Any CCD or CMOS based camera is somewhat sensitive in the Near IR spectrum but most come with an IR cut filter installed so the IR energy does not corrupt visible spectrum pictures and exposure measurements.
It is not a bolometer so accurate temperature readings cannot be made. It is not as sensitive as a FLIR. But it is inexpensive and gives a good visual if I set the temperature high. Even though we don't vape there, it is well below the temperature where you can see metal glow which affects the metallurgy of the wire. It is also useful for balancing multi-coil atomizers. Just do the test before wicking and set temperature high say 500-600F.
I have used a Korean made Sony 1/3" bullet cam from ragecams.
I have also used a thermocouple to test TCR as shown on the TCR page.
I can also test the temperature at which wicking decomposes. This is talked about on the Black Gunk page.
And of course I can use a resistance checker like the 521 Tab or the one pictured below. Modern APVs will read the atty resistance but these do make comfortable build stands.
I think one of the best tests is to see how much power an atty can sustain on a TC mod without entering Temperature Protect (TP) mode. Increase power until TP kicks in then back it off so TP does not kick in. Including successive chain vapes. Now make a build adjustment, say more or less wicking and repeat. This method will help fine tune build techniques. And on some TC mods, the vape experience is better because on those, they shut off power hard and take time to recover. For example I find the DNA200 somewhat smoother in this regard than the DNA40 but the SX350J the best of the three. In other words, the 350 doesn't clamp down as hard and comes back quicker. Is it as accurate, no. But the vape experience is better as I get vapor through the entire length of my draw instead of in spurts. Same thing on the DNAs. By setting the power lower than where TP kicks in on the DNAs the coil temperature never exceeds the set temp and sometimes doesn't even get close. The newer DNA chips have pretty much eliminated these issues.
All the information contained in these pages are only the opinions of the author and the author is not an expert at anything.