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Usually, most of the hunters prefer to hunt in the night in order to not catch by the animals. Whether it is hunting or tracking an animal for a kill, the hunters inevitably need to see in the dark.
Earlier days, flashlights were used but soon they dropped from the usage as it attracts the attention of wild animals.
Later night vision devices help the hunters in a wide range but the device can’t detect the hidden animals effectively and that is the time where hunters got the perfect device for their game from which their prey animals can’t hide and that is a ‘Thermal Imaging Camera‘.
These thermal imaging cameras were so expensive at the beginning but the technological advancement made them affordable and available to the hunters and wildlife observers. Thermal cameras are the undoubted solution for the hunters out after dark.
Table: Best Thermal Imaging Camera for Hunting
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Best Thermal Imaging Cameras for Hunting: 5 Cameras Reviewed
1. Extech Instruments FLIR T620 Thermal Imaging Camera
Extech FLIR T620 Thermal camera would be the best choice for hunters, electricians, and mechanics as it is a full-color thermographic camera.
The thermal sensor of this camera has a resolution of 640 x 480 (307,200 pixels) which is huge compared to other models. With its high sensor resolution, even you can use this thermal camera for electrical inspections.
Thermal Camera Features
This thermal camera for hunting has the wide intuitive LCD display of size 4.3 inch with the high resolution of 800 x 480 (384,000 pixels). The refresh rate of this infrared thermal camera is 30 Hz so you will get the fresh and clear imager every time.
This camera records the videos in MPEG-4 files. These files automatically stored on the mini SD card which is removable so you can transfer the files to your PC easily. But the images are saved as JPEG format which is beneficial for further process.
Thermal camera has many onboard features such as built-in LED illuminator, laser pointer, voice annotation and more. This device has a Lithium-ion battery that can offer 2.5 hours of operating time.
The T620 has digital cameras so you can overlay the digital camera photos with the thermal images to the detailed photo. Other than these, this camera also offers draw-on thermal and picture-in-picture display.
You can shift to the visible light camera and capture images with the 5 MP resolution. The Wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity features in this device offer video streaming.
It has a continuous digital zoom from 1x to 4x but has the field of view only 15 degrees. The temperature detection range of this thermal camera is from 5 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The other features come with this thermal camera are digital video out, HDMI and USB 2.0.
- High Magnification
- Wide Detection Range
- Short operating time and the high cost.
2. FLIR T600-25 Thermal Imaging IR Camera
FLIR T600 thermal cameras are often seen at industrial applications, for example, building inspectors use this thermal camera for home inspections and roofing. This thermal camera for hunting has loaded with multiple features.
It has the digital camera with 5 MP resolution, the LED light in this device offers great capture rate of clear and clarity pictures in the visible spectrum.
Thermal Camera Features
The IR sensor in this camera has the resolution 480 x 360 (172,800) which is enough for any wildlife observations and hunting.
The temperature detection range offered by this thermal camera is between -40 and 1202 degrees Fahrenheit which comparatively high.
The accuracy rate ensured by this hunting thermal camera is +/-2. The full-color thermal images and videos taken by this thermal camera are saved as JPEGs or MPEG-4 on the removable mini SD card.
The computer on the device checks emissivity, humidity, object distance, atmospheric temperature. This thermal camera powered by the Lithium-ion battery that can run for 2.5 hours and take the same time to charge also.
About the interfaces, it has USB-mini, USB-A, Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and digital video out. The 4.3 inch LCD touchscreen display has 800 x 480 resolution. The spectral range of this device is 7.5 to 14 micrometers.
The laser pointer in this camera offers clear target measurements. The Multi-Spectral Dynamic Imaging is this device overlays the digital photo and thermal image.
This is a powerful tool for a serious hunter!
- 5 MP Digital Camera
- High IR Sensor Resolution
- Though it has more advanced onboard features, the price of this product is too expensive for average hunters.
3. Seek Thermal Reveal Series
Seek Thermal is the well-known thermal imager manufacturers, all their thermal imaging devices focused on affordable price and the ease of use. Seek thermal imagers are best for experiencing thermal in mobile phone likewise Seek thermal reveal series offers great use in hunting.
Let look into three best products from the Seek Thermal Reveal Series.
Seek Thermal Reveal Thermal Camera
Seek thermal reveal camera is an entry-level and cheap thermal camera for beginners. This pocket-sized thermal camera has sturdy construction with rubber coated case to withstand in any hard and uneven surfaces.
The temperature detection of this Seek thermal reveal is -40 to 626 degrees Fahrenheit, using this thermal camera you can detect animals even from 500 feet away.
The resolution of a thermal sensor is low at 206 x 156 pixels. But the 2.4 inch LCD color display with 240 x 320 resolution will projects the distant objects clearly.
The Lithium-ion battery used in this camera offers a high operating time of 10 hours.
Seek Reveal Pro Thermal Camera
Seek Reveal Pro is the premier thermal camera of their company. The thermal sensor of this camera with 320 x 240 resolution is adjustable to emissivity, thermal range, and span.
The durable rubber coated case has the 300-lumen LED flashlight to target the animals.
It has Corning’s Gorilla Glass coated 2.4 inch LCD color display and nine color palettes to show the captured thermal signatures of the targeted objects.
You have the option to switch the temperature unit between Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin.
It has a broad temperature range from -40 to 626 degrees Fahrenheit. And the radiation detection distance ranges from 12 inches to 1,800 feet which is a much-needed feature from pro hunters.
Seek Thermal Camouflage RevealXR Camera
Seek RevealXR thermal camera designed for average and professional hunting.
The IR sensor of RevealXR has resolution 206 x 156. This thermal camera with this sensor spots the objects like animals away from 275 meters.
The 300-lumen LED light in this device makes sure the hunter is on the safe side and provides the high-end night vision.
The refresh rate of this thermal camera is about 15 Hz so you will receive the clear and smooth thermal images in darkness and any weather conditions.
From the 7 color palettes, you can choose the desired option to spot the target in dark.
The micro SD card stores the captured images and recorded videos automatically; you can transfer the files from the card to your laptop or PC using USB cables.
- Different Color Palettes
- Portable and Convenient
- Seek series best for hunting as hobby not for professional hunting.
4. Hti-Xintai Handheld Thermal Camera
Hti-Xintai is a Chinese manufacturer who gained a good name in the U.S. with this Thermal Camera for hunting.
The detection range of this infrared thermal camera is from -4 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thermal Camera Features
The thermal sensor in this thermal camera for hunting has resolution 220 x 160 (35,200 pixels). This thermal camera unit offers great ease of use and effective results.
This thermal camera is full-colored and has 5 different color palettes including the typical Black Heat and White Heat.
It has wide enough 2.4 inch LCD display screen which is also full-color. The removable micro SD card in this thermal camera stores the thermal images so you can transfer the image files easily on your computer.
It offers a 35-degree field of view which is higher than other top models in the market. The durable pistol grip made this as a comfortable handheld thermal camera.
The heads-up display prepares this device for ergonomic and convenient use. The battery life of this thermal camera is high as it has 5 AA batteries. The handy tripod added to this device offers comfortable targeting.
- High Temperature Sensitivity
- 5 AA Rechargeable Battery
- This Hti-Xintai thermal camera has come with low thermal sensor resolution.
5. Gosira Infrared Wildlife Thermal Camera
Gosira thermal camera has a special place in the list of the best thermal camera for hunting with its fast shooting speed.
You can capture the clear images between 0.4 seconds without any delay. So if you are in birding or tracking an animal, you can take all the moments of the target.
Thermal Camera Features
The velocity and durability offered by this thermal camera ensure the quality of the images. With this thermal camera, you can record 1080p HD video with audio and take images of 12 MP pixels using different modes.
This thermal imaging camera adapted the latest infrared technology completely with essential camera features. The distance range of trigger and infrared flash is up to 65 feet. Gosira has fully automatic IR sensor and the 940 NM LED lights.
The 42 pieces light on this device turn on automatically when the night falls and capture the high definition black and white images and videos. It has the IP66 waterproof body to withstand any climatic conditions.
- No Delay
- 940 NM LED
- The instructions come with this thermal camera is horrible for the beginners.
Apart from cameras, you can also use monoculars for hunting and wildlife observations.
Best Thermal Monocular for Hunting: 3 Monoculars Reviewed
Thermal monoculars are the second broadly used thermal device for hunting and birding. These one-eye piece devices help hunters to closely watch their prey to take the perfect shot.
1. ATN OTS-HD 640 Thermal Monocular
ATN OTS-HD 640 thermal monocular is the rugged and high-end monocular to use for hunting and birdwatching.
This monocular has a magnification range from 1x to 10x. It also has the most powerful Obsidian core processor. It prevents the lagging and makes the shotting process faster.
Thermal Camera Features
It has various advanced features such as E-Barometer, 3D Gyroscope, E-compass, E-Zoom, and the Smart Range Finder.
E-Barometer – It gave critical information to make accurate decisions about the shooting.
3D Gyroscope – It minimizes the natural handshake while taking pictures and activates the image stabilization while hunting.
E-compass – It helps the hunter to take the right direction at the shot.
Patent Pending Smart Range Finder – It measures the distance between you and your prey with two simple clicks.
E-Zoom – This enables the monocular to focus the far objects with needed clarity.
ATN OTS-HD 640 thermal monocular has the IR Sensor with 640 x 480 pixel HD resolution.
The Wi-fi feature in this device enables the users to connect with other smart devices so the adventurous or gaming videos on SD card can be shared with friends in real time and it also allows wi-fi video streaming for both Android and iOS.
ATN OTS-HD 640 has the HD LCD Display of 1280×720 pixels resolution so you will get the heat signatures of targets clearly on the screen.
- High Magnification
- Live Wi-fi Streaming
- ATN OTS-HD 640 has excellent smart features so they price high.
2. FLIR Scout TK Thermal Monocular
FLIR has the major role in the thermal imaging industry whether it is camera or monocular, you can’t create of best without this.
This FLIR Scout Pocket-Sized thermal monocular has the thermal sensor resolution 160 x 120 (19,200 pixels).
Thermal Camera Features
It is the compact and lightweight option in FLIR Scout series. The wide LCD display in this monocular has 640 x 480 resolution.
It provides high definition images of objects even from a 100-yard distance. The device has nine full-color palette options which include InstAlert. It lights up the moving targets in the frame.
This Scout Tk has a waterproof case and drops resistance up to 2 meters. But it has the limited field of view 20 degrees by 16 degrees.
The front panel menu buttons and controls are easy to use. The short press of the button for takking images where the long press starts recording videos.
As there is no SD card, the images are stored onboard and can be transferred to a computer using USB interfaces.
The fully charged Lithium-ion battery on this device provides 5 hours of operating time.
- Intuitive Menu
- The absence of removable storage and the less detection range.
3. FLIR Scout III 240 Thermal Monocular
FLIR Scout III has a VOx microbolometer IR sensor with resolution 240 x 180 (43,200 pixels). Its LCD display has the resolution 640 x 480 pixels.
This rugged designed water-resistant thermal monocular has drop resistance up to 1 meter which is low but the other advanced features in this device overtake this.
Thermal Camera Features
It has fast-fluid refresh rate at 30 Hz which provide trouble-free operation. It weighs less than a pound. It has three color palettes such as White Hot, Black Hot, and InstAlert.
The device will starts within 1.5 seconds. The rechargeable Lithium-ion battery used in this camera offers 5 hours of operating time. The field of view of this camera is 23 degree but it can able to detect the target that is man-sized up to 383 yards.
There is no removable storage so you have to use the USB cables to transfer the image files from this camera to your computer. It has the heat signature detection up to 1200 yards.
- High Resolution Display
- Large Detection Range
- FLIR Scout III 240 monocular has no full-color palettes.
Why Thermal Camera for Hunting?
Usual traditional hunting devices capture the visible light but these thermal imaging cameras have worked by capturing heat radiation which is invisible to the naked eye.
The thermal sensor used in thermal camera done this action and has the capture range is up to 14000 nm.
In the end, the thermal camera has the ability to ignore the visual camouflage and see all the warm-blooded targets in a complete dark or any environment conditions.
The resolution of thermal cameras is comparatively low than other visual devices but still, the high contrasting images it provides are effective for wildlife observations.
» Usually, most of the wild animals hunt during the night time and protect themselves in darkness.
» This is challenging for the wildlife observers and hunters to see them using typical binoculars.
» But the thermal cameras show you the tracking of the dark wild without needing any light source.
» Unlike the night vision devices, thermal cameras are useful in day time also.
» It helps the hunters or wildlife fanatics to record or observe the usual routine of the species with the environment and other animals.
» A thermal imaging hunting camera can provide a clear vision of these camouflaged animals that can’t be achieved by traditional wildlife tools.
» Another reason why you have to use hunting thermal camera is that it has great detection range so you can take the pictures even from the long distance.
» Most of the standard hunting thermal camera can track any target or animal around 20 to 100 meters.
» If you want to closely monitor or trace any aggressive animal, the thermal camera should be a good option.
How to Choose a Wildlife Thermal Camera?
Below are some of the essential features to look for when purchasing the wildlife thermal camera.
Thermal Sensor Resolution
The sensor resolution of the camera depends on your budget and usage. The camera units with high sensor resolution will price high. For the ideal quality images, you have to choose 640 x 480 pixels but if you budget limited, 384 x 288 is an acceptable value.
The refresh rate is the value which decides how fast a thermal image would refresh. Thermal camera with high refresh rate will offer more accurate images but it costs high.
Technically, you have to pick a camera that has a refresh rate of minimum 30 HZ so you can get the smooth capturing.
Black & White or Color
A black and white camera is an affordable option and it is simple to track the animals. But it can’t detect the temperature range based on the color which is helpful in hunting to know whether the animal is dead or alive.
If you are a pro hunter who need a color display to see the differences in hot and cold temperature in field of view then choose the color camera. Otherwise, go with a black and white camera.
Digital or Optical Zoom
This is one of the major factors you have to think about when selecting the thermal camera. Optical zoom provides images with clarity than digital as it does not pixelate.
If you hunt animals or track them from long distance, then an optical zoom might be suitable for you.
Again, the important factor to see in thermal camera for hunting is its battery time.
In general, the battery should last at least for a few hours for continuous operation.
At present, Lithium-Ion batteries are widely used type as it can work for 8 to 12 hours and need 2 or 3 hours of recharging.
Durable and Portable
A thermal camera for hunting should have rugged, waterproof, dustproof, drop-resistant, shock-resistant, and sturdy construction as it has to work in all terrain and weather conditions.
The portable and handheld thermal cameras will be easier to carry it for a long duration.
Though thermal cameras are expensive hunting tools, now they have become inevitable. With that, the spotting game turns effective both day and night.
As the advanced technologies growing in all around there is no doubt that thermal imaging camera will develop with improved features and functionalities. But at present, above are some of the best thermal imaging cameras for hunters and wildlife organizations.