2020’s Best Thermal Imaging Cameras {Flir Vs Fluke Vs 3 Others}

Thermal-camera

It is not an easy task to choose the best thermal imaging cameras due to the number of choices put before you. Since this is a 3-4 figure investment, you can’t buy one just like that without any research.

To help you buy the right thermographic cameras, our experts have reviewed 21 thermal heat cameras made by top companies, used them for over 48 hours, and finally have come with the results of the tests we carried out.

Here is the list of 11 Best Thermal imaging Infrared Cameras both expensive and budget options that are worth the money you pay and are the market leaders in this segment.

If you are in a hurry, here is our Best Overall Thermal Imaging Camera in terms of features, usability, specifications, and price.

#1 Rated Thermal Camera

(ThermoGears's Best Pick)

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80x60 IR Pixels

Visual and MSX

22°F to 131°F

2° C Accurate

And if you are looking for the cheapest thermal imaging camera, We have another article in our blog featuring cheap thermal cameras.

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If you’re from a thermal camera company and have a special offer for our readers, contact us and send us your exclusive offer.

Best Thermal Imaging Cameras - 11 Products Reviewed

As already said, thermal imaging cameras are utilized in a variety of real-life applications.

All the heat vision cameras are designed with standard thermal imaging features and has few special specs based on the industry or application where they're going to be used.

Therefore, here, we listed the top 10 Best Thermal imaging cameras which can be used for electrical inspection, agriculture, home inspection, plumbing, vehicles, wildlife, hunting, and many more.

1. FLIR TG165 Spot Thermal Camera

FLIR is one of the leading thermal device manufacturers. They have produced a series of FLIR thermal imaging camera models with basic FLIR’s thermal imaging technology and various high-tech features.

Why it is ranked #1?

  • Has FLIR’s unique thermal imaging technology
  • Combines traditional thermal camera and single spot IR camera
  • Comes with Lepton micro thermal sensor to find heat spots
  • Class II laser with 150mK thermal sensitivity
  • Need no specialized training to operate

What Makes This Camera Stand Out

  • High temperature accuracy
  • Intuitive design
  • Rugged and strong body
  • Brand: FlIR

  • Temperature Range: 13°F to 716°F

  • Portable: YES

  • Resolution: 80x60pixels
  • Refresh Rate: 9 HZ

FLIR TG165 Spot Thermal Camera is the first recommended thermal tool that fills the gap between the traditional FLIR thermal imaging cameras and a single spot IR camera. It allows the user to see the heat and notify the place to detect.

Lepton Micro Thermal Sensor

This Flir TG165 has Flir’s unique Lepton micro thermal sensor to find the cold and hot spots and enable the thermal images and its information to be stored.

Later, that can be used in final reports and given to customers. It’s simple usability, and intuitive design needs no specialized training to use.

Built Quality

TG165 is a Class II thermal laser device that has 150mK as their thermal sensitivity, and the frame refresh rate is 9 Hz.

This thermal imager is available with an 8GB micro SD card that can store up to 75,000 images and USB cable for data transfer purposes.

This rugged thermal imaging camera cost is less when compared to most of the other thermal tools offering the same features. Flir TG165 has 24:1 as spot ratio.

Dual Laser Targeting System

Flir TG165 thermal camera has a dual laser targeting system to help you in aiming the problematic areas. 36-inches is the optimal length of this system.

The temperature accuracy is high using this dual laser targeting system. Moreover, you have no device to see the non-thermal contrast of an object or place that you are detecting.

Battery Life

Unlike Flir C3, this Flir TG165 thermal imaging camera has a battery that stands for five hours during laser scanning and measuring. TG165 has the rough and design to withstand the drop from 6.6 feet.

  • User 1
  • User 2
  • User 3
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Above, the different users of FLIR TG165 Thermal Imaging Camera shared their experience of using the unit for various applications and inspections at both indoor and outdoor.

Have you decided to buy this unit? Then check the complete and lucid overview of the TG165 camera here.

Here is a video shared by a Flir user. It shows the difference between hot & cold tap water, as seen through a thermal imaging camera.

2. FLIR E4 Thermal Imaging Camera

Flir E4 is a compact and handy thermal imaging camera that has all the essential features of thermal imaging with the best-built quality, and it is one of the best cheap thermal imaging cameras available. Check here for the detailed review of the FLIR E4 camera.

Why it is ranked #2?

  • Comes with four different resolution options
  • Build with the 3-inch bright and a large display 
  • Fixed focus point requires to adjust the distance
  • Has a high focus distance lens
  • One cheapest option for homeowners

What Makes This Camera Stand Out

  • High fall resistant
  • Recommended for tough terrains
  • Great features for the money
  • Brand: FlIR

  • Temperature Range: -4°F to 482°F

  • Portable: YES

  • Resolution: 80×60 IR pixels to 320 x 240
  • Field of View: 45° x 34°

Image features

With 3 inch display, this thermal vision camera has four resolution options ranges from 80×60 IR pixels to 320 x 240.

Although the resolution does not meet the RESNET standards, it detects the serious real-life problems like insulation gaps, window and door leaks, and overheating electronics.

Unlike Flir E8, this Flir E4 save the thermal images in JPG, so they don’t have any radiometric information. Still, the photos are useful in finding fundamental temperature related issues.

Fixed focus point

E4 has set with its focus point, so you will adjust the distance between you and your object to get clear pictures. It is equipped with a lens that is designed to handle the possible focus distance.

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Built quality

This thermal heat camera has two basic measurement modes, such as center spot and area box. It has all intuitive menu controls, and one-hand operation enabled design. This Flir E4 was designed with all other essential characteristics of Flir at affordable prices and engineered to withstand the falls up to 6.6 feet. The basic Flir’s rugged design helps to use it in all rough and uneven areas.

Flir E4 is the best option for those who need a thermal camera with conventional thermal imaging and standard features at a limited budget.

3. FLIR C2 Thermal Imaging System

Flir C2 is entirely a pocket-sized thermal camera with basic specifications that every professional and homeowner need. This version of Flir works well at detecting plumbing issues, leakages, and structural errors.

Why it is ranked #3?

  • Equipped with a 3-inch full vibrant screen
  • Has Wi-Fi capability to transfer files
  • Produce thermal images in 4800 px
  • Comes with LED spotlight
  • Completly pocket-sized camera for professionals and homeowners

What Makes This Camera Stand Out

  • Undiluted thermal images
  • High sensitivity detector
  • Large field of view
  • Brand: FlIR

  • Temperature Range: 14°F to 302°F

  • Portable: YES

  • Resolution: 80×60 pixels
  • Field of View: 41° x 31°

Built Quality

It was equipped with a 3-inch vibrant screen and LED spotlight to detect the problematic areas. C2 copulated with Flir tools reporting software to provide the best performance.

Wi-fi capability

Any thermal imaging camera with Wi-fi capability is best for users who will need thermal imaging often. Like other models of Flir, this C2 also has updated with Wi-fi capability to make the data transfer easy and fast.

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Image Quality

It can capture up to 500 radiometric images with temperature information. The thermal sensor used in this thermal camera is capable of producing images in 4800 px. C2 has an MSX image enhancement that adds essential information to the IR image in real-time from the visible light camera. So at the end of the day, you will get the undiluted thermal image with complete visible light information, which clearly shows you where the heat issue is.

Sensitivity and Field of View

The high sensitivity detector in the Flir C2 heat image camera captures the exact heat loss or gain and thermal patterns of the problematic places where you need to detect the leaks and overheating. Its 45-degree field of view is one of the advantages of this thermal device. The thermal sensitivity of this thermal imager is 10C.

For further details and qualities of this handheld thermal camera, check this elaborated review of the FLIR C2 camera.

4. Fluke TIS20 Thermal Imaging Camera

Fluke TIS20 has powerful and advanced features than its previous models. Fluke TIS20 and TIS10 are affordable options for buyers who are shopping on a limited budget and need for specific elements of excellent condition. The point and shoot method of Fluke handle thermal imaging in a better way.

Why it is ranked #4?

  • Comes with Fluke IR fusion technology
  • Has unique Pixel-in-Pixels alignment
  • Build with 3.5-inch LCD screen
  • Uses 10,800 px thermal sensor
  • An excellent option for limited budget buyers

What Makes This Camera Stand Out

  • Bright and sharp images
  • Moderate frame rate
  • Indicate charge level
  • Brand: FLUKE

  • Temperature Range: -4°F to 662°F

  • Portable: YES

  • Resolution: 120×90 pixels
  • Refresh Rate: 9HZ

IR-Fusion

Fluke IR fusion technology in this thermal camera combines IR and digital images to get sharp images. These digital and infrared images can be analyzed in both on and off the camera using the unique feature of Fluke, pixel-for-pixel alignment. The problems that are unidentified during the thermal inspection can be seen and addressed clearly through this IR fusion technology.

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Image Quality

This model uses 120×90 resolution (in total 10,800 px) thermal sensor and 3.5 inches LCD 320×240 resolution. The pictures of Fluke thermal camera are still ranking best among various high-resolution thermal sensors as it has five mp camera and uses the 10,800pixels sensor. The thermal images are directly stored on Fluke Cloud Storage using the Wi-Fi capability.

Built Quality

This version has an LED charge level indicator for the battery to avoid the sudden power loss. The frame rate of this heat image camera is 9 HZ. It has built with one-handed design, intuitive menu, and rugged outlook to withstand the drop rate.

5. FLIR E8: Compact Thermal Imaging Camera

Flir E8 thermal imaging camera is a handheld camera that has a robust design to work great for both home inspections and construction inspections.

Why it is ranked #5?

  • Meet RESNET standards
  • Stores Thermal, Visual, and MSX enhanced images
  • Captures 500 JPEG images with thermal details
  • Comes with multiple user-defined modes
  • Most recommended handheld camera of today’s market

What Makes This Camera Stand Out

  • Handheld & lightweight
  • Radiometric images
  • Single trigger operation
  • Brand: FLIR

  • Temperature Range: -4°F to 482°F

  • Portable: YES

  • Resolution: 320 x 240 pixels
  • Field of View: 45° x 34°

Image Quality

The FLIR E8 provides sharp images with 320 x 240 resolutions and exceeds the RESNET standards. Flir E8 is capable of storing Thermal, Visual, and MSX enhanced images in a single trigger. E8 also offers picture-in-picture image processing, the JPEG images shot by this camera can store radiometric information for about 500 pictures.

FLIR E8 captures the heat signatures of a coffee cup as you can see the thermal image that clearly depicts where the temperature is high and low.

Multiple Modes

The multiple user-defined modes are the center spot, area box, auto hot, or auto cold spots. It also has a high-end microbolometer that is essential for any thermal imaging device.

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Built Quality

E8 heat sensitivity camera has a large field of view on 3 inches display. The minute temperature and leak detection make this Flir E8 camera perfect in electrical inspection and leak detection. It has a focus-free lens and intuitive button menu navigation to display settings for smooth operation. It also has a Li-ion rechargeable battery, which lasts 4 hours for typical use. The drop rate of this Flir E8 thermal camera is 2meters.

Wi-fi

Like Flir C3, E8 also has Wi-fi capability, which you can use with the network or peer-to-peer setup, and it is free from location controls so you can make faster transactions.

Read a full review of the FLIR E8 compact thermal camera here.

6. FLIR C3 Pocket Thermal Camera

Flir C3 Pocket-sized camera is next to C2 in the line of Flir's thermal imaging cameras. Flir C3 thermal imager is developed with the same functionalities as C2 but with the addition of the Wi-fi option to transfer thermal photos and videos between mobile phones and tablets. C3 works excellent in the field of building inspection by checking the electrical repairs, water leakage, and moisture intrusions.

Why it is ranked #6?

  • Comes with Wi-Fi capability for secure file transfer
  • Suitable for electrical damages and water leakages
  • Has MSX image enhancement and Picture-in-Picture option
  • Can store 500 radiometric images of 4800 pixels
  • Build with the 3-inch touchscreen display

What Makes This Camera Stand Out

  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Adjustable measurement modes
  • Easy to operate display
  • Brand: FLIR

  • Temperature Range: 14°F to 302°F

  • Portable: YES

  • Resolution: 80×60 pixels
  • Field of View: 41° x 31°

Image enhancements

The C3 model has all features that are needed by the field professionals. The MSX image enhancement feature, picture-in-picture option, various user-adjustable measurement modes, and high resolutions sensor are some of the advanced features of Flir C3.

Built Quality

FLIR C3 is a thermal heat vision camera, with the pocket-sized design so it can be taken and used anywhere. Flir C3 provides a maximum of 500 radiometric images, and the image quality of C3 is up to 4800 PX. This heat sensor camera has 3-inches touchscreen display.

Thermal Sensor

It has a microbolometer with a sensor up to 320×240, which can capture images that are 60feet away maximum. So the temperature measurement range is from 14°F to 302°F.

Here is the complete review of the FLIR C3 thermal camera.

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Wi-Fi capability

That one feature which makes C3 stand different from C2 is its wireless capability. This C3 can connect to mobile phones and tablets wirelessly with the help of a free FLIR Mobile App. This feature helps the building inspectors to share the information with officials and customers.

Hot Spot or Cold Spot

Flir C3 heat-sensitive camera has Hot Spot or Cold Spot capability to measure the area of interest quickly. This Flir C3 thermal camera displays the minimum or maximum temperature and the spot meter. This feature helps to find the hottest or coldest areas immediately.

7. FLIR ONE Pro Thermal Imager

Flir One Pro is one of the easiest thermal imagers to use with both iOS and Android, and it is another one cost-effective alternative to the thermal camera. They work the same as the thermal imaging camera but on your mobile phones. You can get most of the installation and further instructions about Flir one pro from online also.

Why it is ranked #7?

  • Compatible for both Android and iOS
  • Online instructions are available
  • Comes with advanced USB Type-C
  • Has MSX image enhancement technology
  • Intuitive and user-friendly application

What Makes This Camera Stand Out

  • 5.9 inches drop resistant
  • Easy to install and use
  • High visual resolution
  • Brand: FLIR

  • Temperature Range: -4°F to 750°F

  • Portable: YES

  • Resolution: 160 x 120 pixels

USB Type-C

Unlike most of the top-rated thermal imagers that have a micro USB port, the FLIR One Pro is using the new USB Type-C, which is useful in twisting the camera in all desired directions.