Best Thermal Imaging Cameras for Electrical Inspections

10 Best Thermal Imaging Cameras for Electricians

In this guide, we will take a look at 10 of the best thermal imaging cameras for electricians or any engineering professional that conducts electrical inspections or is involved with mechanical systems. We have tested various thermal imaging cameras from various brands and price ranges.

If you’re new to thermal camera imaging technology, you’ll want to be sure to read through our entire guide. Not only will we rank the 10 best thermal imaging cameras in the market today, but we’ll also educate you on what you need to know and what to look for before you make a purchase.

That said, we know your time is important, therefore, before we get into our comprehensive review of each thermal imaging camera individually, to save you time, here are our top 10 picks:

Top 10Thermal Imaging Camera LinkQuick Features
#1FLIR E4 Compact Thermal Imaging Camera80 × 60 pixels thermal resolution
–20°C to 250°C (–4°F to 482°F) temperature range
45° x 34° FOV
<0.15°C thermal sensitivity
#2HTI-19 IR Thermal Imaging Camera320×240 thermal resolution
-20℃ to 300℃ (-4°F to 572°F) temperature range
56°x 42° FOV
0.07℃ thermal sensitivity
#3FLIR C5 Pocket Thermal Camera with Wi-Fi160 x 120 thermal resolution
20 to 400°C (-4 to 752°F) temperature range
0.07℃ thermal sensitivity
#4PerfectPrime IR0019, Infrared (IR) Thermal Imager320 x 240 thermal resolution
-20 to 300°C, -4 to 572°F temperature range
27° x 35° FOV
0.07˚C thermal sensitivity
#5PerfectPrime IR0006 Infrared (IR) Thermal Imager320 x 240 thermal resolution
-20 to 300°C, -4 to 572°F temperature range
56° x 42° FOV
0.07˚C thermal sensitivity
#6FLIR TG267 Thermal Camera160 × 120 thermal resolution
-25°C to 380°C (-13°F to 716°F) temperature range
57° × 44° FOV
0.07˚C thermal sensitivity
#7FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera Imager80 x 60 thermal resolution
-25°C to 300°C (-13°F to 572°F) temperature range
51° × 66° FOV
0.07˚C thermal sensitivity
#8Seek Thermal Reveal – Ruggedized206 x 156 thermal resolution
-4°C to 330°C (-40°F to 626°F) temperature range
36° horizontal FOV
0.07˚C thermal sensitivity
#9PerfectPrime IR0002, Infrared (IR) Thermal Imager60 x 60 thermal resolution
-20 to 300 °C (-4°F to 572°F) temperature range
0.15°C thermal sensitivity
#10Hti HT-02, Infrared (IR) Thermal Imager60 x 60 thermal resolution
-20°C (-4°F) to 300°C (572°F) temperature range
20 x 20 FOV
0.15 °C thermal sensitivity

What Is a Thermal Imaging Camera?

Before we can answer this question, first we have to understand the concept of thermal imaging.

Thermal imaging is a scientific method of measuring an object’s (or objects’) temperature by utilizing wavelengths of infrared lights. This is why thermal imaging is also often called infrared thermography.

Thermal imaging is a non-contact measurement, meaning we don’t need to directly touch the object to measure its heat/temperature. Instead, this method converts the infrared waves into a visual image that shows different colors. These colors represent different temperatures.

A thermal imaging camera is simply a practical implementation of this technology in a fairly small, handheld camera, which is very useful in the case of electrical inspections and diagnosing mechanical systems.

Since the thermal imaging camera is a form of non-contact measurement, it is easy to use and completely safe. You can easily detect a temperature drop or rise and any hot spots in just a few seconds with this handheld camera.

During electrical inspections thermal imaging cameras are used to pinpoint potential failures in equipment, cables, or systems.

This can prevent power loss, damage, or downtime, which can be more expensive particularly in areas where equipment cannot be shut down. This is also true where physical contact with the equipment is not possible (i.e. due to safety concerns, or in the event that contact might alter its temperature and skew the measurement.)

So, a thermal imaging camera provides two key benefits:

  • Visual way to locate hot or cold spots. Thermal imaging technology allows a very fast measurement of temperature without requiring one to shut down the equipment/system.
  • Safe measurements from a safe distance. Thermal imaging cameras provide the ability to measure temperature without contacting the object from a safe distance. This is important not only to avoid touching hot equipment, but also when dynamic measurement is needed (object is in motion), or it is unsafe to acquire contact-type measurements.

What to Look for in a Thermal Imaging Camera?

There are four key factors to consider when choosing between different thermal imaging cameras:

Resolution 

There are two kinds of resolutions involved in a thermal imaging camera: the resolution of the monitor screen, and the resolution of the detector/sensor. No matter how high the screen resolution is, the image can only be as good as the resolution of the sensor.

The higher the sensor’s resolution, the sharper, clearer, and more accurate a single dot will be on the display monitor, and this will allow us to measure smaller objects from a greater distance.

So, if your operational environment involves the need of measuring equipment from further, you will need a higher resolution in your thermal imaging camera.

Pixel size, measured typically in micrometers (microns) is also important in determining the level of detail produced by the camera. The smaller pixel sizes, the better and the more detail you’ll see.

To summarize, look for the following resolution features in your next thermal imaging camera purchase:

  • high pixel detector resolution, and
  • high display resolution, and
  • low pixel size.

Temperature Range 

Another important consideration is the temperature range of the thermal imaging camera. Imaging cameras that can measure wider and/or higher temperature range will use more expensive sensors, which will translate into a more expensive device.

The best thermal imaging cameras can measure a very wide temperature range from -20°C to 400°C, and there are also imaging cameras that can measure up to 1,200°C.

So, when choosing between different thermal imaging cameras, first check whether the measurement range requirement of your day-to-day application.

Sensitivity 

Sensitivity in thermal imaging cameras refers to how small the sensor/detector can detect differences in temperature.

Devices with higher thermal sensitivities can detect smaller temperature differences, so it can produce an image with greater accuracy. The camera will detect a broader range of temperature differences, producing more colors on the screen.

Sensitivity is measured in mK (milliKelvins), the lower the mK the better and more expensive the camera will be.

Data storage and export

Most thermal imaging cameras can store the measurement data in its built-in memory and removable SD cards, so we can export the stored data to a computer for backup and data analysis/reporting.

Premium thermal imaging cameras might also offer functionalities like Wi-Fi/Bluetooth data transfer to allow direct data transfer to smartphones, tablets, or computers for more versatile analysis and reporting.

Thermal Imaging Camera vs Infrared Camera

It’s important to note that while thermal imaging cameras do involve infrared measurements in how they operate, they are not infrared cameras.

The main difference between the two is how the detection takes place:

  • A thermal imaging camera measures the absolute temperature of the object by measuring the mid-infrared radiation emitted by the measured object. Due to this measurement method, a thermal imaging camera can work in complete darkness since it doesn’t depend on light, and it can work without an infrared beam.
  • An infrared camera (or called active infrared/IR camera) uses short wavelength infrared light (the beam) to illuminate an object/area of interest. It will then detect the reflection of this beam and generate an image. The beam can be mid or long wavelength of infrared. Active infrared cameras are affected by smoke, light interference, dust, etc. while thermal imaging cameras aren’t.

How Accurate are Thermal Imaging Cameras?

Typical thermal imaging cameras can produce an accuracy of +/-2 °C or +/-4°F. This level of accuracy is, in most cases, enough in electrical inspections, but might not be enough in, for example, measuring human body temperatures when a 2°C difference can be very significant (i.e. 36°C is considered healthy while 38°C is not.)

Can I Use My Smartphone as a Thermal Imaging Camera?

This is a great question, and the answer is YES! With thermal imaging cameras becoming smaller and lighter, it would only make sense that the technology would enter the smartphone market.

There are actually two ways we can use our smartphone as a thermal imaging camera:

  1. Getting an actual thermal imaging smartphone with a built-in thermal imaging camera. There are products like Caterpillar CAT Thermal Imaging Rugged Smartphone available in the market.

Check Latest Pricing

2. Getting a thermal imaging phone adapter, which is a detachable thermal imaging detector/camera that we can connect to our smartphone via thunderbolt/micro USB/USB-C.

The latter option is relatively popular nowadays, as you can get a pretty decent thermal imaging camera while using your phone’s screen as a display for under $500. There are two notable companies making thermal imaging adapters for smartphones: FLIR and Seek Thermal.

FLIR offers three products in this category:

#1. FLIR ONE Gen 3 (the entry-level model)

Check Latest Pricing

Key features:

  • 80 x 60 thermal resolution
  • ±3°C or ±5% accuracy
  • -20°C — 120°C (-4°F — 248°F) temperature dynamic range
  • -20 °C – 60 °C (-4°F – 140°F) non-operating temperature
  • 34 x 67 x 14mm (1.3 x 2.6 x 0.6in) dimensions, 34.5 grams

#2. FLIR ONE Pro LT (mid-level model)

Check Latest Pricing

Key features:

  • 80 x 60 thermal resolution
  • 100 mK thermal sensitivity
  • ±3°C or ±5% accuracy
  • -20°C — 120°C (-4°F — 248°F) temperature dynamic range
  • -20°C — 60°C (-4°F — 140°F) non-operating temperature
  • 68 × 34 × 14 mm (2.7 × 1.3 × 0.6 in) dimensions, 36.5 grams

#3. Flir ONE Pro (Premium model)

Check Latest Pricing

Key features:

  • 160 × 120 thermal resolution
  • 70 mK thermal sensitivity
  • ±3°C or ±5% accuracy
  • -20°C — 400°C (-4°F — 752°F) temperature dynamic range
  • -20°C — 60°C (-4°F — 140°F)) non-operating temperature
  • 68 × 34 × 14 mm (2.7 × 1.3 × 0.6 in) dimensions, 36.5 grams

Seek thermal also offers three different products:

#1. Seek Compact (entry-level model)

Check Latest Pricing

Key features: 

  • 206 x 156 Thermal Sensor
  • 36° Field of View
  • < 9 Hz Frame Rate
  • 1,000 ft. Detection Distance
  • Focusable Lens
  • -40F° to 626°F Detection  

#2. Seek CompactXR (medium-level model)

Check Latest Pricing

Key features:

  • 206 x 156 Thermal Sensor
  • 20° Field of View
  • < 9 Hz Frame Rate
  • 1,800 ft. Detection Distance
  • Focusable Lens
  • -40F° to 626°F Detection 

#3. Seek CompactPRO (Premium model)

Check Latest Pricing

Key features: 

  • 320 x 240 Thermal Sensor
  • 32° Field of View
  • < 9 Hz Frame Rate
  • 1,800 ft. Detection Distance
  • Focusable Lens
  • -40F° to 626°F Detection

While you won’t get the same level of details you’d get with a standalone thermal imaging camera, especially the high-quality ones, these thermal imaging adapters can be a cost-effective, pretty decent option.

However, they are not as durable as the standalone cameras, and will rely on your phone’s battery power.

So, if you are planning to regularly use a thermal imaging camera (i.e. if you do electrical inspection daily or if you are a home inspector), then you should get a dedicated device instead.

How Far Can I Measure with a Thermal Imaging Camera?

The spot-size ratio tells us how far we can be from a measurement object and still get an accurate temperature measurement with the thermal imaging camera.

The smaller the pixel size of the detector, the more pixels can be latched onto the target measurement, which will give more details in the produced thermal mage.

On the other hand, the higher the resolution of the camera, the more opportunity to get more pixels on the target. It’s important to note that digital zoom of the camera won’t improve measurement accuracy.

So, in measuring the effective distance of a thermal imaging camera, we should consider three factors: the camera’s resolution, the horizontal field of view of the camera (FOV), and pixel size.

We can calculate the spot/size ratio with the following formula:

Spot/size ratio= IFOV (Instantaneous Field of View) in inches : distance of measurement

While we can measure IFOV with:

IFOV (in mrad) = (FOV / number of horizontal pixels) x [ (3.14/180) x (1000) ]

Then we should convert the IFOV from mrad to inches with the following formula:

IFOV (inches) = IFOV (mrad) / 1000 x measurement distance in inches

For example, if your camera’s resolution is 160 × 120 pixels (160 horizontal pixels) with horizontal FOV of 24-degree, and  you are going to measure an object from 10 feet away (120 inches)

Then, first, we are going to measure the IFOV in mrad with the above formula:

(24 / 160) x [ (3.14/180) x (1000) ] = 2.616 mrad.

Then we are going to calculate the IFOV in inches:

(2.616 / 1000) x 120 = 0.31392 inches

Then we get the spot/size ratio = 0.31392” : 120”

We can then use cross-multiplication to know how far we can accurately measure a 1” spot:

0.31392 : 120” = 1” : X

120” x 1” =  0.31392 x X

then solving for, X  = 120” / 0.31392”

therefore, X = 382.26 inches or 31.855 feet

So, with this thermal imaging camera in the example, we can accurately measure the temperature of a 1” spot from 31.855 feet away.

Some manufacturers list the camera’s theoretical spot size ratio, and you can use the above formulas to calculate the effective distance. All manufacturers should list their FOV and resolution, so you should be able to make the calculations yourself.

Why Thermal Imaging Cameras are Important for Electrical Inspections?

Here are some common applications of thermal imaging cameras during electrical inspections:

  1. Thermal imaging cameras allow us to check for temperature spikes associated with high electrical resistance before the circuit becomes hot enough to cause an explosion and/or outage. We can easily check thermal patterns caused by poor surface contact and multi-phase imbalances causing overloads.
  2. Detect problems caused by switch contacts and connectors by detecting abnormal heat through contact. In these cases, the point of heating may be very small, and a thermal imaging camera is necessary to detect the heat point.
  3. Easily check abnormal temperature differences between different controllers and wires, which can be a sign of an overloaded circuit.
  4. Find equipment/appliances that need replacement easily. In a huge system with hundreds of pieces of equipment, finding a device that is likely to fail can be difficult, but a thermal imaging camera can easily detect the absence of a heat signature.

10 Best Thermal Imaging Cameras

Alright, we’ve revealed at the start of this buying guide what we feel are the 10 best thermal imaging cameras available in the market today. Let’s take a closer look at each one of them starting with #10:

#10. HTI HT-02 Thermal Imager & Visible Light Camera

Check Latest Pricing

Specifications: 

  • -20°C (-4°F) to 300°C (572°F) temperature measurement range
  • Recommended measurement distance 7” – 20”
  • Thermal sensitivity 0.15 °C (150mK)
  • 20 x 20 FOV
  • 60 x 60 pixels resolution (3,600 pixels IR resolution)
  • 6 Hz Refresh Rate
  • 4” full viewing angle high-resolution color screen
  • 5 kinds of full infrared to allow a seamless blend of visible and infrared images
  • Adjustable emissivity between 0,1 and 1.0
  • 320 g weight
  • 50 cm focus distance
  • 4AA batteries power

Key Features:

  • The HTI HT-02 is one of the pretty decent options available on the internet that is also very affordable
  • Offers a pretty decent 60 x 60 pixels thermal resolution, which is pretty decent for its price. Can produce pretty accurate thermal imaging and temperature variances
  • -20°C (-4°F) to 300°C (572°F), great for household use and standard electrical inspections. Pretty wide temperature range for its price, and decent enough for basic industrial applications
  • 15 °C (150mK) sensitivity, not the best, but more than adequate for basic electrical inspections
  • Pretty compact and light with only 320 grams of weight
  • Iron red, rainbow, rainbow high contrast, grayscale(white glow) and grayscale(black glow), 5 different thermal palettes available, allowing us to easily identify a problem area
Our Verdict:
An affordable and easy-to-use thermal imaging solution, a very decent option for household inspections and basic industrial inspections. Light and compact, and easy to grip. While it doesn’t really offer any state-of-the-art feature and/or really advanced measurement capabilities, it has a pretty decent set of features especially considering its affordable price.

#9. PerfectPrime IR0002 Thermal Imaging Camera

Check Latest Pricing

Specifications: 

  • 60 x 60 , 3600 pixels image resolutions
  • Thermal Sensitivity:0.15°C (150mK)
  • Temperature Range: -20 to 300 °C (-4°F to 572°F)
  • Temperature Accuracy:+/- 2 % or +/- 2 °C
  • Display Screen: 2.4″ Full angle HD
  • Visible Image Resolution:0.3 mega pixels
  • Capturing Frequency/Refresh Rate: 6 Hz
  • 4xAA batteries power
  • 4GB image storage with Micro SD card

 Key Features: 

  • Another affordable option with great core functionalities while also offering extra features like MicroSD support, LED lighting, visible light camera, and so on
  • 60×60, 3600 pixels thermal detection resolution, nothing special, but pretty decent for household electrical inspections and some industrial applications
  • Grey scale, high-contrast, Iron, and spectra color palettes for accurate visualization of temperature differences
  • 4” full HD display with very clear images at 0.3 megapixels and 6Hz refresh rate.
  • Pretty decent thermal sensitivity at 0.15°C for accurate detection of temperature differences
  • Wide temperature range for its price, -20 to 300 °C (-4°F to 572°F)
  • 1” x 6.3” x 3.8” product dimensions, 8 oz, lightweight and compact

Our Verdict:Very similar to the HTI HT-02 in many ways, the PerfectPrime IR0002 is another decent and affordable option with high-quality thermal images. An excellent, cost-effective choice for household electrical inspections and some industrial applications. 

#8. Seek Thermal Reveal – Ruggedized – Thermal Imaging Camera

Check Latest Pricing

Specifications: 

  • Ruggedized design
  • -4°C to 330°C (-40°F to 626°F) temperature range
  • 206 x 156 thermal sensor resolution, 240×320 display resolution
  • 8 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches dimensions
  • 035 ounces weight
  • <70 mK thermal sensitivity
  • 300 lumen LED flashlight included
  • 36-degree Field of View (FOV)
  • 9Hz refresh rate, fixed-focus lens
  • 7 color palettes (white, tyrian, iron, glow, glory, cool, black)

Key Features: 

  • Stunning 206×156 thermal sensor resolution allowing accurate detection of temperature differences
  • Only 0.035 oz of weight, lighter than many other competitors, compact size.
  • Ruggedized design to ensure durability despite its small size and lightweight
  • Great thermal sensitivity (<70 mK), very accurate
  • 36°FOV allowing great measurement distance, 9Hz refresh rate with fixed-focus lens
  • 7 color palettes, excellent in visualization of temperature differences and changes
  • Effective distance of 500 feet (152.4 meters)

Our Verdict:The Seek Thermal Reveal is a very decent thermal imaging camera, compact and lightweight with ruggedized design, while also offering a decent set of features to deliver accurate images with great quality. Very robust for both household and industrial electrical inspections.

While it doesn’t offer any special features like video recording and Wi-Fi connectivity, it is a very decent product with great price/performance ratio. Easy to use with great core functionalities as a thermal imaging camera. 

#7. FLIR TG165-X Thermal Imaging Camera

Check Latest Pricing

Specifications: 

  • -25°C to 300°C (-13°F to 572°F) temperature range
  • 2 MP (1600 × 1200 pixels) display resolution (TFT display)
  • 80 x 60 thermal resolution
  • <70 mK thermal sensitivity
  • 210 × 64 × 81 mm (8.3 × 2.5 × 3.2 in) product dimensions
  • 51° × 66° FOV
  • Class 1 laser technology
  • 394 kg (13.9 oz) weight

Key features: 

  • Flir TG165-X uses two laser pointers that project onto the object of measurement allowing a more precise measurement of smaller and complex objects
  • Wide horizontal FOV (51°) allowing an easy way to scan your object
  • 80 x 60 thermal resolution is pretty decent for the price, although the included TFT screen is pretty small
  • Six color palettes: iron, rainbow, whitehot, blackhot, arctic, and lava, great for showing color differences

Our Verdict: 

Flir is obviously one of the most well-known brands in the thermal imaging camera market, and the TG165-X is a very decent entry-level camera from the brand with great value: wide FOV, easy to use, great temperature measurements, and laser pointer functionality.

A key consideration is that the FLIR TG series is not actually a full thermographic camera, but can be thought of as a hybrid between infrared thermometer and an actual thermal imaging camera.

#6. FLIR TG 267 Thermal Imaging Camera

Check Latest Pricing

Specifications: 

  • 160 × 120 (19, 200 pixels) thermal detection resolution
  • 57° × 44° FOV
  • -25°C to 380°C (-13°F to 716°F) temperature range
  • <70 mK thermal sensitivity
  • Built-in 6500K, 100 lumens flashlight
  • 6 color palettes (Iron, Rainbow, White-hot, Black hot, Arctic, Lava)
  • 7 Hz refresh rate
  • 44 x 4.25 x 7.91 inches product dimensions
  • 08 ounces
  • 2 MP (1600 × 1200 pixels), 71° × 56° FOV display resolution

Key features:

  • Budget-friendly for its set of premium features
  • Built-in laser pointer and built-in 6500K, 100 lumens flashlight
  • Bluetooth LE connectivity, 4GB internal storage system, USB-C data transfer enabled
  • Can measure body temperature from 89.6° to 108.5 °F (32.0°C to 42.5°C) without contact
  • Excellent display with 1600 × 1200 pixels display resolution and MSX image enhancement to improve image clarity

Our Verdict: 
Another one from FLIR, and a more premium model compared to the TG165-X. The TG267 is a fantastic thermal imaging camera with a great set of premium features considering its pretty affordable price. Similar to the TG 165-X, however, the TG267 is not a full radiometric camera.

#5. PerfectPrime IR0006 Thermal Imager & Visible Light Camera

Check Latest Pricing

Specifications:

  • 320 x 240 pixels thermal detection resolution
  • 2” inch full-color TFT screen
  • 07?C (70mK) thermal sensitivity
  • -20 to 300°C, -4 to 572°F thermal detection range
  • 56° x 42°/ 4mm FOV
  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • 4 ounces
  • – 2 % or 2 °C accuracy including emissivity
  • 3GB SD card included

Key features: 

  • Impressive thermal resolution of 320 x 240 with – 2 % or 2 °C accuracy
  • -20 to 300°C temperature range with 70mK thermal sensitivity, pretty decent for electrical inspections and basic industrial applications
  • 56° x 42° FOV with 4mm shortest focus length with fixed focus mode 

Our Verdict: 

An impressive product for its price with excellent 320 x 240 pixels thermal resolution, great overall display quality, and accuracy, and it’s also lightweight and compact (although it doesn’t feature an ergonomic handle). Very intuitive menu and very easy to use.

#4. PerfectPrime IR0019 Thermal Imager & Visible Light Camera

Check Latest Pricing

Specifications:

  • 320 x 240 pixels thermal detection resolution
  • 2” inch full-color TFT screen
  • 07?C (70mK) thermal sensitivity
  • -20 to 300°C, -4 to 572°F thermal detection range
  • 27° x 35°/ 0.5m
  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • 2 ounces
  • +/- 2.5 % or +/- 2.5 °C  accuracy including emissivity
  • 4GB SD card included

Key features: 

  • Similar to the IR0006 in many ways but feature an ergonomic design
  • Impressive thermal resolution of 320 x 240 with – 2 % or 2 °C accuracy
  • -20 to 300°C temperature range with 70mK thermal sensitivity, pretty decent for electrical inspections and basic industrial applications
  • 56° x 42° FOV with 4mm shortest focus length with fixed focus mode

Our Verdict: 

A very similar product to the PerfectPrime IR0006 discussed above. While the IR0006 offers wider FOV and slightly better accuracy, the IR0019 wins in our opinion based on its ergonomic design, shorter minimum focal length, and slightly bigger storage. If you do want the wider FOV, however, the IR0006 is the better choice.

#3. FLIR C5 Pocket Thermal Camera with Wi-Fi

Check Latest Pricing

Specifications:

  • -20 to 400°C (-4 to 752°F) temperature range
  • 160 x 120 (19,200 pixels) detector resolution
  • Capacitive touch touchscreen with screen rotation capability
  • 5MP digital camera, 3.5” screen
  • 138 x 84 x 24 mm (5.4 x 3.3 x 0.94 in) product dimensions
  • <70 mK thermal sensitivity
  • 19 kg (0.42 lb)
  • Iron, Gray, Rainbow, Arctic, Lava, Rainbow HC color palletes

Key features: 

  • Compact and shaped like a smartphone, easy to carry around
  • 3” touchscreen with onboard controls for easier, more intuitive use
  • 80×50 thermal resolution, pretty decent for its price
  • -20 to 400°C temperature range, with <70 mK thermal sensitivity
  • Very light (0.42 lb)

Our Verdict: 

While the Flir C5 doesn’t offer the best display resolution, it is a compact and lightweight camera with touchscreen operation, making it very easy and intuitive to use. A great choice for basic electrical inspections, and one of the best compact thermal imaging cameras available today.

#2. HTI-19 Thermal Imaging Camera

Check Latest Pricing

Specifications:

  • -20? to 300? (-4°F to 572°F) temperature range
  • 320×240 thermal detection resolution
  • 56°x 42° FOV, 0.15mm shortest focal length
  • 07? (70mK) thermal sensitivity
  • 9Hz refresh rate
  • 2” full angle TFT display screen
  • 5 color scale palettes (Rainbow, Iron Red, Cold Color, Black and White, or White and Black)
  • 3 GB micro SD included
  • 389 grams of weight

Key features: 

  • 2” color display screen with 320×240 thermal detection resolution
  • 56°x 42° FOV, 0.15mm shortest focal length, impressive for its price range
  • Compact and lightweight at just 389 grams with ergonomics design
  • 2” TFT screen with 9Hz refresh rate
  • Can store up to 20,000 images on built-in 3GB SD card

Our Verdict:

A great thermal imaging camera with a premium set of features from the 320 x 240 thermal resolution to 56°x 42° FOV with a pretty affordable price tag. Ergonomics handle with intuitive menus, making it easy to use. Great for household electrical inspections and due to its high resolution, also great for industrial use.

#1. FLIR E4 Thermal Imaging Camera (Clear Winner)

Check Latest Pricing

Specifications:

  • 80 × 60 pixels thermal resolution
  • 45° x 34° FOV
  • –20°C to 250°C (–4°F to 482°F) temperature range
  • MSX image enhancement
  • <0.15°C (0.27°F) / <150 mK thermal sensitivity
  • 4 color palettes (Black & white, iron, and rainbow)
  • 640 × 480/55° × 43° digital camera resolution,
  • 9Hz refresh rate
  • 3 mrad FOV
  • 244 × 95 × 140 mm (9.6 × 3.7 × 5.5 in) product dimensions
  • 575 kg (1.27 lb.)
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

 Key features:

  • Radiometric fully-featured imaging camera can take IR and visual images simultaneously not only from the center spot but the full scene
  • 3”, 320×240 LCD screen with 9 Hz refresh rate
  • 27 lbs weight, compact and comfortable to use
  • Built-in image storage with a browsable gallery
  • 45° x 34° field of view with three color palettes

Our Verdict: 

While at first glance the FLIR E4 set of features might seem sub-par compared to others in this list, the E4 is a fully-featured radiometric camera. Meaning, you get temperature data from the full scene, not only from the center spot like others in this list. It is ruggedized and very durable and is intended for professional use.

If you are looking for the best fully-featured radiometric imaging camera under $1,000 the FLIR E4 is your best bet.

Best Thermal Imaging Cameras – Final Words

The top 10 best thermal imaging cameras that we have shared above are our top recommendations for your next purchase. While we’ve ranked them in a list from #1 through #10, every thermal imaging camera tested here is ideally suited for electricians, engineers, electronics hobbyists, students, and other professionals in related fields.

Our number one pick here, without question, goes to the FLIR E4 for its versatility, rich set of features, price, and excellent functionality. However, be prepared to shell out of few bucks for this one.

We hope you’ve gathered enough information from this comprehensive buying guide, and are now better equipped to make an informed decision.