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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone
This is not your average device. Camera, yes, but very low resolution. 80x80 or 6400 pixels. About 0.006 megapixel. Think of it as 6400 thermometers in an 80x80 array. Also, not for low temperatures, no good for snow and ice. So why buy it?

If you are a building improvement type, very useful for spotting heat 'leaks', or hotspots. You could use one of the far...
Published on November 18, 2010 by T. Conrad

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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for iPad or Printed Reports
Probably great to satisfy curiosity regarding temperaturs and heat or cooling leak indications. Representation on hand-held screen is crisp and clear. Uses a micro-SD card to store photos, but camera does not creat photo file folder (DCIM or similar) recognized by most computers including iPad nor will a Blackberry if you want to Email it while in the field...
Published on November 16, 2010 by Norman N. Mcdonald


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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone, November 18, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Extech i5 Thermal Imaging Camera - Part# IRC40 (Tools & Home Improvement)
This is not your average device. Camera, yes, but very low resolution. 80x80 or 6400 pixels. About 0.006 megapixel. Think of it as 6400 thermometers in an 80x80 array. Also, not for low temperatures, no good for snow and ice. So why buy it?

If you are a building improvement type, very useful for spotting heat 'leaks', or hotspots. You could use one of the far less expensive infrared thermometers, but they measure only one point at a time. You would have to scan the surface and hope you didn't miss anything. With this, you can capture an entire side of a house, and save the image. For electrical circuits, one shot of a circuit breaker panel shows the relative loading of each circuit. Breakers with higher loads are warmer. I use it for design and troubleshooting of electronic circuit boards. Easy to spot overloads and shorts. The old method was to feel each component. That can hurt if you find a very hot one. With the i5, one image shows all, without missing anything. Easy to check the effectiveness of a cooling fan.

A word about Extech: They make a wide variety of low cost handheld instruments. Not as good as Fluke or Agilent, but more affordable. The i5 is not really Extech, but is made by FLIR, the parent company. FLIR has been in the thermal imaging business for a long time, the i5 is their entry level product.

The unit is very easy to use. Push the on/off button, wait a bit for the internal calibration and warm up, open the shutter (rocker arm under the lens) and point at something. To save an image, pull the 'trigger' on the front of the unit. You get a false color image, warmer generating reds, yellow or white, colder green, blue, violet. A scale on the image shows the temperature range. Time and date may be included on each image if you desire. You can review previously captured images with a single button push. You can copy the images to a computer with the mini-SD adaptor, but far easier to use the included USB cable. The i5 looks like a small disk drive, drag the images to wherever you need them. The lens is fixed focus, minimum working distance is about 2 feet.

The quick start guide has about 21 languages. Extech/FLIR sell this everywhere. The manual does not tell you how to configure the AC adaptor. You have to select from one of half a dozen plugs (for just about anywhere in the world), and insert it in the wall wart before using it. Line it up carefully, slide it in until it clicks, and you are ready to go. Takes about 4 hours to fully charge the battery. The included memory card is 512 megabytes, it will hold about 5000 images.

And you cannot take "pictures" of someone under their clothes. You will get the outside temperature of their apparel. Generally very close to room temperature.

So it isn't for everyone, but if you need to measure temperatures over an area, this is the most economical unit on the market.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little thermal camera!, June 21, 2011
This review is from: Extech i5 Thermal Imaging Camera - Part# IRC40 (Tools & Home Improvement)
I purchased my Extech I5 Thermal Imaging Camera in 2008 for 3000.00. As a water and mold damage remediation professional, I saw the need for specialized tools to increase the accuracy and veracity of my remediation projects. I have performed approximately 200 water and or mold damage projects since buying this camera, and the Extexh I5 has become invaluable to
me. Many a sceptical and uncertain home owner has been persuaded to proceed with water damage remediation once I showed them a thermal scan "proving" the presence of water in areas that to the human eye looked perfectly normal.
Water in organic items like wood or sheetrock can grow mold if not dealt with promptly. If you can't see the water, you probably will not remove it! Thermal imaging is a great tool to use to protect your greatest investment!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice thermal camera, but be careful, January 14, 2012
By 
R. S. Winsor (Northern Virginia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Extech i5 Thermal Imaging Camera - Part# IRC40 (Tools & Home Improvement)
This is a nice camera. It has a couple of design flaws in terms of user interface that detract from an otherwise great camera. The directional pad is some sort of super-thick unresponsive piece of rubber, and provides no tactile feedback at all. It sure seems like Extech could have done a lot better on this one simple thing. It's really a crappy button design. Let me emphasize this: the buttons should be completely re-done!
Now for the good part - the camera has nice capability and I find myself using it a lot around the house and at work. The auto-ranging feature on the temperature scales (upper and lower) is real nice and so is the ability to lock into a particular range. Storing an image is easy and so is reviewing a saved image. The software for analyzing the images on a PC is nice and there is quite a lot that can be done with it.

There is one area where all users should be careful - very careful - and that is with shiny objects, especially windows. These surfaces do a lot of reflecting so the result is that the camera sees a combination of both the thermal output of the shiny surface PLUS the reflection of other thermal objects. When there is a strong difference between the reflected object and the shiny surface temperature, you are more likely to see a result of the portion that is reflected rather than the temperature of the surface itself. Since many users tend to use these cameras to assess heat loss in homes, the windows are a real source of error, and a lot of care is needed in interpreting results. This is not a camera defect - it is merely an issue with the physics of such sensing.

UPDATE: After using it a while it's apparent that the folks at FLIR did not think through the battery charging. Battery life is decent for my use (I am not a real heavy user), but the charger is 5V, and this thing has a USB port for transferring files, but you can't charge it through the USB port. That's just plain wrong. A nuisance flaw in an otherwise nice camera. And, if you damage your charger, the $60 that FLIR/EXTECH charges (pun not intended) for a replacement charger is absurd. Just get a simple 5V AC/DC adapter charger from Radio Shack (or similar) that has the right tip - and orient the plug for a positive tip. Most adapters that come with multiple tip styles will have this type of tip.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, December 3, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Extech i5 Thermal Imaging Camera - Part# IRC40 (Tools & Home Improvement)
I work at a construction company and needed to get this for the company so we could find a short in a heated tile floor. It worked perfect. Found the spot in just a couple of minutes. After that I took it home and played with it for a long while. I can see where cold air is coming into the house from around doors and windows and such. I also shot it at my bedroom ceiling and saw cold spots and could also see the rafters through the sheetrock. When I went into the attic to investigate it showed where the heat was coming through the insulation. When I looked close at those spots I could see how the insulation was not completely covering everything. I would never have been able to notice it otherwise. I can see that I have cold spots coming under baseboards, especially in the corners. I could also see what electronics were eating up electricity, even in standby mode. Put your hand on the wall for 2 seconds and then take it off, you see a perfect hand print that lasts for more than a minute. I shot it at the side of my freezer in the garage, you can see the coils behind the panel. You can tell exactly what temperature is coming out of each of your HVAC vents. I could see how much heat is escaping my house through the chimney (with no fire).
Now I don't think it is worth it to spend that much money to find this stuff out, I certainly wouldn't buy one for that. But since the company bought it, I love it. I hate to have to bring it back to the office.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for iPad or Printed Reports, November 16, 2010
This review is from: Extech i5 Thermal Imaging Camera - Part# IRC40 (Tools & Home Improvement)
Probably great to satisfy curiosity regarding temperaturs and heat or cooling leak indications. Representation on hand-held screen is crisp and clear. Uses a micro-SD card to store photos, but camera does not creat photo file folder (DCIM or similar) recognized by most computers including iPad nor will a Blackberry if you want to Email it while in the field.

Potential customers cannot see immediate results of surveys except on handheld screen unless carrying a Windows OS laptop. Technical Support answered on 2nd ring, was great and said no getting around this.

Accompanying software for Microsoft computers only. Instruction book is on CD, 164 pages that you can print out and have bound at Staples for just under $5.00. Instruction book contains a lot of infared technology history and other potentially valuable informational data, but not exceptionally revealing about the device.

Photo size on memory card is 80 x 80 and image distorts when attempting to insert into MS Word documents used for written reports.

Manufacturer literature states that this is an entry-level device that may fit your needs.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars i 5 Thermal Imaging Camera, October 25, 2012
This review is from: Extech i5 Thermal Imaging Camera - Part# IRC40 (Tools & Home Improvement)
These thermal imaging cameras have end less uses. You can even tell if water is trapped in foam, while it is still sealed inside of a boat's hull. FLIR makes this Extech unit and the units with the FLIR name. Be aware that there are currently two i5 units. One is 80x80 resolution and the newer version still labeled i5 is 100x100 resolution. Same deal with i7 one is 120x120 and the other i7 is 140x140. These differences are huge when it comes to pixel count. Can be the difference between a blob and a defined shape. The higher resolution units cost more and no doubt the lower resolution ones will be sold off and phased out. Look all of the specifications over for all of the units, to be sure you are getting the one you will be the most satisfied with. Hope this information helps.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for quick inspection., December 21, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Extech i5 Thermal Imaging Camera - Part# IRC40 (Tools & Home Improvement)
If not required for very sophisticated analysis it is a fairly good tool. Ideal for maintenance labor at low cost.
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Extech i5 Thermal Imaging Camera - Part# IRC40
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