Infrared camera thoughts

What is your opinion on FLIR C5 Thermal Imaging Camera with WiFi $640 cyber Monday deal? Thanks!

It’s a toy. Worthless gadget.

  • Resolution: 160 x 120
  • Accuracy: At ambient temp. 15 to 35°C (59 to 95°F) and object temp. above 0°C (32°F), 0 to 100°C (32 to 212°F): ±3°C (±5.5°F), 100 to 400°C (212 to 752°F): ±3%
  • Image Frequency: 8.7 Hz

Resolution is inadequate for the indirect measurements you plan to take as a HI.
Accuracy is below the span for home inspection application.
Frequency: do you know how slow that image refresh rate is?

It’s a great device for finding your dog at night.
If you turn off the MSX, you will have no idea what your seeing. Also due to the bad parallax, what shows up in the MSX is nowhere near the thermal exception your seeing.

Now you can hear from all the alleged success stories to follow…


Thanks for input.
Any recommendations for that price range?


Save up for better. The cost of a piece of equipment should include the liability it incurs. Cheap equipment incurs more liability and therefore winds up costing more.



Thank you!

Paul, if you get some schooling in infrared thermal imaging first, you will have a better idea what you may want to use it for and then what to buy. Many classes have imagers there to try out while in class…or, they did when I got certified by FLIR/ITC. :+1:


If you want an E8 for a little more than the price of an E4.


Used equipment can be a good bargain. But before you buy from EvilBay you might go to the manufacturers website and see if they offer reconditioned equipment. Many times at bargain basement prices with the same original warranty. I know Fluke for example has equipment they recondition and sell.

You should take Larry’s advice first though and get some training.


The camera is just a camera. Your ability to interpret the images is what you are getting paid for. Your expertise making sense of the heat/infrared signals captured by the lens of the camera will be put to test with every capture you do. The infrared images are intended to be complementary to another set of observations in the field. You! Only you will put two-and-two together. I have seen professionals screw up a diagnostic using a $4K infrared camera and have also seen other professionals hit-the-nail-in-the-head while using a less expensive device, sometimes not even an infrared camera.

You need to polish yourself up before you go start offering predictive diagnosis holding a $5K infrared gun in your hand.

And to my peer’s opinions, yes! More money will always buy you a better and more sophisticated piece of equipment, but again, you are “THE INSPECTOR”, not the screwdriver…!

My Home Inspection recommendation will be more lining towards her the camera you can afford now, use it all the time to corroborate your observations, as you grow into the technology, you will amaze yourself of what you find. Gain confidence and then go out and buy a more expensive one.


I wouldn’t use anything less than the E8. I went through 2 other cheap cameras only to discover I wasted my money. Monroe Infrared offers thermal imaging classes to be CRT (Certified Residential Thermographer). They go over most types of thermal cameras and their functions, pros/cons. You don’t need to have a camera to take the class. You might want to start their before buying a camera. They also sell Flir cameras so you can get one from Monroe. Contact Bill Fabian, VP
Bill is a level 3 thermographer. They also have advanced training. Hope this helps.


Thanks for input Scott. As far as training would natchis
Infrared training be enough or would you also recommend hands on? I’m interested in mold inspections and have gone through training and I’m IAC2 certified.

A used camera.
There are a lot of cameras out there above 320x240 res for cheap.
You don’t need a bunch of bells and whistles like WI-fi, MSX which makes up for a cameras inefficiencies, and the like. I have been selling off my cameras at salvage prices. I bought a Flir 660 on line and the seller paid (through price reduction) for two batteries, a charger, and a $2k wide angle lens. The starting price was about 30% below market.

Glad to see the responses above about training etc. Lots of spot on replies you should carefully consider.


That falls in line with the C5 question. It’s a start, but no way is enough…
Going down this road is an investment, treat it as such.


Thank you David. Been working part time with an inspection company but got real slow, so looking to jump into the deep end and start my own company next year. Definitely need the training!

The NACHI class is helpful. It’s a great place to start. I still recommend taking an in person training class for Infrared. The class is small (7 in the class I took). It’s good to get 2 full days of personal class time and training, plus you can check out several cameras. I took my class at NETI, Bloomsburg, PA. There is also a InterNACHI house of horrors there you can check out. They also partner for discount hotel rates. Call Monroe for a class schedule, or your state might offer a class. I didn’t look to see where you are located. Monroe doesn’t recommend a HI using infrared on reports unless certified. I’m also IAC2 Mold certified and am looking to get Infrared level 1 certified next year. I’m headed to Florida soon to meet Dr Shane at Priority Lab to talk more about mold sampling. Infrared is a good tool to use with mold inspections.


Take the Monroe Infrared CRT course. It is everything you will need to know to use a thermal camera in the environment of a home inspection. As for a camera in that price range, I would highly recommend the HIK Micro Pocket 2. I have played with it a couple of times, most recently at the convention. Resolution is better than my Flir E6. Currently it is on sale as well…there will not be a better price on this.

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Thanks John

Very handy for discovering leaks, but for a full on Thermal imaging inspection go bigger and better. I have been using C3 since it was invented and it has been helpful but I do not use extensively, I have certificates in Thermology and a real Thermal inspection requires bigger and better. Go ahead and use it when you are suspicious of potential leak, and by the way David, smart ass.

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