Thermal Cameras Guide
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Thermal Imaging System

FLIR C2 Compact Thermal Imaging System – In Depth Review

The FLIR C2 Compact Thermal Imaging System is the world’s first pocket-sized thermal camera that is also equipped with a full list of pro features.

The C2 isn’t much bigger than a cellphone, but still offers enough clarity and image detail to make it useful in a wide range of professional and consumer applications.


  • Home projects
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Personal Security
  • Repairs

Noteworthy Features

The first thing you notice about the FLIR C2 is the incredibly small size, but there’s much more to it.

FLIR C2 Features

Build Quality

The build quality of the FLIR C2 is second to none. An angular and rugged plastic and rubber case surrounds its touchscreen. It is sturdy enough to handle a few falls and splashes without compromising performance and quality.

Touchscreen Interface

Using a C2 isn’t much different from using a smartphone. You have an entire menu at your fingertips on the screen, giving you quick and easy access to the C2’s wide range of image options in a moment’s notice.

Wide Field of View

The C2 is small, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in the visuals it provides. The camera’s 45° field of view fits more objects into one image, which is especially helpful on job sites when you are dealing with larger structures and machinery.

High Resolution, Large Screen

The C2’s 80 x 60 resolution is made better with FLIR’s MSX technology. MSX takes a picture with visible light using a separate lens, and then overlays the image onto the thermal one, giving you a thermal image with details and context to help you identify certain objects easier.

FLIR C2 Screen

The vibrant 3 inch touchscreen easily displays all of the colors picked up by the camera’s sensor, giving you one of the most detailed images you can get with any thermal camera, let alone one that is this small.

Video Capabilities

Capturing video files is as easy as pushing a button. The video camera records and streams video in MPEG4 format with a rate of 640 x 480 pixels, giving you a highly detailed video file that is just as colorful and precise at images captured by the C2.


A built in LED flashlight can create spotlights when needed, or even illuminate your picture in dark areas, increasing the detail of the MSX. FLIR’s handy FLIR Tools software comes with the camera as well, giving you access to streamlined reporting and analyzing programs that will help you get the most out of any data that your record, both video and image.


Compact size

The FLIR C2 has a compact and slim design that is easy to keep in your kit and light enough to carry around. 


The C2 is backed by a two-year warranty service that covers the parts and labor, while the detector comes with a 10-year warranty.

Intuitive Design

The C2 is feature-rich but easy to use. It has an excellent 3” intuitive touchscreen with automatic orientation, which makes viewing images very easy.

Thermal Imagery

The 80x60 resolution thermal sensor and the 640x480 digital camera create a thermal image with 320x240 resolution. This image is detailed and augmented because of the visual image. 

Additional features

The C2 is equipped with a built-in LED spotlight that can be used as a normal flashlight or to illuminate the photo. It can also instantly save thermal images in JPEG format and allow you to edit them later. 


The C2 is a great thermal camera, but it does fall short in a few areas.

Short Battery Life

The C2’s battery last around two hours on a full charge. This isn’t bad, but it’s not good either. The recharge time is around 1.5 hours, which helps to offset this mildly.

Color Palettes

Four different color palettes isn’t necessarily bad, but with a screen like this one, is makes sense to add a few more options. Perhaps in the future.


  • Resolution: 80x 60 (4,800 pixels)
  • Temperature Range: 14°F to 302°F
  • Weight: .29 lbs.
  • Sensitivity: <0.10°C

Key Differences: FLIR C2 vs. C3

The main difference between the FLIR C2 and FLIR C3 is that the latter offers Wi-Fi connectivity.

You can conveniently connect the FLIR C3 to your smartphone or the FLIR Tools app. The C3 lacks an SD card slot and instead has internal memory. 

The two have the same battery, thermal resolution, thermal sensitivity, warranty, measurement accuracy, and refresh rate.

The FLIR C3-X is the 2020 updated version of the FLIR C3.

It has 2.5x improved thermal resolution of 128 x 96, 4 hours of battery life, cloud storage, wider temperature detection range (-4 to 572°F), and even improved thermal sensitivity than both the FLIR C2 and FLIR C3.


FLIR C2 Thermal Camera

The C2’s size is the real winner here, but the performance backs it up.

This camera is by far the easiest one to carry around, and the touchscreen controls definitely appeal to someone who is used to using a smartphone all of the time.

An affordable price, combined with all the added features of a larger handheld camera makes the C2 one of the best around.

Buy this if you want adequate handheld thermal camera performance that you can easily carry in your pocket around the jobsite, or even at home.

About the Author Rob Carson

I work in commercial construction, in Dallas, TX.

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