Keysight TrueIR Imager Review

The Keysight TrueIR Thermal Imager is a well-thought-out infrared camera that focuses more on the essentials than auxiliary features. It produces clear, thermally accurate images, and despite its lack of Wi-Fi connectivity, its radiometric JPGs make sharing images easy.

Our Verdict

This camera's good resolution and few extra features make it an attractive camera for its price, though it leaves out some useful features in favor of that price.

For

  • At 160 x 120, this camera offers solid mid-range resolution.

Against

  • The lack of connectivity options means you'll need to transfer images to a PC before sharing.
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Keysight TrueIR caption: This infrared camera provides on-screen information that's easy to see and understand.

Keysight TrueIR caption: This infrared camera provides on-screen information that's easy to see and understand.
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Keysight TrueIR caption: Scanning for problems with the camera is a good first step in preventive maintenance.

Keysight TrueIR caption: Scanning for problems with the camera is a good first step in preventive maintenance.
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Keysight TrueIR caption: Included software lets you analyze your images and build reports based on their data.

Keysight TrueIR caption: Included software lets you analyze your images and build reports based on their data.
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Keysight TrueIR caption: A rugged design and included strap keep the TrueIR Imager functioning in the toughest work environments.

Keysight TrueIR caption: A rugged design and included strap keep the TrueIR Imager functioning in the toughest work environments.

The Keysight TrueIR Thermal Imager is a well-thought-out infrared camera that focuses more on the essentials than auxiliary features. It produces clear, thermally accurate images, and despite its lack of Wi-Fi connectivity, its radiometric JPGs make sharing images easy.

Shooting at 160 x 120 pixels, the Keysight isn't the highest-resolution thermal-imaging camera available. But not every application requires the highest resolution available, and the Keysight still exceeds the RESNET standard of 120 x 120 pixels. While higher resolution makes better images, the Keysight makes a compromise that saves you money and still delivers good enough image quality for most applications.

The 3.1-megapixel visible-light camera compensates for any clarity issues by providing high-resolution photographs that, when combined with the thermal images, allow greater levels of detail. In addition to decent image resolution, manual focus allows you to hone in specifically on your target and ensure that each image is as sharp as possible.

Your images are recorded in a radiometric JPG format. Since JPG is probably the most common digital image format, you'd struggle to find a device that couldn't display your thermal images. This format is incredibly versatile in that regard, but the best part is that radiometric JPGs also have embedded thermal information. When you open the images with the appropriate software, you can access the temperature measurements within the image at the time it was taken.

Thermal accuracy is crucial when using a thermal-imaging camera. The thermal information in Keysight's radiometric JPGs is accurate to 2 percent within the range of minus 20 degrees and 350 degrees Celsius. You can view the temperatures of various parts of your thermal images, as the Keysight is designed to register temperature differences of equal to or less than 0.07 degrees. With specs like these, you can be confident in your measurements and make accurate comparisons between different components within your images. 

Extra features aren't the strength of Keysight's thermal infrared camera, but it does have a few auxiliary functions that make it easier to use. A built-in illuminator lamp helps you take images in darkened areas. Not that your infrared camera really needs visible light to capture images, but it helps you see what you're doing. And if you're trying to capture visible-light images for reference or blending, a little extra light can go a long way. Additionally, the onboard laser pointer allows you to clearly mark targets for an accurate measurement.

Like most handheld thermographic cameras, the Keysight comes with a lithium-ion battery that lasts about four hours on a single charge. If you expect to be working with your thermal camera for extended periods, it's a good idea to look into purchasing an extra battery and external battery charger.

Many infrared camera manufacturers offer calibration programs to keep their products functioning accurately, and Keysight is no exception. In addition to this support, Keysight offers a three-year warranty, phone and email support, and extensive literature to educate you about the product.

The Keysight TrueIR Thermal Imager is a relatively simple device that performs the infrared camera essentials well, but it doesn't offer auxiliary features like Wi-Fi connectivity, video capture, or voice and text annotations. On the plus side, its resolution exceeds RESNET standards, it's thermally accurate, and it shoots radiometric JPGs. It's a solid camera that provides adequate functionality for most thermal-imaging applications.