The human eye cannot naturally perceive temperature or temperature variations. Fortunately, however, a method allows quick and easy detection of the temperature released by a specific area or from a particular space. This method is CCTV with thermal imaging. That is intended to display thermograms, images that display infrared radiation from a distance and indicate the temperature level. The best thermal imaging camera can be used in various fields and industries, from construction to rescue operations or military and hunting activities. So, if you want to know how to choose the best thermal imaging camera, read on.
What Functions Should the CCTV with Thermal Imaging Have?
The thermal imaging camera has multiple applications. Hunters often use it in military operations for guarding or security. That’s because it depends on the light and can detect temperature changes at night. Thus people or animals can be identified very easily. Also, CCTV with thermal imaging is used in construction or by electricians. In assessing the energy level of your home, for example, an energy audit will use a camera to identify heat loss in your home. Finally, these cameras allow rescuers to perform searches even at night in rescue operations.
If, by the nature of your occupation, you need a camera with thermal imaging, you are more than sure you want to choose the ideal one. Depending on the purpose you want to use it, such a camera can have a different configuration or price. The offer on the market is diverse, and if it is the first time you want to buy something like this, it may be challenging for you to figure out whether a product suits you.
How Does the Best Thermal Imaging Camera Work?
A thermal imaging camera allows a person to observe the temperature level in a particular space. That is possible by recognizing infrared radiation. The stronger they are, the higher the temperature in a specific area. After detecting the infrared rays, the CCTV with thermal imaging will display a thermogram. The thermogram is an image from which the temperature can be interpreted. High-temperature values will be displayed in warm colors: yellow, red-orange. Low-temperature values will be rendered in cool colors: green and blue. All thermal imaging cameras work on this principle.
Resolution is one of the most important criteria for selecting such a camera. The best thermal imaging camera has the highest possible resolution. The higher the resolution, the more accurate information you can get from a greater distance. Thermal imaging cameras, which have a lower resolution, allow accurate thermogram reproduction only when the subject of interest is scanned very close, which may only sometimes be convenient. The answer is, therefore, directly responsible for the excellent quality of the thermal image. Any buyer should be aware of two more aspects.
First, you should expect a CCTV with thermal imaging to have a different resolution than a regular camera, so don’t judge cameras by that. Second, distinguish detector resolution from screen resolution. These are different most of the time, so make sure the answer shown by the manufacturer in the product description is that of the detector. Most of the time, the resolution is rendered in pixels. Choose a thermal imaging camera with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels if you want to use it for industrial operations, where displaying an accurate thermogram is essential for determining the remediation methods of any defects found.
Depending on what temperature you need or expect to detect with a CCTV with thermal imaging, you will choose a professional or a conventional one. Professional models are more expensive, obviously, and there’s no point investing in them if you don’t anticipate needing to scan extended temperature ranges. A conventional model, on the other hand, will be cheaper and allow temperature recognition in a much narrower range, usually between -20 degrees Celsius and 50 degrees Celsius. So please choose according to your actual needs because it would be sad to invest in a professional model and never have the opportunity to use it to its full potential.
The Accuracy of the Device
The best thermal imaging camera is the one that will be able to detect and display temperature differences with the highest accuracy. As with similar products, a margin of error is allowed, but the smaller the camera, the better. Most of the time, detecting minor temperature differences will matter quite. That’s why specialists recommend avoiding models with an accuracy index higher than ±2%. In addition, the best thermal imaging camera is equipped with auto-focus. This option enables the automatic focusing of scanned objects. Why do you need such a function? Maybe you want to check the temperature of a recently broken tool.
Being able to delimit the object, the target taken in sight, from the rest of the surrounding visual context, will help you identify a possible malfunction faster. A CCTV with thermal imaging that involves manual focus operation can be cumbersome to use, and in situations where every second counts, it is not recommended to have such a camera. However, the image quality and display options can be a plus that you will use. You’ll use these images and options not only to see where a temperature-related problem is but also to show your co-workers or customers more clearly what issues need fixing.
In addition to rendering infrared images, the best CCTV with thermal imaging will also be able to display Multi-Spectral Dynamic images. The MSX function allows a sharper and more accurate picture to be displayed. It highlights the details in the thermogram, and the difference between a camera with MSX and one without is more than evident. Another helpful option is to display images in Picture-In-Picture mode. Therefore, both the IR image and the standard image of the studied object will be displayed simultaneously on the screen. Thus, it will be possible to more precisely recognize problem areas that can be perceived with the naked eye.