Author Topic: E8 vs E60 image quality difference - due to manual focus? lens itself? both?  (Read 567 times)

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Offline calel

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so even though both have same resolution, the image on the E60 somehow seems...neater?

so is that solely due to presence of a manual focus on the Exx series? (compared to fixed focus on Ex)

or is it also somehow due to the quality of the lens itself? (eg. better quality glass on the Exx lens)


if it's only due to manual focus...then I reckon it's theoretically possible to give the E8 the exact same image quality as the E60 by a 2nd adjustable lens on top of the main lens?



PS. leaving aside the other advantages of the Exx (faster framerate). this topic's only about the image quality differences
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 04:58:22 am by calel »
 

Online Vipitis

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Re: E8 vs E60 image quality difference - due to lens only? (focus? other?)
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2020, 01:57:52 am »
Lens makes all the difference, you putting a better lens in front is rather difficult. The weakest part in the optical path will cause the trouble. And replacing the lens from the Ex series completely is expensive, difficult and has other issues. Those cameras are meant to be a complete unit. There are a few supplemental lenses available and you can read about them on this forum.

With a proper lens and less horrible software, even a Lepton can look okay-ish.
 

Offline calel

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Re: E8 vs E60 image quality difference - due to lens only? (focus? other?)
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2020, 04:26:47 am »
so what 's the difference in Ex & Exx lens?

shape?

material used? (are the 2 lenses made of different glass? is one more "transparent" than the other?)
 

Online Vipitis

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It's your task to look into the hundreds of post in the teardown thread and take a closer look at the lenses of either.

Size is different, and so is the optical design, and very likely the f Stop as well. Material I bet, can't confirm it but I believe the Ex series uses some A-Si elements while the more expensive lenses are all Germanium. Thermal cameras don't use Glass.
also costings, you will see the classic AR and hardening coatings on the outside but you don't know what's inside.

The Ex lenses can be focussed with the right tool, but the range is limited.


Big part is the calibration too.
 

Offline Bill W

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Not forgetting the FLIR image degradation functions applied to the Ex's, only a hackled to "E8+" is a valid comparable item .
The replies to Calel's posting:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/thermal-imaging/flir-e4-thermal-sensitivity-(compared-to-e8)-hardware-or-software-crippled/msg3234152/#msg3234152
 told him that.

While we all know about what degradation is in software, it is also possible to affect the image significantly with sensor setup which would not be a simple software hack as it also alters calibration.  For example the same electronics & optical hardware giving a tested MDTD of either 60mK or 40mK in an e2v Argus 4 (P7130/P7250 respectively).
Whether such an approach was worthwhile under the FLIR 'all cores all the same' business model is a different question.

Bill

Online Fraser

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Calel,

Some Google search suggestions for you.....

Fixed Focus lens
Hyperfocal Distance
Depth of field
Fixed focus vs manual focus lens

Lens resolution
Airy Disk

Chalcogenide Infrared Glass (one brand is Unicore GASIR)
Germanium Infrared lens
ZnSe (Zinc Selinide) Infrared lens


« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 02:58:50 pm by Fraser »
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Offline calel

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Not forgetting the FLIR image degradation functions applied to the Ex's, only a hackled to "E8+" is a valid comparable item .
I cant search "E8+" cause the + size dont count so it gives all the E8 results instead (that's thousands of thousands of em) :(

I didn't know there even was an E8+ hack (unless you mean switching off the noise generator? no idea if Fubar's E4 v2.3.0 hack does that, couldnt find any confirmation of this on the E4 thread or on his site)
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 04:10:06 pm by calel »
 

Offline Bill W

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I didn't know there even was an E8+ hack (unless you mean switching off the noise generator? no idea if Fubar's E4 v2.3.0 hack does that,

That is the hack.  As even the E8 is partly crippled by the FLIR setup, cameras with the hack applied have frequently been called "E8+" on this forum.

Not sure offhand if there was any more than the noise generator at play - for instance any blur/sharpening differences applied.
If I was FLIR I would have had both noise and blur on the E8 and no noise with sharpening on the E60.

Bill

Online Fraser

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The term “E8+” came about as a way to describe any Ex series camera that had been updated to a specification that exceeded that of the original E8. This includes, but is not limited to, the disablement of the artificial noise generator, additional palettes, additional zoom level and additional measurement functions. The upgrade effectively created a “Super E8” or “Enhanced E8” but “E8+” is shorthand for such. The same applies to the Exx series where fully upgraded cameras achieve an E60 enhanced status and are called E60+ in the community.

In case confusion exists... the configuration files in the Ex, Exx, Bxxx and Txxx cameras contains a number of functions that are either enabled or disabled. Depending upon FLIR’s marketing strategy, functionality is enabled or left disabled to create differences between Camera series and even between models within a particular series. As such there was functionality within the Ex series configuration file that was disabled and some remained disabled in the E8 despite its position at the top of the series. That was because FLIR Reserved that additional functionality for the more expensive Exx, Bxxx and Txxx series cameras. The members of this forum who know how to update the E4 experimented with the additional functionality to determine what the Ex series could make use of without the touch screen etc. We then enabled everything that was compatible with the Ex hardware.

OK, now a hard lesson in updating for you Calel.....

Way back in 2013 a number of forum members investigated the E4 and its firmware. With some specialist knowledge and a little luck, the (Dirty little) secret of the Ex series was revealed and a method devised to unlock the series full potential. This work took time and effort but was initially quite a simple task to execute on the camera. Once the upgrade path became public, interest in this forums E4 Teardown thread increased massively causing the thread to grow to the monster size that is today.
People were able to buy a sub $1000 80x60 pixel FLIR camera and upgrade it to the much more expensive E8 spec and beyond, for just a little effort reading the posts describing how to do it. A bargain QVGA thermal camera was born !

Since that great day FLIR have tried to make the upgrade more difficult with various changes to the firmware. Every time they did so, the “countermeasures” were overcome by knowledgeable people on the forum. The most recent countermeasure was a tough nut to crack but was circumvented by Bud I believe. He put a lot of work into making the latest E4 Wi-Fi model the best it could be and we are all grateful for his determination and effort to achieve this  :-+

Now the painful bit to hear....... every now and again someone pops up wanting to upgrade their E4 and asks for a step by step guide to carrying out the task. Then many questions follow regarding whether their particular version of the camera will work with a particular upgrade method. As stated, some of the early firmware versions were very much easier to update than more recent releases. In the early versions of the upgrade some members created the simple automated upgrade batch file approach where the person upgrading did not really have to understand what they were doing. It all “just happened” and they were happy to have an upgraded camera for very little effort on their part. Then came the problems... people trying the simple upgrades hit issues and wanted answers to why their camera had not upgraded for them. This was usually user error. Then there were those, like you Calel, who upgraded using a simple automated process but then started to question what the new configuration that had been created in their camera actually changed. Well that is where some effort is needed on your part and likely why you never received an answer to your question on the noise generator.......

All of the information needed to understand and carry out the Upgrade is present in the original E4 Teardown thread, the Ex Wi-Fi thread and some other Ex upgrade related postings. The process is well described and details of the later countermeasures appear, along with the solutions. This forum contains the most comprehensive documentation on the Ex series upgrade in the World as it is the home of said upgrade development. Yes the relevant threads are long but a little effort reading them is not too much to ask considering the effort put into producing the upgrade. The threads even contain summaries of how to upgrade and the content of the configuration files that are modified (they are just plain text files !). I carried out the upgrade on several Ex and Exx cameras totally manually without any automated processes. As such I fully understand what I have done to my cameras configurations, the installed functionality and settings for the noise generator etc. I recommend any person considering carrying out the upgrade learn about the manual method of achieving it so that they understand what is being changed and how. I highly recommend the manual upgrade approach as it permits you to make the changes you desire to the configuration as not all functionality is required by some users and additional functions can push the cameras processor a little hard at times and make it slow to respond. For those who just want the upgrade and do not care about exactly how it was achieved or what was changed, the automated approach meets their needs but they will remain “in the dark’ regarding what has changed in their camera and are unlikely to be able to reverse the upgrade in the future if desired for any reason.

Calel, I am honestly not trying to pick on you but we see questions about the upgrade and the performance of the E4 camera so often and the information is already well documented on this forum if people would just search for it and take time to study the post contents. Even if you use Google to search for answers, you will often be given links to posts on this forum as this particular forum is a goldmine of useful thermal imaging camera information  :-+

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 05:31:28 pm by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Bill_W,

Regarding what else was changed on the Ex series, it was just the resolution and noise generator that FLIR used to hobble the cameras performance. Noise reduction and image processing are the same across the series. The upgrade also enabled several functions that were previously disabled in the configuration files, but they were capabilities and had no impact on image quality.

Whether FLIR use deliberate blurring on the Ex series compared to the Exx is not something that I have seen an investigation of. It is certainly a possibility as the image produced by the Ex is definitely less sharp than that of the Exx series.

The E60 is an interesting case. You might think that FLIR would make such a high end Prosumer/Industrial camera produce the best images possible from its good quality microbolometer and relatively large Germanium lens ..... well nope, they hobbled the E60 as well ! The artificial noise generator is alive and well in the Exx series, including the top end E60. FLIR did not want the E60 to be “too good” as it might threaten sales of the more expensive Bxxx and Txxx series.
There were more nice features in the Exx configuration that I enabled to create my E60+ units and that darned noise generator was switched off.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 06:35:39 pm by Fraser »
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Offline calel

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@Frazer ok when I've the time I might just get round to reading the whole E4 thread then ^^ I'm curious tbh

you sure hacking thermal cams only requires "high level" programming languages? (I've done lots of Pascal & C, and a bit of C++ & Java in the past)

no assembly language needed? never dabbled into that (hyper difficult to learn "low level" language like this apparently)




anyway back to topic looks like people here disagree if the E60's better image is due to the presence of manual focus only, or to the shape and/or material of the lens itself too  ???

the E60's image almost seems higher resolution than the E8+ but maybe that's only because of better focus?
 

Online Vipitis

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The term "resolution" itself can mean different things. The sensor is a FPA with a 320x240(ignore the Quark/Gluon spec that are a few pixels bigger). But the lens is what makes the image happen. If you don't know a lot about optics and cameras in general it might be difficult to understand. Every single lens is imperfect and achieving a useable image is difficult. FLIR doesn't even out the specs on a lens directly, you don't get a 25mm f/1.2 Lens you get a 24° lens for example. Thermal lenses in particular are subject to chromatic aberration as well, they span a much wider spectrum that visible light cameras. As photosites are bigger it's not that big of an issue, but it impact image quality overall.
The lens being manual focus isn't all the story.
As said the Ex lenses can be focussed as well with a 3D printed lens wrench. They are lower F-Stop and set near the hyperfocal distance. I can tell the out of focus close ups on my 3.5 Lepton that I couldn't on the 2.5 for example. So higher resolution shows more of those crimes.

For visible light cameras you can buy at least 100 different 50mm Lenses, all for a different price and all have different characteristics. Most of them might use a common optical design, but are different in the execution. Materials, coatings, elements, groups, aspherical elements. Not to mention mounts and focus motors.


While on the story of difficult upgrades. The Thermal Expert TE-M1 is an interesting story to look up. We know it's the same hardware as the TE-Q1 (but there is also a 30hz option and a wider range option). But the fog is different, this screams sensor windowing and that was pretty much confirmed by getting an app(not firmware) update that moved the window from one corner to the center. We even had forum members doing a tear down side by side, and custom app to force the camera to output a different resolution, but there was no success and as far as I know, the hunt for the upgrade died down. Other cameras(Therm App) can be 'hacked' to a higher framerate which is a hardware mod that very much illegal by arms trade regulations.

The Ex line is the most accessible and most researched line to unlock potential. Exx and even T4xx had successful modification and it's all here in the forum to find for you.

I still am not sure what you are after, a thermal camera for inspection, or just a pretty picture - which might be a very different path to go down with other hurdles but more to gain.
 
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Offline calel

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I still am not sure what you are after, a thermal camera for inspection, or just a pretty picture - which might be a very different path to go down with other hurdles but more to gain.
hey everyone likes a pertty picture

though I also wanna use it for 2 main things

for electronics (like spot out the hottest components on an overclocked graphics card)

and second for finding all the air leaks/openings in the flat where roaches can potentially squeeze through (I caulked up various entry points I could find but once in a while I still see one of those things so I must've missed something)


btw is the Ex series limited framerate (9hz) a hardware thing? iirc long ago I looked for an answer & the only info I could find - on this same forum I think) - is that commercial cams are limited to 9hz cause above 9hz it becomes a potentially dangerous military/terrorist tool or something (wtf?? I fail to see the relevance but w/e. also wouldn't that make the Exx series illegal? cause they're way above 9hz so technically it's a crime to sell them to civies. sounds contradictory)
that's why any tip to increase framerate above 9hz is kept secret & people are reluctant to discuss framerate-hacking here
so I'm not asking how to change it I'm just curious to know if framerate is hardware-limited or just software-limited?

and what about decreasing calibration time for the Ex? maybe the Exx ones have faster calibration...I made a separate topic cause I couldn't find anything on this elsewhere
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 09:01:59 pm by calel »
 

Online Fraser

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Calel, were you once called Ben321 on this forum ?
Cogito, ergo sum
 

Offline calel

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? I may have browsed on this forum but this my 1st account

now you got me curious gonna look him (?) up
 

Offline calel

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ok so this one writes his own software apparently. I wish I were that good

btw why the question - is it against rules to have multi-nicks? (more then 1 account). I've actually done that before, on political forums hehe...
 

Online Fraser

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Nothing to be concerned about.

It was just that “Ben321” has not been on the forum for a while and your writing style, questions and view on Dual Use Technology (as applied to thermal imaging technology) are very similar. I thought maybe Ben321 had just changed his forum name. There is no rule against doing so  ;D

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 09:34:50 pm by Fraser »
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Offline calel

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"dual use"??

edit> ok nvm. I dont intend to use cam for military purpose it's just that I've read higher framerate allows to see things lower framerate cant
 

Online Vipitis

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hm, the nedag syndrome (who actually turned out to evaded a ban and harassed people again. At least one forum member will know what I am talking about.

framerate "hacking" relevant thread: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/thermal-imaging/therm-app-unlock-25hz/

I am not aware of any framerate unlocking being achieved via software on a FLIR camera and I strongly suspect there is a hardware barrier to it. Some even said that the Lepton runs at 30hz but averages 4 frames for NR, but it's entirely done in hardware in the module. And the 30hz spec is no longer available in public products and not even talked about in documentation.
 

Offline Bill W

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"dual use"??

edit> ok nvm. I dont intend to use cam for military purpose it's just that I've read higher framerate allows to see things lower framerate cant

What you are intending to do is irrelevant, it is what the camera might be able to do.  A higher frame rate makes it easier to shoot people who are running about.  Therefore the distribution of >9Hz cameras is somewhat restricted to make it more difficult for undesirables to get hold of them.
Google words : Wassenaar, US EAR, 6a003.b.4.b

Much higher specification cameras, where you are talking about seeing more things / better, will fall under the next level up of full military controls (US ITAR) rather than 'dual use'.

9Hz unlocking must not be possible by design, and that design is examined by the relevant export authorities for robustness in order to export as a '<9Hz camera' due to the way the rules are worded.  Any discussion here would get stopped by forum rules.

Bill

Offline Bill W

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you sure hacking thermal cams only requires "high level" programming languages? (I've done lots of Pascal & C, and a bit of C++ & Java in the past)
no assembly language needed? never dabbled into that (hyper difficult to learn "low level" language like this apparently)

Thanks to all those who wrote the 324 and 41 page thread, it only needs the ability to use FTP, Notepad and a CRC generator.
No more no less
No programming

Offline calel

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A higher frame rate makes it easier to shoot people who are running about.  Therefore the distribution of >9Hz cameras is somewhat restricted to make it more difficult for undesirables to get hold of them.
Google words : Wassenaar, US EAR, 6a003.b.4.b

Much higher specification cameras, where you are talking about seeing more things / better, will fall under the next level up of full military controls (US ITAR) rather than 'dual use'.

9Hz unlocking must not be possible by design
ok that makes sense never thought about the gun aspect that clears things up  :)


but what about Flir's 60hz Exx series they're still allowed to sell them?  ??? (unless only the military can buy them)
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 11:35:52 pm by calel »
 

Offline Bill W

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but what about Flir's 60hz Exx series they're still allowed to sell them?  ??? (unless only the military can buy them)

An E60 is nowhere near high enough spec or specialised enough to be military listed, they are still dual-use.  From their sales I would guess that FLIR are likely to have bulk export licenses for Ex and Exx to what the US & Sweden regard as 'safe' countries for commercial sale while simply keeping appropriate records of who has bought them.  Another reason for the forced product registration.
Would probably apply to US / UK / AUS / CH etc

FLIR would also be able to apply for specific licenses for sales to less 'safe' countries but would need a greater level of control and preapproval of the end customer, say India Saudi or Brazil, and likely get approvals.


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