It is no secret that the advancements in technology are causing real life and science fiction to overlap in some surprisingly new ways. While many of you assume that this cool tech will cost you a fortune and a half, it actually doesn’t. Here we are going to talk about one such technology, the FLIR C2 camera; that’s making waves in the thermal imaging industry.
CES 2015 introduced us to many cool technologies we didn’t imagine existed. One of which was the thermal camera by FLIR, a popular name when it comes to thermal imaging cameras. Read on if you’re curious about what this thermal camera can do.
The FLIR C2 is the company’s entry-level, pocked sized, thermal imaging camera that’s lightweight and very powerful, making it perfect for all the pros out there. The FLIR C2 has more powerful features that one can take advantage of as the use of thermal imaging becomes a part of everyday use, especially when it comes to construction.
FLIR C2 Specifications
- Screen Size: 3″ 320 x 240-pixel touchscreen.
- IR Sensor: 80 x 60 pixels.
- Visual Camera: 640 x 480 pixels.
- Object Temperature Range: -10 C to 150 C.
- Accuracy: +/- 2 C (3.6 F).
- Image Storage: At least 500 jpeg images.
- Run Time: 2 hours.
- Charge Time: 1 hours and 30 minutes.
- Weight: 4.64 ounces.
- Warranty: 2-year camera, 10 year thermal detector.
Considering it’s an entry-level thermal imaging camera, the FLIR C2 is really amazing. It boasts of a larger display along with much better resolution than the previously released FLIR TG165 Imaging IR Thermometer. The thermal image which is displayed itself gets a boost thanks to the all new MSX dual lens system (more on that feature later). While one lens sees the visual image the other sees the thermal one, and the combination fo the two images overlay which provides the user with a much better detail than one would get on any other thermal imaging camera at the same price point. In fact, the amount of detail in the FLIR C2 is remarkable even when compared to thermal cameras of a higher price range.
This time around, the screen has the IR temperature center point on by default which is a neat new upgrade. On the other hand, it also allows users to get both high and low ranges of temperatures of a single picture, which is a priceless feature when one needs to find out the hottest or coldest points in a particular area.
For the pro, the thermal image along is enough to sought out diagnosis issues in most situations. That’s just how good this thermal imaging camera really is. A visual layer adds lots of details, which is nice when you have to make recognitions. That being said, the real value of features such as the MSX or thermal with visual is when you need to justify your claims with a manager or a customer. As in, it’s much easier to make them understand what’s going on when everything you need to show them is visible.
If you have ever used a thermal imaging camera before, you will notice the incredible amount of image detail which is present in each and every image in the FLIR C2. The addition of the MSX feature is able to show the amount of detail that other heat image cameras simply cannot. Borders become more obvious, and it’s much easier to see what you are really looking at through the camera’s lens. What’s even more surprising is the ability to read writing which is just unheard of when it comes to thermal imaging cameras.
While the basic users would want to leave the settings alone, except maybe for the temperature units or setting the date and time, which can be found under the settings tab in the menu. Exploring the additional settings will only be useful for the professional who will most probably be working under different environments.
FLIR C2 Featured in the “Setting” Options
- Image Playback.
- Image Selection: Visual, Thermal, Thermal/Visual Overlay (MSX).
- Center Spot Temperature: On/Off.
- Color: Iron, Gray, Rainbow, High Contrast Rainbow.
- Lamp: On, Off, Flash.
The backbone of the hardware in the FLIR C2 is the Lepton thermal core, which is a familiar component from other FLIR devices, such as the FLIR TG165 Imaging Thermometer and the FLIR ONE for smartphones. The total resolution of the Lepton in the FLIR C2 is 80 x 60 and gives you a total of 4800 pixels. You should know that each pixel is sensitive to 0.10 degrees Centigrade in temperature variations, which also happens to be an excellent thermal sensitivity level when it comes to cameras which can fit in your pocket.
The overall measurement range of the FLIR C2 is from 14 to 302 degrees Fahrenheit, or -10 to 150 degrees Centigrade, which is quite sufficient for using in most conditions that a person encounters in everyday life, no matter whether you are looking at buildings or minor mechanical or electrical conditions. The wide angle lens will definitely be appreciated by most users, which basically allows more of a scene to be imaged at a time. The lens is fixed like a smartphone camera, and can give a clear thermal reading from a distance of six feet away.
Another plus point of the FLIR C2 thermal camera is the fact that all thermal images on the C2 includes complete radiometric data which gives a wealth of information along with potential information to the user. When downloaded to the FLIR Tools software, each pixel is able to yield temperature data with the help of a host of measurement tools. A user is able to add multiple area boxes and spot meters with minimum, maximum, and average configurations.
While it would be difficult to overstate just how impressive it is for a thermal camera at this price point, FLIR Tools makes it easy to organize images and create professional looking reports which is more than what many thermal imaging cameras can do at that price range. Another surprising feature of the FLIR C2 is the ability to stream live videos to any computer that runs FLIR Tools. While not radiometric, the thermal video is able to prove nonetheless to be helpful when one is analyzing a major problem under various conditions.
Touchscreen and Menus
The FLIR C2 features a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen, which makes for a great user interface and is also pleasing to operate. When combined with the now standard Dark Precision menu system, having to navigate the FLIR C2 interface has almost become intuitive. The FLIR C2 menu allows the user to alter the screen view as they see fit.
This includes having to make changes between MSX, visible, thermal or gallery of a saves image. Users also get to choose from several color palettes, such as, rainbow, iron, gray and rainbow HC. For those users who wish to have the highest possible measurements in accuracy, menu fields have been included for correcting material emissivity along with reflected apparent temperatures. A rechargeable lithium ion battery is able to power the FLIR C2 thermal image camera for up to two hours while the recharge time is a scant 1.5 hours.
The thermal detector is a 640 x 480 visible light camera. What this means is that each time the thermal image is recorded, the FLIR C2 is able to capture a visible image as well. This is great for those who want to create a report of any anomalies discovered, and even just to remind the user where they were when the image was being taken.
Even more exciting is the fact that the new FLIR C2 camera uses a visible camera to create FLIR’s excellent MSX blending technology. MSX mines a visible image for writing, edges, and patterns and is then able to etch those details on to the thermal image itself. While the thermal image is able to retain all of its original information and coloration, while the more subtle grayscale of the MSX details help aid in the object’s identification tremendously. To make sure that the MSX feature is able to work even in the dark, the FLIR C2 has a bright LED flash light which also doubles as a spotlight.
While using the FLIR C2, getting accurate temperature measurements is possible only through the traditional center spot-meter with the help of crosshairs. If the measurement is not ready, the spot-meter can also be toggled off in the settings menu.
The FLIR C2 is, in fact, the first consumer application in which the Lepton core is being used to handle temperature measurements. On the previous version of the TG165, measurements were done via an infrared thermometer that was mounted alongside the camera. That’s all changed with the new FLIR C2 is able to provide a more accurate temperature reading.
The FLIR C2 thermal imaging camera is capable of storing up to 500 high-quality images (thermal, MSX and visible) in its internal flash memory. The images which are captured by the large button at the top of the camera makes using the FLIR C2, not only easy but convenient as well. The images that are stored can be viewed as JPEG files, which gives the user the flexibility in who they wish to view their images. Those who wish to download images can do so with the help of a USB cable connected to a computer.
Quite frankly, the real news here is not in the amazing capabilities of the all new FLIR C2 camera, but in the fact that it actually exists at all. The C2 is certainly no traditional thermal camera, and it challenges the format of other so-called thermal imagers with its special capabilities. While few might question the need for a thermal camera to have a pistol grip, most users would have no choice but to admire the amount of hard work and dedication that has gone into the design and development of the FLIR C2, which is a far cry from the FLAIR ONE, in terms of tools and specifications.
The FLIR C2 is a major step forward when it comes to thermal cameras that are lightweight, rugged, and able to fit in your pocket, not to mention, has the capabilities of taking videos as well. With the FLIR C2, you get full radiometric data with up to 2% accuracy. And the price of just $700, only sweetens the deal, making the FLIR C2 a must have for those who use thermal imagers.