1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Which Camera do all u perfer?

    My department has recently raise enough money to purchase a camera. We are going in the round about process of which camera to buy we have tested several cameras, besides the carins viper. What camera do u perfer in your department and which one has the best features?

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    What's your budget?
    What features do you want/not want?

    One suggestion, I've been having the long line of sales reps do their pitch while holding the camera up to their eye level. You'd be suprised how quickly they want to put their cameras down.
    Most will have you and your committee pass it around and each hold it for a minute and look at the wonderful picture you get of the guy across the table.
    Face it, ergonomics must be at the top of your punch list.
    #2, Do your homework and ask the tough questions. Even better, get two or three different company reps in the same room and let them duke it out.
    We have yet to make a final choice. If it were up to me,and it's not, I would buy two ARGUS 2 TICs for the price of any one of the others I've looked at.


  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    no offense or anything but my department thinks that the argus should be only used as a wheel chock. we have enough to buy 2 of those or one of the bullards or scotts

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I would say Rescue 7 also try the ISG K-90. My dept uses one of those and has been very happy with it so far. I have demoed the bullard and scott and I didn't think the picture was as clear. But try them all if you get the chance!!!

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    One thing to keep in mind is that all the BST based TICs use the same engine therefore, they will produce the same image. Some of the cameras are tweeked it a little bit, but not much. If you are using a TIC with video overlay, than that will make the image appear clearer/more crisp, but once your in the fire forget about the video overlay-CCD can't see through smoke.


  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    No offense taken. My paid department just purchased a couple of hundred Argus 2 cameras. Glad to know our trucks won't roll away.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My department has been researching the TIC's and demoed several different types. We are likely to choose Bullard. One member has done the leg work and prefers that model over the others. A neighboring department has a bullard and is very happy with it as well. I have not heard of anyone who prefers the helmet mounted systems. The hand helds seem to be more versitile.

  8. #8
    k.a. sitzes
    Firehouse.com Guest


    my department like the bullard camera. we have only three[3]of the bullards tic.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    As I am sure you are aware, all BST based Thermal Imaging Cameras are NOT created equal. Just as is the case with Microbolometer cameras.

    Some actually customize the BST chip for REAL WORLD FIREFIGHTING. Not all manufacturers use the Raytheon Camera kit. Your comment on "tweeking" is also VERY, VERY incorrect. Some can actually change how the thermal image is processed and give an image in the screen UNMATCHED in similar devices.

    Being one of the final FLIR reps left, I can understand why you posted your remarks. How long before the other shoe drops?

    NJ,PA,NY ISG Dealer

    PS. I agree with you on video overlay, but it is still being purchased in alot of cameras.

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest



    In regards to your comment about being one of the only FLIR reps left and the other shoe drop comment. In my opinion those are very unprofessional comments and this is not the place to perform personal attacks. I have never met you nor do I desire to. If you conduct your business like you talk on this forum than I think ISG should reconsider you being a Rep. and I would be surprised if you sell anything other than used cars. You are correct I am one of the last FireFLIR Reps left and the reason is simple. FLIR is changing the way that we deliver the product to the market place. We will be announcing very soon a strategic alliance partnership with a major Fire Service Equip. manuf, so their is no need for a direct salesforce within FLIR. FLIR will basically become an OEM. In response to my comments about the BST cameras. My comment is correct depending on how you define "engine". To make my comment a little easier for you to understand. All BST cameras use the same detector.


  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hello Kurt:

    Whether you remain at FLIR or not after the alliance is announced is irrelevant. You are a very good and honest sales professional and people who know you respect you in the fire services industry. You’ll have lots of opportunities either way.

    This forum has gotten real personal in the past – don’t get sucked into any fights!!

    First, FRD is one of our distributor reps in North East area and is quite a vocal fellow, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now…

    Second, I do have to support FRD, not all BST cameras are the same. Some of us do a lot with image processing and management. This results in significant differences in performance from a standard S300 camera kit based thermal imager, and one that has been modified for this specific usage and environment. And, as you know, very few manufacturers have really taken this extra step.

    Third, there are very valid uses for video overlay. The vast majority of our cameras are purchased with that option. Video Overlay is useful in HazMat, size-up, overhaul, fire prevention, and many other applications. It makes your camera more than just a “see through smoke” device. Video Overlay basically is a low light CCD visual camera that superimposes on top of your thermal image giving users a video (camcorder style) image and a thermal signature combined. Now, with that said, in ZERO visibility, you’d only see images from the thermal camera since video is blind in smoke. However, consider that in firefighting, on average, over 90 percent of the usage time of a camera is in non-internal attack situations. That means that over 90 percent of the time, you can benefit from video overlay.

    If you don’t like Video Overlay, you can always turn it off… At least you’ve got that option.


    David A. Little
    Director of North American Operations
    ISG Thermal Systems USA, Inc.

    P.S. If you don’t agree with me, you can always demand a re-count!

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hello All,

    Holly Cow, a dispute, and for once I am not in the middle of it !

    On a VERY SERIOUS note, I would like to comment on something brought up here, additional features such as video overlay.

    To be real honest I would personally like to have a few moments alone with some of the TI reps out there who have been spreading all of the garbage on these features. I say that because it is only a matter of time before someone acting on this bad information is going to get injured or killed.

    Just a few of the comments that have been made recently :

    Quote "With video overlay you can see right through glass, so you could see through a window outside the structure to spot a victim in a room "

    If you can see something with video overlay, you can also see it with the 2 eyes in front of your head, so you don't need a thermal imager or video overlay, you just need to look at it with your eyes. Of course you could also use a pair of binoculars, cheaper and better for long distances. Also, if you turn on the video overlay feature in smoke it will overlay "smoke" or a dark image over your thermal image making it darker or more difficult to see. Could there be a use for video overlay ? sure. Is there something you can do with video overlay that you could not accomplish in some other way easier, cheaper, or better? no. I still believe video overlay was created in an attempt to compensate for the fact that you are loosing you normal vision and peripheral vision because you can only see a thermal image when you have to hold the unit close to your face to see it.

    Quote "Our units temperature measurement feature is accurate to +/- 1 degree Fahrenheit, Bullard's is not that good, that is why they have to use a sliding scale on the MX instead of an exact number"

    NO non-contact temperature measurement devices, especially the ones in Fire Service thermal imagers, are accurate to +/- 1 degree Fahrenheit all of the time. There are numerous factors such as distance-to-spot ratios, calibration, and emissivty that can affect these measurements and make them inaccurate. Not to mention this feature does not measure air temperature or the actual temperature of a flame, only the surface temperature of solid objects. This is not an opinion, it is a fact, based on the rules of thermography and physics. So if the potential exist for these units to be providing bad information on temperature measurement why is more not being done to make the users aware of it ? Why does the product literature say, and I quote,

    "ACCUTEMP - measure actual temperatures of objects from as far as 300 feet. Features cross-hair targeting system with digital on-screen readout. Accurate to within 1 degree Fahrenheit."

    The reps have been promoting this crap because to an uneducated user it will help to sell a thermal imager.

    Mr. Little, I will give your organization some credit, at least your literature states "resolution & repeatability +/- 1 degree Fahrenheit". Of course not that many firefighters really understand what that means, especially when the reps are telling them "oh yeah, accurate to +/- 1 degree Fahrenheit".

    If as a fully educated user you feel these features are of value then by all means use them to their fullest potential. If as a user that was educated by a sales pitch or piece of marketing literature you decide to purchase or use one of these additional features, be very careful. PLEASE make sure you really understand what is going on with these additional features. You may end up being disappointed, or more importantly you may end up injured or dead because you made a decision based on bad information !

    I am not trying to sell anything, just trying to make sure everyone is making informed decisions, and more importantly using a thermal imager correctly to stay alive in the day to day battles.

    Good Luck, Be Safe,
    Mike Richardson
    Bullard TI Training Specialist

    For TI Training : www.safe-ir.com www.thermalimager.com/training

    [This message has been edited by TIMan (edited 12-02-2000).]

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    For once (I Think) I actually agree with you in regards to Video Overlay. I typically do not promote it, but my customers (yes, I do have some) are buying it anyway.
    They commonly ask what it does, or can do and I tell them. When the order comes in, it has the VO designation. I dont understand it sometimes.
    Probably 80% of all the cameras I have sold, have Video Overlay.

    You may be wondering why I posted as I did. I hear mostly all the junk information in regards to thermal imaging. Comments, as you made earlier, are also commomplace in an effort to sell TICs. I took your comments as a SLAM on a different type of camera, something otherthan Microbolometer and Handsfree. The truth behind FLIR is well known. No need to explain.
    By the way, I think we have met. I was one of the Dealer Reps you guys were trying to sign, when the word got out on your handheld TIC.

    NJ,PA,NY ISG Dealer

    P.S. Anyone want to buy a 1974 Gremlin? Will paint Fireengine Red.

    [This message has been edited by FireTIC (edited 12-12-2000).]

  14. #14
    Mesa Fyr
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My department purchased 20+ of the Scott Eagle Imagers 14 months ago and we are very pleased with them. But, as everyone says, try before you buy!!! We tested 6 different models that were on the market at that time with the Bullard coming in a very close second. Good luck in your search...

  15. #15
    Russ Chapman
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Weed through what has been said and you will find that the best way to decide is to try all of the units you can. Put them to the test with some real fire if possible. Some time ago I was invited to Medford OR Fire Department when they did some comparisons. They had several tests they set up for the TI's. All of the than current brands came through that day for a head to head comparison. It took them some planing and organizing but by the end of the day they knew what they wanted and would work best for them.
    I am a firefighter here in Oregon and have been working with TI's for our department for several years. Yes, for those of you who check, I have been working with FLIR since they started developing firefighting TI's. My department uses both helmet mount and hand held and I could give you pros and cons on both. I won't tell you which type is better, you need to find which is right for your department.


  16. #16
    Engine 224
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Has anyone used a TIC to evaluate the energy efficiency of a home? Seems to me this would be a great public relations tool. Would like to hear from some of the "experts" on TIC technology if this is possible.


    1. Justifies those big dollars in a way that doesn't depend on the homeowner being a fire victim to appreciate.

    2. Gives us an excellent opportunity to distribute fire home safety literature.

    3. Can check the smoke detectors while there.

    4. Might save the homeowner some energy costs if we identify the areas of heat loss he/she can remedy.

  17. #17
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have a Bullard and are very satisfied with our purchase. Hopefully we'll buy more in the future.

  18. #18
    Capt. Lou
    Firehouse.com Guest



    My Department purchased 2 Tailsman K-90 handheld cameras in 1998. We tried a bunch and the firefighters felt the K-90 worked the best. It, the K-90, has in my opinion the the best quality picture. It is easy to use and weighs about 4lbs. This camera was also recently tested, along with the other manufacturers, and excepted by the US Navy as their TI camera. You can get more information on the K-90 and the testing by calling ISG Tailsman at 1-877-733-3473. We also have a Bullard that the state of NJ gave us. The picture clarity is no where as clear as the K-90, plus it is much heavier than the K-90.

    Try them all.

    Good Luck

    [This message has been edited by Capt. Lou (edited 01-08-2001).]

  19. #19
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Originally posted by Capt. Lou:

    My Department purchased 2 Tailsman K-90 handheld cameras in 1998. We tried a bunch and the firefighters felt the K-90 worked the best. It, the K-90, has in my opinion the the best quality picture.

    I agree. Out of the 6 or 7 we evaluated, I feel that the Talisman was the best overall imager.

  20. #20
    old Bob
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Just a couple of points....

    To Engine 224 - yes,good idea - any temperature difference at the surface the TIC can see will show up so a house with no lagging in the roof will show up very clearly in a road of houses which do.As we have been known to say "you`ll be suprised what you can see".The effect will be particularly striking on a cold night.

    On a similar but related point - one of our Fire Brigades in the UK used their TIC to locate a leak in an underfloor heating system in their firehouse allowing a quick repair rather than digging the whole floor up - again,if there is a temperature difference the camera can see (and the current models are a lot more sensitive than your finger tips) then you`ll see it with the TIC.

    Note of caution - you cannot use a TIC to check the operation of smoke detectors.

    For Capt.Lou - you are correct that Talisman passed the Navy tests (as did others though modesty forbids....) but every ship of the line still sails with one (or more) of our old model (the NFTI or "nifty" as they call it) - the Navy has evaluated but not yet re-equipped.Some of these old "nifty" models are 15 years old and still in regular service - let`s hope the current models last as well.

    old Bob M.

  21. #21
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hey guys thanks for all the input. My department has recently tested ALL the cameras. We chose the Scott Eagle. i believe that its a very efficiant camera. So far so good... Thanks agian... Ill be checkin back with you all to post u on our cameras progress in my town..

    Be safe!! No more on duty deaths!!

    Jr. FF/EMT-B Matt Nolan North Farms Vol. FD
    Wallingford, Ct

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