FLIR MSX Technology Explained Simply

FLIR One Pro LT Thermal Camera for iPhone

FLIR MSX Technology Boosts Thermal Image Definition With Two Cameras

FLIR MSX Technology isn’t brand new to the thermal camera market. I first saw it on the FLIR C2 and it made a tremendous difference in the quality of the thermal images I use.


10-Second Summary

  • MSX: Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging
  • One camera takes a standard visual image
  • One camera takes a thermal image (usually low resolution)
  • The system overlays the two images to give the thermal image additional definition
  • More than 25 thermal cameras in FLIR’s lineup have MSX built in

FLIR MSX Stands for Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging

FLIR MSX stands for Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging. I guess FLIR thought MSX sounded cooler than MSDI. But I digress.


If you look at the front of any FLIR MSX thermal camera, there are two cameras in place. Modern cameras that use two lenses create a 3D effect, but that’s not what FLIR is going for. One camera hits the standard visual spectrum and the other is a thermal camera.

The system uses the visual image to define lines and edges and make the thermal image come to life. This relatively simple idea helps to take a low-resolution thermal image and give it greater definition without costing as much as a higher-resolution thermal camera.

FLIR MSX Image
The system combines the two images into one, delivering much more detail with a color thermal image overlay.

To be clear, the thermal image itself isn’t gaining any resolution. It’s the definition from the visual image that creates an additional layer behind what’s fuzzy in the thermal image. This makes FLIR MSX technology shine.

One issue with any two-camera system (and the reason you use it for 3D images) is the parallax. Parallax represents the difference between the two images when taking a photo from slightly different perspectives. The most recent MSX cameras offer some parallax correction based on the distance you are from the object. For example, my FLIR One Pro LT can correct from as close as 0.3 meters (about a foot) to infinity.

So when you’re considering low-cost thermal cameras as you enter into the world of thermography, keep in mind that an MSX camera is going to give your thermal images a boost.

FLIR Thermal Cameras for Smartphones

  • One Gen 3
  • One Pro
  • One Pro LT

FLIR MSX Handheld Thermal Cameras

  • T-Series: 530, 540, 600, 620, 640, 660, 840, 1010, 1020
  • E-Series: 75, 85, 95
  • Ex-Series: E4, E4 Wifi, E5, E5 Wifi, E6, E6 Wifi, E8, E8 Wifi
  • C2, C3
  • E6-XT, E8-XT

Check out FLIR Thermal Cameras at Acme Tools!

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