Thermal cameras have been used in various applications, and nowadays these are fitted to drones to show the aerial view of the scene. They are very helpful in the rescue operation, to identify gas or water leakage, in agriculture for scheduling irrigation, and to gain knowledge about plant physiology.
There are plenty of thermal imaging cameras available in the market, and it is essential to study and research to pick up the correct thermal camera for the drones. Initially, you should have a clear idea of your requirement.
Here, we have reviewed and compared two popular thermal cameras Zenmuse XT and Zenmuse XT2 from the same company DJI. The main difference between these thermal cameras is, the Zenmuse XT is an infrared camera, but XT2 is a single device built-in with infrared as well as a visual camera. Further details of these two cameras are explained and differentiated below.
DJI Zenmuse XT vs DJI Zenmuse XT2
XT – Image Enhancement software
Optimization is the main principle in the infrared imaging process that provides maximum image definition and further helps in capturing the thermal data about the sight. FLIR provides image enhancement features including
- DDE (Digital Detail Enhancement)
- SSO (Smart Scene Optimization) that enhances views in bimodal scenes.
- ACE (Active Contrast Enhancement) that adjusts scene contrast with respect to temperature difference.
- IBHEQ (Information-Based Histogram Equalization) compresses information of complex images to create images with clarity.
XT2 – MSX
Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging (MSX) from FLIR adds visible light details to thermal images and provides better clarity, embedding edge, and outline details. This onboard fusion process does not minimize the thermal transparency of the image like image fusing which combines visible light and thermal image.
Zenmuse XT2 with MSX technology has two cameras namely thermal camera and a visible light digital camera. While capturing the picture, both the thermal and digital camera works simultaneously and captures the picture in normal and thermal view.
Zenmuse XT2 has an inbuilt application that extracts outlines and other high-contrast edge details from the visible light images. Those details are superimposed to the thermal image. This makes the images in high definition and provides clear details of the view.
MSX can be easily switched on or off when using a thermal imager. Even though Zenmuse XT has lots of image enhancement software developed by FLIR, the MSX software makes XT2 unique and beneficial.
DJI Zenmuse XT
Zenmuse XT does not have an IP rating which means it does not have water resisting capacity. It is recommended to use only in particular temperatures ranging from 14°F to 104°F (-10° to 40°C) and 5% to 95% of moisture conditions. And so it is capable of withstanding normal weather with a dry condition.
Zenmuse XT2 comes with an IP rating of 44 in which the first number 4 indicates the above-average level of protection from dust particles. The second number (4) of the IP rating indicates water resistance that protects the camera against spraying and dripping water. And therefore Zenmuse XT2 is the better choice in wet weather and rainy conditions.
For DJI Zenmuse XT
Zenmuse XT thermal camera is a lower-end model, yet it is a versatile one that can be used for various purposes. This camera is compatible with many DJI drone models and can be mounted perfectly with the Matrice Series (M100, M200, M210, M600, M210 RTK), and the Inspire 1 drones.
For DJI Zenmuse XT2
Zenmuse XT2 is an upgraded version of XT with an infra-red and visual camera. It can be used along with drones such as Matrice 600 Pro and Matrice 200 Series (M200, M210, M210 RTK).
Using the DJI XT pro application, you can easily control the Zenmuse XT thermal camera with iOS devices, yet this app is not compatible with android devices. XT Pro app has a streamlined design which makes the critical rescue operations into easier one. The specialty within DJI Zenmuse XT are;
- Low-latency camera view
- Real-time On-screen temperature estimation
- Control the camera instantly
Zenmuse XT2 is compatible with two apps and using that you can easily control the camera. The applications are available in the play store and they are;
- DJI Pilot app – for CrystalSky or Android device
- DJI XT Pro app – for iPad
Here we have listed the basic difference in the specifications of Zenmuse XT and XT2 thermal camera. They also have some identical features that are mentioned below.
|Properties||DJI Zenmuse XT||DJI Zenmuse XT2|
|Dimensions||103 x 74 x 102 mm||With 25 mm lens: 123.7 x 112.6 x 127.1 mm With other lens: 118.02 x 111.6 x 125.5 mm|
|Weight||All lens: 270 g||25 mm lens: 629 g, With other lenses: 588 g|
|Thermal Imager||Uncooled VOx Microbolometer||Uncooled VOx Microbolometer|
|Pixel Pitch||17 μm||17 μm|
|Digital Zoom||2x, 4x, 8x||1x, 2x, 4x, 8x|
|Digital Video Display Formats||336 x 256 and 640 x 512||336 x 256 and 640 x 512|
|Analog Video Display Formats||JPEG, TIFF||JPEG, TIFF, R-JPEG|
|Video Format||MP4||8 bit: MOV, MP4 14 bit: TIFF Sequence, SEQ**|
|Spectral Band||7.5 – 13.5 μm||7.5 – 13.5 μm|
|Full Frame Rates||30 Hz (NTSC), 25 Hz (PAL)||30 Hz|
|Exportable Frame Rates||7.5 Hz NTSC; 8.3 Hz PAL||<9 Hz|
|Scene Range (High Gain)||-25° to 135°C||-25° to 135°C|
|Scene Range (Low Gain)||-40° to 550°C||-40° to 550°C|
|Sensitivity (NEdT)||<50 mK at f/1.0||<50 mK at f/1.0|
|Storage||MicroSD Card||MicroSD Card|
Lens and Resolution
Both Zenmuse XT and Zenmuse XT2 have the same lens and resolution options. Along with that there are also some features that are similar in both the models. They are Image Processing and Display Controls such as NTSC / PAL (field switchable), Image Optimization, Digital Detail Enhancement, Polarity Control, Color & Monochrome Palettes.
Unique Feature in XT
The operating temperature range of Zenmuse XT is from 14° to 104°F (-10° to 40 ℃), and the non-operating Range is -22° to 158°F (-30° to 70 ℃). This thermal camera can tolerate the humidity range from 5% to 95%.
Unique Feature in XT2
Zenmuse XT2 is built with a visual camera which is not present in the XT model and the specification of that visual camera is given below.
Visual Camera in XT2
Applications of DJI Zenmuse XT and XT2 Thermal Camera
- Building and roof inspections
- Electrical inspections
- Fire scouting
- Search and rescue operations
- Solar panel inspections
After researching both the Zenmuse thermal cameras we came to a conclusion that Zenmuse XT2 thermal camera has many advanced features than the XT model. And is also compatible with android devices which is not applicable in XT. Other than those features both are great in performance.
We hope that through this article you will get a clear idea about the Zenmuse thermal camera. So choose the best one which fits your needs.