This action camera is the first to feature FLIR thermal imaging

Jan 4, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This action camera is the first to feature FLIR thermal imaging

Jan 4, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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It’s getting pretty hard to innovate with action cameras these days. They pretty much already have all the features most users could ever need now. The only real way to go up now is to improve the quality. Better picture, better dynamic range, better sound, less compression, and so on. The folks at FLIR, though, have very different ideas.

They’ve just announced the new FLIR Duo, FLIR’s entry into the action camera world. What’s so special about it? Well, as well as having a regular 1080p video sensor, it also contains a Lepton thermal imaging sensor. That’s right, this little action camera can see heat. Your drone can now literally become the Predator, and it even has video output for streaming with FPV systems.

The FLIR Duo is available in two flavours; The Duo and the Duo R. The Duo contains the Lepton thermal imager with MSX, and HD visible light sensor. The Duo R also contains ths, but also features radiometric calibrated temperature measurement.

You might want to hold off on ordering one just yet, though. They’re not cheap. Priced at $999 and $1,299 for the Duo and Duo R, respectively, they’re not exactly aimed at casual flyers. They’re designed for drones, rather than to be worn. So, they’re able to do things like monitor wildfires and wildlife. Or keep track of fleeing criminals attempting to hide in somebody’s back yard.

The cable that comes supplied with the Duo kind of reinforces this.

Yellow plugs are typically used for standard composite video output. This would go into the FPV transmitter so that the operator can see what the camera sees from the ground. The two 2-pin plugs are probably for remote control. The camera supports PWM inputs for remote control, so you could easily hook these into a couple of ports on your drone’s receiver or flight controller. I would imagine, then, that you could switch between visible and thermal cameras simply by flicking a switch on your remote.

There’s mobile apps available for both iOS and Android. I would imagine this is mostly just for setup, as range would be a little bit limited for streaming. I know with my YI 2K action cameras that I can’t get more than about 10-15ft away from them before they start getting choppy.

I can’t see other action camera manufacturers following suit with this, but it is very cool tech. I really would love to strap one of these onto my F550 when spring comes again. It could be a very handy tool for wildlife photographers trying to track animals in the wilderness.

As mentioned above, the FLIR Duo and Duo R are $999 and $1,299, respectively. You can find out more about them on the FLIR website.

Other than looking for wildlife, what other uses can you see photographers have for a thermal action camera? Will you be getting one? What will you use it for? Let us know in the coments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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9 responses to “This action camera is the first to feature FLIR thermal imaging”

  1. J Bryan Kramer Avatar
    J Bryan Kramer

    Power utilities might snap these up. For several uses. Checking piping and also using a drone to check high voltage power lines. I believe they now use helicopters to slowly fly down the lines and inspect them. Obviously very expensive.

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Yeah, that’s a great idea. Not only will it cut down on expense, but it’ll massively increase the ease with which it can be done. It’s a lot easier to just pull a quadcopter out of your car than to charter a chopper!

      1. udi tirosh Avatar
        udi tirosh

        Not to mention that climbing is significantly more dangerous than sending a drone up the roof

  2. Yomismo Avatar
    Yomismo

    what ? no videos ?

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      They didn’t share any that I could find. :(

      Hopefully it won’t be too long before they put something out, though. If they do, I’ll update the post.

      1. Yomismo Avatar
        Yomismo

        Weird.. no videos on the official site neither…

      2. Yomismo Avatar
        Yomismo

        This cameras with dual lenses have paralax problems…

  3. Kay O. Sweaver Avatar
    Kay O. Sweaver

    Great for industrial applications, but for me I’d rather rent one of their thermal cameras that can do reasonable resolution recording.

  4. Matt Avatar
    Matt

    Can a Duo be added to a GoPro Karma ( If the KARMA is using the Hero4 Mounting )?? Have a fire dept looking into KARMA but needs the FLIR Option.