PROS: 256 x 192 IR Resolution, 25 Hz refresh rate, Wide temperature range, 6-hour battery, Visual camera, IP54 enclosure (Waterproof)
CONS: Given the price and what it offers, not much.
Hikmicro B20 Specifications
|Resolution||256 x 192|
|Connectivity||USB-C & Wi-fi|
|Temperature range||-4 F to 1022 F (-20 C to 550 C)|
|Thermal sensitivity||0.04 C|
|Storage Type||eMMc storage 16GB (90,000 images)|
|Battery capacity||6 hours|
|Refresh rate||25 Hz|
|Applications||HVAC inspection, Electrical inspections, Plumbing, Roofing, Automotive Diagnostics|
|View Angle||37.2 x 50|
Hikmicro B20 – Specs & Review
The Hikmicro B20 is a high-resolution thermal imaging camera that promises to deliver a host of features and high performance for maybe half the price of an equivalent Flir camera.
It is equipped with a thermal sensor but also a 2mp visual camera so that the two images get overlapped and the resulting image will have considerably more detail in it than it would if it only used the thermal sensor.
The captured images can be transfered to your PC or smartphone either by the USB-C port and USB Cable or included 802.11 b/g/n 2.4ghz Wifi connectivity. You can sync it to your PC or the Hikmicro viewer app and just livestream your screen to it together with the temperature data.
Hikmicro B20 – Thermal imaging quality
Now let’s have a look at the image quality because this is where the B20 promises to bring a lot to the table. The IR resolution of this thermal camera is 256 x 192 which amounts up to 49,152 thermal pixels. Now this is big because the price is hugely important in this entire calculation and when you compare it to thermal cameras in the same price range, you’ll notice that the average amount of pixels that you get is usually at 32,000. So you do get more 50% more detail in the image just from that.
But because this infrared camera is made by Hikmicro, it does come with that wonderful 25 Hz refresh rate. As you may be aware, infrared thermal imaging cameras which are made in the US are limited to 9 Hz because otherwise they can’t be exported because of EAR regulations. But Hikmicro is a china-based manufacturer so they don’t have to abide by that. Is a 25 Hz image frequency essential? Probably not. Does it improve the experience? In a huge way.
Now because the Hikmicro B20 thermal imaging camera also has a digital camera, it offers 4 image modes: thermal (just the data coming from the IR sensor), optical (just the data coming from the visible light camera), fusion (An intelligent blend of the two images into one high-resolution thermal image) and PIP (Picture-in-Picture). You also get 4 color palettes to choose from: White Hot, Black Hot, Ironbow and Rainbow.
Hikmicro B20 – Temperature Range, Accuracy
Now we get to the Hikmicro B20’s thermal measurement capabilities and the first one is the important one, the temperature range which varies from -4 F to 1022 F (-20 C to 550 C). All of the Hikmicro infrared cameras share the same temperature measurement range and this is one of the B20’s key advantages in its fight against Flir devices because it can measure a much wider range of temperatures especially on the hot side.
Then there’s the thermal accuracy which is rated at +/- 2 C which is certainly inline with other thermal cameras in its price range. However the place where we’re always skeptical of Hikmicro’s claims is with the 0.04 C thermal sensitivity which rates far lower than anything else you can find on the market. Even the high-ends from Flir cannot match that in theory.
The device itself has a high temperature alarm so that it notifies you once a certain value has been reached. There’s also a few measurement presets like center spot, hot spot or cold spot
Hikmicro B20 – Battery life & Memory
You’ll be getting plenty of storage because it comes with a 16GB eMMc card which can store up to 90,000 images so you probably won’t have to delete any picture throughout the camera’s lifetime.
The battery is good for a whole 6 hours of continuous operation, 2 more than the average that you can expect to get from handheld thermal cameras that fit into this budget.
Then there is the LCD screen which is big, bright and colorful. It is 3.2″ in diagonal and has a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. It’s true, not as many PPI as you’d get in a smartphone screen but it is still very usable.
The good news isn’t just on the inside, but also on the outside because the camera is protected by an IP54 enclosure, meaning it is waterproof and dustproof, something which you’ll generally find in just about 25% of cameras in this price range.
The Hikmicro line-up of handheld thermal imaging cameras is quite extensive and it includes the Hikmicro B10 which is a direct competitor for the Flir TG165-X together with the Hikmicro G40 and Hikmicro G60 which compete with the likes of the Flir E6-XT.