© 2018 Author(s). Photothermal beam deflection is a well-established technique for measuring thermal diffusivity. In this technique, a pump laser beam generates temperature variations on the surface of the sample to be studied. These variations transfer heat to the surrounding medium, which may be air or any other fluid. The medium in turn experiences a change in the refractive index, which will be proportional to the temperature field on the sample surface when the distance to this surface is small. A probe laser beam will suffer a deflection due to the refractive index periodical changes, which is usually monitored by means of a quadrant photodetector or a similar device aided by lock-in amplification. A linear relationship that arises in this technique is that given by the phase lag of the thermal wave as a function of the distance to a punctual heat source when unidimensional heat diffusion can be guaranteed. This relationship is useful in the calculation of the sample's thermal diffusivity, which can be obtained straightforwardly by the so-called slope method, if the pump beam modulation frequency is well-known. The measurement procedure requires the experimenter to displace the probe beam at a given distance from the heat source, measure the phase lag at that offset, and repeat this for as many points as desired. This process can be quite lengthy in dependence of the number points. In this paper, we propose a detection scheme, which overcomes this limitation and simplifies the experimental setup using a digital camera that substitutes all detection hardware utilizing motion detection techniques and software digital signal lock-in post-processing. In this work, the method is demonstrated using thin metallic filaments as samples.