First IR camera

I am going to bite the bullet, use some of my skiing money and buy an IR camera. I was thinking the FLIR E8 for a starter. Any thoughts:)

I think the Flir E series are a great, easy to use handheld… I’m not sure that the E8 represents a good value for $5000?

I don’t know all in’s and out’s of refurbished stuff, but I quickly read about a warranty etc via

Seems that for $5K, you’d be into a T series or a refurbed E60 or ? I suppose a call to their sales center would help you compare options.

What I should have made clear Craig, I’d have no problem with an E series as a second or backup, but I’m not sure about the manual temp (level and span) settings as well as a few others, I’m not sure that you can manipulate your temp settings as is necessary at times. If you were looking at the E6 for a first camera, I might have a different thought, I’m just wondering about best bang for buck.

Someone should write an article about choosing the right infrared camera…

You did.

Finding someone to read it, priceless

Nice article.


Here is my advice to anybody about buying an IR cam and serious about actually making money with it (be it adding to your base price or charging extra as an ancillary). Find out which imager you can afford and buy the next level up.
Perhaps the original cam you were thinking of buying won’t turn into an expensive $3K paperweight but instead you will hold yourself accountable to turn your new affordable $5K tool (and proper education) that is making you money.
Think about it…

Thank you so very much :smiley: :smiley:

After much deliberation, reading the excellence article posted by William W. (a NACBI article), talking with some of the members here and reading the many post about Infrared…I have decided on a Flir T420 or 420BX. In reviewing the specs the cameras seem identical except the temperature range, Insulation arm and Dewpoint alarm. Am I missing something?

Thank you for all your post and thank you in advance for any other advice. :slight_smile:

Craig, give Jason Kaylor a call
See what he can do for you. He might even loan you a cam to try out.
Whatever camera you get, I would suggest trying it out

As far as the temperature range is concerned; think of it this way. The color pallette shades represent a temperature range per color. The smaller the range, the higher contrast you will see in the image at low delta T. Not that you can’t change this in software however.

I have never really noticed a difference. But if you can’t see it, you don’t know what your missing either!

Also I don’t think I have ever used a dew point or Insl alarm setting. In other cameras you can still do the same thing by using isotherms (as you have seen I do quite extensively). But I never let the camera do it. You need to know dry bulb and either rh or wb to determine dew point. This requires a hygrometer and it will also tell you the dew point, so just set the isotherm to it.

Thank you for the posts.:slight_smile: The question I have remaining is why the two different models. The price is identical. I am going to FlIR on Monday/Tuesday and I will post there answer. I am assuming one model is better suited to a certain application, I just don’t know what the application would be or which model is right for general building diagnostics. I am guessing the BX is more suited to general work, it has the lower temp ranges (-4F to 662F) and the dewpoint alarm & insulation arm

I would say that the difference between a BX and the standard unit is which application you would be using the camera for the most. The BX model has lower temp ranges but has other features for insulation alarms, dew point, etc. geared more for typical building envelope inspections. The standard unit is geared more for high voltage electrical and mechanical machinery inspections due to the higher temp ranges. Like David said, you can use the isotherm setting for most of the building envelope work on the higher temp standard unit, and be able to do commercial electrical work if needed. This is why I chose the standard unit, only mine is a 440 with up to 2000 degree range.

Just to add, the temperature ranges are in sets, mine has three ranges. They are not -20 to 2000 degree ranges which would wash out your color definition.

Missing insulation is pretty easy to see without alarms or isotherms, given the right conditions for inspection. If the dewpoint is known/calculated, an isotherm can be programmed, it’s pretty easy.

I think/assume you’d need to input accurate parameters in BX camera anyway for the dewpoint or insulation alarms to work properly. I have a digital psychrometer I can use if needed… now that I think about it, you may be able to set up as a program… I’d have to look.

You can program and calibrate any camera for any range should you need it in the future.

If you are saying the BX camera as a range of (-4F to 662F) then it doesn’t really matter which camera you get. They used to set up BX cameras in the range between freezing and boiling temperatures. Going that wide makes no significant difference like it used to. My T-400 has a range much narrower than that and my BX is much narrower even yet.

You also get a compass in the BX.

A compass might be handy if I ever contracted work with Boeing, it could keep me from getting lost in the worlds largest building, seriously, :mrgreen: Hey, it never hurts to dream a little.

I am starting to think the T series is the way to go, judging from the quality posts I have been reading. Thanks everyone.

I believe the extended temp range upgrade for T-series is around $1800 from Flir if you decide you need it later. Myself, I opted to get a camera with the full range already there and just use isotherm for pinpointing dew point targets. The T640 has GPS for when you get lost :mrgreen:

It is seriously big; 472,370,319 cf and covers 98 acres;)