Review: Seek Thermal Camera Hothttp://www.tool-rank.com/media/listing/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/1a/e1/c4/Seek-001-2-1436515712.jpg
It is always a shame when a tool exists that could improve how you do your job but it is priced too high for you to be able to take advantage it. This was unfortunately the case with most thermal imaging cameras, up until a little company named Seek came along and introduced a Thermal Imaging Camera that is priced low enough for more people to take advantage of the technology. Seek made it affordable by making it an accessory to smartphones, but how well does it really work?
The Seek Thermal Camera connects to a compatible* smartphone or tablet using the microUSB port for Android devices, or the Lightning port for iOS devices. By making the Seek an accessory to your phone, rather than a standalone device, they were able to reduce the cost while still maintaining advanced features and control. The Seek Sensor converts unseen IR light into electrical signals that the hardware in the phone and the corresponding app can then turn into visible images at a resolution of 206 x 156.
A resolution of 206 x 156 doesn’t seem like a whole lot when we are used to everything being in HD, but you get surprisingly good results when viewing things at close distances. Since most professionals would be using the Seek Thermal Camera to audit homes or buildings for heat loss, the resolution provided should be high enough for this type of work. Still, the camera is capable of spotting a small cat from across the street in the middle of the night.
While the Seek Sensor is absolutely necessary, the app is what makes or breaks the usability of system. Thankfully, the Seek app has more than enough features to make the camera useful for any number of situations. Not only will the app allow users to take both photos and videos, users can adjust the look and information that is displayed.
Users can view the High and Low Temperatures of objects in the field of view, the Temperature that is in the middle of the screen, and even set Thresholds to view only things that match their criteria. The Threshold feature can really cut down on irrelevant information to highlight only what is important. Users can also choose from a number of color palettes to best suit their needs, and choose to watermark their screens with information like the current Time/Date, Location, or the Seek logo.
For auditing, another nice feature is the ability to do a split screen of the Seek Camera and the phone’s onboard camera. This feature can be used to let a client know about a problem location when the Seek Camera doesn’t provide enough detail to make the location easily identifiable. The only issue with this feature is that the phone camera and the Seek camera might not be right next to each other, and they might have different field of views, so they won’t exactly align.
The camera does have a few flaws, like some lag that requires users to move slowly while taking video. In addition, the temperature markings only seem to be accurate to within a few degrees of the actual temperature. To me, though, those are minor issues that should be expected from a budget friendly thermal camera like the Seek.
Overall, I think the Seek Camera is worth its price tag of $250. It doesn’t offer the resolution of a more expensive unit, but for those that don't need it, they can put that savings into something else. If you just need to see the difference between hot and cold points, something that you can show your clients, the Seek Thermal Camera can do it at a more affordable price. One of the nice things about this kind of setup is that Seek can update the app to fix issues or add more features. It is also more affordable to upgrade to a new Seek Thermal Camera down the road as they make hardware improvements, versus investing for a more expensive unit. - Amazon
*Be sure to check to see if your phone is compatible before you purchase the Seek Thermal Camera. A few phones have the microUSB port reversed, so the user would have a $250 thermal imaging selfie camera.