I always recommend that you buy more camera than you think you need. You don’t have to take my word for it just ask Andrew McDonald about his recent experience (about 5 months with a camera of similar specs) - he posts on this board from time to time.
I had a 160x120 camera and quickly realized that it was not enough resolution. I now have a Bx320 which is 320x240 and feel under-powered in some situations.
One of the considerations that is often overlooked as a home inspector is the time it takes to create a thermal scene that will allow you to find the anomaly (moisture, ect). The more resolution you have the less favorable an environment you need to “see” the issue. The more time you spend manipulating the environment (if you can) the less profitable your service will be.
Absolutely I started with the B-cam and was not satisfied moved to the BX-320 and there are times when I wished I had more resolution. Don’t buy based on price invest the money and go with the resolution
The difference in array size can be significant, especially when you are pushing up against the limits that any camera has. But if you are working well within those limits, as many in HI are often doing, then the difference is surprisingly small for much of our work.
See the attached slide (from my webinar on Buying an Infrared Camera) showing images taken with three popular size arrays; please note these were taken at different times so some variations is due to changing conditions rather than different arrays.
The bottom line for buildings work is can you easily resolve a 2" stud at the typical working distance. If you can, then you can probably use the camera, although some defects are smaller than that dimension!
Remember too that pixels and the field of view (FOV, or overall size of the image you see) are inter-related.
ASNT NDT Thermal/Infrared Level III #48166
IMO it comes more down to training with the camera and thermal sensitivity. When I go demo units I use a TI25 for building envelope diagnostics. It is not even truly designed for HI’s or thermal envelopes in general. Thermal sensitivy of .1C - 100mk. Resolution at 160x120. I demo that unit because we have to cover both industrial and building envelope, and I prefer to just carry two units (Fluke and FLIR).
I also demo the Electrophysics HotShot HD-XT, which is probably the single best thermal imager on the market currently. Yes there are huge differences between the two units. But do I really need to see every little detail at, 640x 580 resolution, of the moisture intrusion or heat/air loss?
With proper training and a good blower door the TiR1 or the B60 are both great cameras for HI’s.
The big advantage I can see in the higher end cameras is the speed in which you can do the inspections, and flat roofs. Both Fluke and FLIR make insanely good building application TIs in the higher end B series (200-400), and the Fluke TiR4 are about as good as it gets.
Not to confuse you even more David, but the TiR2 has a lower thermal sensitivity and a lot higher resolution at 320x240 than the b200 (200x150). it still has the interchangable 10.5mm wide angle lens as an option as well, and is currently (until December 31st) $8995.00. You also get a 1 year longer warranty, and 100% free software. FLIR is a $1600 upgrade to a 2 year warranty, and a $3500 add on for their best software.
The nice feature with the b200 and the TiR2+ series is the ability to use interchangable optics. The TiR1 and B50-60 do not have that option. So it is a way to upgrade later on down the road, if you choose to, without the initial expense up front. The only negative to adding lenses later on is, both manufactures calibrate the units to the exact lens you purchase. So you have to send the camera back to the manufacture and have the unit calibrated to the exact lens you get, you lose the unit for a couple weeks.
If you decide to go with the bcam style, go with the b60. .08 thermal sensitivity (80mk on both the b60 and b200) and 180x180 resolution (more pixels than the b200). If you are willing to spend 10k on the b200 then $7995 should be in the budget for the B60.
For HI’s it really comes down to thermal sensitivity and training.
You won’t be disappointed with any of the cameras you or I listed from my experience. It’s an expensive purchase and I know a tough one to finally decide.
www.fluketir1.com is a site we put up for just the TiR1. It has about as complete of resources for the TiR1 as you can find.
The only thing we are missing on there is the new 2.0 software video that just came out. It gives a very good demonstration. I saw it the other day now I cannot find it. If I find it today I will post it up here.
You’re right sorry. I have actually never sold the TiR2. We sell a lot of TiR4s. When I posted that message I took a quick glance at the PDF for the TiR2, 3, and 4 and it says 320x240 in the main line of the PDF. In the specs it says 160x120. The 3 and 4 are 320x240.
2x zoom on the TiR2 and 3. 2x,4x,8x on the TiR 4.
The TiR3 is $12,335.00 until Dec 31st. I would think that Fluke will extend the huge discounts they have in place for the TiR2+ and Ti45+ units, but you never know.