The Top Thermal Cameras for Drones from DJI, Yuneec, and FLIR

In this article, we share a list of the top thermal cameras for drones. Our list includes cameras from companies like FLIR, DJI, and Yuneec. The camera you choose may be heavily determined by the drone you fly—many thermal cameras are made only to fit specific drone models. We provide specs and information on compatibility to help you determine the best thermal drone camera for your project.

Yuneec thermal camera and drone

The Yuneec H520 hexacopter and CGOET thermal camera.

What Can Drone Operators do with a Thermal Camera?

Aerial thermography is one of many UAS applications where you can make money in the drone industry. When equipped with a special thermal camera, drones can translate thermal energy (heat) into visible light in order to analyze a particular object or scene.

This field has multiple humanitarian and societal benefits as well. Thermography is being used by public safety members to find missing persons, firefighters to put out damaging fires, and agricultural workers to identify more efficient cultivation and harvesting methods. These are just a few of the drones for good efforts we’ve seen in aerial thermography.

List of the 7 Top Thermal Cameras for Your Drone

This list includes the top thermal cameras for drones. Our list features the top FLIR thermal cameras as well as thermal cameras from DJI and Yuneec.

Some of the most important differentiating factors between each camera are whether they are radiometric or non-radiometric and whether they are stable or attached with a gimbal. Radiometric thermal cameras display a thermal image and provide temperature measurements; non-radiometric thermal cameras display a thermal image only. Cameras with a gimbal allow the operator more control over the camera’s movement than those without.

1. FLIR Duo Pro RThermal Resolution: 336 X 256 / 640 X 512FLIR Duo Pro RRadiometric: YesGimbal: NoRetail Price: $5,199

FLIR touts this HD dual-sensor thermal camera as “the most powerful dual-sensor imaging solution in the world for small commercial drones.” The FLIR Duo Pro R combines a high resolution, radiometric thermal imager, 4K color camera, and a full suite of on-board sensors to bring you thermal and hi-def color images in flight. A fully integrated GPS receiver, IMU, magnetometer, and barometer provide all the data needed to create accurate orthomosaics without integrating external flight controllers.

Compatible with: Comes with two 1/4″-20 TPI tripod mounts. Contact the FLIR Support Team with questions about compatibility: 866-667-7732.Shop for the FLIR Duo Pro R on Amazon2. FLIR Vue Pro RThermal Resolution: 336 X 256 / 640 X 512Radiometric: YesGimbal: NoRetail Price: $3,349

This is the first camera FLIR equipped with radiometric technology. The radiometric drone thermal camera can save still images with accurate, calibrated temperature data embedded in every pixel. With this camera, you can also geotag images and control the camera function by integrating with your drone’s control system. This camera is popular for professional sUAS applications like building and roof inspections, power grid inspections, infrastructure analysis, precision agriculture, and public safety.

Compatible with: Comes with precision mounting holes: two M2x0.4 on each of two sides & one bottom 1/4-20 threaded hole on top. Contact the FLIR Support Team with questions about compatibility: 866-667-7732.Shop for the FLIR Vue Pro R on Amazon3. FLIR Vue ProThermal Resolution: 336 X 256 / 640 X 512Radiometric: NoGimbal: NoRetail Price: $2,349

The FLIR Vue Pro is a professional-grade thermal camera for drone operators. This camera comes at a lower price tag because it does not offer radiometric technology like the Vue Pro R. However, this thermal imaging camera still enables the operator to measure and record temperatures and differentiate them through different color palettes. This model does not store the data onboard, rather it records digital video and still imagery to a removable micro-SD card. Like most FLIR thermal cameras, you can also geotag images and control the camera function by integrating with your drone’s control system.

Compatible with: Comes with precision mounting holes: two M2x0.4 on each of two sides & one bottom 1/4-20 threaded hole on top. Contact the FLIR Support Team with questions about compatibility: 866-667-7732.Shop for the FLIR Vue Pro on FLIR.com4. DJI Zenmuse XTThermal Resolution: 336 X 256 / 640 X 512Radiometric: Optional (Radiometric Model v. Performance Model)Gimbal: YesRetail Price: Contact DJI for pricing

The Zenmuse XT combines DJI’s gimbal expertise and image transmission with FLIR’s industry-leading thermal imaging technology. The camera on the DJI Zenmuse XT is developed by FLIR. It provides high-sensitivity thermal imaging and provides accurate temperature measurements ideal for analytics and telemetry. Stabilized and controlled by a custom DJI gimbal, it provides smooth, clear imagery and 360 degrees of seamless rotational movement. Video and images are stored on a removable SD card.

Compatible with: DJI Inspire 1 and Matrice 100, 200, and 600 seriesShop for the DJI Zenmuse XT on DJI.com5. DJI Zenmuse XT2Thermal Resolution: 336 X 256 / 640 X 512Radiometric: YesGimbal: YesRetail Price: Contact DJI for pricing

The Zenmuse XT2 integrates a high-resolution FLIR thermal sensor and a 4K visual camera with DJI’s stabilization and machine intelligence technology. The advanced thermal sensor provides high sensitivity imaging for infrastructure monitoring, energy inspections, firefighting, search and rescue missions, and more. With a fully-integrated dual payload, professionals can capture actionable thermal and color visible data in a single flight.

Compatible with: DJI M200 Series and M600 Pro CompatibleShop for the DJI Zenmuse XT2 on DJI.com6. Yuneec CGOETThermal Resolution: 160 X 120Radiometric: NoGimbal: YesRetail Price: $1,900

The CGOET combines thermal imaging and a low light camera with a 3-axis gimbal, capable of a continuous 360° rotation. With the thermal imaging camera, the temperature in the image selectively measures and indicates relative temperature differences. The residual light IR lens has 20x higher sensitivity than the human eye and captures excellent images, particularly in low light conditions.

Compatible with: Yunneec Typhoon H and H520Shop for the Yuneec CGOET on Amazon7. Yuneec E10TThermal Resolution: 336 X 256 / 640 X 512Yuneec E10TRadiometric: NoGimbal: YesRetail Price: $7,999

Yuneec’s launch of the E10T was one of the biggest surprise announcements at InterDrone 2018. The E10T is an all-in-one, three-axis gimbal, dual thermal imaging and residual light camera available in two versions with different lens options: 320 by 256-pixel or 640 by 512-pixel thermal resolution. The H520-E10T system was specially developed for inspection, safety and search & rescue applications.

One of the most impressive capabilities of this thermal camera is that it allows you to stream the thermal and residual light image simultaneously to the remote control and then look at the image as an overlay or picture-in-picture. The E10T will be available later this year in four lens configurations for the two resolution options. The 320-pixel thermal resolution will start at $4,999, while the 640-pixel thermal resolution will start at $7,999.

Compatible with: Yuneec H520Check Yuneec E10T availability on Yuneec.com

Share your favorite thermal imaging camera for drones on our community forum. Interested in other types of camera drones? Check out our Top Camera Drones Guide next. It contains tons of camera drone recommendations for cinematographers, real estate marketers, and sUAS service providers.

 

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