Dewalt 12V Imaging Thermometer for under $1K

Dewalt DCT416 Thermal Imaging Camera

Dewalt has come out with a new addition to their 12V Max cordless tool lineup, an infrared imaging thermometer kit, model DCT416S1. With a thermal imager, users can more easily pinpoint insulation flaws, overloaded circuits, and other types of issues.

The new Dewalt thermal imager can measure from 14°-480°F. It has a 2.2-inch color display that can be toggled to thermal imaging, visual imaging, or blended image modes. The blended image combines a thermal image map with its corresponding visual image, allowing for quicker real-time diagnostics.


Dewalt DCT416 Thermal Imaging Camera Side View

A micro SD card allows for convenient transfer of bitmap formatted images to other devices or computers. Report-writing software is included.

Dewalt DCT416 Thermal Imaging Camera Heat Map

Like their non-contact infrared thermometer, the emissivity is adjustable to improve accuracy across a range of material types. A tracking feature shows the hottest point of an image as red, and the coldest as blue.

Dewalt DCT416 Thermal Imaging Camera Display

The thermal imager is now available for under $1000, and even under $900 at certain distributors. The DCT416S1 kit includes the DCT416 imaging thermometer, one micro SD card, one 12V Max lithium ion battery pack, a fast charger, and kit box. Reporting software can be downloaded here.

We’re pretty excited about this imager for a couple of reasons. For one, the ability to blend images in real-time can be quite useful. Execution of this can be tricky, and so we’re eager to see if Dewalt’s got it right. There’s also the fact that Dewalt managed to design and package an infrared thermal imager for under $1000. The next most inexpensive thermal imager is the newly revised $1200 FLIR i3.

It will be curious to see if the Dewalt version sells better than Milwaukee’s new M12 thermal imager. Although the M12 version has better specs, the Dewalt emissivity adjustment and ability to blend images in real-time are desirable features. There’s also a whopping $1500+ difference in price.

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    • says

      That’s not exactly a fair conclusion. It’s so easy to report estimated battery charge levels via software that it would be silly not to display such information.

    • says

      I’m waiting to hear back from Dewalt about this.

      The slightly more expensive Flir i3 has 60x60px IR sensor resolution. I wouldn’t expect the Dewalt sensor to be much larger.

      • RKA says

        Curious as well about this. Was about to spend on a Flir i7, but would like to know what the specs on the Dewalt are before doing so. I know it won’t touch the i7’s resolution, but at potentially 1/3 the cost at street prices, I may rethink.

  1. Kris Lee says

    Did anybody figure out what is the real thermal resolution of this device?

    In the spects they mention 15×15 but when you compare this to the sample images then at least I can not imagine how it could be possible to have such high resolution result with such low resolution sensor (see the third picture here).

    I had long email conversation with some DeWalt service representative and in the end it was concluded that the sensor should be 15×15.

    Alright, but it just does not make sense.

    I did few image manipulation tests in effort to analyze the possibility of the major upscaling.

    I first downconverted the image and then upscaled it again and applied the unsharpen mask to make edges sharper.

    It made some sense till 60×60 but below that the information is just not there.

    • says

      It’s definitely 15 x 15 px.

      I just took an image, transferred it via mini SD card adapter, and resized it for better clarity. I count 15 pixels across horizontally and 15 pixels vertically.

      Everyone I passed the thermal imager to loves it, but there’s no mistake – it’s a very low resolution imaging camera. Like the recent Fluke, this is better described as a visual thermometer.

      • Kris Lee says

        Thank you for the effort to take the samples and post them!

        Especially thank you for the straight out of the camera image.

        What I now believe how this is done is that they take the straight out the sensor image (gray scale) and interpolate the middle pictures (by upscaling with interpolation filter).

        Then they turn it into false color image and apply the unsharpen mask.

        Resulting image is saved into flash storage medium (this is what you get out of the camera).

        Now the image is upscaled even more and agressive unsharpen mask filter is applied.

        This is showed on the device LCD screen resulting more thinner features that would lead to impression of the higher resolution.

        I must say that I am kind of amazed but I would prefer to have more real resolution.

        Thank you again for the real sample images.

  2. sven_t says

    I’ve heard that 15×15 is the correct value. The high resolution you get by making many rapid measurements while slightly moving the measured area x/y. By superimposing and calculating a lot you will improve the picture. Compare with Fluke’s new VT02 unit, it seems to work in quite similar way..

    • says

      I don’t think there’s a way to do that, at least not on-camera. Maybe via post-processing, but there’s no mention of it in the 6-page PDF user guide.

      Today’s post shows an example of the image quality you can expect from the 12V thermal imager.

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