The best thermal camera is a professional tool that, thanks to infrared, allows you to “see” and photograph objects with great precision in low light and dark conditions.
This characteristic is exploited by thermography in the field of building to visualize, with particular systems, the different behaviors of materials, for example heat losses due to insulation defects in domestic insulation, thermal bridges for mold detection, water leaks for repair, etc.
What is the best thermal camera?
The thermal camera is a particular camera, sensitive to infrared radiation, which makes it possible to obtain images or videos of the thermographic type.
Unlike a conventional camera which is sensitive to light, this device maps surfaces exposed to infrared rays. Has a industrial use, scientific even military.
These thermal cameras even help save lives. In the event of an emergency, they make it possible to find people lost at night or at sea. Firefighters use these devices to identify hot spots in a fire, to detect gases in buildings, to search for heat in order to of fire prevention.
Below we review best thermal cameras:
1. Perfect-Prime IR0002 Infrared Thermal Camera
The best at an attractive price
In addition to being an infrared thermal camera, it functions as a visible light camera; the resolution of the IR image is 3600 pixels. It has 4GB for image storage; you can expand the capacity with a micro SD card. Uses 4 AA batteries (not included).
It offers simple buttons and triggers along with a 2.4-inch screen for easy viewing in almost any environment.
A thermal sensitivity of 0.15°C, with a temperature range of -20 to 300°C, makes this device very adept at detecting temperature fluctuations in small devices.
2. Hti-Xintai HT-18 thermal camera
The best for high resolution
It features impressive resolution, providing crystal-clear images for identifying problem areas. This model is the most affordable choice in the Hti series. It is distinguished by a lithium-ion battery that increases operating time and a larger screen for better viewing of images.
The camera’s design and weight allow the user to comfortably hold and use the camera for an extended period of time. Large buttons for easy operation even with gloves.
The 3.2 inch color screen displays thermal and visible light sensing images at 220 x 160 resolution, allowing the user to see a full range of infrared images.
3. HT Instruments THT45 thermal camera
Best for data transmission over Wi-Fi
This digital thermal camera with image and video function is equipped with an IR sensor with a resolution of 80 x 80 pixels which makes it the ideal tool for daily maintenance and analysis.
With the THTview app (downloadable free of charge), everything framed by the equipment can be viewed quickly and easily via tablets and smartphones.
The peculiarity of the instrument is represented by a high-brightness color LCD display and an extremely simple drop-down menu that allows easy programming through the use of a keyboard. It has a wide temperature range (350°C) and saves thermal images in standard and visual jpg format (PiP function) inside a micro SD card and can transfer data to PC via USB interface.
4. Flir 72003-0303 Compact Camera
Ideal for pocket size
It is a lightweight and compact thermal model, which can be easily carried in your pocket wherever you want to perform inspections and system maintenance, HVAC, repair.
It provides highly detailed msx enhanced thermal images making it easier to identify problem areas. It also offers Wi-Fi connectivity for wireless image transfer. The built-in LED spotlight can be used as a flashlight and to illuminate the photo.
5. Bosch Professional Gtc 400 C Thermal Imager 1
Best for ease of use
It is an easy-to-use device, the thermal images are intuitive and all the important functions are accessible with a simple click, such as the picture-in-picture function.
It has a lot of potential with other devices. In fact, it can transfer thermal images to smartphones, take notes and customize images with the Bosch Thermal app; he then uses the PC to edit the thermal images and create detailed reports. The thermal camera can measure temperatures between -10°C and +400°C with an accuracy of ± 3°C
6. Flir TG 165 thermal camera
Ideal for a wide field of vision
Useful for building and electrical inspections, the TG165’s wide 50 degree field of view is ideal for the construction industry. It allows you to frame an entire wall of a room in a single image.
It offers the ability to quickly diagnose problems in electrical systems or buildings, identifying heat so you know exactly where to point to take the measurement.
How the thermal camera works
Infrared cameras are detectors and lens combinations that provide a visual representation of the infrared energy emitted by objects. Infrared thermal images make it possible to see the heat of a body, the temperature differences and how it is distributed.
An infrared camera detects infrared energy and converts it into an electronic signal, which is then processed to produce a thermal image and perform temperature calculations. Thermal cameras have lenses, just like visible light cameras.
But in this case, the lens concentrates the waves of infrared energy onto an array of infrared sensors. Thousands of sensors on the network convert infrared energy into electrical appwhich is then converted to an image.
How to choose the thermal camera
Before buying a thermal camera, it is important to consider its main characteristics, to be evaluated according to the field of use for which it will be intended.
The performance of a thermal imaging gun they are mainly linked to its infrared detector. This hardware detects infrared energy passing through the lens.
Simplifying a bit, we are mainly interested in two aspects of the detector: sensitivity and resolution, as well as temperature.
The image is created by taking several measurements, converting them into an electronic signal, and then displaying the results. A camera’s resolution refers to the number of measurements the detector can take. the thermometer the infrared (or “spot temp gun”) takes a measurement from a point. Its resolution is 1 x 1 or 1 pixel.
A thermal camera with a resolution of 120 x 120 requires 14,400 measurements at the same time. It can use the different temperatures of these 14,400 pixels to create a meaningful image for the user.
When you’re close to a target, each pixel picks up information from a smaller area, providing better detail. As you move away, increase the distance from the same target, each pixel detects information from a larger area of the target.
You can now see a wider field in the image target, but it has become harder to see small details. This is where an advertising thermal camera can help you high resolution.
This aspect refers to how the detector can detect infrared energy in relation to temperature sensitivity. One thermal camera may be sensitive to 0.10°C, while another may be sensitive to temperature changes of 0.05°C.
The more sensitive detector will see smaller temperature changes and use this information to create a sharper image.
What temperature will be displayed or measured? Or what could be the small temperature variation you should see?
These are important considerations, as some thermal cameras are designed for certain operating conditions.
Some cameras have a built-in digital camera, which allows you to simultaneously record visible light and infrared images. This helps locate an area, as the visible light photo makes it easier to understand where the thermal image was taken.
As an added benefit, digital thermal cameras often feature powerful LED flashlights, which are ideal for illuminating the digital image and for orienting yourself in dark surroundings.
Models equipped with a digital camera can have digital and infrared images superimposed (“picture-in-picture”) or mixed (“merged”).
the cheap thermal cameras They have one fixed target: Therefore, the focus cannot be changed. These cameras are always in focus when the camera is about 10cm or more from the target.
This makes scanning a large area fast, but presents challenges when shooting close to a lens. Manual focus cameras have a focus ring so the user can find the optimum sharpness at any distance from the target. This gives you more flexibility to capture the optimal image.
The auto focus offers the best of both worlds. An autofocus camera will instantly focus on a target with just the press of a button, which is perfect for one-handed use.
All current lines of thermal cameras offered by major manufacturers have the ability to record infrared images. They are stored in internal memory on an SD card.
Images can be downloaded to a computer via USB cable or SD card reader. Some thermal cameras can also record thermal video, which is a great option for viewing thermal patterns over time.
In some situations, it can be difficult to carry a notebook. And even if you manage to take notes, it takes a lot of time to then combine the written notes with the pictures.
Many cameras can help you save your notes right next to the image. This can be done by voice, text or even drawing directly on the touchscreen.
A useful feature for many users is the ability to wirelessly connect a thermal camera and other tools, such as a moisture meter or thermal viewer.
The imager can add data from the compatible tool directly to the image data for better understanding and better reporting of problems.
The ability to connect a camera to various computer equipment has come a long way in recent years. You can now wirelessly connect select cameras to your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. For high-end presentation, some thermal imaging cameras can stream video to a computer connected to a large screen monitor or TV. 4K.