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Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video #7524461 06/01/19 03:27 PM
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I was thankful to receive a small shipment of Thermion XM38's last week and I've been able to use one for a few days and I'm really liking it. It's too soon for a full review but Hans and I will begin discussing them on The Late Night Vision Show this coming week. I managed to get on some hogs the first night out with the scope and I'll post the video below.

I was using the XM38, 320x240 12 micron, 4.2x that retails for $3,299. The hog I shot was 28 yards away and the hog that walked in between me and that hog was under 20 yards away.



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Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #7524465 06/01/19 03:34 PM
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Some more information..... A very small shipment of Pulsar Thermions showed up to the US last week (the week of 5/27/19). There were only XM38 and XM50 models, NO XM30, XP38 or XP50 units. I'm emphasizing that point because I've been having people tell me they heard the XP50's were already shipping but that's not true yet. A, hopefully larger, shipment of Thermions should be headed to the US within the next few weeks. It is expected that the XP models will be coming as well but the base XM30 model is not expected to be shipping soon. It could be closer to the original August estimates, maybe sooner, maybe longer, no one knows right now but we've been told not to be expecting it soon.

Overall first impressions.... I really like the tube based scope design a lot more than I thought I would. It's really very "comfortable" to have on your rifle and to use. I like the weight balance and at a glance no one would even notice that it wasn't a daytime scope. I don't believe the Thermion is any kind of huge game changer, I think it is a nice incremental step forward with some improvements over previous models. But so far I'm liking it a lot more than I expected. Again, more thoughts after I use it more and we will go in more depth on The Late Night Vision Show.

- Jason [Linked Image]


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Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #7526872 06/04/19 05:35 PM
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Im surprised that you池e not receiving general question in this thread on the much anticipated (new line) of pulsar thermals. I値l start smile

What resolution is the recorded video file , can you see a difference in image quality over the APEX and
trails?

Does the scope record sound?

What calibers have you shot with the Thermion on top ? Any issues with shut offs , freezes, or focus ?

Nice video and hog kill


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Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Pig_Popper] #7527434 06/05/19 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Pig_Popper
Im surprised that you池e not receiving general question in this thread on the much anticipated (new line) of pulsar thermals. I値l start smile

What resolution is the recorded video file , can you see a difference in image quality over the APEX and
trails?

Does the scope record sound?

What calibers have you shot with the Thermion on top ? Any issues with shut offs , freezes, or focus ?

Nice video and hog kill


Thank you very much Pig Popper!

The resolution of the recorded video file is 1024x768. To be clear, so no one else reads this and is confused....the thermal core resolution is 320x240, the video file that it recorded internally is recorded at 1024x768.

Yes sir there is definitely an image quality improvement but I'm trying to figure out how much of this is the 12 micron core vs the higher magnification of the XM38. I don't have any XQ model Trails to compare side by side to right now. I personally shoot the XP50 and every XQ Trail I get is pre-sold to a customer. As soon as I can get enough inventory to get caught up on orders, I'll do some side by side comparisons. I would say that yes the image quality is better but it's not insanely better, it's a small incremental upgrade and again, the magnification could be causing part of that perceived improvement.

The scope has an internal mic built in but the audio is not enabled yet. From what I was told it's an issue like Pulsar had with the Trails where they have to get the algorithms just right to sync the audio and the video perfectly. It will be enabled in a firmware update once that issue is resolved. As I mentioned to someone else, the Thermions are here 2 months earlier than expected.....if I have to wait on audio, I'm fine, just give me the scope! grin

I've got it on my 6.5 Grendel and my pro-staffer HansETX has his on his 6.5 Creedmoor. So far so good on the performance, it seems to be flawless, I've had no issues at all. It really just feels like an upgraded Trail (which it is) so the menus and functions are all very familiar to a current Pulsar user. I will mention the focus being a little different in the fact of I never focus my Trail. It has such a long range of focus I can literally hunt all night and never feel the need to touch the focus knob. The Thermion range of focus is shorter and requires some sensitive fine tuning to get that perfect clarity. I think part of it is, for me, controlling the focus with a standard focus ring on the objective lens is more difficult than using the knob on the top of the Trail. Also, while the range of focus is shorter than it is on the Trail it's not near as small as it is on something like the PTS536. I was looking at hogs at 200 yards and 70 yards at the exact same time and didn't feel a big need to refocus while going back and forth between the two.

I think the Thermion is going to be a really nice scope with some nice small upgrades but I don't see massive amounts of hunters running out to dump their Trails to upgrade unless they need/want the higher magnification levels.

Thanks again for the questions and getting the conversation started. I've got more hog videos coming soon. I've got to say the traditional scope design is really growing on me quickly.

- Jason


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Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #7527565 06/05/19 01:11 PM
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Good overview!

Quote
The resolution of the recorded video file is 1024x768. To be clear, so no one else reads this and is confused....the thermal core resolution is 320x240, the video file that it recorded internally is recorded at 1024x768.


Which means when it comes to video, the image is never better than the lowest resolution part of the system. A lot of folks don't understand this. They think the high res display inside the scope or the high res of the video is actually the resolution they will get and that isn't right. The image will still be 320x240, despite being shown on a screen that could properly display a higher resolution image or saved in a file that could handle a higher resolution image.


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Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #7527626 06/05/19 02:06 PM
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I知 thinking Industry is missing an opportunity with video res.

I知 no engineer, basing this next statement on the advancements in home TVs and computers over the last 10 years...

If we could apply the tech to the source stream of video output to capture HD video NOBoDY would be able to keep these units in stock!

We have OeLED and AMOLED near eye displays that are HD and we always say then video looks much better through the scope versus the video output , so again my assumption is the 田ore is capable of higher bitrate/resolution it simply a matter of putting a better chipset and connection on the video out.

I致e been waiting 5 years for HD res video off the sensors....

And NO , ATN ain稚 HD or 4K or 10k - I want real / true HD


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Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #7527674 06/05/19 02:57 PM
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Man... that looks slick. Thanks for the overview. I've been tempted on selling my PTS736 for the XM50 model, but the outdoor alert mode has been more useful than I thought it'd be. Does the Thermion have anything similar?

I love my 736 but the additional of an external battery adds a lot of bulk to it. So much so that I can't fit it in a gun case without removing the battery. I also like the more traditional scope look of the Thermion.

I know you haven't tested the XM50, but what is your expectation on the clarity compared to the 736? I'd be willing to sacrifice some clarity, but not a lot. I like seeing your comment on the focus knob. I find myself fiddling with the focus quite a bit on the 736 and my Zeus - trying to get the most optimal image. Almost would rather NOT have that option heh.

Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Pig_Popper] #7527959 06/05/19 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Good overview!

Quote
The resolution of the recorded video file is 1024x768. To be clear, so no one else reads this and is confused....the thermal core resolution is 320x240, the video file that it recorded internally is recorded at 1024x768.


Which means when it comes to video, the image is never better than the lowest resolution part of the system. A lot of folks don't understand this. They think the high res display inside the scope or the high res of the video is actually the resolution they will get and that isn't right. The image will still be 320x240, despite being shown on a screen that could properly display a higher resolution image or saved in a file that could handle a higher resolution image.



Thanks DNS, excellent points and you're correct about that.



Originally Posted by Pig_Popper
I知 thinking Industry is missing an opportunity with video res.

I知 no engineer, basing this next statement on the advancements in home TVs and computers over the last 10 years...

If we could apply the tech to the source stream of video output to capture HD video NOBoDY would be able to keep these units in stock!

We have OeLED and AMOLED near eye displays that are HD and we always say then video looks much better through the scope versus the video output , so again my assumption is the 田ore is capable of higher bitrate/resolution it simply a matter of putting a better chipset and connection on the video out.

I致e been waiting 5 years for HD res video off the sensors....

And NO , ATN ain稚 HD or 4K or 10k - I want real / true HD


PP I could be wrong here but I think the main answer here is what DNS mentioned above....if the core isn't HD, no matter what the output video file size is, it's not really being recorded in HD. The output video can and is being upscaled for the output but it's not really that resolution when it comes through the sensor. Meaning, they are taking a 320x240 video feed and upscaling it to 1024x768 but the video started out as a 320x240 resolution. DNS, chime in here, am I wrong about that?

Changing gears to digital NV, the Wraith HD has a 1920x1080 sensor and the video output is 1920x1080 as well. So in reality, since the highest resolution thermal core we have in hunting optics is 640x480, we can't get true HD video out put files (even if they are upscaled before they are recorded) because we don't have true HD thermal sensors.

I could be way off here so someone please correct me if I'm wrong....

Jason


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Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: JDP Ranch] #7527974 06/05/19 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JDP Ranch
Man... that looks slick. Thanks for the overview. I've been tempted on selling my PTS736 for the XM50 model, but the outdoor alert mode has been more useful than I thought it'd be. Does the Thermion have anything similar?

I love my 736 but the additional of an external battery adds a lot of bulk to it. So much so that I can't fit it in a gun case without removing the battery. I also like the more traditional scope look of the Thermion.

I know you haven't tested the XM50, but what is your expectation on the clarity compared to the 736? I'd be willing to sacrifice some clarity, but not a lot. I like seeing your comment on the focus knob. I find myself fiddling with the focus quite a bit on the 736 and my Zeus - trying to get the most optimal image. Almost would rather NOT have that option heh.



I really want to see the XM50 before I go on the record but the Boson 12 micron core has a really nice image quality and the 736 has a 75mm objective lens, that's huge lens out front. I'm not sure if a 30-40mm lens is going to out perform it unless the ULIS thermal core in the Pulsar is really a whole let better than the FLIR Boson. The other thing I suspect and I will be confirming soon is that the 4x of the 536 and the 6x of the 736 are actually accurate magnifications. I've been told by a couple very knowledgeable industry insiders that the 536 is closer to a 6x and the 736 is a closer to a 8x. I'm getting a 536 out of my warehouse today and I'll be comparing it to my XM38 tonight to see how those two 4x scopes compare magnification wise. The reason this is important is, higher magnification gives the perception of better image quality because the animal/objecy looks closer to you. So IF that's true about the misquoted magnification levels then the 536 and the 736 might appear to have better image quality than the XM38 and XM50 because the animals appear closer than they do in the Thermions. Again, this doesn't mean they truly have better image quality because we could be comparing two different magnifications. I hope that makes some sense and I hate to even comment on it because it's speculation. I'll know more when I get a 536 off the shelf today.

The slim-ness of the Thermion is really appealing. It feels so much smaller than the Trail and other thermals like the ThermoSights even though it's a good deal longer. That's another thing....I've seen some comments about the Thermions being long and "taking up valuable rail space". I honestly have no idea what that means. I don't, nor do I know of anyone else who is running anything else on their top rail in front of their thermal scope? A flashlight on the side rail, maybe but the top rail? I'm lost there. I'm shooting 10.5" and 12" barrels (that's a 12" in that picture above) and there is plenty of rail space out there if you needed it for some odd reason.

But yes sir the battery packs on the Pulsars is a huge factor for me. I finally sold my REAP IR because of lack of internal video recording and having to run external battery packs. Once you get used to those features on a Pulsar it just becomes hard to do without. That's no knock on Trijicon or FLIR, I love them both, but the Pulsars are a package deal and everyone has different requirements/needs.

- Jason


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Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #7528042 06/05/19 10:24 PM
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Compared to my FLIR PTS536 and Pulsar Trail LRF XQ50 the resolution looks really sharp. However I REALLY like the battery set-up on my Trail scope and Hellion spotter.

Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #7528056 06/05/19 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Outdoor Legacy

PP I could be wrong here but I think the main answer here is what DNS mentioned above....if the core isn't HD, no matter what the output video file size is, it's not really being recorded in HD. The output video can and is being upscaled for the output but it's not really that resolution when it comes through the sensor. Meaning, they are taking a 320x240 video feed and upscaling it to 1024x768 but the video started out as a 320x240 resolution. DNS, chime in here, am I wrong about that?

Jason


Right.

Think of it like this. Say you got one of those first Casio digital cameras in 1995 for $750. It had an "amazing" 100x150 resolution. You took pics with it and printed a few of them back in the day. The were cool for the time, but certainly didn't compare to what a high dollar 35mm camera could produce, right? Now the camera and the original files are long gone and you want to preserve the images by digitizing, so you you have 20 megapixel scanner and you decide to scan in those pics to the scanner creating 20 megapixel images. What you are left with is a very clear image of an old, low resolution photograph, in other words, a very clear image of slightly blurry picture. The image can be no better than the least capable component. It may be in a higher format, take up a lot more memory, but is still not an actual high definition view.
https://www.dpreview.com/articles/5...the-dawn-of-consumer-digital-photography

Quote
I honestly have no idea what that means. I don't, nor do I know of anyone else who is running anything else on their top rail in front of their thermal scope?


It isn't just in front of the thermal, but in the space occupied by it. I don't know of a lot of options, but there are the few folks that want to add canted backup day sights/optics, levels, brass catchers, or other gizmos on or near the receiver and want or need the top rail for access. A traditional day scope and rings configuration (or ATN and Pulsar thermal) setup may allow some access to a portion of the rail that would otherwise be covered by more traditional (aka old style) thermal devices. In reality, it has been my experience that most of the people who complain about loss of rail space aren't even people who use it anyway. They just don't like losing the option of being able to use it. You gotta have something to complain about, right?


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Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #7528435 06/06/19 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Outdoor Legacy
've been told by a couple very knowledgeable industry insiders that the 536 is closer to a 6x and the 736 is a closer to a 8x. I'm getting a 536 out of my warehouse today and I'll be comparing it to my XM38 tonight to see how those two 4x scopes compare magnification wise.


This would be very interesting to know. Kind of sneaky on FLIR's part - advertise a lower native magnification so when compared with scopes with similar native magnifications - the PTS series would look better.

Thinking about it... when hunting my main feeder @ 200 yards... the 736 view is noticeable better at native magnification than the Zeus 3x 640 view when zoomed 2x. This would make sense if the Zeus is only displaying 6x while the 736 is closer to 8x.

Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: JDP Ranch] #7528747 06/06/19 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilson Combat
Compared to my FLIR PTS536 and Pulsar Trail LRF XQ50 the resolution looks really sharp. However I REALLY like the battery set-up on my Trail scope and Hellion spotter.


I'll go int a little brief detail below about the 536 vs the XM38 below because I made some other comments about magnification that I need to re-visit. I agree with you about the battery packs on the Trail/Helions but with the Thermion and Axion both using the new APS battery packs, it looks like Pulsar is moving in that direction and I'm speculating but maybe they could have some new higher end monoculars next year that use the APS batteries. It is really nice to have a scanner and scope using the same batteries, I agree with you there for sure.

DNS, great explanation on the resolution, very well put! And on the rail space..... yes I think you're right.....there has to be something to complain about right?lol

Originally Posted by JDP Ranch
Originally Posted by Outdoor Legacy
've been told by a couple very knowledgeable industry insiders that the 536 is closer to a 6x and the 736 is a closer to a 8x. I'm getting a 536 out of my warehouse today and I'll be comparing it to my XM38 tonight to see how those two 4x scopes compare magnification wise.


This would be very interesting to know. Kind of sneaky on FLIR's part - advertise a lower native magnification so when compared with scopes with similar native magnifications - the PTS series would look better.

Thinking about it... when hunting my main feeder @ 200 yards... the 736 view is noticeable better at native magnification than the Zeus 3x 640 view when zoomed 2x. This would make sense if the Zeus is only displaying 6x while the 736 is closer to 8x.




Last night I test the 536 and the XM38 out side by side and the conditions were bad. It rained off and on all day yesterday, it was 85 degrees and 90's humidity last night. It was still dripping. I couldn't see hardly anything with the 536, even a deer at 200 yards was "hazy" and I couldn't ID it. I picked up the XM38 and to my shock everything was 3x clearer. I could easily see the deer and ID it, I could see my cows and ID them at 300-400 yards, it all looked really good considering how bad the conditions are and compared to how little I could see with the 536. I didn't expect this and I was blown away. I'm going to have to do more testing before I make a final evaluation but there was a huge difference last night. This morning, in the daylight the image quality on the two scopes were nearly identical. I would give the edge to the XM38 for a sharper, crisper image but not by much. I'd say if they weren't side by side, you'd say the image quality is the same.

Ok I wish I'd never said that about the 536/736 magnification, I've been told that enough by a couple industry guys who know so much about the inner workings of thermal that I thought there was probably some truth there. Also, the 536/736 both "feel" like a whole lot of magnification. So here is the update....

The magnification on the two is nearly identical. Part of me says the 536 MIGHT be slightly more magnification but IF it is, it's a very minor. I zoomed the XM38 to 4.1 and 4.2x and I'm not sure, it's so close I can't say. For general purposes I think it's very fair to say they are both 4x. So my information and speculation on the 536 was wrong. Now I guess there is an outside chance they are BOTH higher than 4x but either way, the magnifications basically match.

But I did realize something else....my brain kept telling me the magnification looked higher on the 536 but when I would look at an animal in one and then the other, they were pretty much the same size and I finally figure out what it is. The FOV is larger on the XM38 and that makes a really big difference. The 536 specs say it has a 24ft FOV at 100 yards and the XM38 has a 33ft FOV at 110 yards or 30ft at 100 yards. I have literally tested the FOV specs on the XM38 using a 100ft tape measure and it is 30-32ft at 100 yards the best I can tell. I have not tested the 536 but there is no question the 536 has a noticeably narrower FOV.

This is just more random thoughts and tests. I still like both optics a whole lot but what we've got to consider is, the XM38 is $3,299 and the 536 is $3,795.....

Jason


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Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #7528749 06/06/19 08:17 PM
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Here is Hans and my first impressions of the Thermions from The Late Night Vision Show....



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Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #7528766 06/06/19 08:48 PM
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That's interesting to hear about the humidity. Seems the past few weekends I've been out to hunt the humidity has been higher than usual. Picture quality hasn't been terrible, but definitely not what it was before Spring came.

Now you have me debating on selling my 736 to pick up a Thermion. I initially planned on waiting for a Thermion, but got too eager. Hog traffic picked up substantially since deer season. I really like the idea of having a Pulsar though found it hard earlier this year to pull the trigger with the Thermions around the corner.

Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: JDP Ranch] #7529043 06/07/19 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by JDP Ranch

Thinking about it... when hunting my main feeder @ 200 yards... the 736 view is noticeable better at native magnification than the Zeus 3x 640 view when zoomed 2x. This would make sense if the Zeus is only displaying 6x while the 736 is closer to 8x.



While the Zeus 3x 640 zoomed to 2x would give you 6x 320 resolution that would seem to match the PTS736 which is a 6x optic, both with the same size lenses, there is a key difference that you have forgotten. The Zeus' core was 17 micron and the PTS736's core was 12 micron. Everything else being the same, the smaller the micron size the better the image will be.

https://www.flir.com/products/pts736/

You mentioned that the PTS736 is more like 8x. It really isn't. There are two types of magnification in scopes, the second of which nobody discussed, but it plays into the user experience. First is the actual optical magnification of the objective lens. In this case, the PTS736 is 6x. However, the eyepiece magnification of the tiny display screen will impact how large the image is displayed to the user. The 6x image in the PTS736 may look like more than it actually is because the eyepiece may have more magnification than the Zeus. Or, the actual display screen size may be different in the scopes.


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Re: Pulsar Thermion First Hog Hunt Video [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #7529169 06/07/19 01:58 PM
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Makes sense DNS. I did indeed forget about the difference in microns - good point.

Also good point about the eyepiece magnification. Looking through the menu options text and the reticle - the overall clarity on the PTS seems to be better than the Zeus. Text is crisper and the reticle is less fuzzy than on the Zeus. This might be a result of the Zeus having a 800x600 screen while the PTS736 has a 1280x960 screen.

When I bought the Zeus and then the PTS736 shortly after - I figured I'd be using the Zeus most in the field. The PTS736 was for my father and guests. I found myself using the PTS736 more and my father prefers the PTS736 as well. The Zeus is still great as the field of view is much, much better with the lower native magnification. Scanning in 3x along with the 640 resolution looks awesome. The Zeus is a better scope for a wider variety of hunting styles, but where I usually hunt... the hogs are concentrated into two areas that can be easily scanned with the PTS736.

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