Below are some comments from a LEVEL III instructor friend of mine…
I’m familiar with the Seek thermal imager products. Seek is using the same detector and lens from their cell phone products. The thermal sensitivity or NETD does not comply with the RESNET Standard for home & building inspections. The information online indicates a thermal sensitivity of 1.00F or 0.55C. The FLIR E6 has a thermal sensitivity of 0.06C or 0.108F.
Buyer beware of marketing tacktics. Below are two images taken from the website video of the Seek Reveal. The first image shows the actual image quality of a person taken by the product in use. The second one is a photoshop brochure image with high resolution and sensitivity. Unfortunately, it is legal for manufactuers to photoshop high resolution infrared images into ads for marketing purposes even when the imager is not capable of this kind of performance.
The frame rate is listed as >9hz / the FLIR E6 is 9hz. The field of view is 36 degrees / the FLIR E6 has a better 45 degree wide angle. The FLIR E6 also has MSX image enhancement, picture in picture viewing, removable batteries, free software, area box with hot and cold spot measurements, fully radiometric .jpg images for analysis and easy integration into third party reporting software.
Below are some additional comments from a user that indicate the images cannot be adjusted by software after they are taken (non-radiometric image storage).
As thermal imaging quickly becomes cheaper, many phone based cameras like the Seek Compact, FLIR One and Therm-App have been released. However, very few, if any, dedicated thermal imaging devices have been released to take advantage of this new lower cost technology. The Seek thermal is basically the original Seek Compact in it’s own dedicated chassis with screen and a LED flashlight.
- 206 x 156 Resolution
- 12um pixel pitch
- -40° to 330 °C (-40° to 626 °F)
- Image saving onto MicroSD Card
- $399 USD
Unfortunately there are a few issues in this camera that stand out to me.
- No manual focus - so no macro shots - therefore suboptimal for use when building PCs etc. This is a bit ironic because their very own “Seek Compact” for phones ($250) has manual focus and decent macro capability.
- Bad image quality - While the 206x156 resolution sounds impressive, it really isn’t. Since the original seek thermal, seek has had issues delivering image quality on par with their rivals (specifically the FLIR One Gen 2), despite their higher resolution. This is mainly because of pretty big issues with noise and low sensitivity on their sensor. The Reveal uses the same sensor & lens combo as the Compact, so expect similar image quality (unless they really stepped up their image processing game).
- No radiometric image storage - this is less of an issue for casual users, but this basically means “what you see is what you get”. ie. what is displayed on the screen is what is saved. You can’t save a raw image for analysis with third party software later like you can on the FLIR One.
Still, at $399, this, along with the Original Seek at $249 and FLIR One Gen 2 at $249 offer very good value for anyone who wants to play around with thermal imaging, provided your expectations aren’t overinflated (because, after all, most of the thermal images you’ve probably see were taken with cameras that easily cost over $5000).
Another device that’s a competitor to the Seek Reveal is the FLIR TG165, also at $399. While it has better temperature precision and possibly accuracy, it’s thermal resolution is limited to a very low 80x60 pixels (that said it’s thermal sensor is much higher sensitivity and lower noise than the Seek’s).
See images below