There are a number of components that contribute to both the quality and cost of a thermal imaging camera. The two most important factors are detector resolution and thermal sensitivity.
In thermal camera models, the detector resolution describes the number of pixels. The most common resolutions are 160 x 120, 320 x 240, and 640 x 480 pixels. For example, a 320 x 240 detector produces an image of 76,800 pixels. Since each pixel has a temperature associated with it, it is a 76,800 temperature data point. Clearer images are produced with higher resolutions.
Thermal sensitivity is the smallest temperature difference that the camera can detect. A sensitivity of 0.05 ° means that the camera can distinguish only one fifth of a degree of temperature difference between the two surfaces.
Another important factor to consider is the temperature range of the thermal imaging camera. The range tells you what the minimum and maximum temperatures the camera can measure (typical from -20 ° C to 1200 ° F).
For the best thermal image, most cameras have four settings. These; focusing, emissivity adjustment changes, reflective temperature adjustment changes and thermal adjustment. Each of these settings should be considered when selecting a thermal camera. Like a standard camera, the lens of the thermal camera should focus to improve the sharpness of the image. Most cameras can focus by rotating the lens.
Since thermal energy can be reflected from glossy surfaces, thermal cameras do not see the glass. Cameras can be used to gather information about the interior of a wall, but are not conducive to seeing walls. It is important to know that thermal imaging cameras should not be used as the sole decision-making factor in the event of a problem. It is always recommended to use other devices to verify the problem.