How Does Thermal Camera Work – Things You Need to Know 2022

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All objects and living beings on earth emit infrared radiation. A thermal imaging camera can detect this infrared-emitting by any object. A thermal camera captures different levels of this infrared radiation and can detect the temperature of the object. So, let’s find the answer to the topic that says how does thermal camera work?

These infrared lights cannot be seen with our naked eyes. A thermal camera is used in hospitals, shops, airports, and so many crowded places to see them and detect the temperature of the object and surrounding heat. In this article, I am going to cover all about how does a thermal camera work.

How Does Thermal Camera Work?

Thermal cameras detect the heat temperature of the object; they are going to capture images or videos. Every object in the world radiates heat off, whether colder or warmer. The colder the object is, it radiates less heat or infrared radiation.


On the other hand, the warmer the object is, it emits more heat radiation. Therefore, a thermal imaging camera can detect the object’s heat radiation and capture images and short videos of these objects.

Infrared Data Into An Electronic Image:

While an object emits infrared energy, a thermal camera can detect this infrared radiation. Therefore, it converts the infrared energy’s radiation into an electronic image, measuring the surface temperature of the objects. Different objects emit different levels of radiation. Depending on the heat radiation, a thermal camera shows different colors in the image, including purple, blue, red, yellow, and so forth.

A special lens is used:

Yes, a lens that has been used in cameras is different. The lens of a visible camera is not so advanced and costly than that of a thermal camera. A thermal camera lens especially focuses on the infrared emitted by the objects in front of the camera. Therefore, it captures images and short videos of the objects and other things in a thermal position. The image color depends on the heat emitted by objects such as red, yellow, purple, etc.

Thermal cameras detect heat temperature:

Thermal cameras are used for different purposes. If there is a fire in your house, you can use a thermal camera to detect which areas of your house are more heated to avoid while getting out of the house. Also, if you want to enter the house through a door, you have to use a thermal camera to understand which part of the door has more temperature.

Therefore, it becomes easier for you to tackle the situation. Not only that, you can detect other problems at home or in your commercial space. To detect the power loss, leaks in the water pipe, or electrical hot spots, you need a thermal camera to understand the situation.

Precise temperature pattern:

The thermal camera’s detector elements tend to make an in-depth and detailed temperature pattern, which should be known as a thermogram in around one-thirtieth of not more than just a second. The detector’s field of view then captures the temperature information from more than a thousand points to make a detailed image of the objects.

The elements created by the thermogram are therefore transmuted into electric impulses. There must have an electric circuit board in a thermal camera, and it has a specialized chip. This specialized chip works to transmute the detector’s information to create a visible image on the display of the thermal imaging camera.

Infrared Emission:

Last but not least, the transmuted infrared information captured from the objects on display is sent to the signal processing unit of the thermal camera device. Depending on the objects’ heat temperature that the thermal camera captures the infrared radiation, it creates an image of the objects in front of the camera of various colors.

The color of the image varies depending on their apparent temperature of the different parts of the objects. You will see images in purple, red, yellow, blue, and so forth. The more temperature the object exposes, the more it will be read, followed by other colors. Therefore, you need to know how does thermal camera work.

How to Use Thermal Camera?

Using a thermal camera should not be too complicated as you might be thinking. You can comfortably use a thermal imaging camera for your personal or commercial purposes. If you have the experience of operating a camcorder, it should be effortless for you to use a thermal camera. The step by step guide will assist you to use the thermal camera.

Step one:

First of all, you have to do some basic settings for the thermal camera. After turning the thermal camera on, you have to make sure that everything is okay. If you use it on your smartphone, you have to download it on the smartphone. Also, make sure you have properly connected the device to your mobile device before you go to take images of objects.

Step Two:

After opening the thermal camera, you will see a center dot on the camera’s display that allows you to measure the temperature of different objects. You are just going to measure their temperature. All you need to do is fix the center dot on your desired objects to detect the temperature, and you will see the measured temperature.

Step Three:

In this step, you can change the mode of capturing images and videos from different colors depending on various temperature levels to monochromic color. It will allow you to see one color lighter and darker, examining the temperature of the objects. Also, you can change the camera mode to normal for seeing exactly what is going on. In this mode, you will see two different modes- normal camera view and, at the same time, thermal cameral view.

Step Four:

A thermal camera also allows you to zoom the objects to see more details of the images to measure the objects’ temperature. It is a beneficial feature of the camera to see if there is any issue in your house walls or ceiling. By zooming, you can identify the issues more accurately and precisely.

Step Five:

With the thermal camera you have, you can store information on the captured images as well. You can utilize this information later. Also, you have the opportunity to save you valuable time and money by buying a thermal camera.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may still have some questions in your mind, right? That’s why; we are going to answer some frequently asked questions. Maybe, you have the same question in your mind, and you will get the answers from below.

Do thermal cameras work underwater?

Water works as a barrier of infrared wavelength. Therefore, it does not work better underwater when you want to capture images or shoot videos with your thermal cameras.

Can I use my phone as a thermal camera?

Surely, by connecting with your smart phone, you can use your phone as a thermal camera. All you need to do is connect the USB port to your mobile phone as the app related to it will allow you to use it.

How far can thermal cameras see?

It depends on the quality of the camera and its price as well. With a thermal camera, you can see and capture images from 30 meter and above depending on the power of the lens of your thermal camera.

Final Thought

To detect energy loss, water damage, electrical hot spot, and other things, you can use a thermal camera. Before you purchase a thermal camera, you have to know how a thermal camera works. Don’t worry because the article will teach everything if you have read it carefully to use a thermal camera. After reading the article, you should have made clear about how does thermal camera work.

Richard Bevill

Author - Richard Bevill

Hi, I am Richard Bevill, I am a businessman and tech-blogger. I have a shop where I sell different types of thermal image cameras and their related accessories. Because of my business, I have to face so many clients of thermal image camera users. During my business hours, I find that many of my clients face difficulties with uses, maintenance, not getting the exact amount of service, buying the wrong one. All those problems they face because of their lack of knowledge about thermal image cameras. 

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