I don’t know how I missed this, but Fluke came out with a new pocket thermal imaging camera, PTi120, which they say puts “the power of a professional-grade thermal imager” in your pocket.
The Fluke PTi120 thermal imaging camera has 120 x 90 pixel sensor resolution with full radiometric sensor data. It has a 3.5″ LCD touchscreen display, IP54 enclosure rating for water and dust resistance, and can withstand drops from up to 1 meter.
The PTi120 has a temperature measurement range of -20°C to 150°C (-4°F to 302°F).
Fluke boasts that their new pocket thermal imaging camera is small enough to carry every day without worry, and that it’s ideal for quick scans of electrical equipment, machinery, and other assets.
The device has an IR-Fusion mode, which blends visible light and thermographic images for a composite view, and a touchscreen slider can be used to adjust the settings.
- 120 x 90 pixel sensor resolution
- -20°C to 150°C (-4°F to 302°F) temperature range
- Temp accuracy of ±2°C or ±2% at or over 0°C
- 7.6 mRad IFOV spacial resolution
- 50° x 38° (HxV) field of view
- Fixed focus, minimum distance of 22.8 cm (~9″)
- Mini USB for image transfer
- 3.5″ 320 x 240 pixel touchscreen
- 60 mK thermal sensitivity (NETD)
- 9 Hz framerate
- “≥ 2GB internal memory”
- Built-in Li-ion rechargeable battery
- Micro USB charging port
- Emissivity correction
- Background temperature compensation
- Automatic shutdown power-saving modes
- 6 color palettes
- High/low/isotherm temperature alarms
- 8 µm to 14 µm spectral band
- -10°C to 50°C (14°F to 122°F) operating temperature
- Weighs 0.514 lbs
- Measures 3.5″ x 5.0″ x 1.0″
The thermal imaging camera comes with a USB cable, soft carrying bag, and adjustable lanyard. Fluke Connect software is a free download, as is the user manual.
Compared to Flir’s C2 and C3 pocket-sized thermal imaging cameras, Fluke’s PTi120 has a significantly larger thermal sensor.
Flir’s C2 and C3 thermal imaging cameras both have 80 x 60 pixel sensors, with 4,800 total data points. Fluke’s PTi120 has a 120 x 90 pixel sensor, with 10,800 total data points.
What’s strange is that Flir’s product page for the C3 doesn’t explicitly mention the thermal resolution, although they do subtly mention that it has jpeg images that “store 4,800 individual thermal measurements.”
Fluke’s pocket thermal imaging camera is pricier than Flir’s, but this is why – Fluke’s has a larger/more detailed sensor. You get 1.5X the vertical resolution and 1.5X the horizontal resolution, for 2.25X the total thermal measurement count.
Additionally, Fluke’s thermal sensitivity is said to be 60 mK (0.060°K), while Flir’s C2 and C3 are said to have “<0.10°C” thermal sensitivity. Fluke’s lower number is better.
So while the Flir C2 is ~$500 and the C3 $700, and Fluke PTi120 $900 and up, Fluke’s higher price gets you greater thermal imaging resolution and better sensor sensitivity.
In my past experiences with Fluke and Flir thermal imaging cameras, Flir had an edge, with their MSX contrast-enhancement algorithms. It’s unknown to me whether Fluke has improved upon their IR-Fusion image blending processes.
It could be, potentially, that Fluke’s higher thermal resolution negates any image quality advantage of Flir’s MSX feature.
Fluke has developed their Fluke Connect software, for sharing images, collaborating, and report generation.
I have had mixed experiences with Fluke thermal imaging products before, but generally have high trust in the company and their test and measurement products. If I were in the market for a pocket-sized thermal imaging camera, I might request a demo if possible, or order from a retailer with easy return policies.
The PTi120 seems like a well-thought out pocket-sized thermal imaging camera.
To determine whether it’s right for you, consider the form factor first. Are you looking for a traditional handheld thermal imagine camera, or a rectangular block with touchscreen display that you can slip into a pocket? If you’re eager for this almost smartphone-like form factor, the Fluke is one of very few options out there, and among those options it has the best on-paper thermal sensor resolution and sensitivity specs.