Drone with thermal imaging camera – the best models

Dimitri Wolf Von Dimitri Wolf 6 Min. Lesen
The thermal image of a DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual. Image: dji.com

Drones with thermal imaging cameras are suitable for various purposes and enable very special images that are not possible with conventional cameras. We introduce you to the top models, what you need to look out for when buying and what’s behind the thermal imaging technology.

Top models of drones with thermal imaging cameras

In the world of modern technology, drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras have become an indispensable tool in many areas. From inspecting buildings to supporting rescue operations, these high-tech devices offer unique insights and solutions. In this section, we present some of the leading drone models with thermal imaging cameras currently available on the market.

This selection is intended to provide an overview of the wide range of possibilities and help you make an informed purchasing decision.


DJI Mavic 3T

  • Price: from €5,410
dji matrice 30t

DJI Matrice 30T

  • Price: from €10,422
autel robotics evo max 4n

Autel Robotics EVO MAX 4N

  • Price: from 12.999€

These models represent the state of the art and offer a wide range of functions for a variety of applications. Whether for professional inspections, security tasks or in agriculture, these drones provide high-quality thermal images that can revolutionise work.

As in many other areas, drones from the manufacturer DJI dominate here too. They generally offer the best quality and the most balanced price-performance ratio.

Drone with thermal imaging camera: introduction to the topic

The special thing about thermal imaging cameras is their ability to visualise temperature differences. They record the infrared radiation from objects and convert it into an image that visualises heat sources. This makes it possible to recognise problems that are not visible to the naked eye. For example, defective insulation in a building, a missing animal in a dense forest or a person in a smoky environment can be localised quickly and efficiently.

photovoltaic system damage drone thermal image thermal
Thermal image of a damaged photovoltaic system by drone.

As this technology develops, drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras are becoming more affordable and user-friendly. This opens up new possibilities for amateurs, companies and emergency services.

The basics of thermal imaging technology

The thermal imaging technology used in modern drones is based on the infrared radiation that all objects emit. This radiation is invisible to the human eye, but can be detected by special cameras. Thermal imaging cameras in drones convert this infrared radiation into a visual image that shows temperature differences in different colours. This allows the world to be viewed from a completely new perspective.

How thermal imaging cameras work

Thermal imaging cameras measure the infrared energy emitted by objects and use this to create a thermal image or thermogram. The higher the temperature of an object, the more infrared radiation it emits. These cameras can detect and visualise very subtle temperature differences, which is particularly useful for detecting hidden problems that would not be visible with conventional cameras.

Differences to conventional cameras

Unlike normal cameras, which record visible light, thermal imaging cameras record infrared radiation. While normal cameras generate images based on light reflections, thermal imaging cameras are based on the thermal radiation of objects. This means that thermal imaging cameras can see even in complete darkness or through smoke, making them particularly valuable for rescue operations and security surveillance.

Applications in drones

The integration of thermal imaging cameras into drones has revolutionised aerial data collection. This technology can be used to efficiently monitor large areas, detect hidden defects in buildings, locate missing persons in rough terrain or assess the health of crops on agricultural land. The combination of aerial manoeuvrability and precise thermal imaging opens up completely new possibilities for inspection, surveillance and rescue operations.

dji mavic 2 thermalkamera wärmebild
The thermal image of a DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual. Image: dji.com

By understanding these basics, you can better assess how drones with thermal imaging cameras can be used in your field and what benefits they offer. In the next section, we will look at the specific applications of this technology.

Areas of application for drones with thermal imaging cameras

Drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras have a wide range of applications, from industry to emergency services and agriculture. This technology allows tasks to be carried out more efficiently, safely and often more cost-effectively. Here are some of the key areas where drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras are playing a revolutionary role:

Inspection of buildings and roofs

Drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras can quickly and safely inspect buildings and roofs to detect heat leaks, moisture problems or structural damage. This saves time and money compared to conventional methods and reduces the risk for inspectors who would otherwise have to go to dangerous heights.

Search and rescue

Drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras can save lives during rescue operations. They can locate missing persons in rough terrain or in poor visibility. Especially in critical situations such as after natural disasters, thermal imaging technology helps rescue teams to find people quickly.

Surveillance and security

Drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras offer a unique perspective for security and surveillance tasks. They can be used for border surveillance, to protect infrastructure or to monitor major events in order to detect potential threats or unusual activities from the air.

Agriculture and environmental monitoring

In agriculture, drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras enable the monitoring of plant health and efficient irrigation. They can detect water shortages or recognise diseases at an early stage. They are also an important tool in environmental monitoring, for example when monitoring wild animals or recording environmental damage.

Other specific applications

The possible applications are almost unlimited. From archaeological exploration, where hidden structures beneath the earth’s surface are detected, to use in firefighting, where thermal imaging cameras help to locate pockets of embers – the areas of application are constantly growing.

The versatility of drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras opens up new horizons in this field. In the next section, you can find out what you should look out for when buying such a drone.

Selection criteria for buying a thermal imaging drone

Choosing the right drone with a thermal imaging camera can be a challenge, especially given the many options available. Below are some important factors to consider when choosing the right drone for your needs:

Thermal imaging camera specifications

  • Resolution: A higher resolution thermal imaging camera provides more detailed and sharper images. This is particularly important if you need to capture fine details.
  • Temperature range: Check the temperature range that the camera can capture. This is important depending on whether you need to detect high temperatures (such as in a fire) or very small temperature differences.
  • Angle and range: The range and angle of the camera determine how far and how well you can take pictures.

Performance and characteristics of the drone

  • Flight duration: A longer flight duration enables longer missions without interruption.
  • Range: The range determines how far the drone can fly from the control unit.
  • Stability and resistance: Pay attention to the stability of the drone in different weather conditions and its resistance to environmental influences.

Compatibility and expandability

  • Compatibility with other equipment: Check whether the drone is compatible with other equipment or software that you already use or want to use.
  • Expandability: Some drone models can be equipped with additional sensors or cameras, which increases their versatility.

Price-performance ratio

  • Cost: Compare the cost of the drone with the features and performance it offers. A more expensive drone may be a better investment in the long run if it is more powerful or has a longer lifespan.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose a thermal imaging camera drone that suits your needs. The next section covers the legal aspects and data protection guidelines relevant to the use of drones with thermal imaging cameras.


How much does a drone with a thermal imaging camera cost?

Drones with a thermal imaging camera generally cost significantly more than drones with a normal camera. Prices start at around €5000 for very good models.

Who needs a drone with a thermal imaging camera?

The thermal imaging function is not intended for simple snapshots but is aimed at very specific areas of application such as inspections, fawn or personal rescue.


Drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras have established themselves as a revolutionary tool in a variety of areas. From building inspection to search and rescue, agriculture and environmental monitoring, they offer a unique perspective and powerful functionality. By converting infrared radiation into visual images, thermal imaging cameras enable the detection of problems and situations that would otherwise remain hidden from the human eye.

When selecting a drone equipped with a thermal imaging camera, the technical specifications, the performance of the drone, the compatibility and expansion options as well as the price-performance ratio should be carefully considered. A well-chosen drone can not only make work more efficient and safer, but can also be a worthwhile investment in the long term.

Overall, drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras open up new horizons in various application areas. They are an impressive example of how advanced technology can be used to better understand and manage our world. Whether you are a professional user or a technology enthusiast, the possibilities of this technology are fascinating and far-reaching.

Dimitri is the founder of DeinDrohnenpilot.de and has been working at skyzr since 2021. He has been fascinated by the topic of drones since 2016. When he is not flying a drone, he is responsible for planning and developing new concepts for the platform as well as writing and creating content. He is also responsible for the technical implementation and maintenance. His training as an IT specialist for system integration and his bachelor's degree in media informatics help him with this.
Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Bisher keine Antworten.

Lade neue Antworten