A spot thermal camera is an amazing tool with a million and one uses. Contractors use them to determine hot and cold spots on roofs, within walls, and on their equipment. They also have uses around the home, such as checking the temperature of a baby’s milk bottle, looking at the body temperature of your pets, and discovering hidden leaks. Basically, with a spot thermal camera, you can see the temperatures of areas in and around your home without having to risk injuring your limbs.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at two popular spot thermal camera models – the FLIR TG165 and Perfect-Prime IR0001. Both of these cameras are versatile enough for both home-use and in professional settings, although there are some clear differences in how they perform. They have the same thermal sensitivity of 0.15°C and similar temperature ranges, but which of the two offers better specs and valueLet’s find out.
A good spot thermal camera for professional and personal use should be able to detect temperatures of over 300°C. Machinery used in large manufacturing plants can commonly reach hundreds of degrees, making the use of a thermal camera increasingly necessary to detect overheating. The FLIR has a temperature range of between -25° and 380°C.
The Perfect-Prime has a temperature gauge range of between -20 and 300°C. This temperature range is more appropriate for home and construction use since it can’t detect temperatures of over 300°, though the common man can understand that anything of at least 300°C is in need of maintenance to overcome overheating problems.
Conclusion: Although the FLIR has a larger extreme cold and hot measurement range, the Perfect-Prime can essentially detect the same overheating problems. For this reason, we feel that the temperature ranges of both these cameras are basically similar. Functionality-wise, these cameras are identical.
One of the largest complaints about handheld thermal spot cameras is their small screens. The FLIR comes with a 2-inch screen which, even by thermal spot camera standards, is rather small. This isn’t entirely a deal breaker since thermal spot cameras aren’t exactly made to provide high-resolution pictures (more on this later).
The Perfect-Prime comes with a slightly larger screen than the FLIR. Its 2.4-inch screen is admittedly easier to see more detail than in the FLIR but not by much. However, when it comes to screen size in general, larger is always better.
Conclusion: The Perfect-Prime’s 2.4-inch screen is theoretically preferable to the FLIR’s 2-inch screen, though the difference is marginal. Since most contractors tend to move the captured thermal images to larger screens (e.g., laptops or computer), small sized screen are excusable.
The resolution of captured images is important, but there’s really no need for high-resolution images since the different colors in the image are clear indicators of hot and cold temperatures. The resolution of the FLIR’s images is only 80 x 60 pixels which is surprisingly closer to the highest resolution available in handheld spot thermal cameras.
If you thought 80 x 60 pixels was low, wait until you hear how many pixels are packed in a thermal image captured by the Perfect-Prime. Each image contains only 32 x 32 pixels. When viewed through large screens like your laptop or through the camera’s small screen, you’ll still be able to differentiate between different temperatures in the image.
Conclusion: The FLIR’s pixel density is better than the Perfect-Prime’s. Keep in mind that these cameras aren’t for selfies, nor are they used to immortalize precious family moments. That being said, the low resolutions of both the FLIR and the Perfect-Prime are acceptable, though we wish handheld spot thermal cameras could come with high-res pics.
There’s no point taking pictures if the camera can’t store them for you. Most cameras come with ports to insert SSD memory cards. The FLIR comes with an 8 GB memory card, but the camera supports external memory cards of up to 32 GB.
Upon purchase, the Perfect-Prime comes with a 4 GB memory card. Considering the small image sizes, 4 GB will go a long way. The maximum memory storage compatible with this camera is limited to only 4 GB. Be sure to move the images as frequently as possible from the camera to an external image-viewing device.
Conclusion: 8 GB, 32 GB, 4 GB, large storage capacity hardly matters when each picture is roughly between 3 and 14 KB. However, we admit that it can be annoying having to move pictures to a laptop, especially considering that neither of these cameras has Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities. Because of this annoyance, larger memory would matter, making the FLIR the better choice, even with the standard 8 GB memory card.
Battery and Battery Life
The FLIR comes with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery which has its pros and cons. Rechargeable batteries are good since you won’t need to worry about purchasing fresh batteries constantly. The bad is that the battery will lose power over time. Straight from the box, the FLIR’s battery can power the camera for more than 5 hours of continuous scanning with its dual lasers.
The Perfect-Prime draws power from four AA batteries. Whether you want to purchase rechargeable AA batteries or not is up to you. Using a fresh bundle of AA batteries, this camera can run for roughly more than 36 hours if it’s constantly scanning.
Conclusion: The customer has to decide whether rechargeable Li-Ion or regular AA batteries suit them fine. We prefer rechargeable Li-Ion batteries since we don’t have to worry about replacing them for months or even years at a time, though we do have to remember to keep the unit charged.
FLIR vs Perfect-Prime: Verdict
Between the FLIR TG16 and the Perfect-Prime IR0001, we feel that the FLIR is the more superior model. First of all, FLIR is one of the most popular manufacturers of handheld thermal imaging cameras. Second, this camera, admittedly an entry-level model, works for both professional and residential purposes and provides “high” resolution images that are easy to read.
Third, the FLIR comes with larger memory capacity, and it can be upgraded to 8 times that of the Perfect-Prime. Finally, it uses rechargeable batteries that can last for extremely long periods of time. The Perfect-Prime has a larger screen, but the screen size is insignificant when looking at the greater picture.