If you really love photography and you want to increase your game, one way to do that is by investing in a thermal camera. Thermal cameras are not cheap devices. Buying a thermal camera is really an investment, which is why you want to do your research and make sure that you chose the right one for your needs.
#1 Go For The Highest Detector Resolution
With a thermal camera, it is not about which camera can give you the most pixels, it is about which camera has the highest detector resolution rating. The higher the detector resolution rating, the further away your camera can pick up and measure thermal targets from. A higher detector resolution rating will also allow you to capture sharper and more infocus thermal images. Make sure when you look at the detector resolution rating that you are not looking at the resolution of the LCD screen on the camera. That is just the resolution of the screen, not of the image you are taking. You want the detector resolution to be high.
#2 Find A Camera That Gives You Accurate Results
With a thermal camera, you are not just able to capture thermal images, you are also able to capture information. You are able to determine information such as the reflected temperature, the relative humidity, the atmospheric temperature, the emissivity of the object and the distance you are from the object.
You want a thermal camera that can give you accurate information for all the parameters that you need to collect information about. Thermal cameras have accuracy ratings. You want to find a thermal camera with will give you reading that are within 2% accuracy level or better. Thermal cameras with larger accuracy ranges, such as 4%, will not give you precise information that you can trust.
#3 Supports Standard Files
Finally, make sure that the infrared cameras can output the images and information you take in standard file formats. For example, you want to be able to share JPEGs of your photos as well as MPEG 4 videos. Many thermal cameras use proprietary formats that require special software in order to open, see and analyze the image.
If you share your work more broadly and work with a variety of individuals that need to see the information your camera gathers, but don't have the special software to do so, you should invest in a thermal camera that can also transfer the images and information into more accessible file formats.