Top 10 Best Thermal Camera in 2021 | The Ultimate Entry Level Buyer’s Guide

Est reading time: 24 minutes 

Are you in search of that perfect Thermal Camera? 

Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with the mixed reviews of various Thermal Cameras? 

Then you’ve come to the right place! 

We have scoured the web and hunted down the Top 10 Best Thermal Cameras in its class.

All according to your needs, budget and applications. 

Shopping for the best Thermal Camera for your specific application could take you HOURS sitting at your desk, painstakingly scrolling 100 over searches on Google. (We know you’re on the 10th page of Google already.)

From Professional-Grade to Bargain-Basement Models, we’ve tested and rated over 56 Thermal Cameras…

So that YOU DON’T HAVE TO. 

In this comprehensive buying guide, we review the BEST-SELLING, highest-rated Thermal Cameras from leading brands such as FLIR, Fluke, Seek and many more.

Stay tuned because No. 5 and 8 will surely surprise you…

This one article will answer all your questions about choosing a Thermal Camera, helping you make an informed decision today.

Let’s dive deep.

Infrared Thermography - Revealing The Hidden Risks For You

Table of Contents

#1

SEEK Thermal CompactPRO
- Best Smartphone Attachment

4.5/5

Made exclusively for your iPhone and Android models. (Just stick it up your phone).

Smaller, smarter, durable and portable. Transform your smartphone or tablet into the most advanced smartphone Thermal Camera.

Using the power & convenience of your phone, it makes it easy to take thermal images and videos, share findings and send for documentation.

The quality of the image is highly impressive for a smartphone attachment.

The best part?

It’s engineered to run on low power from your phone and requires ZERO batteries or charging.

BrandSEEK
Size of ScreenUses your phone
Resolution320 x 240
Temperature Range-40 to 330 °C
Temperature Sensitivity0.07 °C
LED Lights/Laser PointersNo
Weight0.34 kg
Dimensions0.8 x 0.6 x 1.6″

Key Features

Pros & Cons of - SEEK Thermal CompactPRO Thermal Attachment

Verdict for SEEK Thermal CompactPRO

BIG does not always mean better.

This thermal smartphone attachment packs a punch despite its size. It’s very impressive for an affordable Thermal Camera that attaches to your smartphone.

If you’re looking for the smallest Thermal Camera with sufficient resolution, look no further.

This little beast is hands down the best Infrared Attachment for your smartphone.

This smartphone attachment gives you an extra stunning thermal resolution of 320 x 240 – which can only be found in standalone cameras that are highly-priced.

It’s the most versatile and affordable option on our list for its size and incredible performance.

Est Price: S$669

#2

FLIR C5
- Best Handheld

4.3/5

If you’re looking for stunning performance & features, light enough to carry around with you everywhere…

Look no further.

We’ve tested this in various facilities under extreme situations. 

Introducing the best compact handheld Thermal Camera – the FLIR C5. 

Take the pocket-portable C5 with you to every job – it’s as light as your smartphone.

You’ll never get tired of conducting your Infrared Inspections.

BrandFLIR
Size of Screen3.5″
Resolution160 x 120
Temperature Range-20 to 400 °C
Temperature Sensitivity0.05 °C
LED Lights/Laser PointersLED Lights
Weight0.19 kg
Dimensions5.4 x 3.3 x 0.94″

Key Features

Pros & Cons of - FLIR C5 Thermal Camera

Verdict for FLIR C5

The resolution of the FLIR C5 is an excellent tool for your inspections.

It’s an essential preventive maintenance tool that allows you to troubleshoot your equipment in a fraction of the time.

From detecting water leaks in your HVAC to electrical hot spots in your equipment, there’s not a single professional who wouldn’t benefit from using the C5.

We love the large temperature range and the ability to adjust various parameters of the C5.

However, we are not the biggest fan of the WiFi connectivity and Ignite features. Absurd as it sounds, you cannot transfer images directly from the C5 to your phone or computer.

You have to upload images to FLIR Ignite Cloud, then download them to your device. It’s a hassle for many who are looking to quickly complete the image upload.

However, for most professionals looking for a reliable pocket-sized thermal camera, you’re looking at the right page.

Est Price: S$699

#3

SEEK Thermal RevealPRO
- Best Value For Entry Level

4.3/5

For the Best Value in Handheld Thermal Cameras, look no further because the SEEK Thermal RevealPRO simply offers you that.

SEEK Thermal RevealPRO is ruggedly built for your facility maintenance so that you can conduct quick and easy Infrared Inspections.

What makes this pocket-sized camera a stand-out in the market is the impressive resolution for such a small Thermal Camera.

This is a phenomenal entry-level Thermal Camera for Maintenance Personnel or anyone who could use a pocket-sized, high-resolution thermal camera.

SEEK Thermal RevealPRO yet again outclasses many brands when it comes to cost-efficiency.

BrandSEEK 
Size of Screen2.4″
Resolution320 x 240 
Temperature Range-40 to 330 °C
Temperature Sensitivity<0.07 °C
LED Lights/Laser PointersLED Lights
Weight0.117 kg
Dimensions5 x 2.4 x 1.2″

Key Features

Pros & Cons of - SEEK Thermal RevealPRO Thermal Camera

Verdict for SEEK Thermal RevealPRO

The RevealPRO is an extremely portable Thermal Camera with excellent resolution and a built-in LED flashlight – allowing you to easily perform Infrared Inspections in dark environments anytime.

Just like the FLIR C5, the SEEK Thermal RevealPRO is by no means a high-end professional Thermal Camera.

It’s more of an entry-level professional Thermal Camera for electricians, inspectors, or professionals looking for affordability and good enough features for basic thermal inspections.

The rugged design makes it durable and withstands accidental drops to an extent. 

If you prefer more options and think the MSX feature (adds visible light details) of FLIR will be useful, get the C5. 

If you think you’ll benefit more from a higher resolution or want to avoid Wi-Fi headaches of the C5, get the RevealPRO.

The SEEK Thermal RevealPRO has everything that you need in a budget-friendly Thermal Camera.

Est Price: S$934

#4

FLIR TG165X
- Best Value For Professionals

4/5

FLIR is a brand that doesn’t need any introduction.

If you’re looking for excellent value from FLIR, we strongly recommend you the FLIR TG165-X.

It’s more affordable than all the recommendations that we’ve reviewed above. – a premium Thermal Camera that won’t break the bank.

From Home Inspectors to Professional Infrared Thermographers, this gun-style Thermal Camera is especially suitable for you to take quick thermal measurements with precision

The FLIR TG165-X serves as your magic-wand in finding hot spots – helping you to easily identify insulation failure, heating, ventilation and HVAC problems.

BrandFLIR
Size of Screen2.4″
Resolution80 x 60
Temperature Range-25 to 300 °C
Temperature Sensitivity0.07 °C
LED Lights/Laser PointersBoth
Weight0.394 kg
Dimensions8.3 x 2.5 x 3.2″

Key Features

Pros & Cons of - FLIR TG165X Thermal Camera

Verdict for SEEK Thermal RevealPRO

For the price offered, it’s definitely a crazy deal-steal.

The FLIR TG165-X Thermal Camera is a superb choice for anyone looking to conduct a quick temperature check for maintenance applications. 

The bullseye laser is a nice benefit because you can always target the right component for measurement and see exactly where the anomalies are.

With a distance to spot ratio of 24:1, this gun-style Thermal Camera lets you stand at a safer distance when measuring temperatures of hazardous objects such as moving parts or hot surfaces.

Complete your inspections quickly and stress-free.

Est Price: S$592

#5

HTI Model HT19
- Best Resolution For Price

4/5

Looking for a Thermal Camera with the best resolution, at an affordable price range? We recommend the HTI – Model HT-19.

The HT-19 has become a successful handheld Thermal Camera over the years.

HTI has been operating since 2009 and has earned itself the reputation of being a market leader in the Infrared industry.

We’ve tried and tested the HT-19 numerous times. It has put up a good and strong fight to the FLIR product line.

If you’re looking for one of the best resolutions for value, look no further because HT-19 offers you a remarkable resolution for its price.

BrandHTI
Size of Screen3.2″
Resolution320 x 240 
Temperature Range-20 to 300 °C
Temperature Sensitivity0.07 °C
LED Lights/Laser PointersNone 
Weight0.377 kg
Dimensions8.8 x 3.6 x 3.3″

Key Features

Pros & Cons of - HTI Model HT19 Thermal Camera

Verdict for HTI Model HT19

At the end of the day, the HT-19 will get the job done perfectly for you. 

No matter which application you intend to use it in, its extensive features make it a valuable tool in ANY industry.

For its price range, we can’t stress enough how amazing the resolution is.

This will enable professionals like you to capture high-quality thermal images.

HTI offers a 100% Money-Back Guarantee. Coupled with a good service and support team, this gives consumers confidence in their purchases.

Affordable and accessible, you will be pleased with such an offer from HTI.

Est Price: S$720

#6

FLIR E4 Compact
- Best For Day To Day Quick Inspections

4.1/5

The FLIR E4 Compact unarguably takes the spotlight with its groundbreaking features and unbelievably ergonomic design.

For professionals looking for a product to conduct your quick day-to-day inspections, you’re looking at the right place.

It’s built to supercharge your daily inspections, giving the E4 a higher competitive advantage.

We’ve tested in extreme situations, and we’re satisfied with the possibility to superimpose visible and thermal images – significantly speeding up your inspections.

The FLIR E4 is simply one of the most overlooked FLIR Thermal Cameras in the market right now.

BrandFLIR
Size of Screen3.0″
Resolution80 x 60 
Temperature Range-4 to 250 °C
Temperature Sensitivity<0.15 °C
LED Lights/Laser PointersNone 
Weight0.394 kg
Dimensions9.6 x 3.7 x 5.5″

Key Features

Pros & Cons of - FLIR E4 Compact Thermal Camera

Verdict for FLIR E4 Compact

Wondering why we chose the FLIR E4 over the E5?

Even though it’s an older model with a lower resolution than the E5, the E4 is a fully-featured radiometric camera.

You get temperature data from the full screen, not only from the centre spot like the other series.

We know that performing Infrared Inspections for long hours can get physically tiring. But we’ve tested the E4 and because of its lightweight, it doesn’t fatigue our arms while using it.

It’s simply the best for your quick inspection work.

Est Price: S$1,359

#7

FLUKE TIS20+ MAX
- Best For Electrical & Water Seepage

4.6/5

FLUKE is one of the leading brands that have set the bar high for Thermal Cameras with its breakthrough innovation.

Introducing the all-new FLUKE TIS20 thermal imaging, equipped with its unique IR Fusion technology

With a slide of your finger, you can seamlessly blend Infrared images and visible optics for easier analysis.

This revolutionary IR Fusion technology on the FLUKE TIS20+ MAX can make a difference in your electrical inspections.

For Infrared Inspectors looking to detect electrical faults with a great measure of durability, this product makes a good fit for you.

BrandFluke
Size of Screen3.5″
Resolution120 x 90
Temperature Range-20 to 400 °C
Temperature Sensitivity0.06 °C
LED Lights/Laser PointersNone 
Weight0.72 kg
Dimensions10.5 x 4 x 5.7″

Key Features

thermal camera 7 part 2

Pros & Cons of - FLUKE TIS20+ MAX Thermal Camera

Verdict for FLUKE TIS20+ MAX

The FLUKE TIS20+ MAX Thermal Camera is a phenomenal choice for Infrared Thermographers who need to conduct Infrared Inspections for electrical or water seepage issues with extra precision. 

We’re very satisfied with the IR Fusion Technology. It helps to eliminate confusion in the analysis of your Infrared Images to detect potential electrical issues – it’s fast and easy.

The unique features of Fluke Connect allow you to share Infrared Images in real-time, generate and email Infrared Reports from your job site. 

This means that it eliminates the hassle of going back to the office to process reports, saving you precious time.

If you’re a building inspector, electrician, equipment technician or plant manager, the FLUKE TIS20+ MAX is the ideal tool for you.

Did we mention that this popular Thermal Camera model also gets sold out quickly?

Est Price: S$2,339

#8

FLIR E8-XT
- Best For Professionals

5/5

FLIR E8-XT is known to be the King of all Thermal Cameras.

If you’re working in rough environments, the E8-XT is proven to be ahead of the game and gives you the kind of reliability you need.

Compared to the previous E-series, it has the most advanced features which helps professionals ease their work while handling repairs and maintenance projects.

E8-XT is made with a level of precision you’d expect from a finely crafted Rolex watch – not a Thermal Camera.

If you want to detect crucial issues in your system with accuracy and ease, the E8-XT is your best bet.

BrandFLIR
Size of Screen3.0″
Resolution320 x 240 
Temperature Range-20 to 550 °C
Temperature Sensitivity<0.05 °C
LED Lights/Laser PointersNone 
Weight0.575 kg
Dimensions9.6 x 3.7 x 5.5″

Key Features

Pros & Cons of - FLIR E8-XT Thermal Camera

Verdict for FLIR E8-XT

Find invisible problems faster than ever.

FLIR E8-XT is among the best Thermal Cameras in the market as of today.

It’s a fantastic Thermal Camera in its class and all the features a professional Thermal Camera should have.

We feel that the main thing that sets the E8-XT apart from other Thermal Cameras is the Infrared Resolution, making subtle heat differences in your equipment more apparent.

With the best Infrared Resolution on this list, great thermal sensitivity and accuracy, the FLIR E8-XT is an excellent tool for you to easily identify faults in the electrical, mechanical and building industries.

These remarkable features allow you to spot anomalies in your equipment effortlessly.

At 320 x 240 pixels, it’s also 4 times more than the FLIR E6 and the FLIR E40.

With the incredible resolution and contrast, you can completely level up your maintenance efforts with this Thermal Camera.

Your thermal images will get even better when you use MSX technology.

This Thermal Camera is simply built like a machine to eliminate all of your technical worries and concerns.

If you’re searching for a Professional-Grade Thermal Camera and if budget is not an issue to you, the FLIR E8-XT is the perfect Thermal Camera for you.

Est Price: S$4,800

#9

DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced
- Best Drone For Professionals

4.7/5

Introducing the best drone for professional usage – DJI’s Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced. It’s a huge step up from the previous series.

With drastically improved thermal and visual sensors, new RTK capabilities and optimized flight performance – it’s guaranteed to bring your inspection to the next level.

This new compact foldable drone is equipped with a High-Resolution Thermal and Visual Camera that gives you greater details from the sky to help you with your Building Infrared Inspections.

Combined, they take your building inspections to entirely new levels of performance, efficiency and safety.

BrandDJI
Size of Screen5.5″
Resolution640 x 512
Temperature Range-10 to 400 °C
Temperature Sensitivity0 °C
LED Lights/Laser PointersNone 
Weight0.909 kg
Dimensions12.6 x 9.5 x 4.4″

Key Features

Pros & Cons of - DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced Thermal Drone

Verdict for DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced

DJI has raised the bar yet again with the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced.

It knocks its previous series (M2E Dual and M2E Zoom) out of the park with its improved thermal sensor, upgraded visual camera and stronger flight performance. 

This powerful portable drone signals a new era for the Mavic 2 Enterprise Series – it’s simply undefeated.

It combines all the positive benefits of the previous models (DJI Dual and DJI Zoom) and greatly enhances it.

This upgraded drone provides high-class thermal, powerful zoom, and super high-resolution visual imagery in a complete package – an all-in-one solution. 

If you’re a building inspector looking for the best thermal drone, the all-in-one nature of the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced is the perfect one for you.

With that in mind, expect this to become a highly sought-after thermal drone.

Est Price: S$8,321

#10

Parrot ANAFI Thermal Drone
- Best For Your Budget

4.4/5

Are you getting started with infrared inspections at height, and you’re looking for a solid option at an affordable price point?

The Parrot ANAFI Thermal Drone provides you with the best of both worlds – it’s beginner-friendly to pilot and also a bang for your buck.

This model includes a high visual and thermal camera, with a feature that allows you to easily switch between the two.

For those who are on a budget, the Parrot ANAFI Thermal Drone is the perfect option for you.

BrandParrot
Size of Screen6″
Resolution160 x 120
Temperature Range-10 to 400 °C
Temperature Sensitivity0.050 °C
LED Lights/Laser PointersNone 
Weight0.32 kg
Dimensions12.8 x 11.4 x 6.4″

Key Features

Pros & Cons of - Parrot ANAFI Thermal Drone

Verdict for Parrot ANAFI Thermal Drone

With its cheaper price and generous base package, this thermal drone represents solid value for money.

It’s a perfect option for roofing inspectors experimenting with thermal imagery from above.

Although the DJI’s more expensive model is a better all-rounder, the ANAFI Thermal Drone is phenomenal for a budgeted option.

The key feature that could be used effectively by inspection teams is the option to tilt the camera all the way up – this means that you can fly the drone underneath structures and inspect them from below.

A highly portable solution that can be easily transported off the ground with a click of a button.

The powerful zoom and amazing thermal camera functionality prove useful for basic inspection works.

Est Price: S$2530.80

Thermal Camera Ultimate Buyer's Guide

Purchasing your ideal Thermal Camera can be confusing, especially for beginners.

We’re here to tell you that you’re in the right place to discover the best Thermal Camera for your usage.

Thermal Cameras are the future of Preventive Maintenance works. And they’re an exciting life-changing innovation for many engineers.

So, we’ve highlighted some FAQs and essentials factors that you should consider before investing your precious money on these high-demand Thermal Cameras.

SEEK Thermal CompactPROFLIR C5
Best Smartphone AttachmentBest Handheld

Price:
$669

Price:
$699

Resolution:
320 x 240

Resolution:
160 x 120

Temperature range:
-40 to 330 °C

Temperature range:
-20 to 400 °C

Size of screen:
Uses your phone

Size of screen:
3.5”

Weight:
0.34 kg

Weight:
0.19 kg

Special features:
High-temperature detection range

Special features:
LED lights to aid inspections in dark

SEEK Thermal RevealPROFLIR TG165-X
Best Value For Entry LevelBest Value For Professionals

Price:
$934

Price:
$592

Resolution:
320 x 240

Resolution:
80 x 60

Temperature range:
-40 to 330 °C

Temperature range:
-20 to 300 °C

Size of screen:
3.0″

Size of screen:
2.4”

Weight:
0.575 kg

Weight:
0.394 kg

Special features:
MSX Technology

Special features:
Bullseye laser for precise spotting

HTI Model HT- 19FLIR E4 Compact

Best Resolution For Value

 

Best Day-to-Day Quick Inspections

Price:
$720

Price:
$1,359

Resolution:
320 x 240

Resolution:
80 x 60

Temperature range:
-20 to 300 °C

Temperature range:
-4 to 250 °C

Size of screen:
3.2″

Size of screen:
3”

Weight:
0.377 kg

Weight:
0.394 kg

Special features:
5 colour palettes

Special features:
Fully-featured radiometric camera

FLUKE TIS20+ MAXFLIR E8-XT

Best Electrical & Leaks

 

Best For Professionals

 

Price:
$2,339

Price:
$4,800

Resolution:
120 x 90

Resolution:
320 x 240

Temperature range:
-20 to 400 °C

Temperature range:
-20 to 550 °C

Size of screen:
3.5″

Size of screen:
2.4”

Weight:
0.72 kg

Weight:
0.117 kg

Special features:
Fluke Connect to share IR images

Special features:
Long-lasting battery with fast charger

DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise AdvancedParrot ANAFI Thermal Drone
Best Drone For ProfessionalsBest Budget Thermal Drone

Price:
$8,321

Price:
$2,530

Resolution:
640 x 512

Resolution:
160 x 120

Temperature range:
-25 to 300 °C

Temperature range:
-10 to 400 °C

Size of screen:
5.5″

Size of screen:
6”

Weight:
0.909 kg

Weight:
0.32 kg

Special features:
Spot Meter and Area Measurement

Special features:
FLIR Lepton infrared sensor

FAQs about Thermal Cameras

Q1. How does a Thermal Camera work?

Most objects give off infrared energy, known as a heat signature. 

A Thermal Camera detects and measures infrared energy.

It converts the data into an electronic image, which displays the measured surface temperature of the object or objects. 

Your data that you’ve collected can give manufacturers instant feedback on the area or equipment that needs immediate attention.

This helps you and your facility to improve your overall preventive maintenance efforts – guaranteed to reduce the risk of an emergency breakdown

Q2. How accurate is a Thermal Camera?

It depends on the quality of the Thermal Camera, and the type of surface or object being measured.

Thermal Cameras with adjustable emissivity (which can greatly affect measurement accuracy) are more accurate.

Some Thermal Cameras allow you to adjust other parameters as well as ambient temperature, reflected temperature and atmospheric pressure to achieve more precision effectively.

Thermal Cameras with lower thermal sensitivity or Noise-Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) will also be more accurate. 

It measures the smallest temperature difference that a Thermal Camera can detect in the presence of an electronic circuit or water seepage.

Thermal sensitivity is measured in milliKelvins (mK). 

For example, cameras with 50 mK are about 4 times as sensitive as a camera with 200 mK. 

The more sensitive (50 mK) cameras provide a wider temperature difference, resulting in more colours on the thermal display.

Q3. Should I rent or buy a Thermal Camera?

We understand that high-end Thermal Cameras can be pricey.

This is because the cost of a Thermal Camera varies according to the capabilities it provides in return. 

In this case, renting a Thermal Camera for one-time use may sound like a fantastic idea.

Because you’re allowed to experiment with various Thermal Camera brands. 

You will be able to gain more Infrared experience in using Thermal Cameras if you decide to rent these cameras. 

However, once you buy a Thermal Camera, you’ll always have the tool nearby – saving you the trouble of scheduling meetings and renting it.

In this case, our best advice would be to consult an Infrared Thermography Expert to understand how various Thermal Cameras work and how to effectively operate them. 

This is to avoid wasting your money on purchasing the wrong equipment for your intended application.

This way, you’re 100% certain that you are investing in the right tools.

Ready To Become The Hero Of Your Facility?

If your job involves industrial facility maintenance, firefighting or HVAC, you’re familiar with the application of Thermal Cameras. 

Nevertheless, even if you’re just a homeowner who prefers to fix wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and similar issues of your own, you would need one of these life-changing technologies.

And that is because EVERYTHING that light touches emit thermal energy. 

With the abundance of choices in the market, it’s not an easy task to choose your ideal Thermal Camera…

“Here’s the Secret: What matters most are 2 things – what you plan to shoot with it, and how much you have to spend.”

Thermal Cameras have been a valuable tool in helping us to identify thermal or electrical issues both quickly and efficiently. 

 A picture is truly worth a thousand words.

 On this note, we hope that our list of Top 10 Best Thermal Cameras has inspired you in selecting the best model for your needs. 

 If you’re still wondering how to fully utilize and unlock the potential in your Thermal Cameras, seek professional advice from Infrared Thermography Experts to ensure you are investing in the best tools for your maintenance application.

P.S. We don’t sell Thermal Cameras ourselves, so be sure to expect only honest and unbiased feedback from us. Reach out to IIRT and we’ll be happy to guide you on selecting your perfect Thermal Camera today! 

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