There’s no other better example of technology impacting our lives significantly than the mobile phones we have today, and there’s no technological innovation as mind-boggling as the thermal imaging cameras. There’s not much that can trump these two technologies until we do the unthinkable- combining them. Due to the rapid advancements in technology, we’ve now reached a point where these two unrelated technologies can be combined into one. A mobile phone with thermal imaging capabilities sounds like a dream for anyone into building inspection, thermal surveillance, machine vision, hunting, and several other activities. However, it’s not always easy to choose the right thermal camera for your phone because of the variety of models available in the market.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the most important points that you should keep in mind if you want to choose a thermal camera for your phone. We’ll be discussing some of the parameters that you should watch out for if you want to make sure your money is utilized properly. So without further delay, let’s get to it and find out how you can choose the best thermal camera for your smartphone.
1. Temperature Range
One of the most important parameters for anyone searching for a thermal camera has to be the camera’s temperature range. If you want to get the best results, it’s advisable to evaluate the use cases first. Once you can determine the purpose you’ll need thermal imaging capabilities for, you’ll be able to get a broad range of temperatures that you’ll need to measure. If you want to detect warm-blooded mammals and fever in people, your requirements will be vastly different from those who want to use heat-sensing for building inspections and troubleshooting. This is why it’s crucial for you to determine the temperature range so that the camera you get is usable in your situation.
The one characteristic that separates low-quality thermal cameras from high-quality ones is accuracy. The accuracy of a thermal camera depends on a variety of factors and it ensures that the differences in the camera are detected. If you utilize a camera with low accuracy, you’ll most probably be able to view the heat signature without much differentiation. However, if you want to detect the different levels of heat emitted by the same body precisely, you’ll want to grab a higher-quality camera with low variance in its accuracy. Most good thermal cameras have an accuracy of 2% plus or minus; however, if your particular use case doesn’t demand such pinpoint accuracy, then there’s no point in spending extra money for this feature.
Resolution defines how clearly you can see a smaller object from a distance. Cameras with higher resolution allow you to capture all the smaller details, while the cameras with low resolution come at a cheaper price. Since the resolution of a thermal camera will almost always be less than the resolution of a standard mobile phone camera, you’ll also have to take that into account. Different brands have different models that operate at different resolutions, the Seek Compact or FLIR One being one of the many available options, and the one you choose will depend on the level of detail you need in your thermal images and what you intend to do with it. This is one area where you can save costs by opting for the models that match your needs rather than buying the camera with the highest resolution.
Thermal cameras are usually subjected to a lot more abuse, stress, and elements than regular cameras. This is because these cameras are utilized for purposes like security surveillance, wildlife detection, and monitoring critical infrastructure. All of these use cases are very demanding on the camera as it’ll be sitting outside for the majority of its time. This is why you should check the durability of the camera before buying it by asking around, reading reviews, and even trying it out. If your thermal camera breaks down while you’re using it, you’ll face many difficulties in finding an immediate replacement for it.
5. After Sales Service
Another crucial aspect of choosing a thermal camera should be the after-sales service provided by the manufacturer. This includes the warranties and the product maintenance services which will be useful later on. Your camera might malfunction or break at some point in the future and if your manufacturer’s after-sales services are poor, you’ll face a lot of trouble getting it fixed or replaced. This is why you should buy only from reputed and trusted manufacturers who’re renowned for providing great service to their customers.
These are some of the most important things you need to remember while purchasing a thermal camera if you want to be happy with your purchase. Remember that there are a lot of duplicate and knock-off brands selling their products as well which is why you need to be extra careful. If you can look out for the things mentioned in this article while purchasing your camera, you shouldn’t face many issues and you’ll also save a considerable amount of money doing so. These points are only suggestive and there might be other points that you can consider depending on your personal preferences.