I use the C2 from Flir. Actually, come to think of it every person in the company I work for has a C2 due to it's $800 tag. Unfortunately, I have a silly PM that relies on it exclusively and I have had to nicely tell him he goofed and that areas are still wet without putting a meter on it.
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Your price at checkout is $1,249.00.
C2s are great beginner thermal cameras - their resolution isn't the highest, and you must get fairly close to the surfaces to get good images, but they are a great way to introduce the technology into your protocols without taking out a loan, heh. They have the look and feel of typical point-and-shoot digital cameras and one can be proficient with them in a matter of minutes. They're also great for letting a panicked, upset customer or penny-pinching adjuster feel like they're a part of the diagnostic process; I have seen customers actually laugh and smile when handed a thermal camera and told to "take a peek around", despite the fact that their sofa is still standing in water. Not only is it a good distraction from their worry, but they now feel involved, and less like they're going to be taken advantage of, since they have visible proof of where the problems lie.
The "stick" type E-series cameras - E4, E6, E8, etc - offer better resolution in most cases, plus more functions in the unit. They're a great mid-step camera, or even a beginning camera for someone who's tech-proficient. (This is the type of camera used by the "ghost hunters" in the TV show American Horror Story: Roanoke, by the way)
Once you get comfortable with thermal imaging and its limitations (remember, you're not seeing moisture, only temperature differences that might indicate moisture), you can progress to more advanced models based on your needs. Some offer report-building and WiFi capability, video recording, data logging, they even have combo units that act as moisture meters, psychrometers, and cameras all at once. These can be less intuitive to use and are best bought in conjunction with a training class to really get the most out of them. I don't usually recommend these as a first IR camera, but rather as what a lead tech or owner would get once he passes his old C2 or E6 along to the next guy down the pipeline.
I suppose that's one way to approach it. Although I personally hate buying things a second time because I didn't make the wiser initial purchase.
Why pay 3/4 of the cost of good camera for a "starter" camera. You working in an industry where the average loss is 3k. Spending more on a camera that will earn you more income is more an investment than an expense.
Multiple level losses are difficult if not impossible to process without one. While true it doesn't show you moisture. It does show you where the materials affected by moisture temperature is different from those that are not.
I would spend the several hundred dollars more for a good camera. Also invest in a non destructive meter and an intrusive probe meter. Again these instruments are not extravagances, but necessary tools in the WDR business. You will make you money back in the areas it finds that need drying. You will also improve productivity when inspecting and when validating dryness.
Never said I wanted bottom dollar. I just would like to know what I'm getting for an extra $500 seeing as the resolution is exactly the same. I can see maybe it's more durable but other than that it pretty much seems exactly the same. I haven't seen them in person i'm just going by the comparisons on Flir's website.
The phone attachment is only $50 less than the C2 so that would not seem like a wise buy to me.
I tried the phone version... it was OK... but a hassle.
Posted a C2 pic for a job from yesterday. I don't use the actual camera of the C2, I guess habit from the old B Cam's we had. It's enough to point me to what I should be concerned about looking at further.