A little while ago I had one of those birthday things and I usually get myself something vaguely silly. This year it was a Seek Thermal camera for my smart phone.
The Seek camera is not available in the UK yet (Booo!) but I got a friend in the US to get me one. It normally retails for $249 but I found it on sale for $200. Result!
It has a 206×156 pixel sensor which is a LOT higher than the FLIR ONE 80×60 pixels! The FLIR camera mixes images from a visible light camera with the thermal camera to get a ‘better’ picture. There is also the Therm-App camera which is better still but it is bonkers $$. That does not fall into the ‘toy’ price band.
Pretty much all of these cameras come in iPhone (lightning connector) and Android (micro USB) versions. I have the android. Unfortunately the Seek camera is designed for some rather specific phones so on my Sony Z1 Compact it sits sideways and on my Nexus tablet it faces the user. DOH! They know about this and recommend you buy an extension cable. (although it would be better if they offered it or even included it!)
Anyway, minor issues given that I now have a thermal camera! WOOO!
One of my moggies in glorious thermal rendering.
My car. I need to play with the image settings and the colours. Still just pratting about with it basically.
One mega gripe, the app is an utter bag of spanners! I thought the camera had died as the app would not recognise it any more. Cue serious panic and nerd depression at the prospect of a cool and slightly pointless birthday present dying within 10 mins of un-boxing. Turns out you have to manually kill the app to make it work again. GRR! But at least the camera is not dead.
About 2 years ago we hired a Fluke handheld thermal camera at work, can’t remember the model but I do remember it was about £2k list price. Trying to diagnose some thermal issues on a project that was too fiddly for the usual thermocouple method. Anyway, here is a pic of the cat with that camera:
I know the Fluke did auto ranging so that is probably the reason for the greater contrast of temperatures. I’d also hope the Fluke had a better sensor for that money! It had a much larger lens so one would assume the sensors are very different. But I’m still happy with my new toy!