Everything You Need To Know About the 3 Types of Thermal Cameras in 2021

Est reading time: 5 minutes

So you’re ready to do some shopping for that perfect thermal camera? 

If you’re anything like us, browsing through the web for “Best Thermal Camera” searches – you might already be experiencing “information overload” by now…   

With every search, it’s really becoming a big problem for you because you’re getting more and more confused about the different types of Thermal Cameras in the market…

You’re probably sick and tired from these searches and ended up on the 5th page of Google.

You may have even been binge-watching YouTube videos for HOURS about the different types of Thermal Camera.

(Stop it. Get some help.)

All because you don’t even know what you should be getting.

If you’re guilty or have experienced any of the above, then you’ve come to the right place!

You’d be shocked to discover that these Thermal Cameras have greatly evolved over the past few decades, and now they take on many shapes and forms.

These Thermal Cameras are life-changing tools, proven to be highly effective in your maintenance works.

And today, they are categorized into 3 main types based solely on your needs and applications.

Let’s take a deep dive into these 3 types of Thermal Cameras you need to know – in making an informed buying decision.

Thermal Cameras - The Greatest Thing Since Your Toolbox.

1) Thermal Imaging Smartphone

Smarphone Thermal Attachment GIF

Imagine this: You’re at your facility, making your routine maintenance rounds. You look up and discover a damp spot on your ceiling.

Conveniently, you whip out your Thermal Imaging Smartphone and investigate. In that instant, you have detected a water seepage problem, allowing you to rectify the issue quickly before it gets any worse…

You’re feeling extremely satisfied, knowing that you’ve just avoided a heavy catastrophe at such speed and convenience.

Everything you need – Anytime, anywhere and everywhere.

Our smartphones are with us almost 24/7.

What if we could show you one POWERFUL way your smartphone could be used for?

With the thermal smartphone attachment, it allows you to conveniently whip it out from your pocket and plug it into your smartphone – essentially making your phone a Thermal Camera.

The Thermal Imaging Smartphone is guaranteed to easily detect heat signatures and reveal anomalies on the go in your facilities. 

It’s so quick and easy to take thermal images of your equipment, share findings with your clients or colleagues and send them for documentation, wherever you are – keeping your Infrared Analysis report organized without breaking your momentum. 

You can easily transform your smartphone into a Thermal Camera to:
  • Effortlessly spot electrical faults with safety by standing outside the arc flash zone.
  • Easily detect water seepage in your walls before they become a large problem.
  • Quickly locate mould in HVAC or spot issues with the coils and compressors.
  • Improve the insulation and efficiency of your heating and cooling.
  • Seamlessly investigate complex gas leaks to prevent major damage and avoid fires.
  • Screen for termites before they become an annoyance in your home.
All at your convenience with your smartphone, making life easier for you.

2) Handheld Thermal Cameras

Handheld Thermal Cameras

There’s an invisible world right inside your facility.

Handheld Thermal Cameras are commonly used for professional applications, including electrical, mechanical and building inspections. 

For the majority of Thermal Camera applications, you are looking at overheating joints and components for the purpose of protecting your uptime and prolonging your equipment lifespan.

Because these cameras are larger and can cost more compared to a smartphone attachment, they have a bigger temperature range and a huge variety of features to justify the cost.

Smartphone attachments normally have a smaller temperature range from -40˚ to 330˚C, compared to Handheld Thermal Cameras which can measure more than 500˚C detecting any heat problems in your equipment with extreme accuracy.

Handheld Thermal Cameras give you the power to see the invisible. 

They’re designed to detect potential equipment breakdown, which is impossible for your naked eye to catch.

A Handheld Thermal Camera allows you to stand further away from your hazardous equipment and still get all the fine details of thermal images you need for your Infrared report.

It gives you all the extra protection you need.

And, they also don’t emit any radiation, so you can conduct your inspections knowing that your physical and machine health is in safe hands.

These Handheld Thermal Cameras might just be your life-changing solution.

Here’s a fact that you probably didn’t know:


Some Handheld Thermal Cameras have a built-in laser guide or a visual light camera to assist you in conducting Infrared Inspections in the dark. 


To understand how to effectively operate these various Handheld Thermal Cameras, we suggest you consult an Infrared Thermography Expert to fully understand the vast capabilities of this incredible tool.

3) Thermal Drones

Picture this: You’re sick and tired of water seepage problems in your roofing, and you understand the safety risks involved when working at heights. With safety as your utmost priority, you get your hands on the latest and most advanced Thermal Drone for your inspections.

Taking full control of the remote from the ground, you expertly pilot your drone to capture the perfect Thermal Images of the affected areas on your roofing.

You have effectively conducted Infrared Inspections while ensuring your safety and causing ZERO downtime in your operations. This is the epitome of optimal maintenance.

Thermal Drones may just be your life-saver - LITERALLY.

Did you know Thermal Drones are brutally effective for your building inspections?

This is because many anomalies may not always be detectable from within the building.

Thermal drones give you easy access to reveal hidden faults such as water leakage and seepage in unreachable parts of the building. 

The flight capability of a drone plus the thermal detection abilities of a Thermal Camera is quite a wonderful pair.

And when you use them together combined, they work like magic.

Watch your Thermal Drone take off like a rocket and achieve the maintenance results you’ve always wanted.

Thermal Drones are an absolute MUST HAVE for Building Inspectors.

Are You Ready To Take The First Step?

Thermal Cameras have been exceptionally valuable to our maintenance applications – helping us to identify faults and hidden issues both quickly and efficiently. 

To avoid the costly mistakes of purchasing the wrong Thermal Camera, it is extremely crucial to know about the various types of cameras available in the market. 

Today, Thermal Cameras are getting more advanced with time.

With so many varieties, designs and specifications, take the time to find out all you need, before investing in that perfect Thermal Camera – according to your budget and needs.

If you’re still unsure about which type of Thermal Camera is right for you, seek professional advice from Infrared Thermography Specialists to guarantee that you make the best buying decision today.


P.S. We don’t sell Thermal Cameras, so you best believe you’re getting only HONEST and UNBIASED feedback from us. Reach out to IIRT today and we’ll be happy to guide you on selecting your perfect Thermal Camera!

3 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know About the 3 Types of Thermal Cameras in 2021”

  1. I’ve been using a FLIR handheld thermal camera and it’s been amazing. I’ve seen a huge increase in efficiency and performance in my facilities and more of my colleagues are now using handheld thermal cameras too. Good article! Will be sharing this info with my peers who are ready to invest in infrared thermography but have no idea what thermal camera they should be getting

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