FLIR’s First Consumer Thermal Imaging Scope Is Here—SHOT Show 2014

flir4FLIR Systems, Inc.   
http://www.flir.com/

The acronym FLIR stands for forward looking infrared. So does the company FLIR Systems, which until now has focused on thermal imaging systems for law enforcement and the military. Last Tuesday, however, the company announced its first thermal imaging system intended for the civilian market. If you’re not familiar with thermal imaging, it works by using temperature differences between various objects in the visual field to produce an image. The images that are produced are remarkable—you  can see through haze, smoke, rain, even foliage, day or night. The big obstacle for us civies has been the astronomical prices. Fortunately, as in other electronic devices, prices are coming down. The FLIR Systems consumer thermal imaging devices are designated the R-Series and start at $3,499 for the RS24 1-2 power scope. There are six scopes in the series, culminating with the RS64 2-16 power device listed at $8,999. One big difference between the FLIR Systems scopes and earlier consumer devices is that they have a 3-lens ocular, much like your run-of-the-mill daytime scope, rather than an LCD screen. That makes it easier and more natural to use them in the field. They also have a feature that highlights the hottest part of the scene in red. The hottest part is generally a human or animal form, which aids in making faster target identification. Check them out at www.FLIR.com.

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{ 31 comments… add one }
  • David April 26, 2016, 3:17 pm

    Hello,
    I an looking for a thermal imager that would help me find metal boxes and underground metal utility valves , etc, by their temperature difference between the metal object and the surrounding soil. Some of these data boxes and valves are up to 3 feet deep. I am hoping that the sun shining on the area will heat the metal and the surrounding soil to a temperature difference high enough to ascertain the location of the metal object.
    Would anyone know if such a device exists that would be portable and sensitive enough to make my search for these misplaced items easier or is this wishful thinking?
    Thanks

    • L E Henson December 19, 2016, 7:09 pm

      Actually we are working on an RF Metal/Anything Detector – that exceeds FLIR, Metal Detectors, and imaging systems. Contact via LEHenson@msn.com Subject Line: RF Metal Detector – or the Junk box will get it. Larry NOTE: NOT for mounting on firearms! TRUMP – YES!

  • W Smith February 20, 2014, 5:11 pm

    The $3500 only gets you a 240 * 180 resolution and a 30Hz frame rate. That is barely usable in my mind. To get to the usable 320 * 240 level it starts at $400 for roughly 1.4X maginfication up to $7500 for 4X magnification. The “Pro” level units with 640 * 480 rez go up to $9000.

    Also, I wouldn’t use this on anything with more recoil than a 5.56. They are rated up to 7.62 but I have my doubts.

    • W Smith February 20, 2014, 5:12 pm

      That first $400 should say $4000

  • Phil January 22, 2014, 10:24 pm

    I see all these guys posting comments about this who clearly have No idea what this scope does.

    This scope isn’t a Night vision scope. As far as I know, you can operate this in day time too.
    This scope is a Thermal Imager..
    Have you ever watched the movie Predator? The 80’s movie with Arnold schwarzenegger and that guy with a mini gun that became the governor of Mn a few years ago?
    The predator saw only in infrared, not near infrared like your “night vision” capable handy cam, but infrared like a heat lamp infrared. (no, not the red light…)

    A thermal imager sees Heat and Cold, Not visible light. People and animals Glow in the dark because you are an infrared light bulb. Car engines glow because they get hot. Unless you find a way to make your skin the same temperature as the background heat you will glow brighter than the tree you are hiding under or behind or that bush whose leaves you are hiding in.
    With an infrared imager you can “see through” dust or smoke that would obscure your view with your night vision goggles or handy cam.

    You can track people with a(sensitive enough) thermal imager by looking for their foot prints which can glow in the dark up to a few minutes after they walk through the area. Because of the heat of your feet heating the ground you walk on.
    Can you do that with a $4k atn night vision scope or handy cam?

  • Jim Crawford January 22, 2014, 4:13 pm

    How does this compare to the ATN ? What is the recognizable distance so you know what the animal is ?

    • Administrator January 22, 2014, 4:37 pm

      ATN has recently changed to video imaging and it does not use a tube. We have a feature coming up on them probably early next week.

      • DirtDiver76 January 23, 2014, 12:37 am

        My next question would be is it submersible? If so, how deep? Is it shock resistant? I know it wont take a sledgehammer blow, but can I trust it to get me through scuffles in CQB? What’s the warranty and servicing like?

  • riot January 22, 2014, 3:13 pm

    A cheaper solution is rig a cheap camcorder(with 21x zoom if you want)with nightvision and most do have it, add a crosshair on the lens and then add flipping mount on your rifle.

    • DirtDiver76 January 23, 2014, 12:34 am

      That’s great! For the butter-knife brigade, armchair warriors out there. You want to be able to trust your gear… believe me. How many knocks is that cam corder gonna’ take before you’re done?

  • Erik January 22, 2014, 11:50 am

    I guess no one here buys or has high end optics? Nightforce ect… They are not that far off of this price.

    • DirtDiver76 January 23, 2014, 12:32 am

      Spot on, Erik… my Counter Sniper optics without the extras was $1700. You get what you pay for.

  • Rick Rosado January 22, 2014, 11:02 am

    way , way to much for my VA disability check

  • Michael January 22, 2014, 10:57 am

    Jam,

    If you’ve been following their products for any time you wouldn’t say that. Not all of us want the run of the mill stuff.

    • Mike January 22, 2014, 11:36 am

      so you want to spend twice the price of your rifle for a recreation scope that most states won’t allow you to use on the game it shows up on? If your primping an angle for tactical use then go ahead and buy the already available tactical models at similar prices is what he is saying. If you want this to be consumer friendly no more than the price of a quality rifle is my line of thinking precision AR’s or even Blasers around 2000-2500 should be your price point not 4000

  • Steve January 22, 2014, 10:28 am

    4 GRAND = NOT. At that high price any ‘consumer’ will already have enough disposable income to be selective and buy the best , they will skip this unit in favor of better ATN or higher end Mil Spec FLIR brand equipment or top tear high magnification Night Vision. People who buy this stuff drive helicopters and Hummers they don’t want the ‘consumer’ grade acronym attached to their equipment. The average Jon Doe’s like me will wait 5 year until the used market has a few at half the price.

    • DirtDiver76 January 23, 2014, 12:30 am

      Good luck on that wait, Steve. By then the price still will not have dropped, and you probably won’t be able to get it unless you have black market connections. Good quality PVS 14’s haven’t dropped much at all over the past 10 years… so I would think it prudent for one who is interested to look into a unit like this if they are serious.

      Yes, I do drive HMMWV’s, MRAP’s and deploy by chopper, work between deployments as a PSD contractor, but also know that this is a good unit at a decent price. I’d swap a couple 716’s for one of these units in a heartbeat. Better to have and never need than to need and not have.

  • Jam January 22, 2014, 9:26 am

    If the author doesn’t consider a starting price of $3500 astronomical, he or she must be a Trust fund baby.

    • troy A January 22, 2014, 3:14 pm

      for what it is, it’s not a horrible price. That’s like saying “If you think 15000 for a car is not expensive you are a trustie!”

      how bout using some friggin context and common sense?

      • King Ghidora January 22, 2014, 5:44 pm

        I think a car is a bit more important to us than a night vision scope. There’s your context. Why is this a “consumer” product when there are less expensive alternatives with excellent quality? Because of the name on the plastic? I see the info about it not using a LCD screen. There’s no mention of the weight of this device either. Will it make an M4 weigh 11 lbs?

        • Administrator January 22, 2014, 5:48 pm

          A car is only more useful if it is not dark out and nobody is shooting at you. Add both of those conditions and you may prefer to have a night vision scope

          • Keith January 22, 2014, 9:58 pm

            Or a really fast car already running and pointed the other way with a nice downhill right in front of you and a curve near the bottom so they can’t get another shot at you…

      • DirtDiver76 January 23, 2014, 12:25 am

        Troy, you got that right. It’s like with the NVG Market, which this unit brings Thermal about to that range now… You get what you pay for. If you just want to play with the kids? Get the Spy cam crap at Toys-B-us… But most people think NVG’s should be priced like the “Night-Owl”, 1+ gen Russian Garbage; only to whine and complain later when their imagery sucks and tubes wear out in a year without a warranty.

  • Inf January 22, 2014, 9:14 am

    We used FLIR to watch and film the insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan and frequently caught them having relations with farm animals at night. The film would be shown to the local Imam (Islamic religious leader) and the local town leader. We always had the facial pictures in 10×12 format for them and those guys caught hely hell for imbarrassing the town and its leadrs…not for humping the donkey, camel and or sheep and goat. Seriously FLIR works.

  • Inf January 22, 2014, 9:14 am

    We used FLIR to watch and film the insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan and frequently caught them having relations with farm animals at night. The film would be shown to the local Imam (Islamic religious leader) and the local town leader. We always had the facial pictures in 10×12 format for them and those guys caught hely hell for imbarrassing the town and its leadrs…not for humping the donkey, camel and or sheep and goat. Seriously FLIR works.

    • troy A January 22, 2014, 3:16 pm

      Ok so when I need to spy on Animals, this is the tool to do it? thanks! I was looking all up and down the internet for the perfect animal spying tool! i think i’ll buy two! in all seriousness though, FLIR is a badass company making top notch stuff (I know from first hand experience on my 3 tours to Afghanistan). I really may buy one of these because I’m a gear/tech nerd and i love hunting. seems like a great marriage! cheers.

      • Mrmedicjim January 22, 2014, 6:23 pm

        I’m with Steve on this. I wonder how they compare with Thor too. King Ghidora, interesting comment. Riot, hilarious. :-). Inf, what is your relevancy to the product again?

        I will be waiting like Steve. This is a nice edge, but pricey for now. Worry about the product being labeled class 3, so that may push me early into the market despite the hefty prices I’m seeing on thermals. This one looks practical so far for simple night hunting.

        Guys, Bloomberg, Weinstein, and Soros are making the biggest private attack on our rights this year, and this current Admin with Reid intend to deliver something more than a Garand reimport ban this year! So everyone pls dig deep and support your favorite Gun Rights Advocate this year!

      • Mrmedicjim January 22, 2014, 6:24 pm

        I’m with Steve on this. I wonder how they compare with Thor too. King Ghidora, interesting comment. Riot, hilarious. :-). Inf, what is your relevancy to the product again?

        I will be waiting like Steve. This is a nice edge, but pricey for now. Worry about the product being labeled class 3, so that may push me early into the market despite the hefty prices I’m seeing on thermals. This one looks practical so far for simple night hunting.

        Guys, Bloomberg, Weinstein, and Soros are making the biggest private attack on our rights this year, and this current Admin with Reid intend to deliver something more than a Garand reimport ban this year! So everyone pls dig deep and support your favorite Gun Rights Advocate this year!

    • DirtDiver76 January 23, 2014, 12:20 am

      I wish I could post some of the thermal and NVG imagery we captured in the field in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans… and people think Americans are twisted.

  • Ralph January 22, 2014, 8:57 am

    Still way too much $$$$$$ in my opinion for the average Joe to spend. Twice the cost of a great AR.

    • DirtDiver76 January 23, 2014, 12:19 am

      Actually, not that bad on price, when you think about it. definitely adding a couple to the arsenal. “Own the Night”.

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