Best FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera | Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Thermal imaging cameras allow people to explore things that are invisible to the naked eye through infrared radiation. These hand-held electronic devices provide high-quality images in low-light scenarios, which makes them popular in industries like firefighting. 

Constructors, plumbers, and inspection workers– thermal imaging cameras are used by most professionals. 

Basically, these small and compact devices come in handy for detecting and measuring heat signatures from things around us and converting them into digital images. Of all the brands, FLIR has taken the market by storm with its innovative sensing solutions. 

So, all those searching for the best FLIR thermal imaging camera, we’ve got you covered with the 7 options worth considering. 

8 Best Thermal Imaging Cameras

Thermal imaging cameras

1. E96 Advanced Thermal Imaging Camera

Weighing about one pound, the E96 Advanced Thermal Imaging Camera is equipped with interchangeable auto-calibrating lenses to provide precise temperature measurements. The LCD screen produces crisp and vibrant images for easy interpretation, while the Bluetooth, USB 2.0, WiFi, voice annotation, and GPS tagging, ensure this device packs a powerful punch. 

Why Did We Like It?

This pistol-grip camera is packed with high-performance features for quick and precise detection of hot spots and hidden flaws. Boasting a thermal resolution of 640×480 pixels, it can deliver up to 307,000 temperature points without making contact. 

Added to that is an interchangeable, AutoCal lense that fine-tunes autofocus operations to deliver sharp and crisp images. Thanks to the UltraMax and MSX image enhancement function, the camera adds visual elements to boost the clarity and depth of the thermal images. 

From wide-angle to telephoto, this hand-held camera allows users to use any lens they want for temperature measurement. What’s more, the onboard FLIR Inspection Route directs users using a pre-planned route to collect photos and data at certain inspection points. 

Interestingly, the camera uploads the captured images automatically to the FLIR Ignite cloud library, making it user-friendly. That’s not all; the report generation feature, built-in mic for voice annotation, GPS tagging, Wi-Fi, and 2-year warranty makes it a bang for the buck! 

What Could’ve Been Better?

Available in multiple options, this portable device is excellent for thermographers who survey various equipment and buildings. But folks who are planning to buy this infrared camera will have to purchase the FLIR Thermal Studio Pro software because the brand doesn’t offer that for free. 

  • Ergonomic
  • Crips, clear and bright images
  • Detects hot spots quickly and accurately
  • Auto-rotating touchscreen LCD display
  • FLIR Thermal Studio Pro software isn’t free

2. ONE Pro – IOS – Professional Grade Thermal Camera

FLIR ONE Pro - High resolution Thermal Imaging Camera for iOS...
  • COMPATIBILITY - FLIR One Pro infrared cameras...
  • CLEAR IMAGES - High Resolution IR images with...

Lightweight yet powerful, the One Pro thermal camera comes in handy for detecting anomalies by connecting it to your iOS devices. It captures crisp images without compromising details, thanks to the 1440×1080 camera pixels and it is also impact-resistant, making it perfect for all kinds of purposes. 

Why Did We Like It?

Out of the box, this thermal imaging camera is one of the lightest devices that you can get hold of. 

What sets it apart from other thermal cameras is that it can be connected to any iOS device– phone or tablet. Once connected, you can use it to find water damage, energy loss, or electrical problems. 

Its versatility doesn’t end here; this compact thermal camera can be used to check for lurkers in a dark parking lot, nighttime hiking, and locate off-pilot lights. With 1440×1080 camera pixels, this device produces sharp IR images at a thermal sensitivity of 70 mK. 

Compared to other ONE Pro cameras, it is capable of measuring temperatures up to 400°F. It even offers 9 different color palettes to allow users to decide the color schemes for displaying minimum and maximum temperatures. 

As it’s equipped with MSX image enhancement technology and VividIR, the image quality is also outstanding. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

The Impact-resistant construction, vibrant images, and the ability to edit temperature ranges make it an excellent tool for explorers, homeowners, and professionals. But, you’ll need to carry a portable charger because its battery runs out pretty fast. 

  • Adjustable connector
  • Adds visual elements to the thermal images
  • Sturdily built and impact-resistant
  • Records temperature differences in a breeze
  • Short battery life

3. Scout III Thermal Imaging Monocular

The Scout III promises outstanding thermal imaging performance and the crisp images it delivers testify to the same. Boasting a compact yet sturdy design, this camera can withstand a bit of workplace rough-and-tumble.

Why Did We Like It?

Supplied in two styles, the Scout III doesn’t rely on visual light to capture thermal images, which is why it can be used around the clock. Whether you want to detect animals in complete darkness or capture objects in glaring light, this camera is your best friend during tracking or surveillance. 

Compared to Scout II, it has an excellent refresh rate of 60Hz, so your eyes won’t strain due to a flickering screen. This monocular is equipped with a 640×380 LCD display and a 336×256 VOx microbolometer to enhance its functionality. Though the screen is small, you can see heat signatures of objects as far as 600 yards, even in total darkness. 

What’s interesting is that you can adjust the color patterns depending on the light conditions right after capturing the thermal images. The buttons on top of the body make it easy for users to operate the device in the darkest conditions. 

Over and above that, it comes with an IP67 rating, which means it can survive drops, shallow water, and harsh weather.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Its waterproof housing and rugged construction have made it popular among constructors and plumbers. However, if we have to nitpick – you’ll have to spend slightly more than average to bring home this non-contact inspection tool which could deter certain buyers. 

  • Captures thermal images in broad daylight and complete darkness
  • Waterproof body
  • User-friendly
  • Backed by a 2-year warranty
  • Slightly costly

4. C5 Thermal Imaging Camera

FLIR C5 Compact Thermal Imaging Camera with Wifi: High Resolution...
  • C5: Handheld IR camera measures temperatures from...
  • IDENTIFY AND TROUBLESHOOT - Quickly find hidden...

Tired of wasting money on low-quality cameras that don’t inspect electrical and mechanical systems accurately? We suggest giving the C5 Thermal Imaging Camera a go because its high-performance features identify hidden anomalies in a breeze. Despite being small and compact, it offers 1.5GB of storage, allowing you to capture many images.

Why Did We Like It?

We’d be honest– the C5 camera caught our attention because of its pocket-friendly size, which is why we decided to give it a shot and didn’t regret it even a bit. 

In this 6.7-ounce device, you can store up to 5,000 images of about 19,200 pixels. Furthermore, it sports a 5-megapixel visual camera to capture thermal images whose quality is enhanced by MSX. 

Even better, its LED flashlight lets you accurately troubleshoot hot spots in low-light areas. Like other FLIR thermal cameras, it allows users to store images in FLIR ignite cloud connectivity for future use. 

Also, you can transfer the images to other devices using WiFi, Bluetooth, or USB cable, which is impressive. This IP54-rated device can survive in dusty areas and shallow waters for up to 2 meters, so it’s ideal for plumbers, electricians, or construction workers.

Another noteworthy aspect is that you can make manual adjustments while capturing an image by touching the screen.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

We would have liked the device even more if there had been a battery indicator to display the battery level. Considering its performance, sturdy body, and waterproof profile, we are sure you wouldn’t mind ignoring this minor flaw. 

  • Sturdily built
  • Identifies hidden problems quickly
  • Can be used in complete darkness
  • Available in multiple styles
  • Doesn’t have a battery indicator

5. ONE Gen 3 Professional Thermal Camera

Flat and rectangular, the FLIR One Gen 3 Professional Thermal Camera is a pocket-friendly device that helps professionals measure temperature differences wherever they are. Available for both Android and iOS devices, this thermal imager offers a resolution of 80 x 60 pixels. 

Why Did We Like It?

Whether you want to detect plumbing leaks or inspect a malfunctioning HVAC system, the FLIR One Gen 3 Professional Thermal Camera is perfect for your needs. 

This compact, pocket-sized device has a thermal resolution of 80 x 60 pixels and 1440 x 1080 visual resolution. The camera blends the visual image and the radiometric data using MSX technology to help users identify invisible problems to the naked eye. 

While the quality of imagery is outstanding, this device allows users to measure temperature differences. 

Much like the FLIR One Pro, this model comes with an adjustable OneFit connector, which is extendable up to four meters. Available in two different styles– Android and iOS– this camera is easy to use; all you need to do is connect the USB port to your phone and start capturing images and videos.

What Could’ve Been Better?

This ultra-mini portable thermal imaging camera captures sharp images to help people identify issues in their electrical and mechanical systems. However, the battery life isn’t as great as expected from FLIR, so you’ll have to charge it frequently to ensure it’s usable in work sites. 

  • Easy on the pockets
  • Compact and portable
  • Available for both Android and iOS
  • Can withstand accidental drops
  • Battery lasts for only 45 minutes

6. One Pro LT Pro-Grade Thermal Camera

For constructors, electricians, plumbers, and DIY enthusiasts, the FLIR One Pro LT thermal camera is a worthy addition to their toolkit. With 68 × 34 × 14 mm dimensions, this camera can perfectly fit in your pocket. Plus, it’s available for both Android and iOS devices.

Why Did We Like It?

With the FLIR One Pro LT thermal camera, finding leaks, water damage, or electrical problems is no more a challenge. Simply take the device, connect the USB to the charging port of your phone, and you’re good to go!

This lightweight device captures images at a thermal sensitivity of 100 mK and records the temperature from -4°F to 248°F.  

After capturing, FLIR VividIR processes the images and enhances resolution so that you can detect potential problems and diagnose them as early as possible. Furthermore, the efficiency of the device is enhanced by the MSX technology that makes sure the images captured are of high quality. 

Adding to that is its OneFit connector, which you can adjust as much as 4 meters according to your preference. 

Also, this portable device is capable of displaying up to three measurement spots on the screen, and that’s what adds to its versatility. And if you’re a beginner, you can download the FLIR Tools Mobile App support to make the most out of it. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

Nicely compact, lightweight yet sturdy– the FLIR One Pro LT thermal camera captures video and still images at decent quality, which is why it’s preferred by DIY enthusiasts. Though the device can withstand accidental drops, the body isn’t waterproof, which is our only gripe. 

  • Reasonably priced
  • Detects issues quickly and accurately
  • Ideal for both professionals and DIYers
  • Can withstand accidental drops
  • Isn’t waterproof or water-resistant

7. TG165-X Thermal Camera 

FLIR TG165-X Thermal Imaging Camera with Bullseye Laser: Commercial...
  • Model TG165-X - 4,8000 pixel IR camera measures...
  • ULTRA CLEAR IMAGES - Patented MSX embosses visual...

Available in three different styles and multiple patterns, the FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera is perfect for detecting air and water leaks, mechanical breakdowns, and electrical faults. With an IR resolution of 80 x 60 pixels, the device is designed to measure a wide array of temperatures. 

Why Did We Like It?

One of the first things that we like about this FLIR thermal camera is its laser pointer that measures the exact area you point it at. From leaking pipes behind the wall to electrical faults, the unit helps identify hot and cold spots without much hassle. 

In addition to that, this device can save properties from hefty damages because it instantly detects an overheating target. 

The display screen boasts a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels, which is similar to most hand-held cameras in this price range. Of course, the MSX technology adds visual elements to the undiluted thermal images. 

Below the 2.4-inch LCD screen are three buttons that make the device easy to use. Also, it is equipped with an LED spotlight to ensure professionals can work undisturbed even when there is little to no light. 

Last but not least, the thermal imaging camera is backed by a two-year full product warranty and a ten-year detector warranty.  

What Could’ve Been Better?

Whether it’s detecting water leaks or pinpointing the source of system failures, the FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera is perfect for various tasks. The only thing that isn’t to our liking is the small 2.4-inch LCD display that makes it slightly challenging to read the captured picture. 

  • Backed by an excellent warranty period
  • Usable in low-light and dark areas
  • Pinpoints issue quickly
  • Can withstand a two-meter drop
  • Small LCD display

8. Scout TK Handheld Thermal Imaging Camera

FLIR Scout TK - Compact Thermal Imaging Monocular for Wildlife...
  • RELIABLE 24/7 VISION - 160 × 120 VOx...
  • 90-METER DETECTION RANGE - Can detect the heat...

If you’re setting out on a camping trip or a hiking adventure, the FLIR Scout TK Handheld Thermal Imaging Camera will be a perfect companion. Its powerful lens allows you to see everything for more than 100 yards. 

Why Did We Like It?

Starting with its simple yet innovative design, this thermal imager is slightly different from the rest of the thermal cameras that are manufactured by FLIR. It’s monocular in shape and boasts a black and green body that adds to the aesthetics of the camera. 

This thermal imager can detect heat signatures for as far as 100 years without depending upon external lights. Furthermore, the buttons are located on top of the device, which makes this device user-friendly.

What’s even better is that you can capture both images and record videos with this thermal imager as per your preference. 

You’ll be pleased to know that its battery lasts for more than five hours, unlike other options that barely last for an hour. Aside from hiking, you can use this camera for security purposes and scan sideways, parking lots, and driveways in the dark. 

Not to forget, the brand backs its camera with a two-year limited warranty, so you can reach out to them if it starts malfunctioning. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

Easy to use, compact and portable, the FLIR Scout TK is an excellent option for people who love exploring the backcountry. However, this device doesn’t reveal surroundings if there is mist outside. 

  • Impact-resistant
  • Comes with a two-year warranty
  • Can reveal objects, things and animals up to 100 yards
  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t work when there’s mist

A male hand holds a thermal imager at the window of a house. Search for heat loss in private houses. Flir thermal imaging camera buying guide.

FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera Buying Guide

Things To Consider

Still, finding it difficult to pick the best FLIR thermal imaging camera?– You’re not alone!

Those who have never shopped for thermal cameras probably don’t know which one would be the best pick for their tasks. But, you need not worry because we’ve listed some important factors that you must keep in mind while buying a thermal camera.

1. Size 

Assuming that you’ll be using thermal cameras for an extended period, going for a compact model will be the best bet. 

Whichever brand you decide to go for, make sure you check the product specifications. That is because the product specification section contains every detail about the camera, from size to weight. 

On top of that, you must opt for options that are lightweight because they are easy to carry from one site to another. Moreover, you won’t suffer from hand fatigue which is one of the best things about lightweight models. 

2. Resolution

Basically, the resolution of the camera helps people detect potential issues so that they can fix them quickly. 

Never go for a low-resolution camera because they will pinpoint issues vaguely and inaccurately. Irrespective of whether you’re looking for a camera for professional or DIY home improvement purposes, you must invest in a high-resolution model. 

3. Visible Light Image Enhancement

Thermal cameras don’t rely on visual lights to detect heat signatures, but cameras that are equipped with visible light image enhancement features make it easy to detect anomalies. 

Such cameras brighten low-light photos and videos so that you can scan them without any difficulty. This feature also allows users to adjust the appearance and visual tone on the display screen, enhancing the quality of the captured picture. 

4. LED Lights

Not every thermal camera you come across on the market is equipped with an LED light. That is why you must always check whether the camera you’re planning to buy comes with an LED light or not. 

LED lights make it easy to detect hidden problems in areas where there is little to no light. Not to deny, construction sites aren’t adequately lit, so constructors must not ignore this when purchasing a thermal camera. 

FLIR Thermal Imaging FAQ

  • Who uses a thermal camera? 

    Thermal cameras are highly versatile and are used in a variety of industries. Detecting faults in mechanical systems, plumbing leaks, or investigating crime scenes – thermal cameras help identify tons of things. 

    For this reason, it is used by electricians, mechanics, construction workers, firefighters, DIY enthusiasts, and others. 

  • Can you see through walls and concrete with a thermal camera?

    No, you cannot see through thick walls and concrete with a thermal camera. That’s because they are thick and insulated, which blocks infrared radiation from passing through them. However, when you point the camera towards the wall, they will pinpoint leaks, but not what’s present behind it. 

  • Can you use a thermal camera in broad daylight?

    Yes, you can use a thermal camera in broad daylight to detect heat signatures from objects or living things since sunlight doesn’t have any impact on infrared radiation. 

  • A male hand holds a thermal imager at the window of a house. Search for heat loss in private houses. Flir thermal imaging camera verdict.

    FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera Verdict

    While all the options from FLIR deliver excellent performance and are reliable, the E96 Advanced Thermal Imaging Camera is our top pick. With a thermal resolution of 640×480 pixels and auto-calibrating lenses, its performance is a notch above others. 

    But, if anyone’s looking for a thermal camera that can be connected to their iPhone and pinpoint hidden problems, the One Pro thermal camera is the best bet. And, in case you have any doubts, refer to our buying guide to make an informed decision. 

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