What to Look For in a Thermal Imaging Camera

A thermal imaging camera is a valuable tool for many different industries and applications, including home inspections, electrical or gas detection surveys, building envelope analyses and predictive maintenance programs. They

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A thermal imaging camera is a valuable tool for many different industries and applications, including home inspections, electrical or gas detection surveys, building envelope analyses and predictive maintenance programs. They are also often used to initiate insurance claims and substantiate restoration repairs. Many of the best models have built-in software for performing basic image analysis and creating reports. Others have optional advanced software for more in-depth and customizable features.

Unlike optical cameras, thermal imaging cameras don’t need visual light to function and can work in complete darkness. This makes them a great choice for use in the dark, but they still can be impacted by ambient light. For that reason, the thermal sensitivity of a model is important to keep in mind. It is measured in milli-Kelvins (mK), which describes how sensitive the device is to thermal radiation – the lower the number, the better.

Understanding the Basics: What is a Thermal Imaging Camera

Because long-wave infrared light is reflected by most materials, the lenses on thermal imaging cameras must be made of special material such as Germanium, calcium fluoride or crystalline silicon. They must also have anti-reflective coatings to prevent ghosting and other artifacts.

Some of the best thermal imaging cameras have advanced features like MSX technology, which superimposes a digital image over the thermal one, and multiple image modes for versatility. They also feature quick temperature measurements and innovative macro mode for focusing on small components. Other handy features include a high-temperature alarm and WiFiWiFi connectivity for sharing images quickly.


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