FLIR PS24 and PS32 Scout Thermal Camera Review

FLIR PS32 PS24 Scout Thermal Camera

FLIR PS32 PS24 Scout Thermal Camera

You have everything, we get it…but, do you have a FLIR thermal camera?  Probably not.  Why do you need one?  Because they are AMAZING!  I have had one for a year or so and I played around with it a little, and it was at best a novelty with a few legitimate uses I came up with so my wife wasn’t as upset at me for getting it….  That all changed a few days ago when I took it with me out to the tree stand for deer season.  I was skunked the day before, and as I was going back to the house, I literally took 1 step from the tree stand ladder and spooked a few doe that were about 50 yards from my tree stand that had been there all morning, and I never noticed.  So I thought the next day I’d take the FLIR PS32 Scout out with me to see if I could see anything bedded down close to the tree stand.  Well I picked the perfect morning, it was foggy, I mean can’t see where you are walking foggy.  As I approached the woods I again spooked up a few doe, I assumed they ran off down the mountain, but just to check I pulled out the FLIR to see what I could see.  They had not ran down the mountain, but rather across a culvert 90 degrees from where I thought they went.  This was on the other side of a massive thicket that you can’t see through, about 40 yards away.  So, pitch black outside, foggy, and the deer are on the other side of a large thicket, but I can see exactly where they are thanks to the FLIR PS32 Thermal Camera.  I sat there for a few minutes just watching them through the camera walk up the hill.  I was astonished how clearly it was to locate them using the red hot mode of the camera.  I decided to continue down to the tree stand, stopping and scanning every 30 yards or so with the FLIR.  It was cool to be able to see in the pitch black fog, but it was more valuable to know that there were no deer around and to keep moving.

After I got myself settled in the tree stand, a quick scan around the perimeter to see if there was anything interesting around, and about 100 yards away I see a small red speck using the red hot mode.  It was still too foggy to see more than about 15 yards, but I had spotted this deer a long ways away, in between a lot of trees.  It continued to move away from me and there was no way I could see it through my rifle scope to determine anything further.  I ended up sitting there a few more hours and didn’t see anything, and I know nothing evaded me because I was continually scanning with the FLIR Scout.  This experience was very eye opening because it demonstrated to me how much actually gets by us when we are in the woods, and how effective the thermal camera was at viewing through dense vegetation to see a deer sized animal.

Aside from the intended use of the FLIR Thermal Scout as a tool for wildlife viewing and hunting, I have also used the FLIR for a lot of other uses.  I have identified leaks or poorly insulated places in our home.  You can find air leaks in your house easily so you can seal them up and lower your heating/cooling costs.  I have used it to view overloaded circuit breakers in a breaker box.  Varmint hunting at night is awesome with a thermal camera, you can see them long before they can see you, if you pair it with a night vision scope, you can completely hunt in the dark and never spook them, making your shots even easier.  I have also used it to diagnose problems with cars, as you can easily target exhaust leaks, sticking brake pads, or overheating components.  It also makes it very easy to determine if a car has been started recently as the whole front half of the car will show as warmer than the rear.  You can see footprints, hand prints, even people with a fever will stand out when compared to others.  The uses are literally limited only by your imagination.

If you are using this as an alternative to traditional tube night vision, I find that the black hot mode provide excellent contrast for navigating your way around.  FLIR Cameras excel in this particular use, because they require absolutely no ambient light, and do not need an illuminator in low light conditions.  This means if you are wanting to remain hidden, you won’t have to use what is equivalent to a flashlight to other people with night vision (illuminator), and you will see them coming from several hundred yards away!  Maybe one of the biggest differences when using a FLIR Scout versus traditional night vision is the ability to see through fog.  I discussed it earlier in regards to the deer, but it is very significant.  Very thick fog will cut down on how far you are able to see with the camera, but you will still be able to see other warm blooded or hot objects a good ways off.

The FLIR Scout PS32 comes with a native resolution of 320×240, and has a 2x digital zoom, which basically cuts the resolution in half, but makes the perceived image larger.  The FLIR Scout PS24 has a native resolution of 240×180.  Both have an integrated tripod adapter, a rechargeable lithium ion battery that can be charged from a USB port, and feature a rubberized outer case that is comfortable to hold.  My biggest complaint however, is the lack of a hot shoe for these units.  For surveillance or wildlife viewing, the ability to capture video on an external device is a necessity, and I can only speculate at why that functionality was left off these units.  There are sites showing a “diy” hot shoe using the connectors on the bottom, which I have used to capture video, but do that at your own risk.

With the revolutionary FLIR PS32 and PS24 Scout Thermal Camera, FLIR has essentially brought thermal imaging capability to the masses.  Sure it’s still expensive, but it is at least attainable without literally trading in a car to buy it.  If you can find other uses and reasons to own it, such as insulating your house, finding faulty wiring, security, missing person searches, varmint control, etc…. there I go with that list of great uses to tell your wife again….  The bottom line, if you have always wanted thermal imaging from the time you first saw it, it is now available, and there are some very good reasons to have one.  Buy the FLIR PS24 and PS32 Scout at ManVentureOutpost.com.  You can watch our demo video on Youtube (we used the ports on the bottom where a hot shoe should attach and a video recorder to get this footage).

Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular Review

Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular

Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular

We’re coming up on the holidays, and you are wondering what to get that special someone, right?  Well, as a gear head, I usually stay on top of what’s hot and what’s not, and night vision has always been in that category of top shelf toys. What’s not to like about night vision?  I mean, only regular folks investigate what goes bump in the night with a flashlight.  If you want to be James Bond of your house, you HAVE to own night vision.  There is just one small minor problem with that.  Most of the night vision worth owning will cost the equivalent of a small used car…in the $3k neighborhood.  Well, for most people, that is just not in the budget, however, luckily there is now an alternative coming to the market, digital night vision.  The first digital night vision I always felt was nothing more than a digital camera with an infrared illuminator, however, they have come a very long way since then.  If you are needing to get that someone that has everything a gift, take a good look at the Firefield digital night vision monocular.  For the money, it is a great value.

Lets start by looking at digital versus analog night vision.  I won’t belabor it, but digital is essentially an extremely sensitive camera that gets processed and displayed on an LCD screen.  Analog night vision has a special gas charged tube where photons trigger electrons to illuminate a phosphorus screen.  They are completely different technologies, and both have their place.  The one common factor, is both require ambient light to operate.  If you operate either one in a completely dark room, you will not see anything (unless you use an infrared illuminator).  Here is where we start to diverge, analog night vision was originally called “starlight” because the ambient light from the stars helped to illuminate enough you could see through the optic.  With digital night vision, you almost have to have an infrared illuminator if you want to be able to see anything, where as analog night vision (especially the higher generations) will show a decent image with lower light such as starlight, moonlight, or ambient city light.

So, what make the Firefield digital night vision monocular so special?  Well, to begin, it works.  I know that sounds funny and I’ve said it before, but these days, having a device that does what it is supposed to do isn’t always something we can take for granted.  Firefield has a 1-3x (model FF18065) version and a 3-9x (Model FF18066) version called the N-Vader. These are 1x optical 3x digital, and 3x optical 9x digital respectively.  A nice feature is they have a color LCD that I feel offers a little more contrast than other digital night vision monoculars I have viewed.  They both feature a 1W (1000mW) infrared illuminator that is in the near infrared spectrum which means it will look like a dull red to the human eye.  For a completely infrared illuminator it has to be in the 900nm range, and not many of those are available, but you can’t see the light in that range with your eye, so it is undetectable when in use.  Now here is where the Firefield scopes separate themselves from other night vision devices.  The monoculars have digital zoom that you can incrementally increase (1x, 2x, 3x and 3x, 6x, 9x respectively).  Given the low resolution of the LCD display in the device, you really don’t notice a quality difference at the higher zoom as you do with most digital zoom optics.  Secondly, the digital night vision monocular features an adjustable frame rate.  The higher the frame rate, the less light that is processed for each update, which translates into a darker picture, and just the opposite for lower frame rates which will enhance the image and show lower light conditions with more identifiable clarity.  The Firefield also offers an adjustable IR illuminator setting, allowing you to turn down and even off the illuminator if you don’t need it (I should point out that the Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular does have a day mode that you can use for spotting during daylight hours, with the color LCD this is a nice feature, but not something I’ll probably ever use because after all, this is a night vision device).  The feature that blows my mind on this optic, is the TV out.  This means you can hook it up to a large monitor or DVR (we’ll be doing this soon – stay tuned!) and get 640×480 resolution out of this device.  If you are a night time animal watcher, being able to DVR and share your video without holding your camera to the ocular lens is HUGE (we’ll also be doing that some, it’s not the best way to do it, but sometimes you don’t have any options…)

Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular

Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular

So now that we’ve gone through the list of features, how much would you expect something like this to run, $200-$300?  Here is the shocker, the Firefield Digital Night Vision starts at $143 for the 1-3x version, and $179 for the N-Vader 3-9x version.  You can check our website for our sale price which might save you even more!  The only negatives that come to mind after spending some time with these units is the LCD display leaves a little to be desired in the resolution department, and I haven’t run enough to know for sure, but most digital night vision devices with the IR illuminator are battery hogs, so keep a spare set on hand if you are going to be using it a lot, or get some quality rechargeable batteries.

To sum it up, when I started looking at the Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular, I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed as I was.  It packs a bunch of cool features that I really didn’t expect from such a reasonably priced optic.  So for the person that has everything, digital night vision definitely has the cool factor that will make anyone feel like a doing covert ops, even if it is just in the backyard in the suburbs.  Buy the 1-3x Firefield Digital Night Vision Monocular at ManVentureOutpost.com, or the 3-9x Firefield N-Vader Digital Night Vision Monocular at ManVentureOutpost.com.