameras are one factor less sensitive compared to monochrome (depending on the CCD chip). This is primarily due to the IR-cut filter.
Info courtesy of Jai Camera Solutions