If you go shopping for thermal cameras, you will come across a diverse selection of products. You could invest in high-end models that offer a comprehensive range of features. Or, you could consider purchasing the basic models that offer limited functionality. These basic models will usually read the temperature of the fixed centre crosshairs on the display. In contrast, higher-end models offer multiple features that enable the user to select multiple crosshairs and draw comparisons between them. This comparison feature would enable the user to view the high, low and the average temperatures on display.
Most infrared imaging thermal cameras will come with user-selectable multiple colour palettes. These will enable the user to select between black and white displays or iron or rainbow displays. Home inspectors often use the iron palettes on their infrared cameras. The black and white palette enables the user to identify details on an image that the camera produces. Similarly, the rainbow palette is ideal for displaying the differences in temperature levels of various objects. Not surprisingly, cameras with this palette feature the best thermal sensitivity levels.
Other features that thermal cameras might have include:
- Colour Alarms: These enable the user to specify a temperature range. The camera will only display a colour thermal image of all objects having heat signature ranges either above or below the selected temperature range.
- Picture-in-Picture: This will display a colour thermal image within a standard digital image. The first image will usually be a quarter of the size of the display area.
- Fusion or Blending Capability: This feature enables the user to blend either maximum, minimum or average temperature of the thermal image with a standard digital image. In many cases, only high-end models have this feature.