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Top 8 best budget thermal imaging camera – Buying Guide 2020

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If you think you know everything, you do not. Thermal imaging cameras are the way to detect facts and figures that are not visible to the naked human eye, like infrared radiations in the form of light. A good quality thermal imaging camera can fulfil all your detective instincts, if chosen correctly.

It can be overwhelming to find the right product when the market is flooding with new products with new features, every single day.

Things to Consider Before Buying

To make the buying process easier, we have made a comprehensive and precise guide that will help you in understanding what to look for in thermal imaging cameras while making a purchase.

Resolution

Most of the thermal imaging cameras have lower resolution. HIgher detecting resolution helps in detecting smaller targets from far away, creating sharper images. It adds precision and accuracy when it comes to measurements.

Do not confuse image resolution to detection resolution. It does not matter if the image resolution is higher, lower detection resolution needs to be higher to make a difference in measurements.

Built-in Light

Would you prefer carrying an additional equipment with you or having a camera that comes with a built-in light or laser points to take better images and accurate detection of the real problem?

You can easily find the best budget thermal imaging camera with a good 3 to 5 megapixels camera that catch visible light and thermal images. Thermal imaging camera with onboard light helps in illuminating the darker places, giving accuracy and precision.  

File Formats

Mostly overlooked by almost every buyer, output file format plays an important role in determining the efficiency of the camera. You need to get the camera that offers multiple file formats to store your final results. Many cameras do not support JPEG storage with temperature analysis, which is a major drawback when we talk about sharing results.

Not just the image formats, a camera that allows you to stream MPEG 4 videos via USB to system adds value to your product and as well as the desired results. It helps in recording videos for places that encounter rapid temperature changes.

Bluetooth Enabled Camera

Besides temperature changes, there are a lot of factors like connectivity to other helpful devices that enhances your results, such as; severity of the moisture and electrical issues, humidity, voltage, amperage, and resistance. These devices help in transmitting the results directly to the camera, making it easier for you to product comprehensive results.

Wifi

How about streamlining the results directly without sharing manually and via email. Such a useful feature, especially when time is the essence. To make the best out of your purchase, it is important to look for a camera that is WiFi compatible. It allows you to view and share images from your phone directly.

Ergonomic Design

Isn’t technology is all about convenience?

Yes, it is. Cameras that are designed ergonomically are of the best use. To make sure, always check the weight of the camera as you never know for how long you will be using it. Light weight camera reduces the strain in your shoulder and wrist. A very useful feature, especially when you are buying it for professional use.

Ergonomically designed cameras are of the benefit you may never have thought of, such as;

  • Lenses that can tilt to various adjustable angles, allowing comfortable screen view.
  • Interactive controls; dedicated buttons, direct-access menus, touch-screen.
  • Changeable and rechargeable batteries. They help in longer working of the camera without causing interruption during work on the field.

P-I-P Feature

Advanced technology integrated into thermal cameras allows you to infuse the thermal image onto the visible image. It allows you to choose how much of the image you need to reveal behind the thermal image. Convenient as anything!

Personal preference

No matter how much of the features you look into if a product does not match your needs and requirement. Just like every product is not the same, every person has different needs.

Considering personal needs and the best features can get you the right product without hassle.

If still not sure which product to get, no worries at all. We have gathered the most amazing thermal imaging cameras for you that offers the best performance in the best budget.

IMAGESFEATURESRATINGSCHECK PRODUCT
Hti Xintai HT-19

☞ Display screen: 3.2” full angle
☞ IR resolution: 320*240
☞ Color palettes: Rainbow, Iron red, Cold color, Black and white, White and black
☞ Temp. measurements (F): -4-degrees to 572-degrees
4.4View Product
Hti Xintai HT-18

☞ Display screen: 3.2” full angle
☞ IR resolution: 220*160
☞ Color palettes: Rainbow, Iron red, Cold color, Black and white, White and black
☞ Temp. measurements (F): -4-degrees to 572-degrees
4.5View Product
FLIR - TG165

☞ Display screen: 2” full angle
☞ IR resolution: 80*60
☞ Color palettes: Hot Iron, Rainbow, Grayscale
☞ Temp. measurements (F): -13-degrees to 716-degrees
4.2View Product
FLIR - One Pro

☞ Display screen: None
☞ IR resolution: 160*120
☞ Color palettes: Gray, Hottest, Coldest, Iron, Rainbow, Rainbow HC, Arctic, Lava, Wheel
☞ Temp. measurements (F): 7-degrees to 752-degrees
4.1View Product
FLIR - C2

☞ Display screen: 3”
☞ IR resolution: 80*60
☞ Color palettes: Iron, Rainbow, Rainbow HC, Gray
☞ Temp. measurements (F): 14-degrees to 302-degrees
4.1View Product
BEASPIRE - THTL01E

☞ Display screen: 3.5”
☞ IR resolution: 220*160
☞ Color palettes: Iron red, Rainbow, Gray, Red gray, Gray blue
☞ Temp. measurements (F): 14-degrees to 752-degrees
4.6View Product
Hti Xintai HT-A1

☞ Display screen: 3.2”
☞ IR resolution: 220*160
☞ Color palettes: Rainbow, Iron oxide red, cold color, black heat, white heat
☞ Temp. measurements (F): -4-degrees to 572-degrees
4.1View Product
FLIR - E5

☞ Display screen: 3”
☞ IR resolution: 320*240
☞ Color palettes: Rainbow, Iron, Black and white
☞ Temp. measurements (F): -4-degrees to 482-degrees
4.4View Product

1. Hti-Xintai HT-19

Specifications

  • Display screen: 3.2” full angle
  • IR resolution: 320*240
  • Color palettes: Rainbow, Iron red, Cold color, Black and white, White and black
  • Temp. measurements (F): -4-degrees to 572-degrees
  • Frame rate: 9Hz
  • Thermal sensitivity (C): 0.07-degrees
  • Wavelength coverage: 8-14 um
  • Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Battery timing: 2-3 hours

If you are looking for a handheld TIC for professional use then this product is your best pick. This TIC is best for the use of 2.5-degrees accurate temperature reading-works. This product comes with a 3 GB included memory and it also has a USB connection with laptop and other devices. It has a simple mechanism with easy push-in button that starts up the device and helps you operate it immediately and easily.

This product has a rechargeable battery and it is light in weight for easier compatibility. Plus we checked out thermal imaging camera reviews and found out how much people loved this unit. It also has the best thermal camera app so you are good to go with this purchase.

This product can be used for following purposes:

  • HVAC (for detecting pipe leaks)
  • Electric (for electric faults that are invisible to naked eyes)
  • Auto repair (analysis of engines, exhaust systems and fault diagnostics in brake systems, etc.)
  • Pipeline

This product comes with:

  • 100% money back guarantee from the manufacturer.

2. Hti-Xintai HT-18

Specifications

  • Display screen: 3.2” full angle
  • IR resolution: 220*160
  • Color palettes: Rainbow, Iron red, Cold color, Black and white, White and black
  • Temp. measurements (F): -4-degrees to 572-degrees
  • Frame rate: 9Hz
  • Thermal sensitivity (F): +/-2.5-degrees
  • Wavelength coverage: 8-14 um
  • Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Battery timing: 2-3 hours

A 3.2” full image-display TIC with IR resolution of 220*160. It is equipped with built-in 3 GB memory for better image and recording storage and usage purposes. This handheld device gives accurate reading up to 2.5-degree temperature. This infrared thermal imaging camera comes with a protection pouch for safety purposes and it has a gun-shaped design for better handling. It has its own USB slot and a ring-shaped sensor design over the camera. A screen protector and camera cover for protection purpose. Make sure to use this as a infrared camera for home inspection.

This product can be used for following purposes:

  • HVAC
  • Machine (for electric faults and fluid leaks)
  • Auto repair
  • Geothermal pipeline 

. This product comes with:

  • 60-day money back guarantee
  • 2-years of technical warranty.

3. FLIR – TG165

Specifications

  • Display screen: 2” full angle
  • IR resolution: 80*60
  • Color palettes: Hot Iron, Rainbow, Grayscale
  • Temp. measurements (F): -13-degrees to 716-degrees
  • Frame rate: 9Hz
  • Thermal sensitivity (F): +/-1.5-degrees
  • Wavelength coverage: 8-14 um
  • Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Battery timing: 8 hours

This TIC product is 2-meter drop test durable and is the best handheld thermal imager. It has a minimum distance of 4-inches and power output of 1mW. Its IR picture resolution in pixels is 4800. Its spot ratio size is 24:1 and it is equipped with an 8 GB SD card. It has a gun-shaped design with a trigger-pull camera button and is much better than any diy thermal imaging camera.

The FLIR – TG165 is suitable for following applications:

  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Buildings
  • Automotive

This product comes with:

  • 2-year product warranty
  • 10-year technical warranty

4. FLIR – One Pro

Specifications

  • Display screen: None
  • IR resolution: 160*120
  • Color palettes: Gray, Hottest, Coldest, Iron, Rainbow, Rainbow HC, Arctic, Lava, Wheel
  • Temp. measurements (F): 7-degrees to 752-degrees
  • Frame rate: 8.7Hz
  • Thermal sensitivity (F): +/-1.5-degrees
  • Wavelength coverage: 8-14 um
  • Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Battery timing: 1 hours

It is a professional grade TIC for smartphones (this Is the iOS mode shown and it is also available for type-c port). This connector TIC works as effectively as a handheld TIC product. This cell phone thermal camera comes with a mobile application (FREE) which includes:

  • Exclusive contents
  •  Professional tips and tricks
  • Multiple spot meters
  • Easy automated reporting

This product gives MSX and VividIR graphic enhancements for sharp visual quality. This product is durable with 1.8-meter drop test. Plus with this product you don’t have to worry about thermal imaging for android.

FLIR – One Pro is suitable for following applications:

  • Building inspection
  • HVAC
  • Home inspection
  • Restoration

This product comes with:

  • 1-year product warranty

5. FLIR – C2

Specifications

  • Display screen: 3”
  • IR resolution: 80*60
  • Color palettes: Iron, Rainbow, Rainbow HC, Gray
  • Temp. measurements (F): 14-degrees to 302-degrees
  • Frame rate: 9Hz
  • Thermal sensitivity (F): +/-3.6-degrees
  • Wavelength coverage: 7.5-14 um
  • Weight: 4.6 ounces
  • Battery timing: 2 hours

This best handheld camera has a compact and digital camera-shaped TIC. It captures up to 500 radiometric images with MSX image enhancement. This product includes:

  • IR camera
  • Lanyard
  • Charger
  • USB cable
  • Printed documentation

It is pocket-size compatible and durable with 2-meter drop test. It has an automatic shutdown feature for power saving. So use this product instead of getting used thermal imaging cameras.

The FLIR – C2 is suitable for following applications:

  • Building Inspection
  • HVAC
  • Home inspection
  • Restoration

6. BEASPIRE – THTL01E

Specifications

  • Display screen: 3.5”
  • IR resolution: 220*160
  • Color palettes: Iron red, Rainbow, Gray, Red gray, Gray blue
  • Temp. measurements (F): 14-degrees to 752-degrees
  • Frame rate: <9Hz
  • Thermal sensitivity (F): +/-3.6-degrees
  • Wavelength coverage: 8-14 um
  • Weight: 23.84 ounces
  • Battery timing: 4 hours

This handheld TIC has a 3.5” high resolution screen equipped with a highly sensitive and accurate thermal sensor. It has a high contrast palette to pinpoint obvious objects. It has auto high-low temperature modes to detect objects with various temperature centers. This thermal camera for sale cheap is equipped with a 16 GB SD card and a USB connection port and equipped with LED lighting. It has a 2-meter drop test durablity

The THTL01E is suitable for following applications:

  • Building
  • HVAC
  • Electrical
  • DIY repair detection
  • Car temp. Detection
  • Factory energy detection
  • Mechanical
  • Facility maintenance

7. Hti-Xintai HT-A1

Specifications

  • Display screen: 3.2”
  • IR resolution: 220*160
  • Color palettes: Rainbow, Iron oxide red, cold color, black heat, white heat
  • Temp. measurements (F): -4-degrees to 572-degrees
  • Frame rate: 9Hz
  • Thermal sensitivity (F): +/-3.6-degrees
  • Wavelength coverage: 8-14 um
  • Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Battery timing: 2 hours

This cellphone-shaped TIC has a full angle display of 3.2”. Being a handheld thermal imaging camera it has a powerful thermography sensor which immediately spots hot and cold spots over the detection area. This TIC is efficiently portable and compatible for easier use. Users should note that they should use the original charger of this product that comes along with it. It has a separate digital camera lens with LED lighting for clear radio-thermal images.

The HT – A1 is suitable for following applications:

  • HVAC
  • Electrical
  • Building
  • Automotive

8. FLIR – E5

Specifications

  • Display screen: 3”
  • IR resolution: 320*240
  • Color palettes: Rainbow, Iron, Black and white
  • Temp. measurements (F): -4-degrees to 482-degrees
  • Frame rate: 9Hz
  • Thermal sensitivity (F): +/-3.6-degrees
  • Wavelength coverage: 7.5-13 um
  • Weight: 20.8 ounces
  • Battery timing: 2-3 hours

This TIC product has Measurement modes (Center spot and Area box) that helps you cover the area as best as possible. This product has a gun-shaped design with a pull-in trigger button for easier handing purposes. The images captured from this product are MSX enhanced and it is Wi-Fi enabled. It uses picture-on-picture overlaying feature to clarify that thermal image to its best. It has a 2-meter drop test durability.

So now you don’t need to look for thermal vs infrared cameras as you can get this one.

The FLIR – E5 is suitable for following applications:

  • HVAC
  • Home inspection
  • Building
  • Restoration

Conclusion

This is where we conclude the customer reviews for each product in a summarized manner.

  • Customers have highly recommended the product, Hti-Xintai HT-19, for its ease of use, value for money, battery life, accuracy and picture quality.
  • Customers have highly recommended the product, Hti-Xintai HT-18, for its battery life, picture quality, ease of use and value for money.
  • Customers have highly recommended the product, FLIR – TG165, for its picture quality, accuracy, battery life and ease of use.
  • Customers have highly recommended the product, FLIR – One Pro, for its energy efficiency, accuracy, battery life and value for money.
  • Customers have highly recommended the product, FLIR – C2, for its material quality, accuracy, value for money, battery life and ease of use.
  • Customers have highly recommended the product, BEASPIRE – THTL01E, for its accuracy, picture quality and ease of use.
  • Customers have highly recommended the product, Hti-Xintai HT-A1, for its quality and accuracy.
  • Customers have highly recommended the product, FLIR – E5, for its accuracy and money value.

FAQs

  • What is thermal imaging?

Images giving off heat signatures that invisible to human eye

  • What material thermal image cameras see-through?

These cameras particularly cannot see through the things, but read the temperature change caused by different reasons. For instance, it can see through the smoke, dust, fog, snow, sand, and dark, but not glass, walls, concrete, aluminium foil, rock, metal, human body, wood, and water etc.

  • How does thermal imaging work?

A special lens in the TIC focuses the infrared light emitted by the objects in view of that lens. The focused light is scanned by infrared-detector elements. Then the elements in that lens create a detailed temperature pattern

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