We report here the main characteristics of a near IR camera devoted to astrophysical solar research, which has been developed by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC). The system is now being used for photometric and spectroscopic applications, and it will also be used for spectropolarimetry in the near future. The first application is described below in detail. The IACs IR camera is based on a Rockwell 256 X 256 HgCdTe NICMOS3 array, sensitive from 1 to 2.5 microns. The necessary cooling system is a LN2- cryostat, designed and built by IR labs under out requirements. The main electronics are the standard VME- based, FPGA programmable MCE-3 system, also developed by IR labs. We have implemented different readout schemes to improve sped, reduce noise and avoid seeing effects, taking into account each specific application. Data are transferred via fiber optics to a control unit, which re-send them to the main data acquisition system. Several acquisition modes to select the best images have been implemented, and a real- time data processing is available, the entire camera has been characterized and calibrated, and the main radiometric parameters given. Preliminary test in spectroscopic observations have been made in the German Towers at the Observatorio del Teide in Tenerife, Spain, and a series of photometric measurements performed in the Swedish Solar Telescope, at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in La Palma, Spain. As examples, some scientific results are also presented.