Now I may be biased as I''ve been waiting for a price effective thermal camera for years. But I don''t need it enough to pay more than $300. I searched the web thoroughly before I decided what to buy. I considered the Flir One and Therm-App and read all I...
Now I may be biased as I''ve been waiting for a price effective thermal camera for years.
But I don''t need it enough to pay more than $300.
I searched the web thoroughly before I decided what to buy. I considered the Flir One and Therm-App and read all I could about them as well.
The first thing I noticed was that temperature range is way better on the Seek.
Thermal-App can''t detect high and low temperatures (from 5°C to +90°C (41°F to +194°F)) so that limits the usefulness for me and the price is quite high (almost 6 times the Seek).
Flir doesn''t go subzero at all (32 °F to 212 °F (0°C to 100°C))
So with (much) better range and a good price the choice was easy (I live way up north and intended to use it outside some of the time and it actually gets that cold here sometimes)
When I got the camera I liked the retail packaging. Feels as a good product even before you open it. (My seal was broken by Amazon for "inspection purposes" - I expect someone couldn''t help themselves to try it out - I''m not complaining and I understand - hope you had fun).
The camera was much smaller than I had anticipated (I knew the specs but never thought of size as an issue). The carrying case was sturdy and watertight (I removed the camera and held the case under 2 feet of water for 45 minutes without any leaks - I floats by the way also with the camera inside).
The camera itself felt rough as well, nice magnesium body and very light.
There''s no instructions what so ever other than to get the app and plug in the camera. The app has a reasonable size and I had downloaded it before I got the camera.
If you buy directly from Seek you will have to setup an account (I got cameras directly from Seek and from Amazon).
When you attach the camera you can setup another account (not the same as the one you setup for a buy).
And if you want to ask questions on their support site - you''ve guessed it - you have to setup a third account.
I use a wallet type case for my phone and had no problem fitting the Seek without the case getting in the way. It seated just fine. I realize that this may not be the case (no pun intended) with all case types but depends on design of your specific type of case.
First thing I realized using the camera was that 20° FOV (Field Of View) is very narrow.
I had to keep my distance from objects if I wanted an overview of things.
It was the cause of a little irritation to begin with but now I''m used to it and it works fine both indoors and outdoors.
It''s not that I have to stand 20 feet away as other reviewers has claimed. I was able to take reasonable pictures in a small room 6 × 6 feet.
Next thing was the software. It''s not intuitive at all. Often you have to look for the right button and while in changing settings you have to go through 2 steps to get back before you can take a picture or movie (not sound on the movies by the way - but you know that if you read the specs).
That is a constant source of irritation together with the fact that some controls switch places and gets mirrored when the camera (phone) tilts.
I hope an update will change that one day (updates can update your camera''s firmware by the way).
The focus lens (not a zoom lens) works as expected. I''ve successfully focused on objects as close as 4 inches and as far as 1500 feet. On short ranges a picture can get very detailed because of the good resolution. On a distance it makes a difference as to how small and how far you can detect a heat source. Pictures from afar does not get sharp but you would know that if you researched just a little (you still "only" have 32,000 measuring points).
Focusing on most objects with just a little texture shows how accurate this camera is. It''s possible to get very detailed pictures.
Most low resolution thermals produce blurry picture and Flir introduced the msx technology to outline the picture so you can see what it was you took a picture of, but in most cases the Seek pictures are very clear and objects are easily distinguished. Provided there''s enough contrast in temperatures. Therm App (384 × 288 gives more than 110,000 temperature measurements in a picture) has a higher resolution than Seek but as mentioned the price is way up and temperature detection is much narrower than the Seek.
I bought an extension cable for my camera because I''m lazy and won''t bother to get out of my car. I can hold the camera out the window and it works fine. It can be a little difficult to point but it does work. Only thing you have to take in to account is that the app orient itself according to the phones position and not the cameras. (You can take pictures that shows upside down on your computer, but even native programs on any Mac or pc can easily turn them).
I wrote to Seek regarding EXIF and thermal data in the pictures. There''s no data stored with the pictures and what you see is what you get (other companies saves thermal data with pictures thus making it possible to process the pictures later on a computer - change the color scheme for instance).
Seek wrote to me that they might update firmware later to include this data witch would be a major improvement but not necessarily something all users need.
In the settings you can change what temperature scale to use (Fahrenheit, Celsius and Kelvin).
Aspect ratio can be set to 4:3 or 16:9. The first will utilize more of the thermal sensor and the latter fits better on modern screens (but be advised that what really happens is that the 4:3 picture is cut to fit)
It''s possible to ad watermarks to your pictures. You''ll find 3 options in the settings: "Date & Time", Location and Seek Logo. They can be chosen individually and the fact that you can turn off the Seek Logo is a plus (not possible on Flir cameras - don''t know about Therm App)..
The date, time and location is taken from your phone so if the date or time is off so will the watermark be. If your location on the phone is turned off you won''t be able to get a precise location on the picture (I don''t know why I have to tell you this but apparently not all think about this)
The camera I heavily relying on the phones cpu and that''s what keeps the price down.
The software allows you to change between 9 different color palettes: white, black, iron, cool, amber, indigo, tyrian, glory and envy.
They will each show temperatures in a mix of gradient and different colors.
I''ve found that the same motive can be more or less clear/obvious depending on the palette used.
it''s possible to have the temperature shown on the picture either in spot mode (temperature measured and shown in the middle of the picture) and High/Low mode where highest and lowest temperature within the frame is shown.
There is a search mode where you can have the camera highlight temperatures higher, lower or exactly a given temperature.
In the thermal+ mode you can use the camera together with the phones camera and slide between the 2. If you double press on the normal picture you''ll be able to zoom and pan the picture so it fits the thermal picture. With a little practice the 2 pictures can be lined up to almost perfection a feature that is very useful.
When you take a picture in this mode 2 pictures will be saved to the phone. An ordinary and a thermal. Within the app you can still slide between the two but that is not the case when you export the pictures or see them in your phones image viewer (goes without saying, but still saying it)
If you take the picture in one of the temperature modes the temperature will be shown on both pictures.
All in all I''m very satisfied with this camera.
I have both ios and android version and this review goes for both.
Only difference I''ve noted is that the ios version seems to fit firmer in the phone and can be set both ways in the phone.
For the android version, on a phone with the micro usb turned the "wrong" way a small cable works fine.
The narrow field of view can be irritating at first but when you get used to it it''s not a problem.
I''d say that the fixed focus on the regular version would be a greater source of irritation to me.
Pros: price , temperature range (-40C to 330C), adjustable focus, size (smaller than expected), sturdy carrying case, build quality, app has many useful features, range of detection (from macro to long distance), ability to adjust normal and thermal picture to line up (thermal+ function)
Cons: flat photos (no exif or thermal data saved with the photos, thus no possibility of tweaking the photos on computer later), fov is very narrow, (20 degrees compared to regular versions 36), app is messy and not intuitive (some controls even move around on the screen when entering functions or tilting the unit),