This seems like a very nice entry level camera at a very affordable price. I don’t think we’re going to see camera prices get much lower than this price point.
The debate rages on about whether or not these particular camera specs are sufficient for building thermography. The specs for this camera will work just fine for home inspectors doing general scans during home inspections and even some energy work. However, I would suggest that anyone wanting to get into thermography should consider thinking bigger. I started out with a FLIR BCAM SD and used the camera for about a year before upgrading. I convinced myself that this was the only camera I could afford at the time, but after several months of use, I quickly realized that I could have afforded a lot more. This was in part because I was getting more and more business. I ended up selling the camera at a fair price, but did loose money on the whole deal.
I personally would not use anything less than 320x240 resolution for building thermography. I could not imagine scanning a large commercial building or a flat roof with anything less due to the possibility of missing anomalies that may not be detectable. Thermography is very exciting and challenging, especially building thermography. It’s one of the hardest applications. But, if you have the desire to be a Professional Thermographer, then I employ you to consider looking beyond just home inspections and look into the possibility of doing much bigger jobs that are in demand. Jobs like building envelope surveys, flat roof surveys, and electo-mechanical surveys.
Once you start using the technology and get “bitten” by the thermography bug, you tend to want to do more with the imager. In addition, it’s my experience that once the word got out that I was using the technology, I started to receive leads and referrals for much larger jobs.
I have an HVAC Contractor in my area that uses me exclusively for all there unique jobs and troubleshooting issues. The owner was purchasing a property a few years ago and used me for the inspection. Once he saw the capabilities of the infrared camera, he was hooked. He is very smart and knows he could go out an purchase a camera and have his technicians use it in the field, but does not want to train them to properly use the technology. This is just one example of the relationships I have developed over the last few years.
Bottom line…think bigger!! Get the most camera you can afford and attend professional thermography training from an established institution. At this price point for an entry level camera, in the near future many inspectors will be using them in home inspections. Start thinking about your future and set yourself apart from the people who just want to get the minimum camera and minimum training. Your investment in yourself and the thermography industry will pay off in the long run.