The use of video is by far the most popular and effective means of security surveillance, as it provides a quick and efficient means to confirm the details of a scenario – mainly real time images. It also serves as an extremely large data source, which can be effectively used by video analytics algorithms and artificial intelligence neural nets to provide automated detection and response.
Although the choice to use video may be an easy decision, choosing the type of video that best serves your detection needs and budget is a bit more challenging. Specifically, the decision to use visible light color cameras versus thermal cameras, is dependent on many factors, including the mission of each camera, the intent to automate detection with video analytics, detection accuracy requirements, operating environment, budget considerations, etc.
The following image and textual comparisons are provided to help you further evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of these two sensor types. Provided are some key capabilities you might consider in addressing sensor performance, along with a description as to how a visible camera and a thermal camera meet those capabilities.
This is intended to be an overview and not an exhausted list, as specific detection scenarios may present other points of comparison. However, it should provide a good starting point for analysis.
Although the thermal camera image excludes some details that may be distracting, such as the person’s shadow, it does not allow for a specific identification of “who” is in the image.