Thermal Camera Training Resources
Learn about the types of thermal cameras (also known as infrared cameras) we carry and their operations/functionality. From the available options to the user interface, each camera is unique. Regardless of which camera you select for your application, view our guides and resources to get the most out of your camera.
Thermal Camera Buying Guides
How Does Thermal Imaging Work?
It is important to understand what a Thermographic Camera is and its operations prior to finding the right product for your application. Thermal cameras are also called infrared cameras or thermal imaging cameras. Thermal Cameras construct an image from the surroundings using the infrared radiation from objects. Much like a regular camera, they use visible light to build this image but unlike standard cameras the wavelenghts of operation are as long as 14,000nm.
So how does it work? The special lens in these cameras captures the infrared light emmitted by the objects in view. using this light, the camera scans it through a phased array of infrared detector elements. These elements create a pattern. This pattern is called a thermogram.
Once the thermograph is created by the detector elements, this is translated into electric impulses that are passed to a signal-processing unit. This unit assembles the information using a circuit board and its respective dedicated chips to translate the information received.
The information translated is then turned to raw data that the display can process. The display now uses this data to render a picture of various colors (heat signatures) that depend on the intensity of the infrared emission that was received. Now that the display is rendering colors, it begins to compile all the colors together to generate the image we see.
Thermal Imaging Vs Night Vision
Lately, there has been some discussion as to what the difference is between these two types of cameras. Most individuals identify Thermal Cameras as multi-color (heat) related images and Night Vision as the green images. Many movies have used these type of devices to show how people see through areas (thermal) and see at night (night vision). But what are the true differences and which one is right for you?
Thermal Imaging (Cameras)
Thermal Cameras detect more than just heat. They detect the day-to-day thermal energy of all objects, even ice! When there is a difference between objects (even the slightest amount - up to 0.01 degrees Celsius) they show up as different colors regardless of lighting conditions. Now, you may think that an object such as a log in water for days would match the temperature of the water right? Wrong. The log and the water will have different heat signatures because they both absorb heat from the sun at different rates and therefore do not escape the eye of a thermal imager. This concept applies to all objects on earth and makes it easy to understand thermal cameras.
Night Vision Devices
Night Vision Devices come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. These devices use small amounts of visible light to magnity it greatly and generate an image. This image is the green picture we have become familiar with. Unlike, thermal cameras, night vision devices are limited because they require visible light. So if you are in a very very dark place with no visible light, they will not work well. On the contrary, if you have too much light, the light is greatly intensified and once again, they will not work well. Despite filters, they are difficult to work with for a multi-solution industry requirement.
So overall, which one is a better fit for most of people? The answer, as you can see from above, is a thermal camera. They are not affected by visible light since no light is needed to generate a picture. Thermal imagers are also not affected by large amounts of visible light. In other words, you can shine a spotlight at a thermal camera and it will not be affected. If you are looking to use your camera during the day and night, a thermal imager is your best fit.
Which Best Fits Your Need?
Don't See What You Are Looking For?
Don't worry! We can help you find the right camera solution or aid you in finding more information about your current model. Speak with an expert.