Author Topic: HTI-H8 vs HT-301 head to head  (Read 1567 times)

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Offline alexwhittemore

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HTI-H8 vs HT-301 head to head
« on: October 17, 2020, 02:24:48 am »
I know a ton of you have bought the HTI HT-301. It's a damn decent sensor with a pretty high resolution, it's the fastest you can get sub-$1k (25hz) and it's got a flexible form factor (USB-C dongle, and tiny). All of which appear to be enough to overcome its GLARING flaw, the godawful software (I'm not yet convinced, but I see where you're all coming from that agree).

Has anyone here gotten their hands on the HTI-H8 and tested that?

Both devices were on firesale yesterday for Prime day in the USA ($800 instead of $1000 for the H8, $607 vs $759 for the HT-301), so I got both figuring I'd finally figure out which might suit my needs best.

Initial impressions:
HT-301 The software is borderline infuriating, but we kind of knew that going in. Unfortunately, I thought it was simply a matter of "install thermviewer instead of HTI's crap," which is something I've still not managed to accomplish.
HTI-H8 It's like they stuffed the AWESOME HT-301 sensor in a handheld self-contained form factor, added $250 to the price, and axed every good, lovable feature about that sensor only to package it AGAIN with garbage software, only inseparably this time with no chance to work around the shortcomings. It's mind boggling.

Like ok, the first-party software for the HT-301 sucks, but if all you got was a 25Hz USB sensor and a decent lens, that's STILL almost a deal. I'm a little miffed that out of the box, HTI's crap can't even record a video without instantly crashing, but Android IS a total shitstorm as a general rule, so bugs are to be expected. Not even Flir on iOS can get their software bug-free despite it being the ONLY way to use the Flir One, and that's easy mode.

But this H8??
* No video (which, like, there are REASONS to want 25hz even if you don't take video, but come on, not many)
* Latency is INSANE. Like, 500-1000ms from real world to screen update. The latency is what bugs me most right now about my Flir One, and I was VERY pleased to see that, for all its foibles, the HTI software for the 301 was instantly responsive with little to no latency. This thing? Borderline unusable.
* The UI is responsive, but ONLY the UI - the embedded system is WILDLY underpowered for nearly anything else.
* And by anything else, I mean the ONE kind of high/low/center measurement you get.
* (Aside: Yes, ONLY that. No regions, no lines, no averages, nothing so cool or clever. No way to easily set such things, I guess)
* Again, this was very clearly not a problem with the HT-301 and android app - the markers were LOCKED ON the relevant temperature pixel, nice and stable.  But the H8? The UI recalculates maybe one update a second for measurements, and NOT on the frame you're actually seeing by the time it finishes. Oh no. God forbid you're hand-holding the thing, there's not a chance the marker will remain accurate when you pull the trigger to save an image. I've got plenty of images with the hot marker sitting on top of a cold pixel because it was calculated 40 frames ago.
* And hand hold you must, because there isn't even a tripod mount. Normally with the Flir One, I mount it in a clamp on a goose neck or something, and work under it so the latency isn't as big an issue (everything stabilizes the second I stop moving my hands). There's literally no way to do any such thing with the H8.
* Doesn't save radiometric files, so, yeah.
* The wifi implementation is so clearly not thought out it's confusing. Like if you came up with a list of the top 50 "What might I use wifi on a thermal camera for" items, not one of them is actually implemented here. You get one VERY latent MJPEG stream (seriously like 2-3 seconds behind here, at least it feels like) and no control or anything. You can view your snapped images, but god forbid you have more than 3, you might have to power cycle the camera. The page shows them all at once, and they load SLOOOOOOOOOW.
* Power cycling the camera also IS NOT fast. I don't think thermal cameras generally are known for instant start up or anything, but given that my solution for "handheld thermography setup with all the bells and whistles" might actually be "HT-301+Raspberry Pi+custom software," the fact that this thousand-dollar device can't clearly beat that mark is a problem.
EDIT: I forgot to mention,
* Focus range is crap. The Amazon listing specifically advertises it as useful for PCB work, which is BS. Besides that you can't easily hold it any way for that kind of work, the closest focusing distance is like 1.5ft, which is a total scene width of like 6 or 7 inches. If your board is a mATX motherboard and you want to see the whole thing at once, ok, no problem. But if you want to see which 0603 is getting hot, the HT-301 is WILDLY better (just before the lens completely falls out of the screw mount, focusing distance is like 3 inches and scene width maybe ~1")

Anyway I need to write this up more properly and record a decent comparison video so you can actually see what I mean first hand, because I wish that existed before I pulled the trigger on this thing.

In the mean time, can anyone direct me as to where and how, in late 2020, one finds half-decent software to run the HT-301? Desktop or otherwise, I'm not picky.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 02:34:12 am by alexwhittemore »
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Offline ixfd64

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Re: HTI-H8 vs HT-301 head to head
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2021, 01:51:54 am »
Thanks for the detailed write-up. Although the HT-H8 looks very nice on paper, these shortcomings would be a deal breaker for many people. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Offline Bill W

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Re: HTI-H8 vs HT-301 head to head
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2021, 10:08:44 pm »
I don't think thermal cameras generally are known for instant start up or anything,

Depends on architecture internally.

FLIR K and E for example run an operating system so a true cold boot (from removed battery) is 40 seconds or so.  So bad that they have a secret 'not really off' mode to appear competitive.

Some cameras (notably Chinese) take ages to stabilise thermally.

It is however possible to start up to a clear image in 5 seconds by using FPGA/DSP based architectures and dealing with the temperature effects appropriately (eg Raytheon ASi cores and Argus4 / MiTIC camera family).


Offline svgurus

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Re: HTI-H8 vs HT-301 head to head
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2021, 11:06:18 am »
Since its a thread for "lots of people who bought 301", did they fix type-с connector so it wont wobble and lose connection in 2021? mine from 2020 is lousy) thermviewer app is fine with 301 but i wish photo/video recording button was bigger)

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