A thermal imaging surveillance camera is the product of the technological advancement of humanity. There are three different types of thermal technologies that can be used to create a camera that offers thermal visions. Each type of technology has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, before you choose a thermal imaging camera, you must research and understand the needs of your application. Only then, you should base your choice on these requirements and choose one of the three types of technologies.
• Uncooled thermal cameras. The uncooled technology was created for colder climates. This means that its performance is lower in warmer climates, and you should look for another alternative if that’s what you need it for. Although it is designed for mid to long-range applications, it is recommended to only use them for low to mid-range distances. For other needs, you should research and use another technology.
• Cooled thermal cameras. Cooled cameras are almost the opposite of uncooled technology. These cameras have an incredible performance at very long distances. They are also able to produce incredible results even through challenging weather conditions. Of course, it shouldn’t be used for short-range purposes. And you also need to keep in mind that these types of cameras have a much higher price as well.
• Advanced uncooled thermal camera. This technology was created to bridge the gap between the two. It has a performance that can compete with the cooled thermal technology is many cases. But the maximum distance can still be somewhat short, and the difficult weather conditions can create some problems for these types of cameras. But in normal weather conditions, you can get a camera with a performance similar to the cooled thermal technology at a price similar to a camera that uses uncooled technology.
The uncooled technology and the advanced form are very similar but very different at the same time. The core technology is the same, and this means that you could use any of the two for the same purpose. But the core technology was adapted for different applications and purposes. So, a thermal imaging camera that uses a different technology will also have different applications. If the same is similar, it does not mean that performance and effects are also the same. Overall, there are three differences between the two.
• Maximum range. The first difference and in many cases the most important one is the maximum range of the cameras. The uncooled technology is used for cameras that have a 300mm maximum range while the advanced version can reach up to 900mm, similar to cooled cameras. Keep in mind that this does not mean that the filming distance of the advanced cameras is three times more. The main benefit is the clarity of the images at longer distances.
• Applications. The types of applications for these two models also have some differences. Although both of them are used most of the time in perimeter security and oil and gas applications, their purposes can differ from each other. But the biggest difference is the fact that the uncooled cameras are exclusively used for portable surveillance applications while the advanced technology is used in homeland security applications.
• Overall specs. The overall specs of these cameras are very different. The performance of advanced technology is obviously much higher than the uncooled one. But the price of these cameras will also rise accordingly. Although the specs/quality/price reports are similar, due to the higher specs, the advanced uncooled cameras will almost always have a higher price. So, before you decide which model to buy, you must find out what your needs are and which model will satisfy them.
The price of a cooled thermal imaging surveillance camera is the highest. There are many reasons why this price is worth it. Moreover, not only the buying price will be higher than a similar camera that uses other technologies. But also, the maintenance costs will be much higher. Overall, you need to be prepared to spend more money if you want to use this type of camera in your applications. The main reasons for which the price is so much higher are.
• Better performance. You can compare the best camera models that use the advanced uncooled thermal technology and the best one for the cooled alternative. And you will be able to easily differentiate the performances between the two. Keep in mind that advanced uncooled technology is based on the uncooled one. So, it is not possible to have a better performance for the tasks that the cooled thermal technology specializes in.
• Specific abilities. The cooled thermal technology was created because the uncooled one was not able to perform its duties in special circumstances. The military had some needs that were not satisfied by the uncooled technology. So, to satisfy precisely these needs, the cooled technology was created. A good example of such ability is the incredible performance that a cooled camera can have in challenging weather conditions.
• Regular maintenance. Unlike other technologies, the cooled thermal technology needs regular maintenance. And the more such cameras you use, the more money you will need to spend. As a result, the lifetime price that you will need to pay for this type of camera will be immersible in comparison with other cameras that are using other technologies. For this reason, you need to ensure that you truly need the top specs offered by the cameras that are using this technology before you decide to buy them. Sometimes, you may not need the alternatives that have the best performance. Your needs may even be covered by an advanced uncooled camera, and you should buy that type to avoid spending too much money in the future.