FLIR's Super Low Cost Thermal Cameras

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Apr 02, 2014

FLIR has been hyping the future of super low cost thermal cameras seemingly forever. 

And yet, it has been a competitor, DRS, who a few years ago delivered a breakthrough in thermal camera pricing at $2,000, while FLIR thermal IP cameras remained $4,000+. 

Now, FLIR has announced a new line of low cost cameras starting at only $499 MSRP, plunging prices to the level of conventional cameras. In this note, we look at these new models, how they compare to existing options, and their potential impact.

New Camera Lineup

The photo below from FLIR's ISC West booth shows the new range of cameras, including the mini and full size bullet cameras, a form factor shared by both thermal and visible cameras (as well as visible light vandal and PTZ domes):

There are two new thermal options in this lineup, both planned to ship in Q2 2014

[UPDATE: Shipping is now expected in Q1 2015]

Mini Bullet

The mini bullet will be available with 25° and 50° lens options, using a low resolution 80x60 Lepton core [link no longer available], originally developed for consumer electronics (including their FLIR ONE iPhone thermal camera). Detection range was quoted by FLIR as about 150' using the 50° lens, though their marketing material states 100'. We plan to test these cameras' actual performance as soon as they are available.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

MSRP starts at $499 USD, far lower than other cameras in their line, and about 75% less than the DRS WatchMaster ($1,999 USD MSRP), previously the lowest cost thermal camera.

Full Size Bullet

The full size bullet will be available in 320x240 or 640x480 resolutions, using FLIR's typical Tau core. Lens options include 90° and 9° in 320x240 and 48° and 18° in 640x480.

FLIR tells us the highest MSRP on these models is ~$1,600 (VGA, 18° lens). This is substantially less than previous FLIR models, with the FC series starting at ~$4,500 for even 320x240 models. 

Existing Series

The FC series is mentioned in FLIR's marketing for this new line as a "PRO bullet", and current models will be maintained. However, FC series cameras are now available with built-in analytics and temperature monitoring (previously only available on the A series). Other models, such as the F and PT series, will be unchanged.

Potential Impact / Competitive Positioning

These new lower priced models are likely to make thermal an option in commercial installations where it was previously cost prohibitive, which typically limited thermal cameras to industrial and critical infrastructure applications. However, their acceptance depends upon detection performance, which remains uncertain without testing.

The main competitive alternative will be integrated IR IP cameras, whose options have dramatically grown at much lower prices over the last few years. We plan to test FLIR's new low cost models against an array of integrate IR ones.

What Do You Think?

2 reports cite this report:

$800 Axis Thermal Camera Examined on Jan 02, 2018
Axis is releasing two of the lowest cost thermal IP cameras ever. But will low cost be enough to spur adoption? In this note, we examine the 2 new...
Winners Losers Fall 2014 on Oct 13, 2014
We are all losers, IPVM included. The historically poor new releases for ASIS / Essen make 2014 the worst year for surveillance innovation in, at...
Comments (4) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Phone Camera Calculator Released on Mar 10, 2020
IPVM has released the first-ever Phone Calculator, video surveillance design software that you can use on your phone, without installing an...
Coronavirus Hits Sony, Bosch Says Switch on Feb 26, 2020
Sony's fall in video surveillance has been severe over the past decade. Now, they may be done. In this note, we examine Bosch's new...
Bosch Dropping Dahua on Feb 13, 2020
Bosch has confirmed to IPVM that it is in the process of dropping Dahua, over the next year, as both IP camera contract manufacturer and recorder...
Hanwha Announces 32MP Camera + AI Line on Sep 10, 2019
In the first rise in maximum megapixel resolution in 5 years, Hanwha has announced a 32MP / 8K camera directly competing with Avigilon's H4 30MP /...
Vivotek Revenue Soars on Aug 05, 2019
Vivotek's revenue has soared so far in 2019, growing 45%. Inside this note, we examine import records and see who is driving Vivotek's growth...
Bosch Integrating Sony Video Security Sales And Marketing Team on Jul 03, 2019
What is the future of Sony in video surveillance? In 2016, Bosch and Sony announced an atypical 'partnership'. Now, Bosch tells IPVM that they...
Verkada False Allegations Against Avigilon Exposed on May 08, 2019
Verkada has leveled false allegations against Avigilon, as part of their aggressive marketing tactics against the 'dinosaurs' in the 'ancient'...
Axis Supports HD Analog on Apr 15, 2019
In 2017, Axis declared 'Everything is IP': Now, in 2019, Axis has released support for HD analog, with their new encoders. Why the change?...
Axis ARTPEC-7 Chip Release Examined on Apr 08, 2019
For years, Axis essentially de-promoted their own chips. Now, they are reversing course. Axis has announced ARTPEC-7, their latest chip, which...
Spring 2019 50+ New Products Directory on Apr 08, 2019
We are compiling a list of new products for Spring 2019 and have over 50 already. Contrast to Fall 2018 New Products Directory and Spring 2018...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Wyze Raises $10 Million And Seeks Services Expansion on May 27, 2020
Wyze has raised $10 million, the company's first disclosed raise since the $20 million announced at the beginning of 2019. Inside this note,...
Startup Videoloft Presents Cloud Storage on May 27, 2020
Videoloft presented offsite cloud storage at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from Videoloft including IPVM...
Directory of 250+ Fever Camera News Reports Globally on May 27, 2020
This global directory tracks 250+ articles about thermal cameras used to detect fevers in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Articles are...
Integrators Rising Against Coronavirus on May 27, 2020
IPVM integrator statistics make it clear - Coronavirus's impact on business is lessening and many are anticipating even better news in weeks...
Netposa Stock Surges 46% After US Human Rights Abuse Sanctions on May 27, 2020
Last Friday, the US government announced it would sanction PRC video management provider NetPosa for being "complicit in human rights violations...
LILIN Presents NDAA-Compliant P2 Cameras on May 26, 2020
Merit LILIN presented its NDAA-compliant P2 camera series at the April 2020 IPVM New Products show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video...
ZKTeco Body Temperature and Mask Detection Reader Tested on May 26, 2020
While dedicated fever cameras emerged first, now tablet/kiosk fever detectors are ramping up. China's ZKTeco has been aggressively promoting such...
IDIS Presents 12MP IR Panoramic Fisheye on May 26, 2020
IDIS presented its 12MP IR panoramic fisheye camera at the April 2020 IPVM New Products show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video from...
FDA Defines Correct Operation of "Fever Cameras" on May 26, 2020
The US FDA has now defined the correct operation of "Thermal Imaging Systems", colloquially known as "fever cameras". Many in video...
OnSSI Founders Return, Start Corsight on May 25, 2020
The OnSSI founders are back, less than 2 years after selling OnSSI to Qognify, they have returned to Corsight, a spin-out of an Israeli AI...