The best thermal cameras 2022

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The best thermal cameras 2022

The ther­mal imager is a use­ful thing in every­day life and work. And yet, with its help, you can remote­ly mea­sure body tem­per­a­ture, which is a neces­si­ty in the con­text of the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic. So how do you choose the best ther­mal imager?
The best thermal cameras 2022
The best ther­mal imagers.

Ther­mal imagers (and their sim­pli­fied ana­logues, pyrom­e­ters) are used every­where — from con­struc­tion to med­i­cine. The lat­ter is espe­cial­ly rel­e­vant, because the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic is rag­ing in the world, one of the symp­toms of which is ele­vat­ed body tem­per­a­ture. But, of course, the best ther­mal imagers are devices for a wide range of tasks. Let’s just say that the med­ical com­po­nent for house­hold devices is an aux­il­iary func­tion. Real cer­ti­fied med­ical equip­ment costs com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent mon­ey and is often not intend­ed for sale to an ordi­nary buy­er. So, let’s talk about quite house­hold devices.

To visu­al­ly show our read­ers the diver­si­ty of the mar­ket, we have com­piled a list of the best irons for the home. As usu­al, we start­ed with the sim­plest mod­els that even stu­dents can afford. On the rise, we will reach advanced options, with many nec­es­sary func­tions.

Top 10 rating

1. Seek Thermal Reveal

Seek Thermal Reveal
Seek Ther­mal Reveal.

A com­pact (not to say pock­et-sized) ther­mal imager capa­ble of mea­sur­ing tem­per­a­tures at a dis­tance of up to 50 m. The device rec­og­nizes tem­per­a­tures in the range from ‑40 ° C to 330 ° C. The view­ing angle of the ther­mal imager is 36 degrees with a matrix res­o­lu­tion of 206x156 pix­els. The stream of infor­ma­tion (sto­ry­board) can be writ­ten to a mem­o­ry card, the max­i­mum capac­i­ty of which can be up to 4 GB. Mois­ture pro­tec­tion is declared in the gad­get, and the case itself is made of wear-resis­tant rub­ber­ized plas­tic, which will not be super­flu­ous when hunt­ing or build­ing.

Pros and cons

Stur­dy con­struc­tion, easy to use: easy charg­ing, thought­ful inter­face
No alias­ing option, does not record video

2. Testo 865

Testo 865
Testo 865.

An expen­sive mod­el of a ther­mal imager, focused on semi-pro­fes­sion­al con­struc­tion use. The error of the device is ±2°С, which makes its use for med­ical pur­pos­es unjus­ti­fied. The ther­mal imager is capa­ble of detect­ing tem­per­a­tures from ‑20°C to 280°C with a ther­mal sen­si­tiv­i­ty of 0.12°C. The Testo 865 is able to work in over­lay mode, when the image from the vis­i­ble spec­trum cam­era is over­laid with data obtained using an infrared sen­sor. There is mois­ture pro­tec­tion IP 54, but the case of the device may not sur­vive hard use. With a built-in mem­o­ry of 2.8 GB, there is no mem­o­ry card in this ther­mal imager.

Pros and cons

Well estab­lished firm, over­lay mode
No mem­o­ry card, high mea­sure­ment error, not suit­able for med­ical pur­pos­es

3. BOSCH GTC 400 C

BOSCH GTC 400C
BOSCH GTC 400 C.

A ther­mal imager from a Ger­man cor­po­ra­tion that needs no intro­duc­tion. The solid­ly built device is pro­tect­ed from dust and mois­ture accord­ing to the IP 53 stan­dard. The BOSCH GTC 400 C has an over­lay mode that com­bines ther­mal and real images. The matrix of the ther­mal imager does not have the high­est res­o­lu­tion — 160x120 pix­els. This is large­ly due to the error of ±2°C, which com­pli­cates the mea­sure­ment of human body tem­per­a­ture. But for con­struc­tion and house­hold pur­pos­es, the BOSCH GTC 400 C is good, but does not like cold: the mea­sure­ment range here is from ‑10 ° C to 400 ° C. It is pos­si­ble to write down as advan­tages that the ther­mal imager works from four stan­dard AA bat­ter­ies. In addi­tion, there is the abil­i­ty to syn­chro­nize with devices on Android and iOS using Wi-Fi.

Pros and cons

Excel­lent work­man­ship, over­lay mode, syn­chro­niza­tion with smart­phones
Poor­ly suit­ed for mea­sur­ing neg­a­tive tem­per­a­tures

4. ADA instruments TemPro VISION

ADA instruments TemPro VISION
ADA instru­ments Tem­Pro VISION.

Rel­a­tive­ly afford­able ther­mal imager with wide func­tion­al­i­ty. The mea­sure­ment error here is less than that of the pre­vi­ous mod­el — ± 2 ° С. The mea­sure­ment range from ‑20°C to 300°C hints at use on cold objects. The res­o­lu­tion of the infrared image is 120x120 pix­els, but please note that this is an inter­po­la­tion — the real res­o­lu­tion of the detec­tor is two times low­er. The mea­sure­ment results are writ­ten to the mem­o­ry card. And yet, there is the same blend­ing mode, which is impor­tant for many buy­ers. Although the man­u­fac­tur­er claims a 24-month war­ran­ty, the device is not water­proof and is unlike­ly to sur­vive harsh oper­at­ing con­di­tions.

Pros and cons

Rel­a­tive­ly afford­able, runs on AA bat­ter­ies
No mois­ture pro­tec­tion

5. Seek Thermal Compact PRO iOS

Seek Thermal Compact PRO iOS
Seek Ther­mal Com­pact PRO iOS.

An extreme­ly unusu­al device is a ther­mal imag­ing mod­ule that con­nects to smart­phones. In addi­tion to the ver­sion for iOS, there is an option for Android devices. Con­nect to the charg­ing port, pre-install pro­pri­etary soft­ware — and you’re done. But, don’t think it’s a toy, the Seek Ther­mal Com­pact PRO is a seri­ous work­ing tool, albeit quite frag­ile. The res­o­lu­tion of the IR sen­sor is gen­er­al­ly very adult — 320 × 240 pix­els. And the oper­at­ing range can be envied by much more expen­sive ther­mal imagers: ‑40 ° C to 330 ° C. Of course, the repro­duc­tion and record­ing of a ther­mal imag­ing image lies entire­ly on the device. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there is no blend mode here.

Pros and cons

Geeks will like it, it reg­u­lar­ly per­forms the func­tions assigned to it
There is a chance to break a frag­ile plug, there is no over­lay

6. Condtrol IR-CAM 2

Condtrol IR-CAM 2
Condtrol IR-CAM 2.

Man­u­al mod­el of a rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple ther­mal imager. The res­o­lu­tion of the infrared sen­sor here is low, only 60x60 pix­els, but this should be enough for domes­tic pur­pos­es. The oper­at­ing range is not the widest: ‑20 °C to 300 °C. The min­i­mum dis­tance for focus­ing on an object is stat­ed to be 0.5 m, more advanced mod­els can show a ther­mal pic­ture even clos­er. This ther­mal imager does not have video shoot­ing and over­lay mode, but it writes data to a mem­o­ry card in bmp for­mat. Please note that Condtrol IR-CAM 2 is not pro­tect­ed against dust and mois­ture, so you need to be care­ful when work­ing with it. But the device runs on just four AA bat­ter­ies.

Pros and cons

Rea­son­able price, high qual­i­ty work­man­ship
Low res­o­lu­tion, no pro­tec­tion against dust and mois­ture

7. Flir C2

Flir C2
Flir C2.

Although Flir C2 is posi­tioned as a device for the con­struc­tion indus­try, but the mea­sure­ment error of 1.5% makes it a good option to find out the body tem­per­a­ture of oth­ers. The touch screen and a clear inter­face in Russ­ian makes work­ing with the device as sim­ple as if your smart­phone received an addi­tion­al func­tion. True, you have to pay for com­pact­ness and sim­plic­i­ty — the res­o­lu­tion of the infrared sen­sor is 80x60 pix­els, and the oper­at­ing tem­per­a­ture range is only ‑10 ° C to 150 ° C. But there is an over­lay mode.

Pros and cons

Com­pact and self-suf­fi­cient, user-friend­ly inter­face
Nar­row oper­at­ing tem­per­a­ture range
camera, slr, analog
camera, slr, analog
woman, photographer, digital camera
woman, young, digital camera
camera, photography, analog

8. FLUKE TiS40

FLUKE TiS40
FLUKE TiS40.

An expen­sive pro­fes­sion­al tool that is worth buy­ing if you know exact­ly what result you need. The res­o­lu­tion of the infrared matrix is ​​aver­age for this class device — 160x120 pix­els. This makes it pos­si­ble to cre­ate ther­mo­grams in excel­lent qual­i­ty. There is an over­lay mode here, but it is imple­ment­ed a lit­tle dif­fer­ent­ly than its com­peti­tors. In the TiS40, the ther­mal image is embed­ded in the pho­to in a sep­a­rate win­dow. The mea­sur­ing range is from ‑20°C to 350°C with an error of ±2% (although real users say that it is low­er). Despite the cost, the ther­mal imager can­not write video. But there is a two-year war­ran­ty, water pro­tec­tion accord­ing to the IP54 stan­dard and the man­u­fac­tur­er’s assur­ances that the design can eas­i­ly sur­vive a fall from a two-meter height.

Pros and cons

High-def­i­n­i­tion matrix, wide mea­sure­ment range, very high mechan­i­cal resis­tance
Exor­bi­tant price, I would like to see the record­ing of ther­mo­grams on video

9. ELITECH P 1000TV

ELITECH P 1000TV
ELITECH P 1000TV.

One of the most afford­able mod­els of ther­mal imagers on the Russ­ian mar­ket as of March 2022 (how­ev­er, it has sig­nif­i­cant­ly increased in price in recent months for obvi­ous rea­sons). The tem­per­a­ture mea­sure­ment error here is quite high — 3%. So, for med­ical pur­pos­es, this mod­el will be dif­fi­cult to use, but if there is no choice, then why not? The man­u­fac­tur­er claims that the device is capa­ble of mea­sur­ing in the range from ‑50 °C to +200 °C. Ther­mo­grams can be record­ed on a mem­o­ry card, of course, there is no ques­tion of video here. The advan­tages of the device include its low weight (0.22 kg) and the abil­i­ty to oper­ate on three AAA bat­ter­ies or one 18650 bat­tery.

Pros and cons

One of the most afford­able ther­mal imagers in Rus­sia, light weight
The high error makes it prac­ti­cal­ly use­less if you want to mea­sure a per­son­’s tem­per­a­ture, the assem­bly is not the neat­est

10. Flir ONE Pro iOS

Flir ONE Pro iOS
Flir ONE Pro iOS.

The sec­ond mod­u­lar ther­mal imager in our top, which is designed to be paired with a smart­phone. Flir ONE Pro con­nects to Apple devices using the Light­ning con­nec­tor. How­ev­er, if you search, you can also find a ver­sion with a USB‑C plug (regard­less of the plug, the device has a USB‑C con­nec­tor through which the built-in bat­tery is charged). The pre­fix Pro in this case means that the ther­mal imager can mea­sure tem­per­a­tures in the range from ‑20°C to 400°C. But the mea­sure­ment error, alas, is 3%. Thanks to the sec­ond cam­era, which works with the pic­ture in the vis­i­ble range, the device is able to work in over­lay mode.

Pros and cons

Very com­pact, the image from the ther­mal imager can be writ­ten into the video using third-par­ty smart­phone appli­ca­tions
For this mon­ey, you can also pur­chase a full-fledged ther­mal imager, the ques­tion remains about the reli­a­bil­i­ty of the plug con­nec­tion
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How to choose a thermal imager

The ther­mal imager is still for many of us a device from sci­ence fic­tion films or news reports when they help the army and air force. How­ev­er, as prac­tice shows, the best ther­mal imagers are need­ed both in con­struc­tion and econ­o­my, and, sad­ly, to iden­ti­fy peo­ple with dan­ger­ous infec­tious dis­eases. The lat­ter, of course, is best done using spe­cial­ized and cer­ti­fied devices, but in a pan­dem­ic this is unre­al­is­tic and you have to make do with what you have. Geor­gy Vimov, sales man­ag­er in the elec­tric tool trad­ing net­work, will help us to tell us how to choose the best ther­mal imager.

Body and ergonomics

Ther­mal imager, this is such a thing that you have to hold in your hands for a sin­gle minute. There­fore, if you real­ly need to work with such a device for a long time, it is best to give pref­er­ence to mod­els that are lighter and with a han­dle for an anatom­i­cal grip. Some­times, these para­me­ters are in con­flict — there are minia­ture devices on the mar­ket where there is no han­dle. But it is bet­ter to give pref­er­ence to the con­ve­nience of the grip.

It is desir­able that the body of the ther­mal imager be firm­ly assem­bled and have mois­ture pro­tec­tion accord­ing to the IP53 / 54 stan­dard, which will great­ly sim­pli­fy the oper­a­tion of the device. The best ther­mal cam­eras are not cheap tools that are bought for seri­ous work for one year, so their reli­a­bil­i­ty is a seri­ous issue.

Secondary camera and overlay mode

Even inex­pen­sive ther­mal imagers often receive aux­il­iary cam­eras oper­at­ing in the vis­i­ble spec­trum. Such a sen­sor helps to cre­ate so-called super­im­posed shots, when a ther­mo­gram is super­im­posed on a pho­to­graph. Often this is very use­ful, espe­cial­ly when you need to clear­ly show, for exam­ple, where heat evap­o­rates. It will also be use­ful to have an LED back­light, which can illu­mi­nate a dark place for an over­lay shot.

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Temperature sensitivity, operating temperature and accuracy

The best ther­mal imagers oper­ate in a cer­tain tem­per­a­ture range. Depend­ing on the mod­el, it may be wider or nar­row­er. Some mod­els can mea­sure sub-zero tem­per­a­tures down to ‑50 °C, while oth­ers can detect heat up to 500 °C (it can be high­er, but such devices are already much more expen­sive). Here you need to decide which tem­per­a­ture range you will most often work with in order to select the nec­es­sary ther­mal imager mod­el for it.

Ther­mal imag­ing devices have such a char­ac­ter­is­tic as sen­si­tiv­i­ty. Rough­ly speak­ing, this is the error in mea­sur­ing the tem­per­a­ture at two adja­cent points. And the low­er the sen­si­tiv­i­ty, the more accu­rate the mea­sure­ment result.

Final­ly, any ther­mal imager has a cer­tain error. Of course, the low­er it is, the bet­ter. Give pref­er­ence to those mod­els where this fig­ure is 2% or low­er.

Recording data and working with Wi-Fi

No mat­ter how good a ther­mal imager is at mea­sur­ing tem­per­a­ture, this data must be record­ed some­how in order to be used lat­er in work. Ide­al­ly, of course, this is best done in video, but few of the best ther­mal cam­eras are capa­ble of this yet. Usu­al­ly, the data is writ­ten either to spe­cial files that store the full analy­sis of the ther­mo­gram, but which require cer­tain soft­ware to work with. A snap­shot can also be writ­ten to graph­ic files, in the meta­da­ta of which spe­cial data is stored.

It great­ly sim­pli­fies the work with a Wi-Fi ther­mal imager (if it is, of course, in this mod­el). Using the wire­less inter­face and the installed pro­gram on a smart­phone or PC, you can receive and record data online, which great­ly saves time and effort.

By Yraa

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