Testo 890 890-1 890-2

I have had the 890 for less than 12 hours now, but I wanted to throw up some initial thoughts. They forgot to give me software, so I am waiting for a download link so I can process the images and I will throw those up later.

I only have one “Con” with the camera so far. I have some, “I wish they would have’s”.


-The image is proprietary to the software. FLIR uses radiometric JPG. Why is no one using a standard image format other than FLIR. This is a bigger deal than the manufacturers seem to realize. Imaging processing takes a lot of time. For a final report most images are going to have to be tuned anyway, but there are also many times images are taken near perfect right off the bat and cutting down that processing time is money in the users pocket.


-The top of the camera has an A/B button that is user definable. The camera has so many features that are usable at any moment I wish there was at least 1 more of those buttons, 2 would be a lot better.

-The weight distribution of the camera is slightly “forward” in my opinion. I pulled off the lens and held the camera and it feels perfect. The lens is a lot of the cameras weight and it is all on the front. This is, in no way, a huge deal. It is something that the user would get use to over time of using the camera. In the future versions of the form factor I urge Testo to look at redistribution of the weight or modifying how the weight falls in relation to the hand strap or figuring out a way to bring the lens weight down.

-USB charging would be nice. If it does it, it doesn’t show it. I don’t think it does though. During image processing it is nice to be able to access the camera via the computer and leave the camera on (Why waist battery charge while you are plugged in to USB?). It is not a huge deal, but just another feature that would make things easier on the user.

-WiFi would have been nice as well as an HDMI connection (big wish here).

-USB is the only video out. Originally I was going to put this in Con’s, but it isn’t a huge deal unless you are doing trade shows with it. It will still perform well live on a large screen TV at a show, but a faster video out would have been nice…once again where is my HDMI??? The HDMI wish goes out to all manufacturers not just Testo.

The Pros:

-The biggest feature is Super Resolution. Advertises 2x the recorded resolution on images. This is actually the main thing I wanted to test and the images will follow this post (as soon as I get the software).

-The 640x480 (Super Resolution is advertised at 1280x960) image is amazing, but what is more amazing is the thermal sensitivity. They advertise <40mk on this unit and it is every bit of that rating. I am going to try to set up some super low Delta T shots to really try and show this. For you level X guys, keep in mind I cannot tune without the software yet and the image and sensitivity is still sick.

-Atmospheric correction. Okay so cameras already have this right? This one is live. Testo is a world leader in HVAC test and measurement. They put that knowledge to work and have an optional probe (890-2 only) that allows for live correction for humidity and temp. It also has correction for distance to target, which I am assuming calculates humidity correction with distance (Testo will have to confirm this though). The distance to target has to be manually entered. This brings up another wish of mine, it has a laser pointer, why not make it a laser distance meter and have that done auto as well. I have actually wondered why no manufacturer has done this yet. My big question here is, does it correct for high temperature “distortion/noise”? My guess is yes, but no where can I confirm that. I will find out from Testo and update this. One other note on this feature. This feature would be much more useful on a short wave and mid wave imager as atmospheric attenuation is a much larger issue in short wave than in long wave.

-As well as atmospheric correction it also has a solar intensity setting. When I first saw this feature mentioned I thought it was going to be something else. The user manuals describes it as: “To detect and document failures in photovoltaic systems, the solar function can be selected. The sun’s radiation intensity measured (with an external instrument) can be entered for documentation purposes. This value is saved with the IR-image. If this function is activated, the entered value for the radiation intensity is displayed (top left)”.

-On board panoramic, with an on board assistant to help with setting up the panoramic images. (wouldn’t mind this on one of those extra A/B buttons on certain applications)

-The handle rotates. This is not obvious when you pick up the camera or any images you will find of the camera itself, but it does. Along with that the screen rotates and will flip if taken past 180 degrees.

-Calculation of reflected temp. This is yet another feature that works with the temperature input as well as the E input. I will not go in to detail on how it works, the level 2 and higher guys will get why it is a nice feature.

-I am not a big fan of auto focus, but it has it. Just as a note, it has manual as well.

-Standard wide angle lens. 42 degrees x 32 degrees is the standard lens. Telephoto is available.

-The touch screen is nice and easy to use. For you arc flash guys this is actually a potential negative if the other operation is clunky. 5 way joystick operation is easy and could easily be operated with arc flash gloves on. On the same topic, the screen is well laid out and thought out. All the information you will need is easy to use and read.

-Bluetooth headset is nice for voice annotation.

-Additional protective glass. This is used while in operation. The camera has correction for it. Make sure to have that feature off or on depending of the protection glass is off or on.

-Automatic lens detection. This is not a big deal, but it is nice not having to go in and change that setting, moreover not accidentally forgetting to.

-It has SiteRecognition ability. For those that don’t know what that is, you have seen it. It is that crazy looking square bar code thing that you see around now a days.

Standard Stuff:

-3.1 megapixel camera. Manufacturers keep going bigger on the digital, this one keeps the trend going up.

-Tons of Palettes, even green? I will be using green in all reporting from now on. :mrgreen:

-LED lamps

-video (Super Resolution does not work for video)

Testo did an amazing job with their 4th generation cameras. I love the form factor as it really looks like a video camera. I would easily have no problem with owing one of these. There is no reason to buy the 890-1 in my opinion. If you are going this high up, go with the 890-2.

I might have missed some items. If you have any questions about something I may have left out, let me know and I will post up if it has it or not.

The Testo 885 is the 320x240 native (I have a feeling we will be using this term for all imagers in the future) verison. The Testo 876 is the 160x120 native version. I am only guessing here, but I would suspect a price decrease in the 876 soon, just to balance out the line better. The Testo 882 (gun type form factor) is super close in price and is 320x240 native.

Testo 890-1
Testo 890-2

Testo 885-1
Testo 885-2
Testo 885-2 Deluxe Set

Testo 876
Testo 882

Jason Kaylor - JJ
VP of Specialty Products
AC Tool Supply

Thanks for the summary. These definitely seem worth a look. They have definitely been working on some innovations.

If I remember correctly, these imagers can capture radiometric video, but only via cable, not direct to SD memory. Is that correct? Do you recall what the refresh rate is on the video

I thought that the site recognition capability would be a great feature for the folks who do trending in their facilities.

Can these units capture “clean” images or video out (i.e., thermal image only, no scale or watermark)? I was trying to do something in the way of 3D modelling with my FLIR but the watermark FLIR insists on placing in all images and video streams screws it up. I don’t understand why they think every image you capture needs to carry their watermark.

If you Level III guys want to see this camera in the works, call them and they will likely come to you.

They want your input.

They were in TN and the SE last week wanting to get my opinion, but I was booked…

I discussed the file format thing with them.

Video is radiometric. (Must get options to go with the camera for some stuff).

25hz on the video Chuck.


How well matched are the stand alone digital and infrared images in size?

Jeff, not sure yet. I had to run out for the afternoon. Will have many images over the next few days…have anything you want shot? Or just wanna horse with the camera?


This image is from one of the guys at Testo. It is one of the better images I have seen so far from the 890.

Here are two images of a 480V transformer. The first is 640x480, the second is 1280x960. This is not a great example of 640x480 vs Super Resolution, but if you look at the screw heads and the upper right portion of the transformer, under the overhang you can see a difference. I will hopefully have more time this weekend to find some better targets for this camera.


After 4 days with the camera now I have one issue that they can easily fix/address.

The lens cap just hangs there when it is off. I am not sure where it should go. It isn’t in no way a big annoyance, nor does it get in the way, it just seems like it should go somewhere. Pretty minor thing really.


Self adhesive velcro applied to the outside of the lens cap and the other side to the camera housing.

The problem I see with these units is the housing is made out of plastic that can easily melt in high temp environments. It is great that the cameras are rated for high temperature measurements, but the damned things will melt if you took them anywhere close to something where you would be measuring the upper limits. I would think that any high temp camera would at least be built with heat shields or a magnesium or aluminum casing to protect it. Granted that wouldn’t make for a light weight camera, but it should would help to protect if if you were going into a hot zone to inspect something like refractory or furnace tubes.

Great point, Scott. It is kind of weird they have the high temp option, but no protection for it. I guess their thought process was that the telephoto would allow for further away shots. The odd thing is, the reason for the long back order on these is the amount of cameras that were bought by that exact industry. Wonder how the cameras that delivered already are holding up.


Fixes that. Funny you say that, because I use to tell people the same thing for cameras that didn’t have laser pointers and they seemed very turned off by that thought, hehe.


Jason, you’ve had the camera for a while now. How are you liking or disliking it? I,m thinking of the 885 or 890 myself. Not a whole lot of reviews out there to base my options on.