If you need to purchase a thermal camera to accomplish a work project, it's important to be aware of the key factors you need to look into to choose the best model. Unfortunately, a lot of thermal camera purchasers make big mistakes that complicate the completion of the task at hand. The following are six mistakes to avoid when you select a thermal camera for the best possible results:
Not evaluating the model's reputation for accuracy and repeatability
A major purpose of a thermal camera is to measure heat differences. However, in order to do so accurately, the camera must repeat results consistently. An important feature a thermal camera must have to be reliable and accurate is a way to adjust two values: the "reflected temperature" and the "emissivity." Make sure that your camera model allows you to adjust these parameters to ensure you'll have an effective piece of equipment.
Neglecting to test out reporting software before purchase
A modern thermal camera should come along with software that assists with the analysis and reporting of collected data. This is an important feature of a thermal camera and will make your job easier whether you're using the model for electrical inspections, audits of energy usage, predictive maintenance, or any other possible application. Test out reporting software to check on how user-friendly it is before committing to a particular model.
Failing to consider comfort
If you're using a thermal camera for a work project, you're probably going to be spending a lot of time with it in your hands. You should, therefore, consider comfort factors like the weight of the camera and how well the design fits into the user's hands. A lot of thermal camera models will include features like fitted grips and utility belts to make usage more comfortable.
Choosing a model with lower detector resolution
The higher the detector resolution, the better the quality of your thermal camera. Higher detector resolution models might come along with higher price tags, but your thermal camera may prove to be useless to you if the detector resolution is too low.
Buying a thermal camera model that doesn't work in standard file formats
Obviously, you're going to need your thermal camera to produce image files. Be sure to check what file format various thermal camera models work in. You should find a thermal camera model that can offer images in not only a proprietary file format but also in a standard JPEG or even MPEG4 video format so that it's easy to work with the files your model produces.
Choosing a model that offers only a narrow temperature range
If your thermal camera has a wide enough temperature range, it will allow you to conveniently evaluate high and ambient temperatures all in one image. You need to be aware of what temperature range you'll need for your project before you choose a model.
Avoiding these six mistakes should help you find the right thermal camera for the job.