PROS: 15 Hz refresh rate, wide temperature range, low price.
CONS: No visual camera.
PerfectPrime IR203 Specifications
|80 x 60
|-40 F to 752 F (-40 C to 400 C)
|up to +/- 1°C
|150 mK NETD
|Uses smartphone storage
|Uses smartphone battery
|Uses smartphone display
|Electrical Inspections, Energy Loss, HVAC/R Inspections, Contractors, Inspectors, Engineers, DIY Homeowners
PerfectPrime IR203 – Specs & Review
The PerfectPrime IR203 is an infrared thermal imager camera for iOS phones. You basically attach it to your iPhone’s lightning port, after you’ve plugged in the camera, you download the app and you’ve got a fully working thermal camera with you. The advantage against a handheld one is that you pay a lot less than you would for a standalone one, plus you get to use the display on your smartphone which is greatly superior than what you would get on a standard one at this price.
Then there’s the fact that the captured images get stored directly on your phone where it is easier to share and edit them rather than having to always connect a USB cable and download them on the PC.
The camera is equipped with only a thermal sensor, there’s no visual camera to boost the image quality through intelligent overlap (Like the Flir One cameras do).
PerfectPrime IR203 – Thermal imaging quality
Now let’s look at the thermal sensor of the PerfectPrime IR203 IR infrared thermal imager camera. It has an IR resolution of 80 x 60, totalling 4800 thermal imaging pixels so the picture quality isn’t fantastic, but given that it costs under 200$, this is as good as you can expect. Most IR thermal imagers in this price range won’t offer a better picture quality. However, the lack of a visual camera is felt, the camera could have greatly benefited from one.
One place where it has the upper edge against competitors like the Flir One is the framerate, because this can deliver a 15Hz refresh rate making the picture at least 50% smoother. This is mainly because US-based manufacturers like Flir are limited by law to a maximum frame rate of 9Hz. The difference in framerate is quite noticeable and usually after you’ve had a high framerate camera, it’s quite hard to go back to a lower one.
PerfectPrime IR203 – Temperature Range, Accuracy
Now that we’ve looked at image quality, let’s look at how it fares in terms of temperature measurement abilities. It has a thermal sensitivity of 150mk which basically translates to 0.15 Celsius. So in this regard, the IR203 thermal camera is perfectly inline with other devices in this price range, nothing special here. Now thermal sensitivity refers to the minimum change in temperature that the sensor can detect.
But then there is the question of accuracy and here, Perfect Prime claim that it can be accurate down to 1 C. This is a bold claim since cameras with much more advanced sensors from more reputable manufacturers still put their accuracy rate at +/- 2 C. It would be interesting to see that claim put to the test against a fixed benchmark in a controlled environment. So in terms of the accuracy, we remain at least skeptical of this value actually being met by a low-price thermal sensor. It is easy to measure the IR image resolution, but it’s a bit more complicated to do so with the accuracy of the sensor.
Then there is the temperature range that the sensor can measure which varies from -40 F to 752 F (-40 C to 400 C). This is about 20% wider than what you would get from its competitors so it definitely gets some bonus points here, especially. Also, the camera can record some really low temperatures, lower than what you would get with other devices.
In terms of the viewing angle, it is 44.2 degrees on the horizontal axis and 34.5 on the vertical axis. Again, nothing out of the ordinary here. The manufacturer has specified the FOV angles in degrees as is the standard.
PerfectPrime IR203 – Battery life & Memory
Now as we mentioned before, the camera stores thermal images directly on your smartphone, there’s no internal memory. It also uses your phone’s battery to power up, just like the Seek Thermal cameras and the ones made by Hti and unlike the Flir cameras which come with their own small battery. We think that the best choice is to use the phone’s battery since that gives the consumer the option of using a phone with a larger battery should they wish to. It is also self-evident that it has no display, everything happens on your mobile phone screen.
It is not waterproof nor is it dustproof and don’t expect to get a high IP rating from smartphone attachments because you won’t find any.
In terms of the app, it’s called SenXorProViewer, it is available on the app store and provides your basic functions like different color palettes, but also the ability to record video which is a welcome addition.
At this point, if you’ve been browsing around for thermal cameras, you may be wondering? Have I not seen this camera before? Yes. It is basically the PerfectPrime IR202 but with a different port.