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So recently I found out that the NoIR module can see visible AND infrared. My question is

If I make a box, and out my hand in it, and then on the other end of the box I place the camera in complete darkness, will I be able to see my palm veins? Or do I need to illuminate the area?

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Although you have a camera that records in the IR spectrum, you still need to illuminate the area to bounce photons into your camera. Consider IR LEDs for example if you don't want to use visible light sources.

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