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Review: The FLIR i5 Infrared Camera

FLIR Systems' new i5 camera is a compact handheld instrument weighing only 340g. You just aim and shoot with it and the result is a false colour picture showing the temperature gradients of a building, machinery, electrical equipment, a human body or whatever. You can use it as a precise non-contact thermometer which will also show the full temperature range of everything in the camera's view.

Review by Leo Simpson

Anyone familiar with infrared cameras will be surprised at the compact size, ease of use and precision measurements now available from this new FLIR Systems’ i5 model.

Click for larger image
Chomping their way through your money! Infrared cameras are becoming very popular in pest control – here’s some termites making a meal of the studs and noggings inside a wall, with absolutely no evidence on the outside that anything is wrong.

It has a comfortable pistol grip and you can single-handedly aim, shoot and control all functions with your thumb and index finger.

The front of the pistol grip incorporates a large trigger button which you press to take a picture. At the side of the pistol grip is a rubber cover which conceals and protects the mini-SD memory card, the mini USB socket and the socket for battery charging.

The camera screen measures 45 x 60mm although the recorded image is square, at 80 x 80 pixels. The unit is simple to use and is controlled by eight buttons just below the screen.

You turn it on by pressing the white power button on the right and use a small lever at the front of the camera to uncover the lens.

To review the images you have already taken, you press the white archive button on the left and then the plus and minus buttons to scroll down through the images.

Nine images in thumbnail format are displayed on the screen and you can examine individual images by clicking on them with the respective buttons. The left and right arrow buttons let you navigate through the various menu options as do the plus and minus buttons. The black buttons at left and right are “soft” or “context sensitive” and the changing labels at the bottom corners of the screen depict their functions.

For example, if you are reviewing the image file, the soft buttons will let you erase an image or close it.

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