Recent advances in multiple disciplines have lead to the development of low cost, portable radiometers with outstanding thermal sensitivity, resolution, range and true 'point and shoot' capabilities. These new systems use technologies such as: infrared focal plane array (FPA), integral dewar/cooler, hybrid optics, embedded processor, digital processing/storage and thermal image analysis. The integration of these new technologies into a camera system is described and related to imaging and radiometric performance. Specific applications in traditionally difficult radiometric areas are discussed such as low temperature sensitivity and variable integration times for high temperature radiometric capability. A camera system is broken down into specific technology blocks. Discussion of these technologies shows how each was chosen to produce a system which covers a broad temperature range while maintaining ease of use in many different radiometric applications. These choices include FPA selection criteria (readout architecture and detector material), optical design (f/# and bandpass), dynamic range management and radiometric analysis/display features.