Thermal cam, best purchase I've ever made....

Jennifer

Electricity kills, think twice before acting.
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Nov 15, 2019
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436
While a fan of FLIR from my law enforcement days, they're quickly being replaced by cam's with better resolution and for cheaper prices, I don't have tax payers money to waste.... It appears a second BattleBorn is going back for warranty.......


Highly recommended, plus you can get a macro close range lens clip on for PCB work, video link at bottom of post.


Jen

IMG_0015.jpegIMG_0015 (1).jpeg

 
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time2roll

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I love new toys (or tools). Is this the best on the market? Don't need lowest price. What else is comparable?
 

Jennifer

Electricity kills, think twice before acting.
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I love new toys (or tools). Is this the best on the market? Don't need lowest price. What else is comparable?
Best on the market is up to you, it’s not FLIR, but neither is the price…With this resolution and refresh rate, for the price it sure is.
 

LB3

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Sep 12, 2020
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Prices have really dropped. 20 years ago my company bought a comparable thermal camera for one of our labs and it cost $20k back when a dollar was still worth something.
 

Jennifer

Electricity kills, think twice before acting.
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FLIR has a phone attachment at $200 to $400. Not too bad.
Until you read the reviews on Amazon and see those who've had the lightning connector get broken and been told by FLIR that they don't repair it and the money they spent was now in the garbage or that FLIR watermarks every image you take like they still own the device, the arrogance of the company kept me from buying it.


1648958076204.png

1648958108738.png
 

Just John

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I love mine, I bought the 260B (higher resolution). It does however have problems, it likes to forget the date/time and settings. The resolution and responsiveness is great. It REALLY helps you to diagnose any problems related to poor connections (which is probably the number one problem).

I bought mine here:


Note that you may wish to purchase from one of the links Jennifer gave. I say this because if I hadn't purchased directly from China (and saved $60 to $200) I would have returned/exchanged mine. As it is, I just reset the date/time every time I use it and verify the settings. Battery life is very good in my opinion.
 
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robby

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I was going to stay out of this post but since it popped up again I am just going to say that anybody thinking of getting a Thermal Camera made in China should think again. I have tried three different models and they all suffer from the same issue, which is low dynamic range.

Flir had the market pretty much sewn up, they make their cameras in America but then they went into a partnership with DJI in China to make thermal cameras for DJI Drones with the manufacturing for DJI drone Cameras done in China. Within about two years the typical thing was happening. DJI was evidently making Cameras and selling them on the grey market to other companies. When Flir found out about it they broke off the deal and DJI started to make the Cameras without Flirs help. Evidently there is some secret sauce in the way Flir makes their sensors that DJI and the other Chinese companies it partnered with could not figure out. All three of the Chinese Versions that I tested had the same Dynamic Range issue.

Here is the most expensive one i tried and I put it up head to head against the iPhone Flir One Pro Camera.
HiKMicro B20 (Price $550) (Resolution 256 x 192)

Flir One Pro ($399) (Resolution 160 x 120)

Almost all the Chinese cameras I tried had much more resolution than the Flir, so they should have beat it easily in image quality but they didn't. Add that to the Dynamic Range issue and it makes things a lot worst.


So here is an example with the Visual Light Camera Turned off and all you are seeing is the Thermal Camera image of my Work bench soldering Iron.

HikMicro B20
IMG20211026173910.thm.jpeg

Same Image on the Flir One Pro
RPQC9141.JPG

As you can see the Chinese IR sensor is able to easily pickup the heat at the hottest spots but it cannot detect heat that is radiating nearby. One would say the sensor is blinded by the heat but that is really not the case. I did extensive comparisons on all four models and it is just a case of low dynamic range. It can only see within a limited range at one time.

The Flir not only see's the hottest objects but it can see the heat reflected off of objects nearby as well as the heat going down the handle of the soldering Iron into the stand etc.


Here is the Photos with the Visual Camera Turned on in Overlay Mode.

Flir One Pro
Soldering Iron.JPG

HikMicro B20
IMG20211026173621.thm.jpeg

These pictures pretty much speak for themselves.
The HikMicro produced Images that were ever just slightly better than the other two Chinese cameras I used.
All of the Chinese Thermal cams in this Sub $600 Price range seemed to use the same sensor and had exactly the same issue. I even tried a Knock off version of the Flir Pro one that fits under the Phone and it was even worst than the Hikmicro and had the same Dynamic Range Issue.

If you don't believe these Picture I have ones of AC Duct work where you cannot even see half of the cold leaks with Chinese versions but you can see them all with the Flir.

As for those cherry picked review comments. If you look the vast majority of people had no issues. I just push on the Flir to my phone and I know its there so I don't bang around the Phone while it's attached. When i am done taking thermal pictures I take it off and slip it in my pocket.

If your really paranoid then buy one of these and the problem is solved: Lightning Cable Extender
I bought one after reading those breaking off posts but in the end I never really used it.

I was told that the Water Marks in the Flir are there because the Chinese companies are using Flir Images and then layering their GUI into the picture with Photoshop and then use it when doing adverts for their products.
So it's basically copyright protection by Flir.
 
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Jennifer

Electricity kills, think twice before acting.
Joined
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Messages
436
I was going to stay out of this post but since it popped up again I am just going to say that anybody thinking of getting a Thermal Camera made in China should think again. I have tried three different models and they all suffer from the same issue, which is low dynamic range.
Thank you for your exhaustive and detailed post Robby, all info is appreciated.
Jen
 

OzSolar

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As for those cherry picked review comments. If you look the vast majority of people had no issues. I pop on the Flir, I know its there so I don't bang around the Phone while it's attached. When i am done taking thermal pictures I take it off and slip it in my pocket.
That is solid real world advice. Thank you so much!

One tidbit, which might just be my own private Idaho, is that in my experience the only reason anyone at Apple gets out of bed in the morning is to crush any product or app who's not them. My fear is that in less than year plugging the FLIR into my iPhone will result in all sorts of issues with the bottom line being that I have a $400 paperweight that looks like a really nice thermal imaging camera. 2 years and 5 IOS updates from now it's goner for sure. Can you speak this concern?
 

Biasjo

Renewable energy user - North Carolina
Joined
Dec 19, 2021
Messages
477
While a fan of FLIR from my law enforcement days, they're quickly being replaced by cam's with better resolution and for cheaper prices, I don't have tax payers money to waste.... It appears a second BattleBorn is going back for warranty.......


Highly recommended, plus you can get a macro close range lens clip on for PCB work, video link at bottom of post.


Jen

View attachment 89554View attachment 89555

The FLIR E4 is the same hardware as the E8.
It’s just software locked.

Whole forum as to how to upgrade the E4 to E8.


I bought E4 off Amazon and upgrade it.
 

robby

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That is solid real world advice. Thank you so much!

One tidbit, which might just be my own private Idaho, is that in my experience the only reason anyone at Apple gets out of bed in the morning is to crush any product or app who's not them. My fear is that in less than year plugging the FLIR into my iPhone will result in all sorts of issues with the bottom line being that I have a $400 paperweight that looks like a really nice thermal imaging camera. 2 years and 5 IOS updates from now it's goner for sure. Can you speak this concern?
Your Welcome.
Never really gave that a thought but this product has been around now for several years and I do not see Flir abandoning it. They will most likely just adapt any future App to handle older devices. The Pro is an upgrade and I think third in the line and the software works with all three. Worst case is using older iPhone that I have lying around. I have an my old iPhone 6S and my wife's old iPhone 8 that I charge every 4 months and then throw in a drawer, maybe it would be a good idea to load the App on those while it is still compatible.

Not sure what your talking about with 2 years and 5 updates and a "Goner for sure".
I still personally use an iPhone 8 and it is updated to the latest iOs Ver 15.4.1 and I got that 5 years ago. The iPhone 6S I have is also running Ver 15.4.1 and that one is 7 Years old. I think you got things backward, it is Android that keeps on dropping older devices. They use to guarantee two updates after purchase but due to the complaints they recently (2021) changed it to four updates on phones bought after 2019. That means a 2018 Galaxy S9 is no longer getting updates. While my 2015 iPhone 6S still is.
 
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rhino

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Minnesota
I just received an Hti19 yesterday which has a 320x240 image sensor for $469 and so far I am impressed but this is my first thermal imaging sensor. Far better than the $550 HikMicro B20 robby showed and looks close to the Flir image but I'm not sure about the dynamic range. I'll see if I can get some images off of it tomorrow.
 

Jennifer

Electricity kills, think twice before acting.
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
436
That is solid real world advice. Thank you so much!

One tidbit, which might just be my own private Idaho, is that in my experience the only reason anyone at Apple gets out of bed in the morning is to crush any product or app who's not them. My fear is that in less than year plugging the FLIR into my iPhone will result in all sorts of issues with the bottom line being that I have a $400 paperweight that looks like a really nice thermal imaging camera. 2 years and 5 IOS updates from now it's goner for sure. Can you speak this concern?
Yup, exactly, that's also why I didn't go with the FLIR one for the iphone.... it wasn't that long ago that we were using iPhones with this on them, when was the last time you saw any charge cables in the store with the 19 pin? LOL 1649647225046.png
 

robby

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Yup, exactly, that's also why I didn't go with the FLIR one for the iphone.... it wasn't that long ago that we were using iPhones with this on them, when was the last time you saw any charge cables in the store with the 19 pin? LOL View attachment 90715
Hmmm one change in 10 Years :rolleyes:
The biggest problem you will have with any of these IR devices is when the Internal battery goes bad and you find out that the manufacturer no longer has replacements in stock! Then your looking at eBay for cheap Chinese replacements and those typically don't hold a charge.
 
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Biasjo

Renewable energy user - North Carolina
Joined
Dec 19, 2021
Messages
477
Hmmm one change in 10 Years :rolleyes:
The biggest problem you will have with any of these IR devices is when the Internal battery goes bad and you find out that the manufacturer no longer has replacements in stock! Then your looking at eBay for cheap Chinese replacements and those typically end up not holding a charge.
That’s exactly what happened with the first 2 version of the FLIR pro. I bought one and the battery was dead in a month.

I got the E4 which has a like a Milwaukee type battery. Easy to replace and source even if FLIR didn’t warranty it..
 

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
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Mar 28, 2020
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10,960
Here's the IR camera I borrowed, and pix I took of PV panels.
IR0006 Thermal Camera $ 599.99 USD 320 x 240

 

robby

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May 1, 2021
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That’s exactly what happened with the first 2 version of the FLIR pro. I bought one and the battery was dead in a month.

I got the E4 which has a like a Milwaukee type battery. Easy to replace and source even if FLIR didn’t warranty it..
They had a batch of them at some point that had battery problems.
Since about mid 2021 they seem to have sorted out the battery issue. Mine will hold a charge for several months when put in storage, I have no idea how long it will last while in use because I have never used it long enough to go below 50%.

I see you "upgraded" yours to the E8. Does it have all the same functionality including resolution of the E8 now?
That would be a huge $$ savings!
 
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