Best Thermal Cameras

Looking for an affordable thermal imaging camera? Here are some affordable high quality brands you really need to check out.

The choice of an appropriate thermal imaging camera takes so much into consideration. You’ve got to pay close attention to the specs because there are so many brands out there. Some of the qualities you need to pay close attention to include imaging resolution, warranty coverage, price tag, and Wi-Fi connectivity among others.

Thermal imaging cameras are extensively used in different fields. They are essentially used to identify sources of trouble in a given system. For instance, they can be used to test electrical, and mechanical for flaws such as to the cause of excess heat, leaks, moisture infiltration among others. You could also use these powerful tools to check and evaluate the integrity of structural constructions.

These infrared cameras are very powerful and useful. They are even not that expensive at all. You can just use them easily for troubleshooting purposes and more. If you seek to check something about the establishments that you are around at, then using thermal cameras are the best things that you should look at.

To define them well, they are just simply the things that those professional people use. Since they are not used by the general public well, they are not that famous at all, not unless you are in a field where you need to check something about them.

In this review, we have rounded up some of the best brands of thermal imaging cameras for you. Our editorial picks constitutes collections that are competitively selected from among leading brands. In order to get a quick overview of the best brands, we have tabulated everything here for you.

Top 10 Thermal CamerasTemperature RangeIR Resolution
FLIR TG165 Spot Thermal Imaging Camera 380 degrees Celsius 80x60
FLIR E4 Compact Thermal Imaging Camera 370 degrees Celsius 80x60
Seek Compact Thermal Imager 620 degrees Fahrenheit 206 x 156
Perfect Prime IR0001 Thermal Imager 572 degrees Celsius 32x32
FLIR TG130 Spot Thermal Camera 301 degrees Fahrenheit 80x60
FLIR One Pro Thermal Imaging Camera 752 degrees Fahrenheit 160x120
Fluke VT04A Infrared Imager 482 degrees Fahrenheit 31x31
Solomark Night Vision Monocular 422 degrees Fahrenheit 60x50
Seek Thermal iOS-Apple Thermal Imaging Camera 626 degrees Fahrenheit 216x157
Fluke TIS20 9HZ Thermal Imaging Camera 662 degrees Fahrenheit 120x90

What is Thermal Camera?

Thermal imaging cameras are basically troubleshooting equipment. As aforementioned, there are used by technicians to evaluate the integrity of constructions. As such, they can be used to test electrical equipment, check for flaws in pipelines among other constructions. You will be able to see heated spots and distinguish the same from cold spots. This is cool because you won’t have to grapple with guesswork as to where the heat is coming from.

Some thermal cameras come with a high heat spot size ration. This function helps you measure hot spots with temperatures up to 380 degrees from a safe distance. Some even have inbuilt storage memory where all captured data are stored for later use.


Do really need a Thermal Camera?

Actually, you really need to have a thermal imaging camera, especially if you work in a related industry like construction. Not only that. If you love fixing stuff at home, this camera will help you identify potential flaws in electrical wiring at home.

You can then raise the alarm before it’s too late. Personally, I have my own and I find it very helpful when it comes to visualizing heat and just going about my routine quality checks for different infrastructures.

If you’ve never had one, then you don’t know how much you are missing. This is probably the best time to get your very own.


Types of Thermal Cameras

Thermal cameras aren’t that diverse as what you think it is. You could get a thermal camera and most of the cameras will do the same.

There are just others that have a unique feature which is just added for more usability. Thermal imaging cameras are designed for use by firefighters. As such, there aren’t distinct types in terms of usability.

Maybe on the basis of design, we may have to distinguish them as handheld or helmet mounted varieties. That’s basically far it gets when it comes to classifying them into distinct groups.


Factors to Consider in Purchasing a Thermal Camera

When purchasing a thermal camera, there are just a few things that you need to consider.

  • Temperature range

One of the aspects is the temperature range. The temperature range is very important because it is the main feature of the thermal camera. It’s not about how well the camera captures things, but how well the infrared camera gets the details.

  • Water and heat resistance of the housing

You may also want to check something on the heat and water resistant nature of the housing. This determines usability. Luckily, most manufacturers are cognizant of this fact and therefore design most, if not all thermal imaging cameras, with a waterproof and heat resistant housing.

  • Rugged design

This is very important especially if you intend to use the camera during emergencies. For instance, during firefighting.

  • Size, weight and compact design

These aspects influence the portability of your thermal imaging camera. Depending on how you want to use it, you may want a very portable camera that you can that can be carried around with ease and comfort.


Our Picks: Top 10 Best Thermal Imaging Cameras Reviews

<Best thermal imaging camera>

FLIR TG165 Spot Thermal Imaging CameraFlir TG165 Thermal Imaging camera is a grade II laser product with a 1mW power output. It has a minimum focus distance of 4 inches and readily produces sharp images hence is focus free. This camera is best suited for use in a range of high temperature situations. It has a temperature range of between -25 degrees and +380 degrees. It is super reliable and very sensitive to a max distance of 10 inch.

It is powered by FLIR innovative Lepton IR imaging engine. Together with its 80 x 60 high resolution, 90HZ refresh rate and 150mK sensitivity you will be able to get crisp images of hidden heat deep within.

It could bridge the gap between a single cost thermometer and the legendary thermal cameras of FLIR. It is already equipped with the Lepton micro thermal sensor of FLIR. This makes you see that heat well so you will know where to measure it then.

What make FLIR TG165 the best is the intuitive design that makes it very easy and simple to operate. Absolutely no need for specialized training. What’s more, this thermal imaging camera comes with an integrated safe 24:1 spot size ratio for accurate measuring of distance. You can therefore check and evaluate any heat related issues from a safe distance.

All recorded data are stored safely in the inbuilt 8GB MicroSD memory. You can therefore retrieve all recorded thermal images whenever you want.

Why We Like It:

  • Safe 24:1 spot size ratio for faster more accurate estimation of distance
  • -30 to +55 degree storage temperature range
  • Compact and durable hence can be easily stowed in a crowded tool box.
  • 2 years product and 10 year thermal imaging detector.
  • Powered by FLIR’s innovative Lepron IR imaging engine.

Why We Hate It:

  • Slightly expensive

<Cheapest Thermal camera>

FLIR E4 Compact Thermal cameraIf you are looking for an affordable heat camera that will reveal all sources of energy loss, moisture intrusion among other issues, this is a very good piece. FLIR E4 make your inspections smooth and easy.

By design and construction, this thermal imaging camera is best used for troubleshooting in overheating electrical, mechanical, and building components. For varied image quality, this camera supports up to 4 resolution options. The IR pixels range for all the resolution options is between 80 x 60p and 320 x 240p. With such a wide range of options to choose from, you can rest assured of quality image detail irrespective of the target size or even distance.

It has a reputation of being the best thermal inspection tool. This one is a handheld thermal camera that is rugged. It has a sleek design in a very rugged and rubberized finish. It can even withstand worse falls for up to 6ft. This makes it a very remarkable tool in the hands of a contractor that is a little bit busy.

What’s more, you can access all the thermal image files on a dedicated mobile app; the FLIR Tools Mobile app. With Wi-Fi connectivity, you will be able to connect FLIR E4 to your handset fast and easy. With this budget infrared camera you don’t need the outdated IR thermometers.

Why We Like It:

  • Focus-free Lens
  • Four color palettes
  • One button navigation
  • Wide temperature range
  • Powered by Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging (MSX) which embosses digital camera details onto thermal images

Why We Hate It:

  • Low refresh rate
  • Has limited resolution

<Best Image resolution>

Seek Compact Thermal ImagerThis is my all-time favorite thermographic camera. Seek Compact thermal imager translates heat energy into crisp clear images. For improved efficiency, it has long range Infrared rays. I love the fact that it pairs well with your smartphone via a dedicated mobile phone application. Unlike other low grade cameras, this one comes with a 36 degree field of view. You will be able to pinpoint the exact source of energy loss in the shortest time possible.

Seek Imager has a temperature range of between -40 and +626 degree Fahrenheit. This implies that you can use it in a wide range of applications. For better image quality, this camera has a set of compact focusable lenses. You will also be also be able to get sharper image quality by simply making adjustments in order to get a sharper, better image quality.

Inside this thermal imager is a very good thermal sensor. It can even identify those sources of heat after you just connect it inside your phone. The thermal sensor that it has can also detect through walls as well as those heat signatures even in absolute total darkness. It has a professional model and is very ideal for identifying the leaks.

Powered by 1000ft IR and 206 x 156 thermal sensor, you are guaranteed of high quality images day or night, rain or shine. By design and construction, this thermal imaging camera is best suited for professional use. You could also use it at home to check for integrity of electrical constructions, construction fixes among others.

When the job is done and it’s time to pack up and leave, just fit it back into the pocket-sized waterproof carry case.

Why We Like It:

  • Lightweight and portable design
  • 36-degree field of view for the best image and video quality.
  • Up to 100ft sensitivity distance
  • -40 to 626 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range.
  • 206 x 156 Infrared thermal sensor for night vision.
  • Dedicated smartphone application
  • Best for use by structural editors, professional traders, contractors, etc.

Why We Hate It:

  • Not the best waterproof thermal cam

<Best spot marking camera>

Perfect Prime IR0001Thermal CameraIf you are looking for a good heat camera with good image quality, I strongly recommend Perfect Prime IR0001. This camera supports a range of IR resolutions; 32 x 32p and 1024P. All the thermal images during any one session are recorded safe and sound in an 8GB MicroSD card. And you can always change this and add more memory. The infrared thermal imager combines the functions of surface temperature and real time thermal imaging.

Perfect Prime IR0001 has a thermal sensitivity of 0.15 degree. It is thus ideal for sensing and pinpointing any sign of overheating in electrical systems and other constructions. One of its strongest points is the high accuracy of with a sensitivity of -/+2 degrees.

If you really want to identify heat losses and moisture intrusion in constructions among other applications. You will certainly enjoy with this brand is it very responsive and playful with different features. Not just that, to cap off this amazing thermographic camera, it is a very budget friendly one.

What’s more, Perfect Prime IR0001 has a 2.4” Full angle HD and a Visible Image Resolution with 0.3MP capacity. Because of its image processing precision and efficiency, this is the pros favorite thermal imaging camera. It also comes with a durable and drop resistant rope and a carry bag

Why We Like It:

  • Budget friendly
  • 6HZ refresh rate for 1080p HD video quality.
  • 4 inch LCD screen
  • Comes with an inbuilt 4GB MicroSD card.
  • Precise positioning for quick evaluation and testing.
  • Supports IR image resolution of 32 x 32P and 1024P
  • Rugged, accurate, and super reliable thermal imaging camera.

Why We Hate It:

  • No warranty coverage

<Best temperature range>

FLIR TG130 thermal cameraYet another one by FLIR. If you are looking for a good thermal imaging camera, that is feature packed, FLIR TG130 is one option you really want to check out. It has a characteristic rugged design making is durable and long lasting. The rubberized housing enhances grip and general aesthetics. With a single one touch button, control is simple and easy. You don’t even need a user manual to use this.

It comes with a lightweight design making it the pros’ ultimate handheld thermal imaging thermometer. It is very affordable, best suited for those looking for a budget thermal camera. Now, more than ever before, you can check and evaluate the quality of structures whenever you want to.

This camera is actually very useful in terms of detecting a very wide range of temperature. Not just that, the thermal imager will be able to detect the cold and hot spots for you well. Also, it can act immediately on what information you may have put out there. It is a very good saver for you.

This thermal camera has no product warranty. So you’ve got to double check your order upon delivery. This will protect your from settling for malfunctioning products.

Why We Like It:

  • Wide angle lens for better coverage
  • Rugged and rubberized housing for durability and aesthetics
  • One touch button control
  • Small and lightweight for improved portability
  • Supports a wide temperature range

Why We Hate It:

  • Slightly pricey

<Best battery life>

FLIR One Thermal Imaging ProIt might appear that we love FLIR thermal cameras and therefore have a large number of them in our list. In truth, however, we are in no way attached to the company. It’s just that their products happen to have good quality hence rank among the best.

FLIR One imaging pro in a 3rd gen thermal imaging camera with very cool features. In addition to the usual use at checking heat losses and moisture intrusions, this camera can also be used to explore and find out the world of thermals in a whole new way.

It shoots images in a pretty decent refresh rate. A very remarkable way in shooting moving objects since they will appear a little bit choppy except those in the edges. Unless you are moving or panning the camera in a quick manner. Time lapse videos are available here too.

For ease of use and access to your thermal footages, there is a dedicated iOS app. The FLIP One app enables you to preview and also share footages with interested parties from the comfort of your phone. It supports a wide temperature range. For instance, it has a non-operating temperature range of between -20 and -60 degrees and an operating temperature range of between 0 and 30 degrees.

It is a two in one thermal imaging camera that is powered by Exclusive MSX technology. This helps blend thermal and visible spectrum for better image resolution.

Why We Like It:

  • Supports JPEG photo format and 1080p full HD videos.
  • FLIR One smartphone app for better reading of finding on your phone.
  • Supports up to 0.8 meters of impact resistance
  • ONE Fit adjustable connector allows for use with compatible devices.
  • VIVIDIR and MSX technology
  • Wide angle field of view provides images from large radius

Why We Hate It:

  • Short battery life

<Best Monochromatic thermal cam>

Fluke VT04A Infrared ImagerA pocket sized visual IR thermometer, definitely something that you could just carry inside your bag or pocket everywhere you go. This one is very efficient when you are fond of going up and down the house or building, having this in your pocket, makes you not lost another thermal camera around your sight.

Why We Like It:

  • Six monochromatic color palettes for better color quality
  • Focus free for better image quality
  • Auto-monitor alarm
  • Powered by a high capacity Li-ion battery and also supports Battery saving mode

Why We Hate It:

  • No warranty coverage

<Best Rugged Thermal cam>

Solomark Night Vision MonocularThe Solomark Night vision Monocular features multicoated glass lenses for better image quality.For crisp viewing of the image details, this thermal cam has an LCD screen that also has fantastic color display. This thermal cam can also be used to observe wildlife activity in the night. In addition, it also works perfectly for surveillance. What’s more, Solomark night Vision Monocular camera is powered by 4 AA batteries. No more waits and inconveniences due to battery charging. All the recorded footages are saved in a 4GB MicroSD memory card.

Why We Like It:

  • Best videos and photos even in infernos
  • Readily connects to pc and other USB devices.
  • Rugged nonslip casing for durability and improved aesthetics.
  • Mountable on tripod stand or helmet for vantage recording.

Why We Hate It:

  • Mounting tripod sold separately.

<Best multifocal thermal camera>

Seek Thermal iOS-Apple Thermal Imaging CameraSeek Thermal iOS camera is a versatile and super portable camera that is ideally suited for basic use. Check and evaluate the quality of your home fixes with a camera that features a 36 degree field of view. With a thermal sensitivity range of up to 100ft, you can check for potential heating points without coming too close.

Why We Like It:

  • Comes with a dedicated mobile app for previewing reviewing thermal footages.
  • Supports 36 degree field of view
  • Long range infrared emitters for night vision
  • Sleek and compact design.
  • Has a multifocal lenses for better image quality.

Why We Hate It:

  • No product warranty

<Best wide angle heat camera>

Fluke TIS20 9HZ Thermal Infrared CameraThis model has something that people call as IR Fusion. IR-Fusion is a more traditional IR image blending tech which allows you to change the clearness of your IR images on top over visible-light images. On this camera, 100% IR, 50% IR and full visible-light areseen on camera.

Why We Like It:

  • Supports Wi-Fi connectivity
  • High capacity Li-ion battery
  • Records 720p videos at 30FPS
  • 100mK thermal sensitivity

Why We Hate It:

  • A little bit expensive

How to Pick the Right Thermal Camera for You?

When it comes to buying a good thermal camera, there are a couple of thing you really need to pay close attention to. These aspects will actually define whether or not you go home with the best quality. So here are some of the things you really must check in an ideal thermal camera.

  • High image resolution

This affects the quality of pictures you get from your camera. Like ordinary cameras for taking selfies shots and video recording, a good thermal imaging camera must be equipped with good resolution.

  • Price

It is often assumed the highly priced commodities have the best value. There could be some element of truth in that. However, you can still get good quality thermal cameras at very affordable rate, as long as it meets your needs in terms of specs and performance.

  • Compatibility

I suggest you go for a camera that is highly compatible. This implies that your choice camera should output file formats that can readily be accessed and used on other devices. For instance, choose an infrared thermal camera that supports JPEG pictures and MPEG 4 video formats.


Conclusion

These are but a few of the aspects you need to look out for. There are a lot more considerations, but we have only majored on these ones. Having said that, let me wrap it up by saying that this review has the best thermal cameras. Be sure to use our review as a guide when shopping for your favorite Thermal imaging camera.

 

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