FLIR ONE Gen 3 iOS Thermal Camera

Published on Aug. 2, 2023, 11:53 a.m.

The FLIR ONE Gen 3 iOS thermal camera is a powerful imaging accessory that transforms your iPhone into a thermal camera. Using FLIR’s industry-leading thermal technology, the Gen 3 allows you to see the world in a whole new way and visualize heat that is invisible to the naked eye. In this detailed review, we will explore the design, features, image quality, app, use cases, and overall value of the FLIR ONE Gen 3 iOS thermal camera.

Overview and Design

The FLIR ONE Gen 3 has a compact, lightweight design that conveniently attaches to an iPhone through the lightning connector. It adds minimal bulk and can be slipped into a pocket when not in use.

The camera itself protrudes from the bottom of the phone and houses both a thermal sensor and visible light camera. Images from both cameras are blended using FLIR’s MSX technology to create enhanced thermal images with additional detail and resolution.

The Gen 3 model features FLIR’s OneFit adjustable connector which extends to fit over most phone cases, eliminating the need to remove your case each time you use the camera.

Technical Background

Thermal imaging technology is an advanced technique that generates images by detecting the infrared radiation emitted by objects. Thermal imagers use infrared sensors to convert this radiation into visible images, allowing users to observe the thermal distribution of objects. At the core of thermal imaging technology is the infrared sensor, which can detect the infrared radiation emitted by objects and convert it into digital signals, ultimately generating thermal images. In addition to the infrared sensor, thermal imagers also include an image processing unit for processing and enhancing the quality of thermal images. Key technical indicators include resolution, sensitivity, temperature range, etc., which directly affect the performance and application range of thermal imagers.

FLIR ONE Gen 3 iOS thermal camera

Key Features and Image Quality

The Gen 3 provides a thermal resolution of 160x120 pixels and temperature sensitivity down to 0.1°C. It can detect temperature differences as small as 100mK.

The thermal sensor has a 55° x 43° field of view and can focus as close as 10cm from a target. The camera can measure temperatures ranging from -20°C to 120°C.

Image quality is excellent for a compact attachment camera. The MSX enhancement adds definition to images by overlaying visible spectrum detail onto the thermal data. This creates a crisp, high contrast image.

The Gen 3 produces thermal images far superior to the Gen 1 and 2 models. Smaller temperature differences are detectable and the higher resolution provides more usable images and videos.

FLIR ONE App

The FLIR ONE app (iOS only) provides camera controls, measurement tools, and editing functions. You can adjust color palettes, enable image blending, and add measurement spots and regions of interest. Images and data can be easily saved to the camera roll or shared.

The app also includes tutorial content to help new users take full advantage of the camera’s capabilities. Frame-by-frame analysis lets you scrub through thermal videos.

Market Analysis

Thermal imagers have been widely used and developed in recent years, and the market size continues to expand. Major manufacturers include FLIR Systems, Seek Thermal, Testo, etc., which compete fiercely and continuously introduce products with better performance to meet market demand. The market for thermal imagers is mainly divided into industrial applications, building inspections, medical diagnostics, firefighting and rescue, etc., among which industrial applications are the main driving force in the current market. As people’s understanding of thermal imaging technology deepens, the application of thermal imagers in more fields will continue to expand, and they have great development potential in the future.

Use Cases

The FLIR ONE Gen 3 iOS opens up many exciting use cases through its thermal imaging capabilities:

  • Home inspection - Find insulation gaps, air leaks, moisture intrusion, electrical issues
  • Automotive diagnostics - Identify overheating components and electrical faults
  • Nature observation - View heat signatures of animals and plants
  • Problem diagnosis - Quickly locate hot spots on machinery, electronics
  • Art and creativity - Create unique thermal photographs and videos

The compact size and smartphone connectivity result in a very versatile imaging tool. The FLIR ONE gives you thermal vision whenever and wherever you need it.

User Feedback

Based on the provided information, let’s continue with the analysis of user feedback:

  1. FLIR ONE Gen 3 - iOS:
  2. Pros: Users appreciate the lightweight design and the transformation of their iOS devices into powerful thermal infrared cameras. The MSX Image Enhancement Technology is highlighted for providing detailed and enhanced resolution. The ability to measure temperature variances, capture thermal images and videos, and the easy sharing of findings are also praised.
  3. Cons: Some users mention issues with battery life, picture quality, and accuracy. However, these concerns seem to vary among individual experiences.

  4. FLIR ONE Pro Gen 3:

  5. Pros: Users find it valuable for various applications, such as home inspections, ghost hunting, and exploring the natural world. The FLIR ONE app is appreciated for providing tips, tricks, and a platform for sharing thermal images. The OneFit adjustable connector is also noted as a convenient feature.
  6. Cons: Despite positive feedback, some users express limitations in long-distance imaging and suggest improvements in battery life and picture clarity.

  7. FLIR One EDGE PRO:

  8. Pros: Users, particularly professionals like termographers and engineers, commend the camera’s quality and functionality. The wireless connectivity, software features for analysis and reporting, and adjustable settings for temperature markers are highlighted.
  9. Cons: A few users mention minor issues such as lag in wireless transmission and intermittent calibration pauses, but these seem to be manageable considering the overall positive feedback.

  10. Comparative Analysis:

  11. Users compare the FLIR ONE series with other thermal imaging cameras like the SEEK Compact Pro, emphasizing factors such as resolution, temperature range, field of view, and app compatibility. While the SEEK Compact Pro offers higher resolution and longer battery life, the FLIR ONE series is praised for its ease of use and integration with smartphones.

In summary, the FLIR ONE series, including Gen 3, Pro Gen 3, and EDGE PRO, receives generally positive feedback for its versatility, ease of use, and integration with mobile devices. While some users encounter minor issues, the overall consensus is that these thermal cameras provide valuable insights for various applications.

Pros
- Compact and convenient design
- Great for beginners getting started with thermal
- Significantly improved image quality
- Intuitive smartphone app
- Good value for the price

Cons
- Short battery life
- Occasional app connectivity issues
- Images not saved directly to camera roll
- Limited controls and manual settings

Pricing

The FLIR ONE Gen 3 iOS thermal camera has an MSRP of $199.99, but can be found from various retailers for around $189.

FLIR ONE Gen 3 iOS thermal camera

Conclusion

The FLIR ONE Gen 3 iOS thermal camera is a great choice for homeowners, automotive enthusiasts, and professionals in need of occasional thermal imaging. It provides an affordable entry into thermal imaging that leverages the convenience of your iPhone’s connectivity, screen, and battery.

Image quality and temperature sensitivity are very good for its size. The MSX enhancement adds critical detail that improves interpretability and makes even small temperature differences stand out.

At around $200, it is one of the most affordable and accessible thermal cameras available. The compact, lightweight FLIR ONE Gen 3 iOS adds powerful thermal imaging capabilities to your iPhone, allowing you to see and capture the world in an exciting new way.

Specifications

  • Sensor: 160x120 FLIR Lepton thermal sensor
  • Thermal sensitivity: 100mK
  • Temperature range: -20°C to 120°C
  • Field of view: 55° x 43°
  • Visible camera resolution: 1440 x 1080
  • Frame rate: 8.7 FPS
  • Focus: 10cm to infinity
  • Battery life: 1 hour continuous
  • Charging time: 40 minutes
  • Dimensions: 68 x 33 x 14 mm
  • Weight: 36.2 g

What's in the FLIR ONE thermal camera box

What’s in the box

The FLIR ONE Gen 3 iOS package includes:

  • FLIR ONE thermal camera
  • Lightning connector
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Quick start guide
  • 1 year limited warranty

How to Use

Using the FLIR ONE thermal camera is simple:

  1. Attach camera to iPhone lighting connector
  2. Open FLIR ONE app and connect camera via WiFi
  3. Point camera at target and view live thermal video feed
  4. Adjust color palettes and enable MSX enhancement
  5. Add measurement spots and regions of interest
  6. Capture images and videos
  7. Share media through app or camera roll

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