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Thermal Imaging Cameras


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#1 Tanner_TVP

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 01:43 PM

I am looking to purchase my first thermal imaging camera. I donít really need it to take stills. I do need video, though. I was wondering if anyone was using one and had advice. I noticed one on the Paranormal Outfitters web site for 1999.99 it takes still shots though. I was wondering if it or a model like it could be plugged into a DVD or other video recorder for real time thermal video. Thanks for the help.
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#2 CaveRat2

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 03:40 PM

A word of recommendation from one who has a FLIR system. Unless you intend to use it for some other reason besides paranormal investigation, save your money. (I have used mine for investigating heat leaks in homes and related activities which it does very well, so I don't really consider it a waste of money. )

But to date I have captured absolutely zero when it comes to any activity related to paranormal investigating. Unless you count the faulty circuit breaker I found generating excessive heat in a client's electric service entrance.

#3 Aesalon

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 11:06 PM

I'll have to agree with CaveRat - finding drafts and sensing rodents are the best paranormal investigation uses for a thermal imager ...and both of those can be uncovered in a more cost-effective manner.

-Stephen G.

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Based in Omaha, NE with a chapter in Dallas /Ft. Worth, TX. FBN is primarily a paranormal research team with a focus on classical 'haunting phenomena.' 

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#4 SGT Miles

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 11:19 PM

While I would have to agree that TIS (Thermal Imaging System) cameras are a little on the Way expensive side, I also have to admit that if you want to save up for a good one with Next Gen FLIR technology then it is a pretty useful tool in more ways than one if you are in total darkness areas, with those types of systems the heat differentiation is so great you can make out everything as if it was daylight rather than a bland screen with odd color patterns. You can also pick up things from pretty far away, I used to sit out at night with My TIS monocular and watch mice moving through the fields up to 100m away on a cold night. But that is for the really expensive stuff, like the L3 X200XP Thermal Eye which is around 10k but has the most crisp image...anyway the FLIR/Extech I5 Thermal Imager supposedly has an output port on it. and it is 1999 from Amazon. And you can also use them to inspect your house to find leaks in your weather sealing and save a bit off your climate control bill. But mostly I have to agree that the price is just too steep for the payoff unless you just really want to have thermals to play with, in which case I would suggest just saving up for the expensive one so you can at least play with Top of the line thermals.

#5 boatlesspirate

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:38 AM

I agree with the others, not enough bang for your buck. And by the way the I5/7 outputs are USB for the still pics, not video. Getting a TIS with video out will run you better than 5K, and then you still need a portable DVR for at least $600, or with a screen for another $1300. Ouch!
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#6 ourobouros2k2

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 10:55 PM

As with anything else, you get what you pay for. The Flir/Extech I5 is a fixed focus, 80x80 pixel sensor resolution imager. Still pic's only, no video capabilities. It refreshes at 9hz, has a very limited temperature span, and has low spatial resolution. It does have it's uses, and can be used for paranormal investigation if you are aware of it's shortcomings and use it accordingly. I wrote an article about imager selection and buyer caveats last year, and it is already becoming dated. Thermography is a constantly evolving technology, and what you pay 12k for 1 day, you will be lucky to get 4k out of it a year or two later. For help selecting an entry level thermal imager, and what you can expect, check out this link:

http://okcgc.net/?page_id=343

Here are some examples of why sensor resolution is important:

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and another
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and one more:
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There are an enormous amount of things to take into consideration before purchasing a thermal imager. Not only detector resolution, but refresh rates, FOV, focus ability, spatial resolution (mRad), and thermal sensitivity (NETD rating) are all factors that can significantly affect the picture. There is a bit of study to be done if you want to purchase in imager that will fit your needs.

About your needs, lol. These units WILL NOT detect free-space temperature anomalies. Only surface temperatures. You might be able to detect something "touching" a trigger object and changing it's temperature, but you will never see a ghost floating through a hall. Secondary surface anomalies only. Certain organic or carbon gasses have the ability
to block the tranmissivity of objects behind them, and I suppose this would be an exception to the free-space rule, but that supposes that such gases are present and of a paranormal origin. What else will it detect that would be salient to paranormal research? Intrusion into area (animal or person) as well as above mentioned drafts and air leaks.

It is a handy piece of equipment to have, and I love mine (FLIR Thermacam B2), but I honestly don't ever believe I will see a ghost with it. Tactile trigger object temp manipulation is the best I can hope for in that regards. Too many people simply want to emulate their onscreen heroes without a second thought to the applicability of the technology they use (or misuse). BTW, I also use my FLIR for work (police) as well as sasquatchin', so it does have other uses.

Regards,

Andy

PS. For thermal imagers that use micro or mini SD cards to save images to, this *might* work to transmit the video. No guarantees... see link below

http://www.gearfuse....eo-out-adapter/
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#7 CaveRat2

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 10:08 AM

Perhaps I should clarify my earlier post. I came across more negative than I intended. I do have a FLIR system ($3500 worth) and I do think the money was well spent. I have done numerous contract jobs for people scanning homes, etc. and actually have come close to the thing paying for itself. If I had it to do over again I would still buy it. Andy and a couple others are correct, don't waste money on a cheap low resolution unit, save up and go with a good quality piece of equipment.

That said though, if all you want to do is use it to ghost hunt, save your money and buy a dog instead. I stand by my earlier statement, still nothing paranormal with my FLIR....

#8 ourobouros2k2

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 01:22 PM

Perhaps I should clarify my earlier post. I came across more negative than I intended. I do have a FLIR system ($3500 worth) and I do think the money was well spent. I have done numerous contract jobs for people scanning homes, etc. and actually have come close to the thing paying for itself. If I had it to do over again I would still buy it. Andy and a couple others are correct, don't waste money on a cheap low resolution unit, save up and go with a good quality piece of equipment.

That said though, if all you want to do is use it to ghost hunt, save your money and buy a dog instead. I stand by my earlier statement, still nothing paranormal with my FLIR....


Didn't take it negatively at all. You are correct, I have not yet captured anything paranormal, and if I do, I think I will be surprised.

A lot of folks want one simply because they see them on tv, and tv personalities mislead them into thinking that they show many paranormal captures. All of what they capture is reflective, rodent/animal, or macro temp. anomaly based, nothing paranormal.

That being said, this clip captured from ARG paranormal leaves me scratching my head. This would certainly be in opposition to the free space anomaly statement I made above. I do not know what to make of it, except to say that it shouldn't be possible. Almost has to be a person, although I don't know what is shielding most of their radiated heat...

http://www.argparano.....gine room.mpg

It was captured during an invest. on the RMS Queen Mary. Pay attention to the "figure" moving on the catwalk.


Regards
Andy
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#9 OMPRDave

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 03:35 PM

I got bored one night and played with a thermal scanner used for detecting HVAC leaks...I placed my hand on the wall, and then scanned the wall...the led bar graph on the scanner neatly showed me where my hand had been placed, and it took nearly three minutes for the print to dissipate. If that same scanner had been coupled to a camera somehow, it would have done exactly the same thing that a multi-thousand dollar imaging unit could do, which is give me a fluctuation in surface temperatures.

On television these things are a great tool, namely because it's so easy to pass off staged footage as unexplainable or paranormal. Smoke and mirrors, and great editing room work. It's really no wonder I don't watch any of the paranormal shows anymore. It's all clever acting and even more clever post production. The equipment they use - I have no use for any of it. When I started I jumped in on the assumption I needed all the same equipment - IR cameras, recorders, miles of hard wire, and all the various meters they play with every week. As my journey into research deepened, 99% of that equipment wound up in a trunk in my basement. Today, my initial investigation kit is no bigger than a shoe box, and my biggest expense is just the for batteries I need.

Is anybody up for making a video explaining what this type of equipment actually does, and why it is such a important piece of equipment for "television" ghost hunting?
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

#10 CaveRat2

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 06:12 PM

Is anybody up for making a video explaining what this type of equipment actually does, and why it is such a important piece of equipment for "television" ghost hunting?


I once kicked around the idea, then gave up figuring it was not worth the effort. People will believe whatever they want. And in the public eye, mjority rules, right or wrong, even if the majority is jumpng off a bridge.....

I figured the time I spent would be wasted considering I would be one investigator out there debunking 90% of what every ghost buster "knows" is how it's done because they saw it on TV. You're better off talking to a tree stump. At least the tree stump just stands there, it doesn't argue with you about some half baked idea!

#11 ourobouros2k2

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 06:51 PM

Is anybody up for making a video explaining what this type of equipment actually does, and why it is such a important piece of equipment for "television" ghost hunting?


I once kicked around the idea, then gave up figuring it was not worth the effort. People will believe whatever they want. And in the public eye, mjority rules, right or wrong, even if the majority is jumpng off a bridge.....


Aint that the truth...

Andy
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#12 ChuckMcB

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 06:57 AM

I'm not sure I've ever really even seen these things work on TV, save for once or twice on ghost hunters. That is two times that they got clear images of a person where there shouldn't have been one. One is more credible because it was outside in an open area but of course it could have just been the cameraman as it looked like any other person showing up on thermal.

90% of the time on the tv shows I've seen, if they get anything at all it's just wierd little blobs in strange places that could be anything. They do often tag those as evidence but I've never seen them call it a ghost.
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#13 CaveRat2

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 03:35 PM

Exactly right. Thermal imaging suffers from the same problems that plague IR / night vision and extended bandwidth cameras. they allow one to "see" beyond the range of normal vision. While that in itself is not a bad thing, it does open up a ot of concerns. One needs to be aware of how light behaves outside the visible spectrum. In the case of therml imaging you must know how heat reacts, how it radates, and its latency.

Consider, if you placeyour hand on the table and view it with a camera, what you see is what is there. take your hand away and the image clealy shows that. But view the same scene under thermal imaging and you will "see" your hand print even though you move away. Any form of radiant heat will cause a similar effect. Thus you need to understand the forces at work otherwise you will be getting a lot of false positives! Knowing how thermal imaging operates is vital if you intend to pursue that area of research.

#14 Gene at bsphi

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 06:48 PM

I actually have a Raz-ir nano that I would like to sell. It is 4 months old and in perfect shape. If your interested drop me an email at gene@bsphi.com I am just looking for a fair offer, I would like to see it being used. Right now it's collecting dust. The camera retails for about $8,000, be fair with me and it's yours. :)

http://raz-ir.com/in...red-camera.html

#15 AnythingButNormal

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:06 PM

The equipment they use - I have no use for any of it. When I started I jumped in on the assumption I needed all the same equipment - IR cameras, recorders, miles of hard wire, and all the various meters they play with every week. As my journey into research deepened, 99% of that equipment wound up in a trunk in my basement. Today, my initial investigation kit is no bigger than a shoe box, and my biggest expense is just the for batteries I need.


Hi gentlemen,

Been a while since I posted, and I apologize, but I've been busy reviewing about four investigations worth of material. I'd like to ask both Dave and CaveRat what tools they feel are essential to their kit, since I too have recently come to the conclusion stated above. My group has 5-10k worth of equipment, but the best evidence I capture seems to come from my 35$ RCA recorder. I've gotten many EVP's from it (which I'll post upon request). I'm still looking for a good digital camera and pass through filter set-up that will allow me to take photos in the UV spectrum, as my Sony doesn't seem to be capturing much in the way of evidence. Even our 1k DVR setup has failed to net any evidence on about ten investigations. I'm convinced that big money toys aren't necessary for high quality evidence. So what do you gentlemen take to an investigation?
Investigator/Technical Manager: South Coast Paranormal Society, Augusta, GAwww.southcoastparanormalsociety.com




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