best IR camera

What is the best IR camera for home inspection use? Not necessarily “THE BEST” camera. The ability to snap IR pictures to add to the report would be nice…what is everyone else using?

I don’t just snap images to put in a report to make it pretty I use them to justify a problem and if your camera does not have the ability to clearly define the problem IMO it is useless

Looks like you’ve been an inspector for a while now, have done your research and are ready to expand your business. I recommend the FLIR I5 It’s an amazing imager and it snaps nice color pictures.

Too funny.

Linas is just playing with you. Don’t buy the i5, it does not have enough resolution for home inspections. The
minimum level of resolution recommended for home inspections and RESNET standards is 120x120. The i5 is
below that level.

Our students get the lowest price IR cameras in the USA. Contact me for a price list. Call me if you would like to talk.

This is a nice building infrared camera that has a resolution of 320x240 (FLUKE TiR32). Our prices are way lower than
what is shown on this link.

The next question is how much are you prepared to spend? ($1800 - $10,000… ?) I don’t sell cameras but find good
deals for my students.

Also… there is a little more to IR than point and shoot, regardless of the camera you buy. Take a class on IR before
you buy a camera. That way you will have a better understanding of what you need for now and your future plans.

John McKenna

I wouldn’t go with anything less than a Fluke Ti-32 or a FLIR T-300. You can get great deals on both of them and they give you all the room you need to expand into other thermal imaging ventures.

Buying anything less than a camera with 320x240 res >50mk sensitivity is like getting into hunting with a 22 rifle. Sure a 22 can kill a deer when being used by a skilled hunter but you’re mostly stuck shooting small game while having to try and get by with it on the bigger game.

By a camera that has the potential to open up a whole career field vs. just adding a tad bit extra to the career filed you’re already stuck in.

If you buy one of these little $1500 camera’s than you’ll be a sad camper should you ever decide to take level 1 or any significant thermal imaging training. You’ll spend 3 days learning about what you’re camera isn’t capable of vs. spending 3 days being excited about learning what all new possibilities you’ve opened up for yourself.

If you shop around you can find an ideal camera and everything you need for less than $5k. If you have to finance it than do it. Atleast you’ll be paying on something that can easily and quickly give you a return on your investment if you learn how to market it.

Just my .02 cents…

Whenever I just want to “snap some IR pictures” to stick in my report I don’t even bother with an infrared imager.

I just use my digital camera and apply the infrared thermal camera effect in my post processing software. It’s much faster, has much higher resolution than any IR imager, no need for protocols, no worrying about Delta-Ts or atmospheric conditions, your digital and IR images are always perfectly aligned and you can skip all of that costly and time consuming training.

These look better in report than even the most expensive IR imagers (even megapixel imagers with Super Resolution capability). I can do images up to 12 MegaPixel using this method without having to resort to panoramas and image stitching.

I produced this one in about 10 seconds, including thermal tuning (check out that hot fireplace) using Corel Paint Shop Pro X4. You can accomplish the same thing with Photoshop.

This kind of image is a little bit more involved to produce, but who’ll know the difference?

Looks like you found a leak above the TV, and possibly around the surround sound too…recommend a Roofer…!!!

Brandon, what 320x240 with <50mk are you getting for <5k? Cheapest I know of with those specs is the FLIR E60/E60BX.

I can get close with a Testo 882, which is 320x240 native with 640x480 Super Resolution, but is <60mk.


Yeah if he was set on buying new than that figure would be up more around the $7k price range.

I was implying that if he did some shopping on EBAY and some other places he could most likely find a camera still in excellent condition and probably still under warranty.

I’m sure you see it first hand how alot of folks bought into thermal imaging thinking the camera would make them “in-demand”. They keep the cameras for 6-9 months, don’t learn how to market it, it starts collecting dust and then they start thinking about how much they could use an extra $5k to put towards their new bass boat or 4-wheeler.

On another note though, aren’t the Fluke TI-32’s down to around $6k after the rebates and all? Are they still listing at $8,995?

I’ll agree with Linas on this one. Without an unlimited budget, the Flir I5 and I7 are good IR cameras for the home inspection. A friend of mine has the Flir E60, and while it is a superior camera to my I7, I couldn’t justify a good ROI for a $7,000 camera.

The I5 and I7 can be purchased for $1,400 and $1,900 respectively. If you have a $2,000 budget, get the Flir I7, in my opinion, it’s a good balance between expense and capability.

Good luck and make sure you learn how to use your camera properly before introducing it into a paid inspection.

Andrew Constantine
Charlotte Home Inspections NC
Charlotte Home Inspection News
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I think Linus was being sarcastic.


What Linus sarcastic surely you must have him confused with someone else;-)???

You run a close second place shipmate.:wink:

Hay, the I3 is a great camera to learn on! If you can do it with that camera, just think of what you can do with a real camera! :wink:

You will learn why you need a focus option, and all those unnecessary adjustable options you get on those expensive cameras! :shock:

I have a FLIR E50bx which came out in March 2011. I strongly believe that it is the best camera for its price. I have never been in a situation when I said to myself, ‘I wish I had a better camera’. I mean there more expensive and better cameras out there but this is just perfect for thermal imaging for buildings.

I personally would not recommend a camera with less than 240 x 180 resolution. I was very close to getting an I7 but when I actually used, it just was not good enough.

I7 are ‘focus free’ cameras without a built-in digital camera. They are good for other jobs though. For example, I have a friend who is an electrician and is pretty happy with it.

Just my opinion.


I would not trust that camera for a electrical scan as far as I could throw it. Your electrician friend has no clue what he is doing if he is using it for electrical panels

You could be right. I can not validate what exactly he uses his I7 for since I am not an electrician but I believe he uses that for some basic hot spot diagnostics.

I can only speak for my E50bx and its a great camera when it comes to thermal imaging for buildings and that I7s are not good cameras for the purpose of building investigations.

You made a good choice. If you ever have any questions on it, feel free to contact me at anytime.