The good folks at InfiRay have sent me their latest Infrared camera to review. It is tiny.
It's smaller than a normal USB stick and barely weighs anything. Shove the USB-C protrusion into your Android phone, launch the app, and... nope - that's it! Pretty much instantly plug and play.
There's also a reasonably long USB-C extension cable, so you can poke the camera in small places without needing to get your phone up close to something hot. But, if you do want to get close, the magnetic cover acts as a macro lens. Perfect for seeing which capacitor on your motherboard is about to blow!
The IR lens is only 256x192. It doesn't sound like a lot, but that's quite high spec for these sort of consumer devices. Everything is upscaled - and there's an overlay to show you the temperatures. Here's my face - what a cold nose!
There's no IR EXIF, sadly, but you do get GPS.
The video is upscaled to 1080x1440 - which allows for the information overlay to be a sensible size. Frame rate is about 11fps - but we're not going for cinematic quality here! Codec is h264 but fairly uncompressed.
There doesn't seem to be a way to get rid of the InfiRay watermark - but perhaps it is burried in the app settings somewhere?
The Android app is spartan, but functional. You can fiddle around with the camera's colour pallets, play with some image and video quality settings, and record video.
It's also possible to show your phone's camera simultaneously with the thermal image - so you can get an idea of what you're seeing.
The camera shows up as
0bda:5830 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. USB Camera and is automatically recognised as a USB camera.
The only issue is with the way it presents itself. Opening up Google Meet shows the image split like this:
No idea what's going on there! But it should be easy enough to stream from the camera and post-process it.
Now, here's the rub. What with the global chip shortages and the need for IR sensors in military equipment, the price of these devices is unfairly high.
The price on Amazon is around £220 - use the code
terence12 to get a discount. That's a chunk of change! But these cameras are useful if you want to check for leaks, or dodgy insulation, or whether your computer is overheating.
You can also buy from the official website.
I've reviewed several IR cameras. The P2 Pro is a great gadget. It's small, the app doesn't suck, and it seems pretty accurate.
It's a bargain if a group of you are buying it for a hack-lab.