What is a visual IR thermometer? Essentially, a visual infrared thermometer is a low resolution thermal imaging camera that provides greater measurement context than simpler temperature measurement tools, such as thermocouples and simpler IR thermometers, that only provide singular temperature readings.
Visual IR thermometers are not quite as versatile as even entry-level thermal imaging cameras. For this reason I was very critical of Fluke’s recent VT04 visual thermometer and its $1200 pricing at launch.
Why buy a visual thermometer when Flir offers their “real” E4 thermal imaging camera for $995. And that’s without taking into account the E4’s ability to be software-modded for a boost in features and resolution.
(While it can be said that the new Flir ONE thermal imaging camera is a $350 camera, it’s really a $350 device that isn’t at all functional without a $550-$650 smartphone.)
A few days ago I was on the phone with a very friendly Fluke representative, and I don’t recall how, but we spoke for a moment about the VT04 and its pricing. I was in front of my computer, and was quite shocked to find that Fluke has slashed the prices of their visual IR thermometers.
While Fluke’s VT-series visual infrared thermometers are not quite full-fledged thermal imaging cameras, they are much more capable than single-measurement IR thermometers.
Fluke was right to reduce the pricing on their visual IR thermometers, as this makes their VT’s much more appealing than they were.
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