The LS-XR handheld thermal showed up at the house today after I had been jiving Jaimie at TNVC to ship it out to me 2nd Day Fed-X - thanks Jaimei! !
Having used a FLIR LS-64 since they first were released at the 2013 Shot Show two years ago, I was looking forward to the upgraded LS-XR debut at the 2015 Shot Show this year.
My LS-64 has seen lots of use (I don't leave home on a night hunt without it) over the past two years and is my favorite must have thermal accessory for both detection and identification purposes at night. It has hundreds if not thousands of hours of use on it and keeps on ticking, plus have not had to purchase a single battery to use with it yet!
My normal night hunting gear for use on my property that I am very familiar with consists of the FLIR LS-64 and/or FLIR M-24 helmet mounted and either the FLIR RS-64 ThermoScope or FLIR GS T-70 mil-spec thermal clip-on, all of these thermal instruments have the hardened TAU 2.7 microbolometer 17 micron core and are 640X512 pixel cores. I normally only add bringing my Night Vision gear when I am going onto some new property that I am not familiar with as it gives me much better situational awareness than any of my thermal gear can provide.
Externally, both the LS-64 and LS-XR are identical, their FOV through their 35mm germanium lenses is the same also. They both have a micro USB port for charging the internal lithium ion battery and this same USB port is also used for communication purposes to upgrade the Firmware/Software of the TAU core using FLIR's GUI software updater provided on their site.
Both of the LS series handheld scanners also have the 5mW 635-660nm red visible pointing laser too.
The older model LS-64 does not have analog video out capabilites through the mini-USB port, but can be customized using a handmade hot shoe to gain access to the video output signal. The new LS-XR has the analog video out signal available through the mini-USB port and comes with a mini-USB to RCA video cable to record direct to a remote DVR.
The older model LS-64 has 1X, 2X, and 4X step magnification views and a continuous zoom up and down from 1X to 8X.
The new LS-XR has 1X, 2X, 4X, and 8X step magnification views as well as the continious zoom feature. The new 8X mag view is particularly nice due to the improved higher resolution image viewer. There is improved image resolution at all magnifications with less pixelation of the microbolometer image due to the new imager, less pixelation at all magnifications than with my older LS-64 unit.
The InstaAlert feature has also been improved across the board as follows:
1. Reduce the sensitivity of I1 by 20-30%
2. Change I2 to the current I1
3. Change I3 to the current I2
4. Change I4 to the current I3
Basically, the I4 of the older LS-64 has been removed.
This allows for greater sensitivity in the InstaAlert modes with less washout of irrelevant reddness from other inanimate objects in the FOV. The muted down InstaAlert allows it use at lower selectable levels for varying environmental conditions, and the #4 setting now is primarily for when it is raining or foggy out.
I will get some video out of it this weekend and hopefully get some live hunt thermal images of hogs and coyotes if they show up and the weather is accommodating.
Anyone who gets a new LS-XR, be sure to register it for warranty purposes at:www.flir.com/cs/warranty