You probably know that Milwaukee Tool has a couple different inspection cameras available. In fact we reviewed the 2314 back in 2014. The 2314 is a great camera and for the price, it’s hard to beat. An inspection camera is good for all most any professional tradesman. It’s useful for plumbers, inspectors, electricians, HVAC and the list goes on. However for a camera to be truly useful, you need a quality camera, that has a great image so you know what you are looking at and it has to be easy to move around in tight areas. So that brings me to the new Milwaukee Inspection Camera model 2317.
We first saw this at the Milwaukee Media Event and couldn’t wait to get our hand on it to try it out ourselves. Well that day is finally here. We can now look into, through or around things. I have to say that when Milwaukee designed this inspection camera, they did a great job. The whole system is built around a colored 3.5″ LCD screen that has outstanding colors and clarity. The front side control panel is a simple solution that allows the user to control every aspect of the unit with your thumb. One very cool feature to this camera is the ability to remove the screen from the hand held unit. Just pull up on the screen and now you have a wireless unit. I think this is a huge plus for those times you may be in tight spots or awkward positions. It even looks like they have a tripod mount on the back of the LCD screen.
While the screen is one of the best we have seen, it’s not the only star in this unit. One very cool feature is the ability to pivot your camera with a knob located between the cable and base of the Milwaukee Inspection camera base. If you have used one of the cameras in the past, you know that it’s easy getting the camera into the hole, but adjusting the viewing angle is next to impossible unless you are a contortionist. With the pivot ability, not longer do you have to bend your elbow backwards. Now you can turn the dial left or right and the camera that is located at the end of the camera will pivot, up to 270°. Seriously, that’s pretty cool.
OK these are fancy and useful features, but what about the camera. Well i am happy to say that Milwaukee didn’t cheap out with a second rate camera. The camera displays a beautiful image on the scree. It first starts with an LED light on the end of the cable and the user can even adjust the brightness. The camera is a 12.5mm diameter. Now I can’t go into all the technology behind the camera, but I can tell you the output is great. This way when you take a video or picture of whatever you are looking at, you can easily identity that lays in front of the camera.
Speaking of pictures and video, you can store the data on an SD card, which they provide an 8GB card. There is a trigger that will allow you to capture pictures and videos. The picture size is 640 x 480 which i would like to see a little bit better in case you have to blow up the picture.
The the Milwaukee inspection camera is easy. While it does take a while to start up, once it is in the ready position, everything moves quickly. To move from screen to screen or navigate around the system is fairly straightforward without much of a learning curve. I did find myself wanting this to be a touch screen, I guess I am so use to my phone that I am use to touching the screen. A couple of times when I removed the screen, i just got static. It wasn’t an issue i just put the screen back on the unit and that seemed to reset it. When the screen was removed, there wasn’t much lag from me moving the pivot head to what i saw on the screen which was nice.
While I think this is a great inspection camera, there are two things I would love to see come with the camera. First is the cable. The cable is awesome, but I know for some people, they might want a little longer cable. I understand that a 3″ cable will probably be long enough for 90% of the jobs, but who couldn’t use a little more cable. The next item is the battery. While the battery is more than sufficient to run the camera for extend periods of time, i would have liked to seen the kit come with their 2 Ah battery. Again both of these items I nitpicking, but why not want more?
Milwaukee Inspection Camera 2317 Specification
- Audio Capability Yes
- Photo Capability Yes
- Video Recording Yes
- Zoom 4X Digital
- Cable Length 3′
- Voltage 12V
- Tool Warranty 5 Years
- Length 3.75″
- Weight 3.70 lbs
- Height 8.75″
- Width 3.88″
- Camera Head Length 35mm (1.375″)
- Camera Head Diameter 12.5mm (.49″)
- Camera Head Motion Up-to 270?
Bottom line this is a great inspection camera. I love the fact you can take the head off the unit, I love the ease of use, but best of all, I love the image quality. A huge feature to this inspection camera is the pivoting head and I have to say it works great. While I wish it came with their M12 2Ah battery and a longer cable, this is still a top notch inspection camera that is useful for any professional tradesman.