While many people know that thermal cameras are used in military, a variety of building inspections, electrical inspections,and other situations; thermal imaging technology is extensively used for hunting and spotting animals as well. Some people wonder what the difference is between thermal imagers and night vision or if there is even any difference at all! There are differences; night vision amplifies the available light so that you can see objects just as you would during the day. Thermal imaging on the other hand highlights differences in body temperature making it easier to spot living animals or people.
The two most common types of thermal imaging used for hunting are thermal imaging monoculars and thermalimaging rifle scopes. There are some differences between thermal monoculars and thermal imaging rifle scopes. Until recently thermal imaging cameras were extremely expensive,large and impractical for consistent use. Over the last few years, prices have come down dramatically as the technology has improved making them easily available to the general public although they are still a large investment. Some of the features that affect the cost of a thermal imagingscope or monocular are:
1.Thermal Sensor Resolution-the higher the resolution the clearer the thermal image but also the higher the cost
2.Refresh Rate(in Hz)-how many frames are generated per second;the higher the rate the higher the cost
3.Optics-high-quality optics produce better pictures but also add to the cost
4.Magnification-the higher the magnification the further away you can spot/hunt but also the higher the cost and narrow field of view
5.Build Quality-higher quality/waterproof materials ensure your monocular or scope will last longer but will increase the cost
Thermal Scope VS Thermal Monocular, what are the differences?
While you may think that thermal imaging scopes and monoculars are essentially the same that is incorrect. Thermal monoculars are meant to be small and compact;able to fit in your bag and allow you to look at or spot animals and other things that are not far away. Thermal monoculars are usually less expensive than thermal scopes because they have weaker optics(less magnification), no mounting rails, and fewer software add-ons.
Thermal scopes,on the other hand, are designed to help hunters get better shots at their targets from much further away.An entry-level thermal scope will be good for 100 to 250 yards; whereas a very expensive thermal scope can help you accurately target objects over 1,000 yards away. Better(typically a germanium lens)and more complex optics used in thermal imaging scopes allow for much higher magnification which is another reason they cost more.Thermal scopes also have more electronic and software features to assist the shooter such as a ballistics calculator, range finder, and recoil activated video recording.
You may also be wondering what is the difference between a 5x50 thermal monocular or scope and a 3x15? The first number refers to the magnification of the image so a 3x would magnify the image 3 times. The second number the(15)refers to the size(objective size) of the front lens in millimeters.Your initial thought is that you should always go for the largest magnification and objective size however that is not the case.
First, the larger the magnification and objective size the more expensive your scope or monocular will be, secondly, the larger the magnification the harder it will be to steady the scope or monocular on your target without a tripod.Finally, the higher the magnification the smaller your field of view. What is the field of view? The field of view is how much of the thermal image you will able to see when looking through the scope. For example is the field of viewis 300ft at 1,000 yards you will be able to see 300ft of the image when looking through the thermal monocular or scope without moving the lens.
So what does it all mean? This means that you should think about the situations and distances that you will likely be using your monocular or scope in and buy accordingly. If you are not going to be spotting or shooting more than 300yards out then you may not need to purchase a thermal imaging scope or monocular with powerful optics and higher sensor resolution; not only will you save a lot of money but it will be much easier to use a scope or monocular rated for this distance.
First reserved for the military, thermal imaging rifle scopes and monoculars have come a long way to now be adopted in law enforcement and civilian sporting activities like hunting. Thermal imagers give you the tactical advantage that you need when out in the field in low or no light conditions.
Thermal imaging scopes are different from night vision scopes. They detect heat signatures from objects and turn them into visible images sensing and displaying the differences in temperature that an animal or object emits. If you are planning to hunt boars or other nocturnal animals,you'll be able to see them in pitch darkness.
While prices for thermal imaging scopes and thermal monoculars have come way down they are still a large purchase with almost none available under $1,000. If you are on a budget we would suggest a digital night vision scope; which is completely different than a thermal scope.
ZIP Technology brings you a high speed, high definition, dual thermal camera system solutions, ensuring maximum security and surveillance in many different scenarios.
Attn: Cynthia Hsu
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