Thermal Camera See Through Clothes in 2022

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Thermal cameras have been great devices for a couple of years now in different industries. They have heat sensors attached to the lens that focuses on surfaces to capture radiations converted into electric impulses. The thermal cameras are employed by engineers to identify regions with wasted heat energy or those with excessive temperature.

These devices don’t see through every object on earth. It is capable of seeing through smoke, fog, rain, thin plastic, among others. On the other hand, they cannot see-through things like concrete, water, glass, trees, and many others. But then, can a thermal camera see through clothes? Let’s gain knowledge about this topic in this project.

Can Thermal Camera See Through Clothes?

As we know, there are objects that a thermal camera can see through, and there are those it can’t. So, can a thermal camera see through clothes? No, thermal cameras can’t see through clothes. However, they are capable of detecting a temperature difference in clothing.


Let’s take an example of an officer scanning people as they enter a particular building. If you place a gun at the back of the body, a difference in temperature between the person’s clothing and the gun is created. This makes it possible for the thermal camera to detect the apparent temperature difference.

What Can Thermal Cameras See Through?

Thermal cameras are essential devices for industrial and commercial use. They help users detect any changes that take place in an object. These devices work by acquiring data from the heat an object emits.


All living and non-living things emit infrared radiation or heat energy. The heat they release is a function of the temperature they have. An increase in the temperature of an object is read when more radiations are emitted. The thermal cameras have heat sensors that help capture radiations. They are further converted to electricity, which is read as the temperature.

The thermal imaging devices are capable of detecting temperature differences that take place every minute. The thermal camera lens focuses on an object and captures infrared radiations that will be converted into a thermal image for further interpretation. So, what are the things that these thermal devices can see through?


Not all plastics that thermal imagers can see through. The thickness of your  plastic is greatly dependent in this case. Infrared radiations are capable of passing through thin plastics. This enables thermal imagers to detect anything that is behind the plastic.


Thermal imagers can see through smoke. They are capable of detecting heat from smoke. This is why you will see firefighters using them when they are working to put off the fire. The soot particles in smoke are block agents to visible light. However, they can allow infrared radiations to get through.


Besides thin plastic and smoke, thermal cameras can also see through the dust. However, they will detect the heat from dust depending on the dust’s density, the particle size, and its temperature.

Blowing Sand:

Just like dust, thermal cameras can also see through sand. The principle that is applied to see through dust is what is used in blowing sand. Just like with dust, thermal cameras see through blowing sand, depending on three factors. These include the size of particles, temperature, and its density.


Thermal cameras have the power to see through rain. However, the radiations from rain droplets can severely limit the thermal camera detection range.


The principle that works to see rain is applied to snow. Thermal imagers can see through snow. However, its viewing range is limited to the severity.


Just like rain, thermal cameras can see through fog. Like other weather elements like snow and rain, severity of fog affects viewing range through the fog.

Most car manufacturers have resorted to using thermal cameras in sensor suits on vehicles they make for one reason. This is because these devices can penetrate fog more easily than human eyes and visible light cameras.

These are few things that these devices are capable of seeing through. However, thermal camera’s clarity is affected by a few factors, such as severity of things or elements in the subject, density, size, and many others.

How Far Can a Thermal Camera See?

Most thermal cameras have a vision range of between 30 and 40 meters. However, it’s not a simple question of how far a person can see using this device. For this, several factors are dependent upon. These include the range, resolution of your thermal imager, camera type, and view field.


Resolution Power:

The resolution power takes the lead in determining the vision range of a thermal camera. These devices come with resolutions ranging from 80 × 60 to 640 × 480. Higher-resolution guarantees precise measurements on projects at hand using the thermal camera.

The Temperature Ranges:

Temperature range of between -10 degrees Celsius and 150 degrees Celsius are best in covering all uses. Within this range, you will see through objects. However, something out of this range will affect the level of clarity you need.

Field of View:

This factor depends greatly on the lens and sensor of the camera you are using. If you used a fixed focus thermal camera, you would require a larger field of view. This will enable you to get a wider framing just from a similar distance.


Can a thermal camera see through clothes? This was the topic of the day, and we have gotten an answer to it. Thermal cameras cannot see through clothes. However, they are capable of detecting any apparent change in temperature in clothing. We have also gotten an idea about the things where these devices can see through. Have an idea about these devices for you to reap big from them.

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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