The 4 Best Seek Thermal Cameras in 2022 [Reviews and Buying Guide]

Since 2012, Seek Thermal has offered affordable thermal imaging units that provide exception image clarity and usability, so we thought it was high time to put them through their paces and crown the best Seek thermal cameras

It’s not just the price that has changed, but also the type of devices that are available to everyday consumers!

That’s right, these days there are a bunch of different thermal camera options – from compact units that turn any smartphone into a thermal image processing unit all the way up to large commercial units, and everything in between.

So stick around…

As we take a deep dive into the world of the best Seek thermal imaging cameras, from budget offerings to the very top-of-the-line, and see if we can pinpoint the perfect Seek thermal imaging camera for you.

The Best Seek Thermal Cameras, Compared

 Product's nameThermal SensorRangeMore Info
Seek Thermal - Shotpro - Handheld Thermal Imaging Camera and...Best Overall
Seek Thermal - Shotpro - Handheld Thermal Imaging Camera and Sensor
320 x 2401800 ftSee on Amazon
Seek Thermal Compact - All-Purpose Thermal Imaging Camera...Best Budget Option
Seek Thermal Compact - All-Purpose Thermal Imaging Camera for iOS , Black -...
206 x 1561000 ftSee on Amazon
Seek Thermal CompactPRO – High Resolution Thermal Imaging...Best Smartphone Adapter
Seek Thermal CompactPRO – High Resolution Thermal Imaging Camera for iOS
320 x 2401800 ftSee on Amazon
Seek Thermal Revealpro – Ruggedized, High Resolution...Best Durability, Ergonomics, and Build Quality
Seek Thermal Revealpro – Ruggedized, High Resolution Thermal Imaging...
320 x 240500 ftSee on Amazon

What is Seek Thermal?

Seek Thermal is the brainchild of two of the thermal imaging industry heavyweights, Bill Parrish Ph.D. and Tim Fitzgibbons Ph.D. For 4 decades Bill and Tim have been advancing military and professional-grade thermal imaging technology, with both men running wildly successful companies prior to combining forces and incorporating Seek Thermal. 

During their long and illustrious careers, the two men always envisioned a time when producing quality and affordable thermal cameras for the general public was more than just a pipe dream.  It was the early 2010’s when the price of the technology finally became cost-effective enough to turn this dream into reality.

Founded in 2012 in Santa Barbara, California, Seek Thermal has positioned itself to where it is now one of the most trusted companies capable of producing high-quality thermal sensors. They have since partnered with the likes of Raytheon and NXP, and continually strive to deliver the best thermal imaging units to consumers worldwide.

Their main competition comes from rivals FLIR. Founded in 1978, FLIR had the upper hand in the home thermal imaging market until quite recently. With the introduction of the Seek Thermal ShotPro, CompactPro, and RevealPro Seek have cemented themselves as the market leaders.

Seek Thermal cameras offer higher sensor resolution, longer battery life, a much wider temperature range, and some great functionality options not available with FLIR cameras. Depending on the unit, Seek Thermal cameras are priced slightly higher than the direct FLIR competing unit (not in every instance), but this makes sense as the sensor is usually of a higher standard.

Seek Thermal offers a wide range of thermal imaging cameras to suit any and all home or professional applications.

seek compact thermal

Seek Smartphone Thermal Cameras

The Seek Compact, CompactXR, and CompactPro all enable any smartphone or tablet the ability to produce high-quality thermal images. Simply plug the unit into your phone or tablet and you’re ready to roll!

seek shot thermal

Seek Small Thermal Cameras

The Seek Shot and ShotPro are handy, pocket-sized units that offer a wide range of thermal imaging functionality at an extremely reasonable price.

seek reveal thermal

Seek Handheld Thermal Cameras

The Seek Reveal, RevealPro, and Reveal FirePro X are the gold standard in the Seek Thermal lineup and offer home users and professionals thermal imaging options in a highly durable, ergonomic, and easy to use unit that will last a lifetime. 

The 4 Top Seek Thermal Cameras, Reviewed

1- Seek Thermal Shotpro – Best Overall

Seek Thermal - Shotpro - Handheld Thermal Imaging Camera and...
  • 320 x 240 Best in class thermal resolution - identify, diagnose and report problems faster with high resolution thermal images and video
  • Seek Fusion technology - see exactly what you’re looking at with combined visible and thermal images
  • Large color touch screen - 3.5" Color touchscreen with 640 x 480 resolution so you can see more detail
  • Wi-fi live view - stream a live thermal view onto your smartphone or tablet over Wi-Fi
  • Long-lasting battery life - best-in-class battery life of up to 4 hours continuous thermal imaging

If you have been searching for the best overall thermal imaging camera available right now then take a good hard look at this bad boy. The Seek Thermal Shotpro is a fantastic all-rounder suited perfectly for a wide range of applications – specifically contractors, tradesmen, inspectors, and the everyday DIYer.

Specs:

  • Thermal Sensor: 320 x 240
  • Detection Range: 1800 ft 
  • Pixel Count: 76,800 pixels
  • Field of View: 57°
  • Frame Rate: 9Hz
  • Inbuilt Flash System: Yes
  • Temperature Range: -40°F to 626°F (-40°C to 330°C)
  • Display Resolution: 648 x 480 Resolution (3.5” Color Display) 
  • Thermal Sensitivity: < 70 mK
  • Spectral Range: 7.5 – 14 Microns
  • Battery Life: 4 – 5 Hours

The 324 x 240 thermal sensor incorporates a Vanadium Oxide microbolometer. This setup offers “best in class” thermal resolution (the similarly priced FLIR C5 uses a 160 x 120 sensor) and the thermal image results are top-notch. In fact, the Seek Thermal ShotPro offers a resolution 16x higher than comparably priced thermal cameras.

The unit is IP54 rated making it fully rain, splash, and dustproof and the overall build integrates high-quality materials throughout. The ergonomics are great and the handy size means it slips in and out of most pockets without any issue.

But, what really sets it apart…

Is the huge 57° FOV, and the advanced thermal tools that allow for a range of editing and evaluation functions. You can apply up to 3 customizable area boxes and the unit will display the minimum, maximum and average temperatures for each box, and the operator can also add up to three separate temperature spots to the thermal image allowing for constant, real-time temperature analysis of very specific areas.

seek Fusion

That’s not to mention SeekFusion™! This awesome brand new function lets you blend the visible light spectrum image with the thermal image. A thermal image is great, but it can sometimes lead to confusing results. With SeekFusion™, you get the diagnostic power of thermal imaging combined with the visual framework of the visible image. It makes fault-finding an absolute breeze. 

The battery assembly, which offers 4 to 5 hours of continuous operation, is again by far the best in class. There is full Wi-Fi support which allows for live streaming straight to your smartphone through the companion app, eight color palettes to choose from, and a temperature resolution range of -40°F to +626°F

There really isn’t much to complain about whatsoever, and we can say confidently that the Seek Thermal Shotpro is the best overall Seek thermal camera currently available.

Pros

  • Rigged and ergonomic.
  • Best in class sensor resolution.
  • Best in class battery assembly.
  • Easy to operate.
  • Huge range of applications.
  • Wide FOV.

Cons

  • The display is a little dark in full sunlight.

2- Seek Thermal CompactPRO – Best Smartphone Adapter

Seek Thermal Compact - All-Purpose Thermal Imaging Camera...
  • Transform your smartphone or tablet into an all-purpose thermal camera with a 206 x 156 thermal sensor for use at home, the jobsite, and more.
  • Find and fix faster by seeing problems invisible to the naked eye such as: energy loss, electrical and mechanical failures, water damage, and hundreds more heat related issues.
  • Perfect tool for DIY homeowners, contractors, builders, and engineers.1,000 ft. Detection Distance
  • Does not require batteries or charging. Waterproof case included. Free Seek mobile app.
  • SPECS: 206 x 156 Thermal Sensor, 36° Field of View, < 9 Hz Frame Rate, Focusable Lens, -40F° to 626°F Detection Range, Captures Photos & Videos, Spot Temperature, High-Low Temperature, Threshold Mode, 9 Color Palettes.

Plug in thermal cameras for smartphones are the newest addition to the market, and the top-ranking unit right now is the Seek Thermal CompactPRO! All you have to do is slide it directly into the phone’s charging port and you’re ready to rock.

Specs:

  • Thermal Sensor: 320 x 240 
  • Detection Range: 1800 ft
  • Field of View: 32°
  • Pixel Count: 76,800 pixels
  • Frame Rate: 9Hz
  • Temperature Range: -40°F to 626°F (-40°C to 330°C)
  • Thermal Sensitivity: < 70 mK
  • Spectral Range: 7.5 – 14 Microns
  • User Interface: Seek Thermal Mobile App
  • Battery Life: Low power sourced from a smartphone (280mW)

This option almost won the best overall category and was only pipped to the post at the last minute by the ShotPro. It‘s only really the field of view (32° compared to 57°) that pushed the ShotPro over the line.

But in terms of ease of use, portability, range, build quality, and sensor resolution there’s really not much between the two units. The software features are very similar in each unit, with the companion app essentially offering the exact same user options.

So, why should you choose the CompatPro over the ShotPro?

Well in general, we found the sight image to be a little brighter and easier to read when displayed through the phone screen. TheCompactPro is also a little more budget friendly.

It does lack the IP54 rating –  although it does still have a certain level of weatherproofing -, and is not compatible with every smartphone on the market  (click here to view the list of compatible phones). The adjustable focus worked better with the CompatPro in our tests, allowing for fine focusing as close as 6 inches from the lens.

Best of all?

It doesn’t require any batteries at all, other than a small amount of drain to your phone battery. Talk about long lasting!

Pros

  • The same list of features as the ShotPro.
  • The companion app works seamlessly.
  • No batteries are needed.
  • Long-range detection.
  • Works with almost every phone on the market.
  • Adjustable focus.
  • Pocket-sized.

Cons

  • Requires phone location access to work.

3- Seek Thermal Compact – Best Budget Option

Sale
Seek Thermal CompactPRO – High Resolution Thermal Imaging...
  • Transform your smartphone or tablet into a high resolution thermal camera with a 320 x 240 thermal sensor for use on the jobsite, at home, and more.
  • Highly versatile cameras lets you see building problems invisible to the naked eye and find people and animals in complete darkness or low visibility. Detect energy loss, electrical and mechanical failures, water damage and hundreds more heat related issues.
  • Perfect tool for contractors, inspectors, outdoorsman, engineers, and DIY homeowners.
  • Does not require batteries or charging. Waterproof case included. Free Seek mobile app. 1,800 feet. Detection Distance
  • SPECS: 320 x 240 Thermal Sensor, 32° Field of View, < 9 Hz Frame, Focusable Lens, -40F° to 626°F Detection, Captures Photos & Videos, Spot Temperature, High-Low Temperature, Threshold Mode, 9 Color Palettes, Auto & Adjustable Span/Level Control, 4 Emissivity Presets

Thermal imaging on a budget? Truly the thing of dreams only a few short years ago, but no longer! The Seek Thermal Compact brings the versatility, flexibility, and entertainment of thermal optics to anyone with a smartphone and a few spare bucks!

Specs:

  • Thermal Sensor: 206 x 156 
  • Detection Range: 1000 ft
  • Pixel Count: 32,000 pixels
  • Field of View: 36°
  • Frame Rate: 9Hz
  • Temperature Range: -40°F to 626°F (-40°C to 330°C)
  • Spectral Range: 7.2 – 13 Microns
  • Pixel Pitch: 12 µ
  • User Interface: Seek Thermal Mobile App
  • Battery Life: Low power sourced from a smartphone (280mW)

Ok, but why choose this unit over the Pro version?

Well, really it just comes down to price. The pro version is more than twice the price, and while it does add some extra features and almost double the range, the Seek Compact is still a very capable little optic. It is also nearly half the price of the cheapest option from FLIR.

This little pocket rocket can detect heat signatures out to 1000 ft, with a slightly wider field of view and the same temperature range as its bigger sibling. As long as you are not looking for a thermal camera that can handle the abuse of daily use in outdoor environments, the Seek Compact will definitely fill the bill. 

You still get full connectivity with the powerful companion app and all the advantages that grants. The video and still images that the unit produces are not high res, but you can still make out a fair amount of detail especially if shooting from a tripod. 

The build quality is firmly in line with the rest of the Seek range, even though this is the cheapest option by a country mile. The chassis is full magnesium alloy, the camera comes with a high-grade carry case that features a soft rubber interior. 

The Seek Thermal Compact is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best budget offering right now!

Pros

  • Priced to please.
  • Versatile.
  • Better quality and price than any of the direct competition.
  • Compatible with many more devices than the direct competition.
  • Top-notch build quality.

Cons

  • Low-quality imaging.

4- Seek Thermal RevealPro – Best Durability, Build Quality, and Ergonomics

Seek Thermal Revealpro – Ruggedized, High Resolution...
  • Ruggedized, high resolution thermal camera with a 320 x 240 thermal Sensor to help you find and fix problems faster on the jobsite or at home.
  • Built for the jobsite with professional measurement tools, revealer helps you find and fix faster by seeing building problems invisible to the naked eye such as: energy loss, electrical and mechanical failures, water damage, and hundreds more heat related issues.
  • Perfect tool for contractors, inspectors, engineers and DIY homeowners.
  • Includes a 300 lumen LED flashlight, long-lasting rechargeable battery, large color display, and durable rubberized casing.
  • Specs: 320 x 240 thermal Sensor, 32° field of view, 9 Hz frame, fixed-focus lens, -40F° to 626°f detection range, captures photos, spot temperature, 9 Color palettes, auto & span/level control, 4 emissivity presets

If you need a workhorse of a thermal optic that can handle the rigors of being on a worksite 5 days a week and some Saturdays, one that can be trusted to work no matter the conditions (rain, hail, or shine), one that could handle 12 rounds in the ring opposite Tyson Fury then say hello to the Seek Thermal RevealPro!

Specs:

  • Thermal Sensor: 320 x 240
  • Detection Range: 500 ft 
  • Pixel Count: 76,800 pixels
  • Field of View: 32°
  • Frame Rate: 15Hz
  • Inbuilt Flash System: 300 Lumen LED
  • Temperature Range: -40°F to 626°F (-40°C to 330°C)
  • Display: 2.4” Color with Corning® Gorilla® Glass
  • Thermal Sensitivity: < 70 mK
  • Spectral Range: 7.5 – 14 Microns
  • Storage Media: 2 GB Internal Drive (>2000 images)
  • Battery Life: 4 – 5 Hours

Seek proudly calls the RevealPro their “most advanced handheld thermal imaging camera yet” and we are inclined to agree. In terms of professional applications, the RevealPro is a hard unit to beat. The pure fact that the range is lower than the ShotPro is what kept this one out of contention for best overall. 

The designers over at Seek have done an amazing job with this one. In the hand, the RevealPro feels rugged, sturdy, almost unbreakable. The rubber sleeve that covers the entire body offers superior grip and has a thick lip that protrudes out to protect the camera lens and inbuilt 300 lumen LED flashlight. The screen is Corning Gorilla glass, which most agree is the toughest option available.

It is also by far the most comfortable to hold and operate. Seek has done a great job at fitting everything in and making the overall unit feel balanced. Some of the other Seek units can produce a little hand fatigue if used for extended periods. Not here.

There is no real direct competitor from FLIR, and that’s (at least to a certain extent) thanks to this flashlight. Overpowered is maybe an understatement! Thankfully this is fully controllable from the companion app, and offers two user-controlled points – both can be assigned to a freely adjustable intensity.

The image and video output are about as good as anyone could hope for, with 9 color palettes to choose from and crystal clear thermal results.  And although most thermal cameras aimed at the everyday consumer-run at 9 frames per second or less, the RevealPro is able to chug along at a cool 15 to 30 FPS. Just this fact alone should be enough to show what great value this unit is!

Pros

  • Pocket-sized.
  • Rugged beyond belief.
  • Feature-packed.
  • High FPS.
  • Long-lasting comfort.
  • Shaped to fit in the hand perfectly.
  • Amazing image output.

Cons

  • Very hard to find anything wrong with this unit.

Seek Thermal Camera Buyer’s Guide

Thermal imaging cameras (also sometimes referred to as infrared cameras) are not cheap items. It’s a good idea to properly familiarize yourself with all the most important features and specifications before you drop your hard-earned cash.

First up though… 

What Do Thermal Imaging Cameras Do? 

Thermal imaging cameras don’t just allow users to see in the dark. 

They grant the user the power to see through smoke, fog, driving rain, and heavy snow. They do this by showing the user the heat signature of any and everything they are aimed at – even when there is zero ambient light available. They can measure the temperature of anything within range, and have a huge list of applications in the modern world. 

Thermal Sensor Resolution and Display Resolution

Unless you are in the market for an absolute top-end Seek thermal imaging camera, the thermal sensor resolution will be lower than what you are used to seeing for the sensors in everyday cameras or smartphone cameras. 

Just like an everyday camera, the higher the resolution, the better the image quality over a larger range. This is more important for users that need to access thermal images from a distance – say a firefighter battling harsh conditions, or a police helicopter chasing a perp. 

A thermal camera with high resolution may use a sensor that offers 640×480 resolution. This type of sensor can deliver 307,200 pixels and offers high-quality thermal imaging. Cheaper models will obviously offer a lower pixel count. 

Deciding on the correct sensor resolution depends on how you are going to use it, but in general, this should be the driving factor behind how you budget. 

It’s good to remember that some companies like to be sneaky. They try to trick consumers into buying a low-end thermal sensor by adding a much higher resolution LCD display so be aware! 

Pixel Pitch and Fill Factor

Two more important specs that are often overlooked, or at least little understood, are pixel pitch and fill factor.

Pixel pitch refers to the physical distance between the midpoint of two adjoining pixels. Fill factor refers to the ratio of surfaces that are light-sensitive when considering all of the pixels combined. Sensors with lower pixel pitch produce higher resolution images, and a higher fill factor means that the sensor can absorb more of the infrared energy.

Again, companies may try to hide these numbers but it doesn’t take much detective work to find them with the help of google. Luckily for us, Seek does a great job of publishing the important specs for all to see. 

Sensitivity, Stability, and Temperature Range

It’s also a good idea to consider the sensitivity of the thermal camera. This is usually measured in percentages, and for good results, you should be looking at a camera that can accurately and repeatedly measure within a +/- 2% range.

The stability of a thermal camera does not refer to how “stable” the output is in terms of physical movement. No no no, stability for thermal imaging applies to the camera’s ability to maintain a consistent output at a given temperature. Most thermal cameras “lose stability” at the extreme ends of the temperature range that they are rated for.

In terms of temperature ranges – even the smallest, most budget-friendly Seek thermal imaging units are capable of detecting heat signatures between (a highly impressive) range of -40˚ to 330˚C (-40° to 626°F).

These are all pretty technical specs that may seem confusing, but trust me, after you get used to using a Seek thermal camera they will all become much more meaningful.

Frame Rate/Second

The frame rate of any and all cameras is an important spec and one that should never be overlooked, and so it is with thermal imaging cameras. This specification describes the exact amount of thermal images that are collected from the camera and processed by the unit. 

Most of the products in the seek line offer 9Hz which is perfectly acceptable. This may seem low, and it is compared to normal cameras. But for thermal imaging, this is just fine. You usually have to look at spending at least a few thousand bucks to get anything about 15Hz.

Durability

Thermal optics are precision instruments. These sensitive units once needed to be handled with the utmost care, but these days they are built to withstand a whole bunch of neglect.

Seek Thermal Cameras are designed to take a beating but do keep in mind that they are optical equipment first and foremost. Take care of them, and they will provide you with great results for years to come!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do thermal cameras work in full daylight?

Thermal cameras work by capturing and processing infrared red light. They work at any time, in any lighting conditions, day or night.

Can thermal cameras see through walls?

That depends on a few factors, but for the most part no. The wall would have to be made from extremely thin materials for a thermal camera to have any chance of capturing anything located on the other side.

Can thermal cameras detect a virus such as

Although the use of thermal cameras in public spaces (airports, hospitals, docks, etc.) has been implemented as an effective tool for measuring skin surface temperature, thermal cameras should not be used to detect or screen for COVID-19.

Is thermal imaging dangerous?

Not in the slightest. Thermal imaging cameras do not emit any form of radiation.

The Wrap Up

Well there you have it, our comprehensive round-up of Seek thermal cameras!

After careful consideration, we have decided to award the best overall to the awesome Seek Thermal ShotPro. It really does tick every box and offers amazing thermal imaging results day in and out. 

Honorable mentions go to the Seek Thermal RevealPro for its unbreakable design and high FPS, and the Seek Thermal CompactPRO for its versatility. 

You really can not go wrong with any of the Seek range of thermal cameras, so what are you waiting for? Grab one today and see what all the fuss is about!

About Patrick Hardi

Patrick Hardy is a graduate of the Inspection Certification Associates online home inspection course. He has gone on to start H & H Home Inspections, a multi-inspector home inspection company based in Central Florida that performs home inspections, commercial property inspections, WDO, wind mitigation inspections, and 4-point inspections. In addition to performing classroom training for ICA, Patrick also teaches continuing education classes for home inspectors.