Today hunting is much more than just a sport, leisure activity, entertainment source, or exciting time. It is a way of life. That is why there is an increasing demand for such an important device as a thermal imaging sight. Because it will help in places where the "usual" sight even improved with optics, will not work. Through impenetrable thickets and grass, a thermal imager will show the hunter where his prey is.
There are a lot of myths about thermal imaging scopes. We have decided to dispel these myths and in order not to confuse you and allow you to choose your own sight, we have compiled our list of interesting facts about Thermal Imaging Scopes.
Not all thermal imaging scopes are expensive
The cost of a thermal imaging scope mainly depends on the sensor and the size of the lens. Most of the scopes available on the market have a sensor with a resolution of 384x288 or 640x480 pixels. The higher the resolution, the clearer the image on the screen. The viewing angle and maximum image magnification also depend on this parameter. So, if you are looking for a really high-quality sight, choose a good performance of these parameters first of all. But, it does not mean that any thermal imaging sight will necessarily cost much. It just means that the more expensive the device is, the more likely these two parameters are higher.
A thermal imaging scope is not only needed at night
Remember that a thermal imaging camera is a device that detects temperature differences. It makes no difference whether you use it during the day or at night. If a target is heated to a different temperature than the outside environment, it will be visible through the scope lens. You can use the thermal sight at dusk or dawn. It is unaffected by glare, unlike classic night vision devices. The advantage of thermal imaging scopes is that they do not need any external light sources: the thermal imaging sensor is sensitive to its own radiation of objects. As a result, these scopes work equally well during the day and at night, even in total darkness.
The rangefinder isn't just a marketing ploy
It is often not easy to determine the distance to an object by looking at it through the eyepiece of a thermal imaging sight with the naked eye. Some scopes have a built-in rangefinder. It is well realized, for example, in the AGM Secutor TS50-384, it features a stadiametric rangefinder, and the measurement results are displayed on the sight. Knowing the dimensions of the target, the shooter can easily estimate the distance to it. The rangefinder is not necessary only if the shooting distance does not exceed the direct shot distance. In other cases and at other distances, not having a rangefinder can ruin a great shot.
Extra features will not allow you to hunt longer
Equipping the scope with additional features: video recording, snapshots, built-in rangefinder, ballistic calculator, etc. makes the thermal imaging sight more functional, but greatly reduces its life on one battery charge. The main thing to look for to prolong operation is the power supply (internal or external battery). This is guaranteed to extend your hunting time.
The firing range and detection range are not one and the same
The statement above is nothing more than a mistake. Let's deal with it: if you hunt in the steppe or in the mountains, where long shots are possible - 400 yards and more - you need a scope with a long range of detection and target recognition. These are sights with large lenses (focal length of 50 mm or more), capable of detecting the target at a distance of 1800 to 2000 yards. The detection distance stated in the technical description means that at this distance you would be able to spot a warm target of a certain size. But you will not be able to tell what or who it is: a moose or a campfire, for example. Typically, you will be able to detect a target at half the specified detection distance.
Relation of NETD value and device image quality
The lower the NETD value, the better picture the instrument shows – is just a myth. NETD - Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference. Everyone knows that any electronic device generates a lot of "parasitic" signals in addition to the useful signals. The totality of these unnecessary signals is called noise. Therefore, even for those who measure these noises, a total parameter, called NETD, has been derived. That is the sum of all noises, reduced to an understandable parameter - some kind of temperature difference. But, this parameter has nothing to deal with the real visible temperature difference. The real parameter that captures the temperature difference between zones/objects is the MRTD parameter - Minimum Resolvable Temperature Difference.
Finally, it is important to understand that each hunter and each individual target requires a different thermal imaging scope. But, if you find a certain consistency between your individual requirements to the device and the application sphere of the gadget, you can find a more or less universal one for yourself.