Life Pixel – Canon 20D DIY Digital Infrared Conversion Tutorial

Disclaimer: This tutorial is intended for experienced professionals and made available to you for informational purposes only. Tampering with your camera will void your manufacturer’s warranty. If you decide to perform the conversion you could damage your camera or be hurt or get killed from the high voltage present – you do so at your own risk, we are not responsible for camera damage or any harm you may suffer or any special or consequential damages. Also, by visiting this site you are legally bound by our Terms of Use Agreement, we highly recommend you read it.

Focus Warning:  Because of the complexity and requirement for specialized precision equipment, advanced training and experience, we do not provide any information regarding focus calibration whatsoever.

The mere act of removing the sensor from within the camera could potentially ruin the original factory calibration and render your camera completely incapable of achieving proper focus. If this happens we will be unable to help you and even the manufacturer may refuse to service your camera. This is very serious stuff folks.

Focus and dust are in fact the most difficult parts of the conversion process. We highly recommend you send your camera in for conversion instead of attempting to do this yourself.


You will need these tools & supplies to follow the 20D infrared conversion tutorial:

- Our custom glass infrared filter to replace the hotmirror
- Soldering iron and desoldering wick or desoldering gun
- Black silicone adhesive /w syringe type dispenser
- Small philips type screwdriver
- Tweezers
- Canned air
- Lens cleaning solution & tissue
- Grounding strap /w current limit resistor

If you prefer not to risk damage to your camera, have us convert it to infrared for you. It would be best to perform the conversion in a well lit area that is as clean and dust free as possible. Wearing a grounding strap will minimize the chance of zapping your camera with static and most likely rendering it dead.

Remove the rubber grip material.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 1

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 1

Remove the rubber eye cup and marked screws

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 2

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 2

Remove marked screws.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 3

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 3

Remove marked screws.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 4

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 4

Gently lift up and flip over the rear LCD display panel and disconnect the marked ribbon cable.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 5

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 5

The connectors are flip type unless indicated otherwise, just flip up the brown/gray lever to release the ribbon cable.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 6

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 6

Remove the I/O cover.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 7

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 7

Peel off and fold over the marked copper noise shields.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 8

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 8

Remove marked screws.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 9

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 9

Disconnect the marked ribbon cable.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 10

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 10

Fold over the marked ribbon cable so it’s out of the way of the soldering iron.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 11

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 11

Desolder the marked solder joint.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 12

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 12

Disconnect the marked cables. Pull to disconnect the connector marked with the blue arrow.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 13

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 13

Lift out the LCD display assembly and remove the indicated adhesive tape.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 14

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 14

Desolder the marked solder joints and lift out the noise shield.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 15

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 15

Disconnect the marked cables and remove the screw marked with the blue arrow.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 16

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 16

A closeup view – to disconnect just pull out the blue lever (shown in open position).

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 17

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 17

Gently lift up and fold over the PCB and remove the marked screws.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 18

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 18

Remove the marked screws.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 19

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 19

Remove the hot mirror assembly by gently prying up to release from adhesive gasket.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 20

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 20

Remove the hot mirror assembly and set the sensor aside.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 21

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 21

Peel off the adhesive gasket from the hot mirror – be careful not to tear it.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 22

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 22

Remove the black hot mirror mask.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 23

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 23

Gently cut the adhesive around the hot mirror filter and remove the hot mirror.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 24

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 24

The following image is a comparison between the original hot mirror filter (on left)
and the our replacement IR filter (on right).

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 25

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 25

Glue all around the infrared filter to seal from dust particles and affix the filter in position.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 26

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 26

The infrared filter after silicone sealant is applied.

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 27

Canon 20D Infrared DIY Tutorial Step 27

After adhesive is fully cured clean the ir filter with lens cleaner and tissue, blow off with canned air and reassemble everything by following the instructions backwards. Set a custom white balance per our instructions page and take some test shots to make sure there is no dust trapped between the sensor and infrared filter. If you find dust and find it objectionable disassemble the camera again, blow off the sensor with canned air (make sure only air and no liquid is coming out by purging and holding it upright) and re cleaning the infrared filter.

If you prefer not to risk damage to your camera, have us convert it for you here.