Thermal imaging cameras can often prove to be invaluable tools for tradespeople and contractors, allowing them to detect leakages and identify construction problems quickly and safely.

However, not all thermal imaging cameras are built alike. Here are a few basic things that you should look for when purchasing a thermal imaging camera in order to ensure you maximise the return on your investment.

Display size and image quality 

Perhaps the most important thing to look for in a thermal imaging camera is a large, vibrant and easy-to-understand display.

Having a thermal imaging camera with a high resolution level and a wide field of view will allow you to cover a greater area more quickly, taking precise and accurate measurements and improving your productivity while on the job.

Your camera should have a minimum screen size of 3.5 inches. Some models offer screens 4 inches or larger, and these can be a worthwhile investment if you will be using your device often to cover large areas.

Thermal sensitivity 

Another important thing to consider when purchasing a thermal imaging camera is thermal sensitivity. Devices with a higher level of thermal sensitivity will be capable of showing a more significant thermal contrast even in areas where there is little difference in temperatures.

Thermal sensitivity is typically measured in Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD), which is expressed in terms of Millikelvin. Cameras with a lower NETD rating will deliver a better image, that is easier to understand.

Durability and ease of use 

Finally, you want to ensure you purchase a thermal imaging camera that is intuitive and easy to use, but also durable and able to stand up to the hazardous environments in which it may be utilised.

This is one area where there simply is no replacement for quality. Investing a little bit extra in a superior model will pay off in the long run, through continued reliability and accuracy long after a cheaper model may have reached the end of its life span.

It’s important to note that there are many factors and variables that contribute to an effective thermal imaging camera, and what is right for one tradesperson might not be perfect for another. For that reason, make sure you do your research and assess your options thoroughly before making a final decision.

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