What's the best Infrared Camera

For the least amount of $$$?

I’m seriously pondering getting into Thermal Imaging & Energy Audits.

So what’s the minium camera I’ll need?

Extech i5 - $1995
Flir i 7 - $2995
Fluke TiR - $3495 (guessing)

Or ANYTHING else under $3500???

Hi Ray,

I can guarantee that you will want a higher resolution camera within a month of buying one of the low end cameras.

Hey Greg,

Thanks for the info, could you please explain in detail why this is important? And what’s the minium camera you’d suggest?

After you search out the options and decide what IR camera you
want… check with me and I will get you the lowest price in the USA.
Just ask my students.

You may think Energy Audits. is what you want to do. but if you are like anyone Else on this or any other IR Information board you will find new things you can do with one of these Cameras. So if you start off with a cheap peace of crap. :mrgreen: In 6 months you will be looking at a $ 20K … So what to do.

I just saw on ebay the other day a FLIR B2 For 1,500 This was a 12 K Camera NEW 4 years ago… OUCH…

I have one of these camera as a back up. Nice Camera. 160X120 RES.

So if you buy something new look at it 4 years down the road.

Some people in sales don’t want you to known this info but these are the facts.

Thats about all I can say to you. If you have a game plan and can get to working with a new camera in 6 months you may Be able to pay a low end one off in the first or 2nd year. then you have a working dead horse.
Because you want the new toy that is now for sale for less. HELLO:mrgreen:



I paid for my IR camera in just two months, from new income.

Hey John I sent you a email about what class you offer. I am interested in getting started in thermal imaging. I know a little about it when i was in the AF I worked on a Plane that had flir. I want to know what can you do with this new toy. I plan on using it alot.
Is the one Nick is offering a good camera or not?
Thanks mark:D


Was that new income from teaching IR…:wink:

I do home inspections every week with my IR camera.
It paid for itself in a couple months.

And the answer is. It depends.

Your use decides how much resolution you need. as others wisely observe that use will likely increase as you get more skilled at using and interpreting what you see. So having a camera with some room to expand your use is probably wise.

I settled on the TiR1 from Fluke as the optimal solution to get me started and keep me going for a while. Got it for a great price when I took John McKenna’s course.

I choose it as an adequate resolution for what I contemplated at the time with some room to grow as well. And I was right. I can only imagine how I’d be feeling if I went with an 80 x 80 (Extech i5) or even a 120 x 120. Likely very frustrated.

The issue around resolution is being able to see something useful. Like any sort of camera the coarser the image the more difficult to extract meaningful information. For HI I find the 160 x 120 on the Fluke to be more then enough. When I’m scanning a horse it’s also adequate but closer to the line IMO. As I said it depends on what I want to do.


Thermal sensitivity minimizes the negative effect of poor Delta-T environments.

Resolution gives you power in the feild to make spot decisions.

Both increase the speed accurracy of your decision making in the field without the need for image manipulation or software use.

When it comes to the minimum camera, the industry is a bit backwards in the sense that a skilled thermographer can actually function with a lessor camera, whereas a rookie really needs as much camera as he can afford. Most IR rookies cannot afford the high end stuff though.

Of course these rules are changing by the second as technology emerges. and competition by the manufacturers heats up. My 1st camera cost 6K…that same camera is now under 4K.

Contact me for the lowest price on FLIR, FLUKE, Razir, Pemboke, etc…


You are right, IR is here to stay!

All the best to those who can evolve in style and are comitted to offering their clients the best there is!

Marc-Andre from :stuck_out_tongue:

The best camera is the one that creates value for your customers and is affordable against your budget. I suggest you read my technical note which is designed to assist people buying their first and second camera

I would recommend the TIR1 as a minimum level. It is fine in most home applications and will get you started. It is also very well built. Personally, having wasted a large amount of money on a brand other than Fluke or FLIR, I would strongly recommend staying with one of those two brands. I will stay with Fluke from now on most likely based on my experience with the TiR1.

I purchased the Flir I7 fo $2500 new. It has paid for itself in Energy Audits in about 4 months. Now I have a piece of equipment that can produce income while the manufacturers slug it out and come out with lower prices on feature rich cameras.
I would have not been in the same situation had I paid 8 to 10 k for a camera 6 months ago.

Keep in mind the minimum camera for BPI, RESNET, LEED etc. is 120 X 120 Those little Extech’s don’t work for energy audits… We use a FLIR T-200 but that may be above your budget…

Whatever you decide, our students get the lowest price for IR cameras in the USA