The Ames Professional Compact Infrared Thermal Camera, offered at Harbor Freight, is a hand-held thermal camera that allows you to visually inspect the temperature of any surface. It’s unique design utilizes two cameras. One camera is used for the thermal temperature reading and the other camera is a typical standard definition video of the surface you are testing. Having two cameras allows you to adjust the opacity of the thermal overlay, making it easier to see exactly what you are testing.
The Thermal Camera offers many features such as:
- Wide temperature range from -4° F ~ 1202° F (-15° C ~ 650° C)
- Display resolution: 160 x 128
- Large, easy-to-read 1.8 in. LCD color screen
- Five levels of visual and thermal image blending
- 4GB micro SD card included, stores up to 10,000 images
- Three selectable color palettes make it easier to read heat maps
- Easily save images and data on the removable 4GB micro SD card or download them to your device with the USB cable (Both items included)
- Selectable temperature units °F or °C
- Adjustable emissivity from 0.1 to 1.0
- Thermal Sensor resolution: 32 x 32
While this tool does function as advertised, we found that the resolution of the thermal reading and video footage could be better. Under low light situations it was difficult to see any details to make it useful. Making the thermal camera overlay full strength worked out better than using the video overlay in these situations. It would also be nice if the thermal camera was rechargeable instead of relying on 4 AAA batteries.
The camera is useful however and does show the highest and lowest temperature of a scene. As the camera moves, the thermal image will change and you will be able to easily see the colorful temperature graph move as well. It will pick out the high and low temperatures and display it as F or C on the screen.
What we liked:
- Low price point
- Easy to learn and use
- Easily identifies cold and hot areas
- Ability to save photos
- Comes with a nice case for storage
What we disliked:
- Resolution was lacking and hard to see while in use
- No ability to see temperatures through other objects (i.e. can’t view temp inside of a wall, only the surface temperature)
- Camera angle and the display seemed to be off. We had to aim the camera higher than expected to get it in view.
The Ames Professional Compact Infrared Thermal Camera does an overall decent job at displaying the temperature of objects. This is a fairly priced tool that shows the temperature. It would be more impressive if the video resolution was better, but for $199 its a useful tool.
Check Prices on Harbor Freight: Ames Professional Compact Infrared Thermal Camera
Ames Professional Infrared Thermal Camera
The Ames Professional Infrared Thermal Camera is a decent thermal camera, it does display temperatures very accurately but the display is severely lacking when overlayed. If you are looking for a low price point thermal camera and not too concerned about the resolution of the video, this is the tool for you.
Ease of Use