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High resolution thermal imaging refers to the fine detail and clarity of a thermal image. This means it contains a large number of pixels per unit of area. More pixels mean greater temperature measurement accuracy, particularly for small objects.

High Definition Thermal Imaging refers to the image refresh rate, exactly like a television, whereas the thermal imaging camera outputs an image refresh rate at 50/60 Hz NTSC/PAL or 50 to 60 frames per second. This high image refresh rate is considered high definition whereas units with an image refresh rate around 30 frame/s are considered standard definition (just like a television).

High resolution thermal imaging infrared cameras have a 640x480 detector, which delivers 307,200 pixels versus 76,800 in a thermal imager with a 320x240 detector. Four times better resolution (Sixteen times better than a thermal imaging infrared camera with a 160x120 detector. You can be twice the distance away as compared to a 320x240 thermal imaging infrared camera, or four times the distance as compared to the 160x120 thermal imaging infrared camera. This type of thermal imager can be used on substations, switchyard, transmission and distribution lines, all of which are littered with this type of target.

The Hi-Resolution infrared camera can be four times the distance of a Low-Resolution and twice the distance of a Mid Resolution (not to be confused with Mid Wave) system and get the same image detail. At 1/2X distance, it takes 4 pictures to cover the same area; at 1/4X distance, it takes 16 pictures to cover the same area. Of course this is entirely dependent on the accuracy of the camera, lens used, software, etc.

The NTSC system is 60 Hz and the PAL system is 50 Hz. Television NTSC uses 30 frames per second with a resolution of 640x480 and PAL uses 25 frame/s with a resolution of 720x576. In high definition television, ATSC uses 60 Hz, 30 frame/s, with a resolution up to 1920x1080.


  • Higher resolution means better ability to spot small targets at larger distances
  • Find problems you would otherwise miss completely, improve diagnoses with better image detail
  • Higher resolution means better measurement accuracy of small targets
  • Higher resolution means larger field of view than ever before for spotting small targets
  • Higher refresh rates mean more accurate results
  • Higher refresh rates means a much clearer, detailed video