Things to Consider Before Buying an Infrared Camera
Even though infrared cameras have never been more reasonably priced, it is still necessary for those willing to invest in them to be sure that they are getting nothing but the best model. You have to be sure that the camera will serve you well for a long time. As such, you will need to consider the following aspects before you settle on an infrared camera for your drone:
What kind of activities do you intend to use your camera for? Are you looking for an infrared camera for a host of applications or for a specific application? Before you buy your camera, be sure that these questions have the right answers.
The type of application you intend to use your camera will determine the range you can comfortably go for. If you are going to use your camera in building thermography, a limited range may be ideal. But if you are going to use it on projects with higher temperatures, then consider picking a model that can measure higher temperature levels. Alternatively, you could go for one of the cameras that come with upgrading features to allow you to upgrade whenever you want to change its application.
Presently, the maximum resolution of a portable camera stands at 1024×768 while the lowest end can be 60×80. When buying an infrared camera, therefore, make sure you look at the detector resolution instead of screen resolution to avoid being misled.
You certainly don’t want to have a camera that is difficult to operate. As such, make sure you try out the camera before buying it. Be sure to hire the same model you intend to buy if possible and try using it in a different environment, especially where you intend to be using it.
You may consider buying a camera with the option of adding lenses. Although not many models have this option, it is great, especially when you want a narrower or a wider field of view. Purchasing a model with interchangeable lenses is ideal because the feature supports multiple uses.
For most infrared camera applications, the LWIR is enough. However, if you intend to use your camera on high-speed applications like on drones, check out models with MWIR.
Today, most infrared cameras are fairly sturdy and robust. Even so, it is imperative to note that the manner in which you will handle your camera will also determine how long it will last.
FLIR DUO PRO R
This is an aerial thermal camera designed and manufactured with industrial, commercial, and public safety uses in mind. It provides easy integration with your UAV where it combines a striking dual high resolution thermal with the impressive 4k visual imaging to deliver a clear and powerful image. With this camera, you have the ability to watch video streams of both concurrently and picture-in-picture mode. What’s more, you can easily capture imagery and thermal data right from the air as your drone hovers.
- Compact for easy transportation
- Easy to operate; makes it ideal for starters
- Excellent GPS that is great for geo-mapping
- Its frame rates are not as great as those of some of its competitors
- No extended zoom
Features and Benefits
This camera comes with a host of impressive features that enable it to function flawlessly. It comes with an inbuilt sensor that is best suited for image geo-tagging. The GPS receiver, magnetometer, IMU, as well as barometer features are fully integrated to deliver accurate data that is needed without incorporating external flight controllers. The integration of these features enables the camera to produce an impressive aerial map as well as 3D models.
It comes with impressive image modes that include a thermal sensor and a 4k color video camera that allows capturing and recording of excellent thermal images. Moreover, it comes fitted with Flir’s exclusive MSX blending that enables the blending of visual and thermal imagery to produce a more comprehensive and visually precise thermal image. The Flir also comes with picture-in-picture, visual, and thermal image modes.
It comes with the FLIR UAS app that easily configures over Bluetooth to let you set color palletes, image optimization features, and configure PWM inputs without carrying your laptop to the site. The FLIR UAS app is compatible with both iOS and Android.
This FLIR DUO PRO can be easily updated to the latest FLIR features. Its upgradability field extends its versatility significantly besides making sure it is cost effective. With all these impressive high-end features, the FLIR Duo is an excellent performer in industrial, marine, government and defense, research and development, public safety, and commercial applications.
It features an in-flight image enhancement that allows users to switch between different color and thermal camera or view footage in picture-in-picture while performing other multiple activities at a go. Moreover, the remote control allows you to initiate real-time basic camera functions such as start and stop recording, selecting between image color-palletes, switching to video streaming, and capturing motionless images.
Unfortunately, there is no social proof because FLIR DUO PRO R is new in the market. FLIR just announced its production.
1. Zenmuse XT2
FLIR DUO is available to users at an incredibly cheaper price as compared to the Zenmuse XT2 thus making it ideal for starters. Its GPS receiver also makes it a favorite camera for geo-mappers since it produces impressive 3D maps and models. The Zenmuse XT2 features better frame rates, meaning that its video stream is superior and rolls in a smoother manner to make it ideal for security applications.
- FLIR Duo is compact and lightweight, thus making it easily portable as compared to Zenmuse XT2
- Zenmuse XT2 lens allows a better field of view for better shot variation as compared to FLIR DUO
- FLIR DUO is versatile and can be fitted on different drones as opposed to Zenmuse XT2
If you are into security missions, therefore, make sure to check out Zenmuse XT2!
2. FLIR VUE PRO
FLIR VUE PRO is the cheaper and relatively lightweight of the two. FLIR VUE PRO cost almost half of the price yet it comes with high-end features that rival the FLIR Duo Pro. FLIR VUE Pro is certainly the most affordable for today’s commercial sUAS operations.
- FLIR VUE PRO has very simple power-in and video-out connections as compared to FLIR Duo
- FLIR VUE PRO is relatively lightweight for easy mounting on both hard-mount and brushless gimbal as opposed to FLIR Duo
- FLIR VUE PRO is pre-configured, which makes it easy and quick to get it in in the air for search and rescue as compared to FLIR Duo
If you are into search and rescue missions, therefore, you might need to check out FLIR VUE PRO!
3. FLIR VUE PRO R
The FLIR VUE PRO R is slightly cheaper as compared to FLIR Duo Pro. The FLIR VUE PRO R captures precise non-contact thermal measurements from a drone and stores the images with a calibrated temperature data that is embedded in each pixel. Moreover, it features the MAVLink Interface that triggers automatic image capture and geotags images for survey and mapping missions.
- Easy to install with 5VDC input power and outputs analog video as compared to Flir Duo Pro
- Unlike Flir Duo, this camera is factory calibrated for accurate temperature measurements from an airborne perspective
If you engage in land mapping and surveying, FLIP VUE PRO R will be your ideal pick!
FLIR Duo Pro is certainly an excellent option if you are looking for a high performing thermal imaging camera for a survey, mapping, commercial, industrial, and security applications. With the in-built sensor suite, you can be sure to get excellent and clear 3D maps and models. Moreover, it makes it easier for drone users to capture images and thermal data efficiently even when moving at high speed. Most importantly, its size and price make it far much open to commercial enterprise starters as compared to high-end thermal cameras like Zenmuse XT2.
Are you interested in learning more about FLIR DUO thermal imaging camera? If you are, click here to check it out!