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13 Best Thermal Cameras Reviewed in 2023 (For Home & Work)

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The best thermal cameras let you see things invisible to the human eye. They reveal poor insulation, fire risks, and even dampness. And they come in many shapes and sizes. So we’ve selected the best thermal camera across styles and price ranges.

For the occasional user, the PerfectPrime IR202 is perfect. It combines ease of use and portability and is available for Android and iOS. Read on to find out which thermal camera is best for you.

Our Top Pick
PerfectPrime IR202 Thermal Image Camera
PerfectPrime IR202 Infrared Thermal Camera
Capture detailed thermal images with this USB-C thermal camera. It features advanced infrared technology for professional-grade results.

[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here].

What Is the Best Thermal Camera?

We’re going to look at our choices in detail. But first, here’s a summary of our recommended thermal cameras for you.

Camera Name
Why We Love It
Buy From
PerfectPrime IR202 Thermal Image Camera
Our Top Choice
  • Available for Android and iOS
  • Plug-and-play simplicity
  • 15 Hz refresh rate
  • Small and compact
  • Perfect for occasional use
FLIR ONE Gen 3 Thermal Camera
Best Value FLIR Camera
  • Available for iOS and Android
  • Micro USB and USB-C for Android
  • MSX imaging technology
  • Records video and stills to the cloud
  • Works with most phone cases
Seek Thermal CompactPRO Thermal Imaging Camera
Highest Resolution Plug-In
  • Android and iOS versions
  • USB-C and Micro USB for Android
  • High 320 x 240 pixel resolution
  • Neat and compact
  • Available in several versions
FLIR C3-X Thermal Camera
Best Value Standalone
  • MSX technology
  • 5 MP visible light sensor
  • Built-in LED light
  • Rugged construction
  • IP54 weather protection
FLIR TG267 Thermal Camera
Best Budget Pistol-Grip
  • MSX and laser for accurate aiming
  • Up to 5 hours of battery life
  • Tripod mount
  • 4 GB internal storage
  • IP54-rated for weather protection
HTI-Xintai HTI-19 Thermal Camera
Best Value for High Temperature Sensitivity
  • Up to 500 C temperature sensitivity
  • High resolution of 320 x 240 pixels
  • 50 mK sensitivity
  • 3 GB internal storage
  • Parallax error compensation
Seek Thermal Revealpro Thermal Camera
Best Hand-held
  • Affordable price point
  • Portable and lightweight design
  • Real-time high-resolution thermal imaging
  • Detects temperature range from -40 C to 626 C
  • Compact and durable design
CAT S62 Pro LTE Phone and Thermal Image Camera
Most Versatile
  • Thermal imaging up to 400 ft
  • 4,000 mAh battery for long-lasting power
  • 13 MP main camera and 8 MP front camera
  • Military-grade ruggedness
  • IP68 rating for dust and water protection
FLIR Scout TK Compact Thermal Imaging Monocular
Best for Security and Hunting
  • Detects heat signatures up to 100 yards away
  • Records still images and videos
  • Easy to use one-handed
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Rugged and waterproof construction
Seek Thermal ShotPRO Thermal Image Camera
Best for Streaming Images
  • Identifies temperature differences up to 1000 feet away
  • Detects both heat and cold spots
  • Capture images and videos in the included app
  • Easy-to-use and intuitive interface
  • Lightweight and compact design
BOSCH GTC400C Thermal Image Camera
Best Pro Choice
  • Instantly detects hot and cold spots
  • Allows quick and easy temperature measurement
  • 2 mK thermal sensitivity for accurate results
  • Features an intuitive user interface
  • Rugged construction for durability
FLIR MR277 Moisture Meter, IR Camera and Hygrometer
Best All-around Inspection Tool
  • Spot temperature differences quickly
  • High-sensitivity detector for accurate readings
  • Clear thermal image and visible image overlays
  • 4x digital zoom for easier analysis
  • Real-time thermal monitoring
FLIR E8-XT Infrared Camera
Highest Temperature Range
  • Quickly and easily diagnose problems
  • Accurate non-contact temperature measurement
  • Detects hidden problems
  • 8,500 temperature points for detailed images
  • High resolution imagery

13 Best Thermal Cameras

Now let’s look in more detail at our recommended thermal cameras. Jump to our buying guide at the end if you need some help sorting out features to consider. Or it may answer some questions you may have.

1. PerfectPrime IR202 Infrared Thermal Camera

PerfectPrime IR202 Thermal Image Camera
Brand PerfectPrime
Resolution 80 x 60 pixels
Sensitivity Range -40 to 752 F (-40 to 400 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 150 mK
Key Features 15 Hz frame rate, available for USB-C Android and iPhone
Best For Keeping in the toolbox for occasional use

The PerfectPrime IR202 is our best budget thermal imaging camera. And it makes you feel like James Bond. It attaches to the bottom of your Android smartphone via the USB-C socket or the Lightning port if you have an iPhone.

And it uses your phone’s battery and screen. So you don’t have to worry about the screen resolution. The idea is quite simple. Plug the infrared (IR) camera into the phone. Then use the phone’s processing power, battery, and screen to do the rest.

This is a very small unit. It adds a shade over an inch (2.5 cm) to the length of your phone. You can easily carry it in a bag or even in your pocket. And it comes with a pouch to protect it.

The refresh rate of the image is 15 Hz or 15 frames per second (fps). This is adequate if you’re looking for heat leaking from your house. If you want to identify prey on a hunt, then look elsewhere. A moving image with this low frame rate is tiring on the eyes.

It’s unlikely a daily building inspector would buy this. Not all industry people believe the product’s temperature range and sensitivity claims.

But it’s worth considering this thermal imaging camera if you have an occasional need. Or maybe you just fancy having a nifty thermal gadget to add to your collection.

There is another version available. It’s a pricier, higher-resolution thermal scanning camera.

2. FLIR ONE Gen 3 Thermal Camera

FLIR ONE Gen 3 Thermal Camera
Brand FLIR
Resolution 80 x 60 pixels
Sensitivity Range -4 to 248 F (-20 to 120 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 150 mK
Key Features MSX technology for quality, enhanced imaging, iPhone and Android USB-C versions
Best For Finding electric, insulation, or water problems around the house

FLIR is a pretty dominant brand in the thermal imaging camera sector. There is a wide range of FLIR cameras that cater to many budgets. And this is one of their cheaper ones.

Like the PerfectPrime, the FLIR ONE Gen 3 attaches an IR camera to the bottom of your phone. But it has its own battery that needs to be charged. So this could limit long sessions.

FLIR supplies an adapter to connect to Android handsets equipped with USB-C ports. Rather handily, you can adjust the connector. This means it should cope with a wide range of cases. So you don’t have to remove the case before using the thermal camera.

FLIR is a popular manufacturer because of its MSX (Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging) technology. Many thermal imaging devices allow you to see either thermal or visible light images.

Often cameras blend them to show more precisely where the hotspots (or coldspots) are. Remember, the thermal image is a much lower resolution than the visible light image. So having the detail from the visible light camera is a bonus.

MSX technology is slightly different. It takes the visible light images and uses them to emboss the thermal imaging. This can be very useful if you’re looking for a heat signature in a tangle of wires or pipes.

What the Gen 3 doesn’t do is allow infrared or visual images to be shown on their own. But this is their entry-level device, so the features are limited.

The FLIR app allows you to record stills and videos and organize the files. If you’re one of several users in an organization, there is a cloud option to store and access everyone’s images.

3. Seek Thermal CompactPRO Thermal Imaging Camera

Seek Thermal CompactPRO Thermal Imaging Camera
Brand Seek Thermal
Resolution 320 x 240 pixels
Sensitivity Range -40 to 626 F (-40 to 330 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 70 mK
Key Features 15 Hz frame rate, available for Micro USB, USB-C, and iPhone
Best For Multi-function indoor and outdoor use

Another thermal imaging phone attachment is the Seek Thermal CompactPRO. It helps you see everything from building problems to animals in the dark.

But be aware that the frame rate of the Seek Thermal CompactPRO could land you in trouble if you try to leave the US with it! There are restrictions on IR devices above certain specifications. This is put in place in case they’re used for military purposes.

So this is not an international travel option. Consider other options if your needs are linked to finding the best thermal imaging camera for travel.

The refresh rate of 15 Hz is higher than the FLIR ONE. And the IR image resolution is significantly higher. But you have to consider that there is no visual image blending or overlay. So the 320 x 240 resolution is the highest you get. This could be a deal breaker for you.

The CompactPRO is available in several different models. So it’s a consideration if you might change your phone soon. It also comes in cheaper Compact and Compact XR versions.

4. FLIR C3-X Compact Thermal Camera

FLIR C3-X Thermal Camera
Brand FLIR
Resolution 128 x 96 pixels
Sensitivity Range -4 to 572 F (-20 to 300 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 70 mK
Key Features MSX technology, LED light, and robust case
Best For Demanding everyday use

Like our second option, this is a FLIR. So you get MSX technology. This is also a standalone unit. So it has an IR camera and a visible light camera. It is a 5 MP device. This is much less than we are used to nowadays, but enough for these purposes.

The FLIR C3-X comes in a robust case designed to survive two-meter drops. The touchscreen display is 640 x 480 pixels. It’s low by phone and camera standards but adequate for the task. And there is an LED light to help the f/1.1 aperture on the visible-light camera in poor light.

This thermal camera offers good flexibility for viewing images. You can view what the IR sensors see or what the normal camera sees. Also, you can see the MSX or a picture-in-picture IR image on top of the visual image. The refresh rate is 9 Hz.

The FLIR C3-X uses a rechargeable battery. It should give you about 2 hours of use in normal circumstances. And as with all FLIR IR cameras, the software is key to making the most of the thermal images. It also allows easy sharing.

This rugged, no-nonsense thermal imaging device meets most needs very well. I haven’t included a separate entry for the FLIR C5. It is very similar to look at but has an upgraded sensor.

It also has a higher top limit of temperature detection of 752 F (400 C) and a better resolution of 160 x 120 pixels. This is a 50% increase. Both have IP54 weather ratings.

5. FLIR TG267 Thermal Camera

FLIR TG267 Thermal Camera
Brand FLIR
Resolution 160 x 120 pixels
Sensitivity Range -13 to 716 F (-25 to 380 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 70 mK
Key Features MSX, IP54 rating, laser aim indicator, 4 GB storage
Best For Using one-handed or with a tripod

This is another FLIR and another different body shape. The FLIR TG267 resembles a barcode scanner. The screen sits atop a pistol grip.

It has an IP54 rating and drop resistance. And it is easy to use with one hand and has a laser to show you where it’s pointing. The target market for these IR cameras is likely mechanics. 

The pistol grip allows for a bigger battery, giving you up to five hours of use. MSX imaging is there, of course. But you are limited to the IR image or the MSX.

There is no non-IR image available. But you can record visual images with temperatures overlaid.

There’s 4 GB of onboard storage. There is also a tripod mount, which is useful to have. There’s no Wi-Fi, so you must rely on the USB cable. And you also use this to charge the camera, which takes four hours to 90%.

If you need to use a thermal camera easily with one hand, the TG267 is well worth a look.

6. Hti-Xintai HTI-19 Infrared Thermal Camera

HTI-Xintai HTI-19 Thermal Camera
Brand Hti-Xintai
Resolution 320 x 240 pixels
Sensitivity Range -4 to 932 F (-20 to 500 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 50 mK
Key Features High maximum temperature and 3 GB memory
Best For Users needing a higher temperature range

The Hti HT19 is another pistol-grip camera for thermal imaging. It has 3 GB of onboard memory and a rechargeable battery. It should give you about three hours of recording thermal images.

The conventional camera records as usual. The refresh rate is 9 fps.

The menus allow you to adjust the position of the images. This is because, like any similar camera, there is some parallax error. This varies according to the distance from the subject.

The 50 mK sensitivity is impressive. So is the high maximum temperature of 932 F (500 C). This might be a major selling point for you at this price point.

In other ways, there are some shortcomings. There’s no tripod mount. There is no wireless option, so you must transfer images via USB. And there’s no target laser for easy target pointing.

The 320 x 240 resolution is a plus. And combined with the high maximum temperature range, it’s worth a look.

7. Seek Thermal Revealpro Thermal Imaging Camera

Seek Thermal Revealpro Thermal Camera
Brand Seek Thermal
Resolution 320 x 240 pixels
Sensitivity Range -40 to 626 F (-40 to 330 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 70 mK
Key Features 15 fps refresh rate and palm-held orientation
Best For Awkward access locations

The Seek Thermal RevealPRO is a rugged palm-held device. Unlike the FLIR C3-X, it’s easy to use this one-handed. That’s because the lens is on the lead edge of the housing, not opposite the screen.

The screen is covered by Gorilla glass for ruggedness. The 15 fps refresh rate is good for moving objects. And you can store the images on a normal SD memory card. But ironically, there’s no video capability.

There’s a built-in 300-lumen LED light to help illuminate your subject if it’s in total darkness. And the shape of this thermal camera is helpful in places with very narrow access. Plus, the light will help you find the right spot.

The RevealPRO has an interesting combination of features. In this case, it’s a matter of where you can or can’t make compromises.

8. CAT S62 PRO LTE GSM Mobile Phone and Thermal Camera

CAT S62 Pro LTE Phone and Thermal Image Camera
Brand CAT Phone
Resolution 160 x 120 pixels
Sensitivity Range -4 to 750 F (-20 to 400 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 50 mK
Key Features Unique Android phone with built-in IR camera
Best For Rough work environments

Take an Android phone, a FLIR sensor, and Gorilla Glass. And give them to a world-renowned heavy machinery manufacturer. Mix them up, and what do you have? It’s our choice of the most versatile thermal camera on the list!

The CAT S62 Pro ensures you always have a thermal camera. And you don’t have to treat it with kid gloves.

The FLIR Lepton 3.5 IR sensors sit alongside the rest of the parts on the CAT. It is a respectable spec for a 4G phone. So it can run all your usual apps.

CAT phones were engineered to withstand the rough handling of a construction site. So it’s drop-proof from 6 feet (1.8 m) and fully waterproof up to 5 feet (1.5 m) for 35 minutes. It is also designed to work with wet gloves or fingers.

The FLIR sensor means that you get excellent MSK image rendering. And the CAT S62 comes with a 12 MP main phone camera and a 1080 x 2160 pixel 5.7-inch display.

The S62 Pro is a great solution if you need to replace your phone, especially if you keep dropping them!

9. FLIR Scout TK Handheld Thermal Imaging Monocular

FLIR Scout TK Compact Thermal Imaging Monocular
Brand FLIR
Resolution 160 x 120 pixels
Sensitivity Range -4 to 104 F (-20 to 40 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 100 mK
Key Features Monocular design is excellent for hunting or security applications
Best For Detecting body heat at a distance

Admiral Lord Nelson famously saw no ships. If it was because it was dark, then he needed the FLIR Scout TK. This is yet another way of using infrared sensors. This time it is with a monocular-style telescope.

This thermal camera is designed for a different purpose. This is not your tool if you’re looking for a central heating leak.

But it might be good if you’re a hunter looking for animals in the dark. It has a relatively low sensitivity range. So it’s aimed at highlighting body heat against a colder target.

The Scout TK can spot warm-blooded creatures up to 262 ft (80 m) away, even in total darkness. It’s real James Bond stuff! But it’s an expensive toy unless you have a real reason for this capability. But it does this well.

10. Seek Thermal ShotPRO Handheld Thermal Imaging Camera

Seek Thermal ShotPRO Thermal Image Camera
Brand Seek Thermal
Resolution 320 x 240 pixels
Sensitivity Range -40 to 626 F (-40 to 330 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 70 mK
Key Features Live sharing of images via Wi-Fi, 4 GB storage
Best For Sharing hotspot images with others

With 4 GB internal storage and 4-hour battery life, the Seek Thermal ShotPro is aimed at serious users. It also has the Thermal company’s equivalent of FLIR’s MSX.

Thermal calls it SeekFusion Technology, and it offers similar performance. An on-screen slider lets you adjust the blend of available and IR light in any image.

This thermal imaging device is shaped more like a compact camera than other infrared ones. It has a camera-like handgrip on the right-hand side. And it has a tripod mount for stable fixing.

If you need to share the images you are seeing, you can stream from the ShotPro via its built-in Wi-Fi. And it’s rated at IP54 for bad weather use. So it’s a good choice for tradespeople who need a reliable thermal imaging camera.

11. BOSCH GTC400C Thermal Camera

BOSCH GTC400C Thermal Image Camera
Resolution 160 x 120 pixels
Sensitivity Range 14 to 752 F (-40 to 400 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 50 mK
Key Features Flexible power options using Bosch Li-ion battery packs or AA cells
Best For Professionals needing consistent reliability

Before we look at this BOSCH GTC400C in detail, it is worth noting one thing. So far, the prices of the IR cameras in this review have increased incrementally. Now, they soar. This Bosch is about twice the price of the previous camera!

This machine is for pros who recognize and value Bosch’s rep for reliability and quality. So what do you get for this money?

First of all, Bosch uses its own rechargeable 12-volt Li-ion batteries. This means that a tradesperson might already have the charger and spare batteries. If the 4-hour battery life isn’t enough, you can resort to 4 AA batteries as a backup.

The GTC400C offers visible light and IR images which can be overlaid for clarity. And data can be transferred via Wi-Fi or USB. Plus, images can be shared and viewed on smartphones or computers.

12. FLIR MR277 Thermal Imaging Camera

FLIR MR277 Moisture Meter, IR Camera and Hygrometer
Brand FLIR
Resolution 160 x 120 pixels
Sensitivity Range 32 to 122 F (0 to 50 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 150 mK
Key Features MSX, moisture and humidity sensors, 8-hour battery
Best For Building inspectors exploring structural problems

The basic specs of the FLIR MR277 might not seem that impressive. After all, it is a little more expensive than the Bosch. But it does have some extra tricks up its thermal sleeves.

Ordinary thermal imaging cameras can show you where damp spots might be. This relies not just on temperature differences but on the effect moisture has. An area of dampness is cooler because of evaporative cooling. But this is not infallible.

An area might be cooler because there is excess heat elsewhere. So thermal imaging cameras on their own might not be good enough.

This is where the MR277 comes in. It doesn’t just measure infrared radiation. It has smart sensors to detect humidity and moisture. And it also has moisture sensors for invasive and non-invasive dampness detection.

FLIR combines this with eight-hour battery life and MSX imaging capabilities. This gives you a versatile workhorse for a building tradesperson.

13. FLIR E8-XT Infrared Camera

FLIR E8-XT Infrared Camera
Brand FLIR
Resolution 320 x 240 pixels
Sensitivity Range -4 to 1022 F (-20 to 550 C)
Thermal Sensitivity 50 mK
Key Features Very high maximum temperature sensitivity
Best For Professionals needing its high heat capability

The FLIR E8-XT is our final FLIR and our final camera. And it’s another doubling of cost. Even priced over $3,000, this is not in the heavy-hitter league of thermal imaging cameras. The most notable feature of the FLIR E8-XT is the top end of its sensitivity.

At 1022 F (550 C), this is clearly aimed at professionals who need to work with very high temperatures. People in this market need specific features. And they are willing to pay for what they need because it is essential for their work.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this camera? How little it differs from the cheaper ones. That’s not to say it isn’t worth the money. It is to say how well-equipped even some of the cheapest thermal imaging cameras are.

Buying Guide for Thermal Cameras

Here are some answers to a few FAQs. We hope they help you in your buying decision.

How Do I Choose a Thermal Imaging Camera?

Thermal cameras are used to detect and visualize thermal radiation. This is emitted by all objects based on their temperature. Thermal cameras are often used in industrial and engineering applications. But they have become more popular for personal use in recent years.

Thermal cameras come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are small handheld cameras to large-format ones you can mount on drones.

There are many factors you should consider when purchasing a thermal camera. These include the resolution, spectral range, and image processing capabilities.

A thermal imagine camera showing the thermal image of a house

How Does a Thermal Imaging Camera Work?

Light is one tiny segment of the electromagnetic spectrum. Imagine visible light as one octave on a piano. And the whole electromagnetic spectrum would stretch from Earth to the Sun. Thermal imaging cameras work by “seeing” the infrared (IR) section of that spectrum.

Heat produces IR. And a thermal imaging camera uses this infrared radiation to tell you how hot something is. Like a normal camera, a thermal imaging camera has a lens and a sensor. In this case, those sensors detect IR radiation.

Like a conventional camera, they present that information on a screen and save it to a memory device. You can then see the various temperatures of everything displayed in the image.

A thermal image of two people

What Are the Important Features of a Thermal Camera?

These are the key features to look out for when buying thermal imaging cameras:

  • Resolution: Like a normal digital camera, this is how many pixels there are. Pixel count isn’t nearly as crucial as it is in digital photography. You don’t need to see the pattern on your brickwork. You just want to know how warm it is. So the best thermal cameras have better resolution than cheaper ones. It just might not be as crucial as we are used to.
  • Sensitivity Range: This is the scope of max and minimum temperatures the thermal cameras can “see.” Our review’s cheapest camera is very sensitive. The PerfectPrime IR202 range is -40 F to 752 F (-40 to 400 C). The extreme ranges are cold enough for most and hotter than your pizza oven. But it’s not quite hot enough for the fire brigade!
  • Thermal Sensitivity: This is the smallest detectable temperature difference between two measurement points. Thermal sensitivity is measured with the cutest measurement unit in science. It is the milli-Kelvin (mK). Again, using our list’s cheapest camera as an example, it has 150 mK sensitivity. That means every pixel can tell the temperature difference between areas—of as little as 0.15 C! The lower the number, the more sensitive the sensor. But 150 mK is way more than sufficient to find where heat is escaping.
  • A Visible Light Camera: This helps us see conventional and infrared images. After an illness and eye surgery, Claude Monet could see IR light. But we can’t. So overlaying the IR images on a normal photo helps us see where the hotspots are.
  • Style: You either have it, or you don’t! But here, I’m referring to the body that houses the thermal imaging camera. Some camera bodies are like barcode scanners. And others are like small, chunky mobile phones. And speaking of mobile phones, some attach via the USB or Lightning port on the base of your phone.
  • Screen Resolution: Does the thermal imaging camera use your phone? Then the screen resolution will be good. Otherwise, check the camera itself so it won’t disappoint.
An engineer taking a thermal image of a HVAC unit

Conclusion: Best Thermal Cameras

The best thermal camera is the PerfectPrime IR202. This is due to its advanced features, easy-to-use design, and affordability. This camera offers a reliable and accurate way to detect temperature differences. And is perfect for both professional and amateur use.

Its USB-C connection allows for quick transfer of data. And its lightweight design makes it easy to transport. It’s the best choice for a reliable and accurate thermal camera.

PerfectPrime IR202 Thermal Image Camera
PerfectPrime IR202 Infrared Thermal Camera USB-C
Capture detailed thermal images with this USB-C thermal camera. It features advanced infrared technology for professional-grade results.
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