FLIR C3 Hands On Review

FLIR C3 Infrared Camera with WiFiFLIR Systems just unveiled the new FLIR C3 thermal camera, a portable, rugged IR camera aimed at professionals looking for problems of energy loss, water damage, electrical, and HVAC. About the size of a smart phone and thin enough to slip into any pocket, the C3 includes a host of pro features from temperature measurement, to wireless connectivity with iOS and Android devices, to report generation right in the field. The FLIR C3 camera will be available in February of 2017 and will retail for $699.99.

The new FLIR C3 is clearly the progeny of the popular C2 camera. Outside dimensions and all visible features are the same, with the obvious exception of the “C3” marking. Yet one very notable addition is the WiFi functionality. The C3 connects wirelessly to smart phones and tablets running the free FLIR Tools Mobile app. The wireless connection can be made over an existing network or directly to a device as a peer-to-peer (ad hoc) connection. The app can download images from the C3 camera roll, or capture images directly to the device, and even mirror the screen of the thermal camera. We find the latter application immensely helpful, allowing two people to view a thermal inspection in real time. This second person could be a coworker, as in a moisture damage investigation, or perhaps a homeowner who wants to get a better idea of what’s going on.

FLIR C3 Thermal Camera at CESImage
The FLIR C3 makes use of the 80×60 resolution Lepton detector seen in many FLIR products these days. While not a tremendous amount of resolution by current standards, the 4800 pixels will suffice for many close-range applications. FLIR augments the thermal camera with the inclusion of a second camera that captures visible light when available. By combining these two into one new image which FLIR calls MSX, the image quality and usability are greatly improved. The FLIR C3 is sensitive to temperature differences as small as 0.1 °C, and can view and measure temperatures from 14 to 302 °F (-10 to 150 °C). A fixed 41 degree lens gives a wide view of targets at close range, a welcome feature when imaging inside a small space.

FLIR C3 Energy AuditMeasurement
Professionals will appreciate the ability to make non-contact temperature measurements with the FLIR C3. In addition to a center spot meter/crosshair, the C3 offers an area box that will automatically identify the hottest or coldest spot in the the scene. The camera can be adjusted to account for object emissivity, and a span lock function is available to allow you to isolate the temperature range of interest. All images stored to the C3 thermal camera include full radiometric data for every pixel in the scene. This opens up a wide variety of analysis tools once images are downloaded to the free FLIR Tools software for PC or Mac. Thermal images are stored in a standard jpg format and are easy to import into any reporting software. Or upload your own logo and use the reporting capabilities of the FLIR software.

Color palette options are few but include the most popular options: Iron, Rainbow, Rainbow HC, and Gray. The excellent 3” touchscreen can display the thermal, visible, MSX, or picture-in-picture view, and can be used to display the gallery of stored images. Battery life is around two hours of continuous use, or many days on standby. The new FLIR C3 is the thinnest thermal camera on the market, and with a weight of under 1/3 of a pound, it offers a great option in ultra-portable thermal imaging.

More Information
FLIR C3 for sale at Ivy Tools
FLIR C2 Review

FLIR C3 with iPad

Questions or comments about the FLIR C3? Please feel free to add a comment below, or give us a call at (877) 273-2311.


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