Extech Flir i5 vs. Flir E4

Any thoughts on the Extech Flir i5 vs. the Flir E4? It looks like the Extech i5 has higher res. so I’m leaning that way. Maybe someone here has an opinion.

Get some training before you buy an IR camera. Right now you just guessing. Just being honest.

Neither one is good enough IMO. Get the training first and then decide what you need for a starter camera.

I just want it for a tool to find possible leaks to verify with my moisture meter. I’m no getting into thermography. I don’t need bells and whistles. Both of those cameras are better than the one,I’m currently using, which is none.

“Once the mind has been enlightened to see things in a greater way, then it can never go back to the old way of thinking”
Be careful before click.

Detector resolution, sensitivity and image quality aren’t “bells & whistles”.

Nor is the ability to understand the image being displayed, so don’t rush in and buy some imager that’s likely headed for the isles of your nearest Big Lots.


You’re likely to miss more than you find with either of these. If you don’t need bells and whistles and want to save money, buy a used one - there’s plenty out there - but get something with greater resolution, sensitivity, focusable lens and adjustable span. I also recommend 30hz or higher.

You won’t find things like this with either of those units (see the span).

Wow, I had no idea that Flir products were big lots quality. Any suggestions for a quality brand?

I understand where you hardcore themographers are coming from, but I think we have a disconnect in understanding the intent of the camera.

All I want to do with it is verify the upper level bathrooms aren’t leaking through to the ceiling below. I have no intention in doing any audits whatsoever. I will not be using it to look at insulation or any piece of equipment. I want to run the bathroom fixtures, go downstairs and look for a leak that I can verify with a moisture meter.

I have a hard time believing that I need a $2k plus camera to achieve this. I will not be using any of the pictures anywhere in the report.

I don’t need a $2k fluke to inspect electrical, why do I need a $2k camera to verify if a bath tub is leaking?

Why bother to ask?

Right now I’m missing it all, so how can I miss more than everything? I have a very narrow scope of what I want to use the camera for.

Because I AM going to buy one of the two mentioned and thought that maybe with the thousands of people in this forum, that someone may have had some experience with the two cameras. I was seeking an opinion in regards to the comparison of the two cameras. I hope it is clear.

They both suck roughly equally. Buy the one you think is prettiest.

So neither one will give me an indication if the upstairs bathtub may be leaking?

Keith, I enjoyed John’s class and would recommend it. To answer your question the E series is better, IMO. They have a 45 degree field of view, versus 17 on the I5 I think. Huge difference when scanning a room. I also like the MDX technology on the E series which blends the visible picture. Hope this helps.

Neither one would detect the leak in the above image in a 20ft ceiling or the trailer down the wall below…

I think I like the looks of blue trimmed version best. Which color do you prefer?

I don’t see anything Chuck, can you upload again? Thanks Paul, that bit of info certainly does help. The i5 actually costs more, I can get an E4 refurbished from Flir for $750, which works within budget.

Then chances are you won’t find anything anyway. My advice is to save your money.

Thanks Chuck, that last post was probably the most valuable for me.

Please understand, when choosing a thermal camera, this is my first time investing in one. If I don’t initially know all the variances regarding the specs on the cameras, simply hearing “those camera suck” doesn’t give me much to go on. How was I to know that they would miss the image you posted if you had not showed me?

At the end of the day, every piece of equipment has limitations and will be obsolete at some point, but to say that makes it useless is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. Maybe infrared cameras are different and old generation product really is useless now. Now I know at least what to be mindful of and take into consideration when purchasing, and I’ll take all the advice to heart.

Obviously, I would upgrade as quickly as possible, if I went with an older model.

Thanks again.

I would say an E40bx or better IMO, with the cameras mentioned, you are probably throwing good money after bad. Why Flir sells products in a manner that they do at times, I’m not sure, but as has been mentioned here a couple of times by John M., Flir will indicate (when asked, per John M.) that many of their entry level products are not intended to be used in the setting we operate in, meaning they were not intended for professional building inspection.

As mentioned, look into some training in regards to Infrared / TI and some of this will make more sense… those of us posting are not benefiting from you buying better equipment and training, your customers and this industry will.

I have a filr Ex Series that I can select between E4, E5, E6, and E8 resolution. Would it help you if I took an image of a small water spot on my basement wall in each resolution?