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What Does A Thermal Camera Really See?

Because thermal imaging technology is designed to register heat, it picks up so much more than a regular camera does. We could talk all day long about how great thermal imaging cameras are at finding people, animals, and other heat sources that aren't easily registered by the naked eye, or even night vision cameras. But there's no better way to illustrate our point than with photos.

Below are side-by-side images from a regular camera and a thermal imaging camera, so you can see the difference in what each camera "sees."

Smoke

Smoke

Image source: Menlo Fire UAS

Thermal imaging cameras help you see through smoke. First responders have known the value of thermal imaging systems for years. This photo does a great job showing how much more you can see through smoke with a thermal imaging camera.

The image above demonstrates how first responders use a thermal imaging camera when looking for victims engulfed in smoke.

Fog

Fog2

[Source]

These images show how much more a thermal imaging camera reveals in a foggy situation.

Glare

Glare

You don't need to worry about headlights blinding you when you've got a thermal imaging camera. 

Nobody likes eye-scorching glare from headlights. It's hard enough on the naked eye, but it's even worse when you're using a night vision camera.

Trees and Bushes

Trees

This person is hiding in plain sight, which is effective if you don't have a thermal imaging camera. Even a night vision camera (left) can't detect the person. [Source]

A thermal imaging camera comes in especially useful when you're driving on a road with a lot of trees and bushes on the side or, using a portable power pack, camping in a dense forest. A thermal imaging camera can detect a person or animal hidden by a tree or bush long before your headlights or flashlight can pick it up. With a thermal imaging camera, you can prepare yourself ahead of time to avoid a vehicle collision or avoid disturbing animals in their habitat.

Fences and Other Solid Obstructions

Fence

Without a thermal imaging camera, you would have no idea that there's a person casing the area before your very eyes. [Source]

Probably the most impressive thing about thermal imaging cameras is the fact that they can see right through solid obstructions as long as there's a heat source hiding behind them. Did you know that the reason the police force was able to locate one of the Boston marathon bombers is because they used a thermal imaging camera? He was hiding inside a covered boat, and the thermal imaging camera was able to detect him with ease.

Because a thermal imaging camera registers so much more than anything else, it's a useful safety device to use on the road at night. NightRide is a highly recommended brand that has all of the features you need in a thermal imaging camera and then some more. Learn more about NightRide thermal imaging cameras today!