13 Best Thermal Imaging Cameras Right Now | Buyer’s Guide

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technician use thermal imaging camera to check temperature in factory

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Did you know that everything around us, whether living or nonliving, is emitting thermal energy all the time? Life would be simpler if thermal energy were visible to the naked eye, but unfortunately, it isn’t. 

This is why you need to have a thermal imaging camera, whether it is for your professional toolbox or your household. These cameras are uniquely designed to illustrate the thermal heat energy, which makes it easier to identify technical errors. 

However, buying a thermal imaging camera is not easy due to the great number of options that are available in the market at the moment. That’s why we’ve listed the 13 best thermal imaging cameras right now so that you don’t end up with an unsatisfactory product.

Also, we recommend you to go through our detailed buyers guide to acknowledge the most important features to consider before you buy a thermal imaging camera. 

Now, without any further ado, let’s dive into it!

Best Thermal Imaging Cameras

  1. FLIR TG165 Spot Thermal Camera

The first product on our list is manufactured by the world-leading thermal imaging company, FLIR Systems Inc. This brand has established a reputed position in the market with its diverse range of products and innovations. 

And, Its all-new TG165 unit stands the test of time with its trail-blazing thermal imaging capabilities. Have an inside scoop of its astounding features in the following sections and find out whether it’s worth your consideration or not.

FLIR TG165 - Spot Thermal Camera - with 2-Meter Drop Durability for...
  • Item is a Class II laser product, 1mW power...
  • 100,000 hours. Operating Temperature...

Experience

For starters, the FLIR TG165 unit bridges the gap between the conventional thermal imaging cameras and the single spot-infrared thermometers. It’s a portable heat sensor device that comes equipped with a high-quality thermal camera and a digital thermometer. These two features make an ideal combination for identifying the warm and cold areas through thermal imaging, which comes handy at locating the underlying issues with ease.

We’re quite satisfied by the dual laser pointers that come equipped with this sophisticated device. These pointers are well capable of measuring a wide temperature range between -13 degrees to 716-degree Fahrenheit. With such an impressive temperature range, you can easily use this unit to test the extreme temperatures of heavy-duty factory equipment as well.

Now, this unit also features a 50-degree world field of view and a Lepton IR Imaging Engine that manages to provide a decent resolution of 80×60 pixels. Also, its 8 GB memory card lets us store as much as 75,000 photos without having to empty it for storage space. In case you’re not satisfied with 8 GB, this product is also eligible to support a 32 GB memory card.

What could have been better?

Although this camera manages to give us a decent pixel resolution, it somehow doesn’t feel satisfying to us. The images taken by this camera weren’t as high-quality as we had expected it to be.

Pros
  • Wide temperature range
  • 50-degree field of view
  • 8 GB memory storage
  • Can support up to 32 GB
Cons
  • Image quality could have been better
  1. FLIR E4 Thermal Imaging Camera

FLIR Systems Inc. has consecutively bagged the second position on our list with its E4 Thermal imaging camera. This E4 unit unarguably takes the spotlight with its groundbreaking features and unbelievably ergonomic design. If you’re searching for a product that gives you a semi-professional thermal imaging experience at a tiny fraction of its original cost, give this unit a try.

FLIR 63901-0101 Model E4 Compact Thermal Imaging Infrared Camera with...
  • 3" color LCD Display, On-board 640x480 digital...
  • File format: Radiometric jpg

Experience

Frankly, this product is one of the most overlooked FLIR thermal camera products in the market right now. That’s why we were even more eager to test it personally. And after testing it in various extreme situations, we can say that its detection accuracy is quite satisfying for a product at this price range.

The FLIR E4 unit offers an impressive temperature range between 14-degrees to 302-degree Fahrenheit, which makes it ideal for industrial use. Its design is quite ergonomic, and doesn’t fatigue our arms while using it. It also features a standard 80×60 pixel resolution that’s found in various high-priced thermal imaging cameras in the market, giving it a higher competitive advantage. 

Now, this product comes at a surprisingly low price, which also had us doubting its durability. It’s because most of the user complaints regarding thermal imaging cameras revolve around its cheap-quality build materials and short product life. 

So, we tried dropping this product from a considerable height to test its build quality and durability. Surprisingly, this product is built with high-end quality materials that allow it to withstand the falls up to a height of 6.6 feet. Overall, having one of these thermal imaging cameras for both personal and commercial use sounds like a win-win situation to us.

What could have been better?

We’re quite disappointed to find out that the camera  saves the clicked thermal images only in JPG format. Also, the camera thumbs its nose drastically when it comes to clicking thermal images with radiometric information.

Pros
  • Ergonomic design
  • Economical price range
  • Fall-resistant
  • Impressive temperature range
Cons
  • Saves pictures in JPG format
  1. FLIR C2 Thermal Imaging System

Not everyone needs a thermal imaging camera for commercial use; some of us just want a portable device with basic specifications for personal needs. If you’re one of those, then the FLIR CR Thermal imaging system is a pocket-sized unit that you should consider buying. Although it isn’t the best professional thermal imaging camera we’ve seen, it’s satisfactory enough to cater to one’s personal needs.

Sale
FLIR C2 Compact Full-Featured Thermal Imaging System (72001-0101)...
  • FLIR AUTHORIZED DEALER - Includes Full FLIR USA...
  • FLIR C2 Compact Full-Featured Thermal Imaging...

Experience

To begin with, this device is strictly for those who don’t prefer hiring professionals for tasks such as structural errors, plumbing issues, and other domestic problems. Now this compact-sized product defines portability at its finest, so you don’t have to worry about making space in your toolbox for storage. Due to this, we can easily label this unit as one of the best products for personal use.

It’s an ideal unit that comes handy when there’s a minor leakage around your house, which is hard for the naked eye to catch. Instead of carrying a professional camera that requires expert guidance, you can simply operate this compact product to detect the issues at your own comfort. It’s 3-inch display and 4800-pixel resolution work fine enough to give you a clear picture of the core issue. 

But, let’s not underestimate its size for its efficiency for even a moment. This unit comes equipped with some brilliant features that can give most of its competitors a quick run for their money.  

For starters, its LED spotlight is quite efficient at signaling any detected problem that’s captured by the unit. Also, once the issues are detected, this camera allows us to take the photos with accurate temperature information. You can take up to 500 radiometric images at once, thanks to its decent storage space. 

What could have been better?

While we were transferring the images to our PC through Wi-Fi, it appeared to us that the Windows OS could not open the photos initially. It’s mandatory to install the FLIR software to open these photos. Especially if you have Windows 7 or higher operating software, you may face this problem.

Pros
  • Compact and portable
  • 80x 60-pixel resolution
  • 45-degree field of view
  • Can store up to 500 images with radiometric information
Cons
  • Mandatory to install FLIR software to view the photos
  1. FLUKE TIS20 Thermal Camera

FLUKE Inc. is already one of the leading brands that have been setting the bar higher for thermal imaging cameras with its breakthrough innovation. Its new TIS20 thermal imaging camera has been making waves in the market with its unique IR Fusion technology. For those who are looking for a thermal sensor that supports a surprisingly astounding pixel resolution, this product makes a good fit.

Fluke TIS20 9HZ Thermal Infrared Camera with 3 IR-Fusion Blending...
  • Quality images - 120x90 resolution (10,800 pixels)
  • Quickly scan large areas with point and shoot...

Experience

This camera comes equipped with an exceptional IR fusion technology that helps in clicking pretty sharp images. Simply put, the IR fusion technology and the digital image are segregated in a union to click high-resolution pictures. 

Now, as this camera gave us pretty high-quality photos, we were able to analyze the issues thoroughly using its unique pixel-for-pixel zooming feature. This gives the camera a thumbs up from our side, because most of the thermal imaging cameras we’ve tested before left us with unsatisfactory image quality. To be more precise, this camera offers a throbbing 120 x 90-pixel resolution, whereas other cameras in this price range offer 80 x 60-pixel resolution. 

It is also pretty satisfactory to analyze these images on the camera, as its 3.5 inch LCD provides us a 320×240 pixel resolution. Moreover, transferring these images to the PC for off-camera analysis is also quite convenient, thanks to its Wi-Fi support feature. Apart from that, it also offers an impressive frame rate of 9 HZ to support its high-quality pictures.

Coming to its additional features, it includes an LED notification light that starts beeping when the battery is low. Moreover, it appears as a product that offers a long-lasting battery life so that you wouldn’t have concerns about quick battery drainage. 

What could have been better?

Unlike its competing products, this unit lacks a flashlight feature that can guide the user through considerably dark areas. Although it doesn’t lessen the efficiency of the TIS20 by the slightest, having a light feature could give it a higher advantage.

Pros
  • 10,800-pixel resolution
  • 320×240 camera resolution
  • Temperature range up to 662-degree Fahrenheit
  • IR Fusion technology
Cons
  • No light feature
  1. FLIR E8 Compact Thermal Camera

FLIR is a worldwide renowned brand that has been manufacturing thermal imaging cameras for more than 65 years now. Its all-new E8 compact thermal imaging unit is one of the few thermal imaging cameras that meet the RESNET standards. This portable device also comes at a surprisingly low price, which makes it an appropriate fit for your pocket and budget.

FLIR E8 Compact Thermal Imaging Camera with 320 x 240 IR Resolution,...
  • Crisp Resolution 320x240 (76,800 IR pixels) Far...
  • 4000 count auto ranging multimeter measures AC/DC...

Experience

Previously on our list, we have come across products that were either a perfect fit for commercial use or personal use. However, this impressive E8 unit is an ideal camera that gives you the best of both worlds at a reasonably low price range. Also, this product meets the RESNET standards, which instantly raises its value as an efficient and durable product in the market.

Coming to its imaging capabilities, let’s begin with how much versatility this compact unit offers to the user. For starters, we were quite amused to find out that this device does store not only thermal images but also visual images as well as MXS enhanced images. And as we mentioned before, you can get sharp images with an on-camera 320×240 pixel resolution that impressively surpasses the traditional RESNET standards. 

Also, we were able to store the temperature information of the area we clicked a picture of in a JPEG format. It’s pretty convenient as having such detailed information makes it even easier for us to analyze the underlying problem with precision. Also, just so that we have enough pictures with us to examine the issue properly, the extended memory storage of this device stores up to 500 photos at once. 

Now coming to its attractive extra features, this device offers multiple imaging modes such as auto hot/auto cold, area box, and center spot modes. These features make this product more convenient as beginners can use these modes to operate its thermal camera with ease. Overall, if you’re a beginner who’s looking for a camera that will make a decent professional/personal tool, give the FLUKE E8 a try.

What could have been better?

It’s a little heartbreaking that despite its astounding features, this product falls short at an important criteria, i.e., having an adjustable focus. Also, it would have been much better if this camera could support video output.

Pros
  • Surpasses the RESNET standards
  • Can store thermal, MSX enhanced and visual images
  • Numerous imaging modes for user convenience
  • Portable, ergonomic design
Cons
  • Does not have an adjustable focus
  1. FLIR C3 Pocket Thermal Camera

We can not have enough of FLIR products when it comes to professional-grade thermal imaging solutions at an affordable cost. And, the FLIR C3 thermal imaging camera is the newest addition to its C-unit range, which had previously impressed us with its C2 thermal camera. If you are searching for one of the best-selling pocket cameras in the market right now, this is our topmost recommendation for you.

Sale
Flir C3 – Compact Thermal Camera with Wi-Fi
  • Portability Pocket Portable Thermal Camera with...
  • FLIR One displays live thermal infrared imagery...

Experience

After using the FLIR C2, we were quite eager to check the features that the C3 brings to the table. And after a brief period of testing, it’s safe to say that the C3 is the mini-me version of the C2, with an additional Wi-Fi support facility. So, if you are a fan of the FLIR C2 but were looking for something that could be more compact than that unit, then C2 is your go-to option.

We don’t recommend this product as the best camera for professional use. Nonetheless, it’s quite decent to detect minor leakages and electrical repairs that need to be made at your residence. Now, this model offers us the traditional FLIR MSX enhancement option along with a high-resolution sensor, which are useful for clicking sharp images. Also, its picture-in-picture setting option is a bonus, which came as an upgrade in the C3 unit.

Although the C2 and C3 units have the same camera, the C2 has the upper hand as its pocket-friendly build allows it to be carried and used anywhere. You can store up to 500 radiometric images at the highest resolution of 80 x 60 resolution in this camera. Not to forget, this thermal camera also comes with a 3-inch touchscreen display that helps you zoom in to the images with precision.

What could have been better

Unfortunately, this camera isn’t very suitable for clicking long-range images, although it clicks neat close-up pictures. Moreover, we wish that this product came along with a separate slot for an SD card.

Pros
  • Hot/cold spot feature
  • Pocket-friendly design
  • Maximum temperature range up to 302-degree Fahrenheit
  • 41-degree field of view
Cons
  • So slot for SD card
  • Not suitable for long-range pictures
  1. SEEK Thermal Imaging Camera

Professionals always need smart and convenient gadgets that come with a long-lasting battery life. This brings us to the groundbreaking Seek thermal reveal unit, one of the best professional heat sensor cameras you’ll find in the market. Let’s dive deep into its core features, and then you can decide whether it’s worth your consideration or not.

Sale
Seek Thermal Reveal – Ruggedized, All-Purpose Thermal Imaging Camera...
  • Ruggedized, all-purpose thermal camera with a 206...
  • Find and fix faster by seeing problems invisible...

Experience

As a professional, the first thing that we expect from a gadget is higher user comfort and convenience. Luckily, the Seek thermal reveal unit is designed very ergonomically so that the users don’t fatigue their hands while using it for a long time. As a bonus, the product takes user convenience to a higher level with its angled head. Due to this advanced feature, it becomes easier for us to target the device accurately.

Nevertheless, the feature that we’ve found the most convenient about this unit is its powerful battery that lasts up to 10 hours. This way, you don’t have to stress over charging it frequently between work. 

But wait, there’s more; this product also features an intense LED light that comes pretty handy while working in dark areas. With so many features, this unit effortlessly tops as one of the smartest gadgets that you can add to your professional toolbox.

In case you’re not yet convinced, this camera makes detection even easier for you with its multiple user modes. It can be best experienced when you’re working in an area that’s emitting similar metrics of heat. In these situations, you can use its auto-detection and auto-emission user modes to find the actual hidden issue much accurately.

What could have been better?

Frankly, it would have been even better if the product was available at a lower price. Although we understand that it offers a surprisingly wide array of features, lowering its cost could a little could give it a higher competitive advantage. Also, we’re a bit upset that this product does not support video recordings.

Pros
  • Ergonomic design
  • 10-hour battery life
  • Extended SD card slot
  • LED light feature
Cons
  • May appear a little expensive
  • Does not support video output
  1. FLIR TG56 Spot Thermal Camera

In a universe of premium-grade professional thermal imaging cameras, FLIR Systems Inc. surely seems to have the throne. The FLIR TG56 spot thermal imaging camera is best known as one of the finest infrared thermometers one can find at a reasonable price. We’ve recently tested this accessible unit, and we’re very excited to share our experience with you. 

FLIR TG56 Spot Thermal Camera
  • Item is a Class I laser product, .39mW power...
  • Measurable range from -30˚C to 650˚C (-22DegreeF...

Experience

Whether it’s a minor ventilation error at your home or a major electrical wiring malfunction at your workplace, the best gadget to help you detect the issue is a reliable thermal imaging camera.

When we speak of reliability in a conversation about thermal cameras, it is somewhat unfair not to mention the FLIR TG56 unit. It’s a sturdy and durable gadget that also makes an efficient infrared thermometer. Moreover, it’s impressive how this product gives us complete user control while working. 

For starters, this product comes equipped with laser pointers and work lights. Now, we agree that laser pointers are very common among the thermal cameras that are being manufactured nowadays. Nonetheless, the work lights are handy for full-time professionals as it allows this camera to be operated in the dark with ease.  

As a bonus, this FLIR unit brings something new to the table, i.e., user-defined alarm feature. The high/low alarms, along with its adjustable emissivity, appeared to be quite useful in situations where we had to keep fixed out-sets. So, this gives the TG56 a thumbs up from our side.

Being a professional tool, the TG56 is built in an industrial design that is further protected by a toughened exterior shell. You don’t even have to stress about getting this product broken by falls or accidents, as it has a drop resistance of about 10 feet. It’s also quite ergonomic and can be operated by one hand easily. 

What could have been better?

Although it makes a pretty efficient thermal heat sensor, it comes with a pretty tiny display screen. 

Pros
  • Measures up to 1202 degree Fahrenheit
  • Ergonomic and portable
  • Work light feature
  • User-defined alarm
Cons
  • Tiny display screen
  1. SEEK Thermal XR Ranger

After its astounding Reveal thermal imaging unit, global manufacturing brand Seek returns on our list with another new addition, the Thermal XR ranger. If you have a smartphone that you wish could be morphed into a multifunctional gadget, this product is something you’d want to consider.

Seek Thermal CompactXR – Outdoor Thermal Imaging Camera for iOS
  • Transform your smartphone or tablet into an...
  • Find people and animals at dawn, dusk, and over...

Experience

To be very clear, the Thermal XR ranger isn’t actually a traditional thermal imaging camera. It, however, is an efficient add-on device that can be fitted to any android or IOS smartphone to transform it into a potential thermal imaging camera. This product has set the bar very high for portability and convenience. Its unbelievably low price makes it even more of a must-have gadget.

Fun fact- the thermal sensor technology that has been used to create the XR ranger has been previously popular among military professionals and field experts. This way, the product allows us to click long-range images with precision. Not to forget, this unit also appears to be quite efficient at detecting heat up to a maximum distance of 1800 feet.

What we’ve loved the most about its cutting-edge 206 x 156-pixel resolution image quality, which is thrice as sharp as any regular thermal camera. In addition, the device also offers threshold settings that appear to be quite efficient at emitting the temperature levels that are either higher or lower than the ideal point. 

Coming to its user convenience, this device has the highest battery life among all of our recommendations by far, and it doesn’t let us go through any frequent charging issues. As this equipment is fitted on to a mobile phone, it feeds off the battery life of the host gadget as a power source. So, if you’re a big fan of advanced technology and high convenience, this is your perfect option.

What could have been better?

It’s a tad upsetting that despite its mobility and efficiency, the product is often said to be giving misleading radiometric information.

Pros
  • Extremely portable
  • 205X106 pixel resolution
  • Zero battery issues
  • Quite affordable
Cons
  • May show misleading radiometric readings
  1. FLIR ONE PRO Thermal Sensor

As we’re slowly shifting from the professional thermal imaging solutions to mobile add-on heat sensors, we figured that it’s a good time to introduce the FLIR One pro thermal sensor. If you are one of those who barely know how to operate a thermal imaging camera, this device can let you do the same job on your smartphone with ease. 

Sale
FLIR ONE Pro Thermal Imaging Camera for Android USB-C
  • POWERFUL - Infrared camera mobile accessary with...
  • FREE FLIR ONE mobile app (recently updated) with...

Experience

While using the FLIR One Pro unit, we were quite amazed by how the USB Type-C support feature of this device allows the camera to be adjusted in almost any direction. This way, it becomes quite more comfortable to get the perfect shot from any desired angle. 

Furthermore, this product supports both IOS and Android devices, and it can be installed pretty easily. We tried to fix it as per the online instructions, and the manual was surprisingly elementary to comprehend and follow. So if you’re a beginner with zero knowledge about thermal cameras, buying this device will help you a lot. 

Coming to its core features, it offers us a maximum thermal sensitivity of 150mk, which is pretty good for its price. Also, this unit provides an astounding 1440×1080 pixel resolution and a 160 x 120 thermal resolution. If you’re confused by the massive numbers, we’ll make it simple for you; this unit has the recipe for a perfect high-quality thermal image. 

What could have been better?

Although this model is perfect for android, it’s unfortunate that the device often causes performance issues when it’s installed on an IOS phone. 

Pros
  • Ergonomic and portable
  • USB Type-C feature
  • 1440×1080 pixel resolution
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • May cause performance issues on IOS devices
  1. PERFECT-PRIME IR0002

Perfect-Prime co. has always been a reliable brand when it comes to versatile technologies for professional use. The IR0002 thermal imaging camera stands out as a groundbreaking innovation when it comes to detecting the underlying issues that are not visible to our naked eye. For those who don’t want to spend a fortune on having a high-end heat sensor camera, give this unit a try.

Sale
PerfectPrime IR0001 Infrared (IR) Thermal Imager & Visible Light...
  • IR Infrared image resolution: 32 x 32, 1024 pixels
  • Storage memory: micro SD card, 4GB for image...

Experience

While using this camera, we were quite convinced by its design as the firm non-slip grip makes it safer to hold. It’s ultralight and built ergonomically, which makes it comfortable to use without facing any chronic wrist pain or arm aches. Also, we can’t get over its sleek orange design pattern, which makes it an ideal eye-catching product.

Now coming to its user-friendliness, this product has a very easy-to-understand user interface. It comes with four switches for navigating your way through the camera options and settings. Also, its four extra switches come handy while adjusting or setting the thermal images as per our convenience.

Furthermore, this camera also offers a wide array of cutting-edge core features that can be very helpful in making your professional tasks simpler. For starters, this camera provides a satisfying image resolution of 3,600 pixels or 0.3 megapixels. This way, you can zoom the picture in and out without having to compromise with its quality. It’s quite useful when it comes to examining the core problem with ease. 

Also, storing a large volume of thermal images on this device is quite possible, thanks to its 4 GB SD card storage feature. Not to forget, this camera can detect up to a maximum temperature range of 300-degree celsius. So overall, we found this unit to be quite suitable as a low-priced thermal sensor for both professional and personal use.

What could have been better?

This product comes with a 2.4-inch display screen, whereas most of the products in this price range offer similar features and a larger 3-inch display screen.

Pros
  • Ergonomic design
  • Quite user-friendly
  • Temperature range up to 300-degree Celcius
  • 4 GB memory storage
Cons
  • Tiny display screen
  1. REED R2100 Thermal Imaging Camera

Reed Instruments is a well-recognized brand in the global market that has made industrial maintenance simpler with its tools since 2004. The all-new R2100 is an efficient thermal imaging camera that provides some exciting features at a very economical price range. Let’s find out why this product deserves your attention.

Sale
REED Instruments R2100 Thermal Imaging Camera, 19200 Pixels (160 x...
  • The Focal Plane Array (FPA) uncooled...
  • A thermal sensitivity of <0.08 degrees C means...

Experience

The R2100 appears as an appropriate thermal imaging camera that offers decent features and efficiency to complete our jobs with precision. We’re pretty satisfied with the camera quality this product gives us through its 7.5 mm lens. Also, it offers a decent 160 x 120-pixel resolution image quality, which is higher than most of the heat sensor cameras under this price range.

Its temperature range is between -20 degrees to 400-degree Celcius, which allows us to use this unit around extreme situations. Not to forget, its 20x zooming feature had our attention from the beginning. This feature makes it much easier for the user to analyze the image minutely on its 3.5 inch LCD. 

When it comes to additional features, this product gets the upper hand because it allows us to record videos with sound. This way, we can get a good look of the affected area from every angle and identify the malfunctioning error with precision. Overall, if you’re quite intrigued by high performance and reliability, you should give this product a try.

What could have been better?

If we compare, most of the high-performance tools under this price range are capable of detecting above an average of 500-degree Celcius. On the other hand, this product can only measure up to 400-degree Celcius, which gives it a mild disadvantage.

Pros
  • Can record videos with sound
  • High-quality image quality and pixel resolution
  • 3.5-inch display
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Can only measure up to 400 degrees
  1. FLUKE FLK-TI400 60Hz Thermal Imager

The ultimate addition to our list is the FLK-TI400 unit, one of the best-selling heat sensor tools by global brand Fluke. This product promises high-definition image quality and extreme temperature measurement, which makes it one of our top recommendations. 

Fluke TI400 60HZ Industrial Thermal Infrared Camera with LaserSharp...
  • Industry leading thermal sensitivity (NETD)...
  • Even the smallest details become visible with the...

Experience

To begin with, it is unarguably one of the most convenient thermal imaging cameras that we’ve tested in a while. This product is very reliable and lets you use it in the most extreme situations, as it can measure up to 1200-degree celsius. So, if you’re a factory maintenance staff who’s looking for a handy tool for risk-aversion duties, the FLK-TI400 will not disappoint you. 

This unit supports an advanced Wi-Fi support feature that allows it to share the images to the PC with ease. Also, we’ve noticed that it can also transfer the pictures to IOS smartphone devices with ease. However, the smartphone must have the SmartView mobile application installed. Nevertheless, it makes this device a lot more convenient for busy professionals.

After testing it, we found its infrared lenses to be very useful at detecting the faults that are usually impossible to identify. Furthermore, its interface is quite user-friendly and easy to understand. This way, despite being a professional tool, we think this product will also be a good option for beginners to use. 

What could have been better?

Unfortunately, its long-lasting durability is somehow compromised when it’s used continuously around extreme temperatures consistently. 

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Manually adjustable focus
  • Wi-Fi image transfer
  • Efficient infrared lens
Cons
  • Durability issues

Thermal Imaging Camera Buyer’s Guide

Thermal imaging cameras are highly-advanced heat sensory innovations, and it’s futile to expect that everyone will be an expert about this tool. Buying an efficient thermal imaging camera can be pretty hectic, especially for beginners. So, we’ve highlighted some FAQs and essential factors to consider before you invest your money on one of these cameras.

What makes a thermal camera any different from a standard camera?

Although the standard cameras are used for the sole purpose of clicking images, thermal imaging cameras are used to detect heat emissions. A standard camera lens is not engineered to identify any change in temperature. On the other hand, thermal cameras are excellent sensors when it comes to recognizing the minor differences in heat.

How does thermal camera work?

Before we understand how a thermal imaging camera works, we have to acknowledge that everything that surrounds us emits thermal energy. You may be surprised to know that even ice emits thermal energy. Now, it’s quite apparent that the hotter an object is, the higher it will emit thermal energy. 

Now, thermal imaging is equipped with a unique mechanism that helps the user visualize the heat levels that are invisible to the naked eye. However, it is much easier to understand how to operate a thermal imaging camera than it sounds. All you have to do is point it towards something and click images, if necessary.

Is it better to rent or buy a thermal imaging camera?

Well, we understand that the high-end thermal imaging cameras can be unreasonably pricey at times. However, it is so because the price of a thermal imaging camera varies according to the list of features it offers in exchange. In such a situation, renting a thermal imaging camera for one-time use may sound like a smart idea.

Now, renting allows you to explore different thermal camera brands. You will be able to gain higher expertise at using thermal imaging cameras if you rent these cameras. However, if you buy one, you’ll always have the tool nearby, which saves you from the hassle of booking appointments and renting. 

In this case, our best advice would be to rent a few different brands before you buy a final product. This way, you’ll be sure whether the product you’re investing in will provide you a satisfactory user experience.

How many types of thermal imaging cameras are there?

Mainly, there are three categories of thermal imaging cameras, such as handheld cameras, cooled detectors, uncooled detectors. Now, the cooled detectors, as evident by its name, are operated in cold temperatures. Likewise, the uncooled sensors are operated at room temperature.

Nonetheless, handheld cameras are quite efficient at detecting both warm and cold temperatures. As a bonus, these units are ergonomically designed for the convenience of its users. You can use these cameras for a long time by simply holding the device in your hand. 

What are the most important features to consider before buying a thermal imaging camera?

Buying the perfect thermal imaging camera for you is quite a task, and we don’t want you to do it without having proper info about its must-have features. That being said, these are the essential features you need to consider before you buy a thermal imaging camera.

technician use thermal imaging camera to check temperature in factory

Imaging modes

As we already know, the primary use of a thermal imaging camera is to generate the thermal picture of a suspicious area or object. However, it is imperative to evaluate whether the camera you’ve had your eyes on offers versatile image modes. 

Although the old-fashioned units are good enough to click thermal images, the recent times are witnessing an increasing demand for the advanced ones that support fusion image modes. The fusion modes enable us to click both the normal and the thermal image, which comes with imprinted radiometric information.

LCD screen size

As its a camera at the end of the day, it’s significant for the unit to at least have a standard 3 inch LCD screen. Although there are various thermal cameras that offer around 5-7 inches of LCD screen, they can be a tad expensive. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than a 3 inch LCD screen, as it may otherwise become tough for you to analyze the image on camera.

Refresh rate

Not to forget, it’s essential to check the refresh rate of the unit, when it comes to the thermal camera’s display. The minimum refresh rate that you can settle for is nine Hz; anything less than that will cause you trouble while adjusting the focus of the camera.You can have the best results if you can manage to find a model with a 60 Hz refresh rate.

Pixel resolution

If your camera fails to give you a high-quality thermal image, it will become tough for you to make an accurate error identification of the area or object that you’re examining. The higher the resolution is, the better you can zoom into the suspected object and make your job easier. You shouldn’t buy a thermal camera that offers less than 4800-pixel resolution.

Endnote

If your job involves industrial maintenance, firefighting, or even HVAC/R, you’re familiar with the application of thermal imaging cameras. Nevertheless, even if you’re just a homeowner who prefers to fix the wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and similar issues on their own, you would need one of these. 

And that is because, as we’ve said earlier, everything that the light touches emits thermal energy. However, buying a thermal imaging camera can be difficult, because it’s an unpopular gadget that not many are aware of. 

On this note, we hope that our top 13 thermal imaging cameras list has helped you choose the device that suits your needs precisely. Stay tuned for more of such insightful content, and we’ll see you soon.

technician use thermal imaging camera to check temperature in factory

 

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