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New Thermal Cameras

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 5:39 pm
by Kel
Hi everyone.

Ive been researching buying a Thermal camera for myself for some time, its a significant outlay in dollars so wanted to get it as right as I could so have been watching the market and various channels for a while for new developments and pricing.
Firstly I am amazed by how far tech has come in the last 12 months and how much top tier Thermal has dropped in price, video recording (some with audio also) and WiFi connection has become a standard feature.

Chinese companies like InfiRay and HikMicro entering the market in a big way has pushed the price of top tier 640x480 Scopes/Spotters down to the $4000 range from the 8 to 10,000 dollar range last year and caused some top US companies like Trijicon to leave the civilian market entirely.
In my journey so far ive found some really good resources that trial and test Thermals in the field usually Hunting focused channels that take you through the ins and outs, benefits and failings of each model and test them in the field and show you the results - important to know for something so expensive ie

* US - The Late Night Vision Show -
HansETX -
* EU - Optics Warehouse -
Night Vision Show -
* Oz - Edge of the Outback -
Hunt The Night -
MrB Hunting down Under - Great newby vid below

A really good overview for Australian available spotters scopes from MrB Hunting Down Under, availability in Australia is an issue as many expensive ... otw03c010c

Re: New Thermal Cameras

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 6:10 pm
by Kel
Posted before finished - I meant to say many American scopes are unable to be imported due to export restrictions and the European mobs ie Pulsar which are importable (quality scopes) have long production delays due to the Global "situation".

I ended up getting an Infiray ZH38 Zoom spotter due to the great synergies it combines and took the risk even though its a new release primarily because -

* High quality 640 x 512 sensor (better image).
* Sub 25 mkv heat detection ability (ie minor heat differential) more detailed image.
* 2 x 10 hr removable batteries (if the battery goes bad I can get another rather than sending the whole unit back to manufacturer).
* Records both video and audio.
* It has both a wide 1.6x lens thats optically zoomable with no image loss to 3.2x - also 4x digital zoom on top of that if required with image degradation.
* 1440 x 1080 HD eyepiece screen.

Hopefully will prove to be a good unit the Optical Zoom is a first and huge for researchers who can scan close country with a wide 1.6x detailed view to acquire points of interest which can then be checked out with the 3.2x by zooming in and focusing with no image loss, fantastic but its a first, how this stands up over time and factors like waterproofing is so far unknown but the balance of the overall unit is to good not to try it out.

Cheers one and all, Ive been here for years but forgot my password and my old email no longer exists so created a new log in, I remember writing a thread on Thermals years ago but cant seem to find it anymore - heres a review of the unit I just got for anyone interested, I walked out in my front yard last night to see a startled Fox looking at me, I followed it through the bush using the wide angle to look down and check for obstacles/snakes in front of me in total darkness - pretty wild!

Re: New Thermal Cameras

Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2021 6:18 am
by Dion
Gday Kel

Looks like a nice piece of equipment.

Have you ever used the Guide IR50's? and if so, what are your pros and cons between that and the Infiray ZH38?


Re: New Thermal Cameras

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 10:08 pm
by Kel
Hi Dion.

Yeah the Guides are more of a basic set up from what I can see of the specs, there are 2 main manufacturers in China Infiray and HIKmicro and some smaller players, they often rebadge stuff under different names in some markets or same market sometimes I think Guide is one of the smaller players not really well known in hunting circles but seems to be starting to make an entrance to the international market.

From what I can see the thermal sensor on the Guide is smaller ie 400 instead of 380 to 640 in the other companies line ups, the more lines the better the image.
Thermal sensitivity or Milli kelvin rating in the guide is also less than the competitors meaning a less detailed image 50 vs 25 in competitors Pulsar, Infiray, HIK (less is better).

Theres much to consider but be aware theres a lot of pretty high tier stuff coming out now for some remarkably low price so keep an eye on the hunting thermal channels to see whats new and the pricing, dont just buy what someone else had a year or so ago because its almost certain a far more capable unit is now available likely for far cheaper than old mate bought.

Happy hunting, its a bit of a learning curve but an amazing time to buy, you can get units with integrated laser range finders etc that make research far more provable, if you get something you can lase it and get an accurate range and from the lens size/mag its height can be calculated taking a lot of the hoax claims null and void as you know its exact range, some models the laser range finder shows up on the video recording some dont so if your intending it for research get one that records the rangefinder.

What an amazing time to be alive.

Re: New Thermal Cameras

Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:08 am
by Kel
Have you ever used the Guide IR50's? and if so, what are your pros and cons between that and the Infiray ZH38?
Oops missed this - Ive never used the Guide the ZH38 is my first Thermal, keep in mind any decent Thermal is going to give you a massive advantage for Hunting, Research anything that involves searching for living things at night, heres a bit of a review of 4 Thermal spotters side by side to give you an idea of some of the differences between models/companies the Guide is one of them.

Re: New Thermal Cameras

Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2021 7:25 am
by Dion
Kel wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:08 am
heres a bit of a review of 4 Thermal spotters side by side to give you an idea of some of the differences between models/companies the Guide is one of them.
Hi Kel

Thats just what I was after thank you.

Seems like the Guide came in on the lowest ranking from that video.

Thats the only thing I dislike with tech its usually obsolete in a few years, then you have to purchase something new......... for future landfill.

Re: New Thermal Cameras

Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:04 pm
by Kel
Yeah absolutely no sooner than you spend a boat load of money on something something new appears.
Thats why I think its important to research first and get something fitting your requirements as close as possible then its not going to matter what else comes you have a highly useful device that hopefully will last you many years.

Thermal adds a huge capability at night to see whats around you so to a certain extent any decent Thermal will do that, wide angle lens is important if you are in close country otherwise its like trying to look around through a toilet roll, a large chip although more expensive gives you an ability to zoom digitally with image degradation with each step of the zoom (blowing up pixels essentially).

I found a quick comparison between Guide IR models if anyone's considering the Guide to give you a basic idea of what can be expected from each model.

Re: New Thermal Cameras

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2022 3:35 pm
by yowiedan
I have the Guide IR50 and have been using it for around 2 years now. I can't knock its performance. It allows me as a researcher the opportunity to see what's around me in total darkness. Don't forget, Dean, Buck and Gary use this model. Buck was able to record the amazing Yowie footage on it. Even though it may not be the best it's very useful for any researcher out there.

Re: New Thermal Cameras

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2024 6:48 pm
by Kel
Absolutely Dan any Thermal even a basic unit will give you a massive advantage out bush to see what living creatures are around you, its amazing to see whats there that you wouldn't otherwise detect.