- Feb 4, 2010
Every 30 seconds would be nice, the cheap ones seem to do it about every other second, even in conditions where you would not expect the temperature of the actual sensor to change that much.
I had no idea that they actually got that bad. A buddy of mine has their TG-130 model and it refreshes about as often as mine does. Maybe some have TEC integrated and the ones that don't get crippled by calibration time? That's my best guess...
One thing to look out for is how they deal with optical and thermal images combined.
Some units just save what is displayed, even if it's a thermal image overlaid on an optical image. This can be quite problematic especially when the optical image is color - red wires looking really hot whie they are just red and dead cold and such traps.
I reckon it will take a couple of years for the technology to properly mature and become available at low prices. Not that current dedicated IR camera's are that bad, but i think there will be some point where they will become common on smartphones as an integrated feature rather than an add on device you plug in.
When I'm using it, for the most part I turn off the MSX or image combining features it offers. They serve a purpose, however they're certainly not my cup of tea. Especially when you're looking to calibrate the view distance. For a $1000 unit (not to mention the E8's $4000 price tag), you'd think they could spare some room to come up with a way to judge distance automatically and have a manual override option available. Dunno, it's a cool feature that I will never use.
That said... I do have something to note about the images themselves.
The image formats FLIR (at least this model) uses are a wee bit wonky. It stores everything as a .jpg. And I mean everything.
It contains the full IR image, the full spectral image, and the image you 'snapped' using the device. You need to use FLIR's software in order to pull the former two out, however the last one is readily available as the main image in the .jpg -- they open just fine in photo viewers.
Technically speaking, its probably just an image and a data set [thermal data] stored in the header with the rest of the metadata. Can't say I ever thought to keep more data in the file header than the file itself.