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HOME > NEWS/BLOGS > NEWS > Industry News > Guidance for Selecting the Best Thermal Imaging Scope for Hunting

Guidance for Selecting the Best Thermal Imaging Scope for Hunting

Date of issue: 2022-12-09 Views: 4983

Thermal imaging scope is an excellent device no matter for your hunting, spotting activities or non-game uses. There are lots of options to consider when selecting an appropriate thermal scope. In this guide, it covers all the details you need to know before selecting a thermal scope.


Reasons to own a thermal imaging scope


Thermal scopes detect the heat of a target and use radiation to generate the image. Unlike night vision devices, thermal scopes can be used both in the day and at night. And, because they use radiation or heat source to render the image, you can easily detect objects even if they are hiding or camouflaged from a long distance.


Thermal imagers detect subtle changes in temperature and use those minute differences to form a picture. Everything emits thermal energies, which the sophisticated sensors turn into a vibrant image. Because they use temperature instead of light, you’ll get the same image whether you’re in full sun or the darkest night. This means you don’t have to swap optics and potentially lose your zero if you want to hit the range or do some daytime predator calling.


When do you need a thermal scope for your rifle?


Police and security officers can use both thermal scopes, particularly for surveillance. A thermal scope will still deliver more effective detection in the dark as well as difficult environmental conditions such as fog, dust, or smoke.


Hunters can use thermal scopes to maneuver through the bush at night, and they are more effective for spotting a resting or otherwise still animal in thick foliage or wooded areas, as well as for tracking injured prey.


What determines the image quality of thermal scopes?


In a nutshell, the thermal sensitivity, resolution, and pixel size are responsible for the image quality. Logically, the higher the indicators of these parameters, the better the operator's image will be received. In this case, the display and characteristics of the observation location are, in fact, secondary factors but have a significant impact on the final result.


Factors to consider when choosing a thermal scope



Thermal Core Resolution


The sensor resolution of your thermal scope is the most important consideration when selecting a thermal imaging riflescope. A high-resolution image that appears on display should possess a crisp and precise definition of an object. The best cores in high-end optics now provide 640×512 resolution while the less expensive, but very good optics provide a 384×288 or similar resolution. Generally speaking, the higher the resolution, the better the image quality.


Pixel Pitch


The pixel pitch is a measurement of the distance between the pixels of the digital image in the thermal sensor. The measuring unit is a micrometer, commonly called a micron. Today, most thermal optics are 12 to 17 microns, with the lower the number being the best quality.  


ThermTec is the manufacturer who produces cores for thermal optics, and the best cores used in hunting thermal optics at the current period of time use a 12-micron detector, providing a good clean image quality.


Thermal sensitivity (NETD)


Thermal sensitivity or Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) indicates the ability of the thermal detector to recognize the smallest temperature difference of your target.


The smaller the NETD is, the more sensitivity you will get. If the targets you need to measure typically have wide temperature differences, a camera with a low NETD probably isn’t necessary.


Field of View


Field of View is determined by the camera lens, and is the extent of a scene that the camera will see at any given moment. For work being done close-up, you need a lens with a wide angle FOV. For long distance work, you need a telephoto lens. Some cameras are available with multiple lenses for different applications, e.g. ThermTec Ares Series thermal scopes are designed with double-field of view.


Thermal Scope Display Types


Thermal scopes have different types of display, including Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD), organic light-emitting diode (OLED) or active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED). The displays of OLED and AMOLED are generally applied in newer and higher quality scopes which provide outstanding clarity. The ThermTec thermal scopes use AMOLED displays for better performance in extreme conditions with temperatures ranging from -20° to +50°.





The detection range for thermal scopes refers to the distance to which you can get a clear image. There are hunting scopes that can provide you a clear image for distances as far as 4,000 yards. 




The magnification defines a thermal scope’s ability to zoom in on what you are looking at. The ability of scope to magnify the image affects its resolution. The two features are indirectly proportional to each other. The higher the magnification, the more it affects the resolution of the image you can see through the scope.



What additional features on-board of thermal scopes to consider?



Picture-in-Picture function displays 2X zoomed image in a small frame on the top of the screen of your thermal sight. This is a very convenient way to get more details of your potential target without losing concentration on the reticle.


Live Wi-Fi video streaming of what you see through your thermal scope is displayed on a phone or a tablet, extending your hunting experience above and beyond, allowing live sharing of exciting moments with a hunting buddy near you or with a group you lead as a hunting guide.


The reticle pattern on thermal scopes can come in various forms, including the four-line crosshair pattern or a single dot reticle. All of these reticle patterns can have their merits for the hunter. Crosshair reticle patterns can be more helpful while hunting at night, while the single dot reticles are useful for greater accuracy.



In addition, you can get thermal scopes with the Geographic Positioning System, the AI rangefinder, as well as the WiFi connection function which can broadcast straight-up to your smartphone. More advanced scopes also have one-shot zero technology.


ARES Series Thermal Imaging Scope


Ares Series thermal imaging scope is one of the most advanced rifle scopes in the market. Its aircraft-grade aluminum design helps it easily deal with various situations in the wild. The Ares series is intended for use on a variety of hunting and sporting weapons, and is effective at close and long ranges irrespective of light and weather conditions, i.e., in total darkness, through smoke, haze, fog, and light rain. Using 12µm detector, 1024 AMOLED display and F/1.0 germanium optics, it can quickly and clearly target preys hundreds of meters away, providing you a perfect aiming experience.



About ThermTec


ThermTec is a global leading manufacturer of products concerning infrared thermal imaging technologies, providing the latest and best thermal technologies and solutions that improves the way people perceive the world, such constructs a safer and more efficient living and working condition for humankinds.