Just starting out and I’m looking to buy a FLIR Thermal Imaging camera; do any of you use the FLIR E4? If so what’s your opinion? Any other Thermal Imaging cameras you would recommend?
Take your training first, and you will quickly learn what NOT to use!
I have an E-4. It was purchased when you could still “upgrade” them to E-8 specs. Its a great camera.
So is your opinion based upon it being an E-4 or the “upgraded” version E-8??
LOL, great question. I had it “upgraded” as soon as I got it, so I am not sure.
I have both the E4 and the E8.
I truly love the E8.
So basically you are using an E4 with the functionality of an E8… which makes the opinion ‘moot’ regarding the functionality of an E4 which is what the OP is inquiring about. Thx for the info.
And what about the E4?
There’s nothing wrong with the E4. I just really liked my E8.
There’s too many options between E4 in the E8
To discuss on this thread.
Well, this threads about the E4, NOT the E8, so start talking!
The E4 is fine for home inspection. The resolutions just fine. Guess I’m kind of old school . But still use the iron setting.
There is nothing wrong with the E4. With the exception of resolution. Very very rarely do I ever put an IR image in the report. I always back it up with additional information. The key with ir Imaging is to know what you’re looking at. And I guess that might take some experience.
For instance. Usually moisture intrusion looks like an amoeba or a protozoan. That indicates to me right there there is moisture intrusion. Where it comes from I may not know. Then we back the image up with the moisture meter. Agreed JJ?
The decision to buy a camera originates with what you want to accomplish with it. This is why training is so encouraged before buying a camera. InterNACHI training is a good starting point but I would say getting a level 1 through Infraspection would be wise. Good education and training in your profession is rarely a waste. Buying a tool that you eventually find inadequate is often a waste.
A very true statement indeed. You can use infrared to look at horse injuries. Although trained in infrared, I don’t know anything about horses. I would misdiagnose the injury and look like a fool. Same can go for homes or anything else.
It’s just like riding a bicycle for the first time. Need to get on it and fall down a couple of times. Before you figure it out.
There are some things in the instructions how to use a IR Imager that will never ever be introduce to you. The only way you know how to do it. Is to do it.
It’s quite funny at time when I have a new inspector ride with me. They think all the glory is with the IR Imager. It’s not! It’s just another tool in our Arsenal to give the best inspection we can for the client. It does take time to figure out what you’re looking at the anomalies you see. But it’s easy if you have someone show you the ropes
Roy makes an excellent point.
You must be taught the science behind thermography and then you must use it on a daily basis in your job to become competent enough to do all the things they say IR camera can do. You cannot do them out of the box. The Flir/ITC operational plan was that you take a course and then work in the field for at least one year before you continue to the next. This gives you the ability to use and grow what you have learned before proceeding to the next level. Something they really never enforced, but then this is a self regulated industry.
No one knows everything that can be done with the thermal camera! But the principles and science never change and if you apply them you can figure it out. As stated above about horses, I submitted my level II field exercise about a horse that was being treated by a veterinarian for an abscess in the right front of when the horse had a cracked cannon bone in the left rear!
I called FLIR professionals before I submitted my project about my uncertainties and they all said they had no clue but that my science and procedure was accurate.
The guys at FLIR had trouble evaluating my exercise so they sent it to a veterinarian in Australia who is the professional for horse thermography throughout the world (there are also a lot of good equestrian thermographer’s in the UK). We have remained in contact for many years and is a free consultant on anything I may do equestrian.
To the point: as for the E4, due to the current prices of thermal imaging equipment I would never use anything less than a 320×240 resolution camera in a building inspection which the E8 provides. I evaluated the E8 versus E4 when it first came out when I was teaching at a FLIR convention in Nashville and I was very impressed with it, aside from its inability to focus and a few other things that make it more complicated to use (which just makes you a better thermographer to overcome them).
I started thermography with a 180×180 resolution camera priced at $6000. I later progressed through 3 more cameras to a T640 camera that I obtained for less than that! We all were in that same boat so anyone that’s looking for a cheap camera these days are crazy in my book. Invest in yourself or move on to something else. If you progress in thermography your are going to go through some cameras. Consider a used camera for your first camera because you won’t stick with it very long. There’s a bunch of them out there.
I also evaluated a few of the other “personal cameras” that they were coming out with at the same time and found them to be totally worthless. I was looking at aT640 camera and found a whole bunch of air leaks in the air duct system of the convention center which are totally invisible to these other cheap cameras.
I sold my first camera but I still have the other three (all of which were acquired well below market value). Still it’s a huge chunk of change to be lying around not being used all the time but hey it’s a significant depreciation tax deduction in the cost of doing business.
I am now retired from home inspection due to chronic kidney failure but I still work in the thermography field. I am currently analyzing thermal drone scans for a large company in Atlanta Georgia for a significant residual income (I’m making thermography money not home inspection money). The cost of the thermal equipment lying around my office is insignificant compared to the income I’ve made over the years and which I’m still receiving well into my disability and retirement. If you take thermography seriously you can produce an income well beyond your ability to keep working in home inspection.
I have invested somewhere around $41,000 over the years, which is hardly even close to the income produced from one year of business. “If you build it they will come”, not “If you have one they will hire you to do a home inspection”.
Everyone says it because it is true. Get training. The Certified
Residential Thermographer from Monroe and InterNACHI is great for what most of us will do with IR. I have an E6 and it is great, but I’ve handled E4s and they are fine for residential thermography.