The short story: I modified a crappy digital camera to make it capture infrared images. Step-by-step instructions available at this instructable.
The long story: A fortuitous sequence of events has led to the successful creation of a real, actual infrared digital camera, done right. The first step was to get my hands on a reasonable digital camera (ie: one that was actually compatible with my computer). For this, I marched straight into the nearest Ritz Camera store, walked directly to the counter, and stated “I would like to purchase your absolute cheapest digital camera, because I have every intention of possibly breaking it.” On that lucky day, there was a very nice woman working the register who simply reached down below the counter into some sort of lost-and-found and retrieved an orphaned VuPoint 3.1MP digicam. “You can have this one, if you want,” she said.
Not one to look a gift digital camera in the mouth, I graciously accepted the offering, said my thanks, and immediately left. Granted, this camera is just about the bottom of the barrel (fixed focus, plastic lens, dim LCD, generally cheap components), but it *does* have a removable SD card that I can simply stick in my USB card reader to make it interface nicely with iPhoto.
Having procured 1/2 of the necessary components, the next step was to order a sheet of Congo Blue (Lee #181, Rosco #382) lighting filter gel from B&H. Once everything arrived in the mail, it was time to get down to business. In short, the idea here is to crack open the digital camera, remove the IR-blocking filter, replace it with lighting filters that block everything *but* infrared, and reassemble the camera, hoping nothing got broken along the way. Again, this is all describe in detail on this instructable.
The surgery was a complete success, and I now have in my possession a 100% certified infrared digital camera. For something that cost slightly more than $0, I am completely in love with this camera. Here is a smattering of pictures that I took at Point Reyes National Seashore and more recently at the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. Yes!