Undoubtedly, you’ve got some sort of camera in your house, be it just the one built into your phone, or a stand-alone camera. Likewise, you’ve probably got some sort of thermometer in the house, either for health or cooking. Do you have anything that combines those two? That’s what a thermal imaging camera does, and recently, we’ve been spending time with the TOPDON TC004.
Of course, you need to settle for yourself what purposes you might put something like the TOPDON TC004 to use in. For the homeowner, it could be a way to identify where you’ve got thermal leaks around windows and doors, where ducts run in walls, and the like. For the shadetree mechanic, you could check for parts of the engine running hotter than they should. And for someone who just wants to catch what’s making that rustling noise in the undergrowth, well, it can do that too. Those are just a few of the uses I came up with, and those with a professional need for a device like this (say, home inspectors) no doubt have many more.
The great thing about the TOPDON TC004 for a non-professional (like myself) is just how simple it is to use. Load in the microSD card, charge it up, and then power it on. Yes, there are settings you can dive into to adjust things like the units of measure, emissivity, and so on. If you need to adjust those, it’s a simple menu-based system. Once things are set, it’s just a matter of pointing the camera where you’re interested, and seeing what it is you’re seeing on the screen.
Should you spot something interesting, you don’t have to use your phone to take a picture of the screen. You just pull the trigger on the handle, and that photo is saved onto the memory card. This is great for going around and checking things, and then offloading them onto a computer for further review and analysis.
Should you have a need for mounting this on a tripod (or other threaded mount) you do have that available in the handle of the camera. You’ve also got a fairly thick, rubberized coating over things, which should protect the camera if it drops from your hand or off of a table. Oh, and if you’re poking around in a darkened spot (say, the basement or an engine compartment), there’s also a built-in LED flashlight, so you can light up the area you’re checking out, rather than just relying on what the IR is showing you.
Now, again, you do need to determine what it is you’d use the TOPDON TC004 for. At an MSRP of $369, this isn’t something you just get on a whim, or to check the temperature of your skillet (there, a simpler IR thermometer would be better). On the other hand, for those working on an old home, or just have a need in their day-to-day life of being able to see – and record – these thermal gradients, it should prove to be a very handy and usable tool. Oh, and about that MSRP? We see it on Amazon for $329, or even directly from TOPDON for $289. You can check it out, and their other cameras, directly at topdon.us
Watch the video version of this post here!
- LWH: 9.4*2.76*3.54 in.(24*70*90 mm)
- Weight: 18.3 oz (520g)
- Storage Temp: 14°F to 131°F (-10 to +55℃)
- Working Temp: 14°F to 122°F (-10 to +50℃)
- Screen Size: 2.8-inch Display (7.1 cm)
- Resolution: 256×192 Pixels
- Object Temp. Range: -4°F to +662°F (-20 to 350℃)
- Spectral Range: 8 – 14μm
- Image Frequency: 20 Hz
- Focal Length: 0.12 in. (3.2 mm)
- Heat Sensitivity: 40mk
- High Resolution & Thermal Sensitivity
- The TC004 features a high-resolution thermal camera with a resolution of 256×192. This allows users to capture more details and say goodbye to blurry images.
- A high thermal sensitivity of 0.05℃ allows the TC004 to distinguish between tiny temperature differences.
- Three Measurement Modes & Auto-Detection
- The TC004 has three different measurements to detect center, hot and cold spots.
- The automatic detection feature allows users view temperature differences more visually.
- Wide FOV: The TC004 also features a wide 56° FOV for to easily capture more objects in view. There is also no need to adjust focal length.
- Wide Measurement Range & Accuracy
- The TC004 features a wide temperature measurement range of -20℃ – +350℃. It can also measure temperatures with ±2℃ accuracy for precise temperature measurements.
- NETD of this high-precision infrared sensor is less than 40mK, measurement accuracy is 0.1 degree, and error is less than 2%. This is to ensure the upmost accurate thermal readings.
- PC Image Analysis and Instant Projection: Professional analysis software allows users to easily save and share diagnostic data on a PC. The TC004 also supports screen projection on a PC as well.
- One-Day Runtime: A powerful integrated battery allows the TC004 to have a 12-hour runtime.
- Built-in Fill LED Light: A built-in LED light allows users to record thermal readings without an additional light source.
- Compact and Solid Design: IP54 rated for protection against water and dust and 2m drop proof allows you to be more carefree while using the device.