As far as superpowers go, the ability to see in the dark isn't generally very high on peoples' lists. Suckas! It's awesome. And useful! The FLIR Scout TS-Series gives you those superpowers, Mr. Wayne.

What Is It?

It's a thermal monocular that lets you SEE IN THE DARK.

Who's it For?

Secret agents, security/surveillance professionals, well-heeled hunters, expedition leaders, trackers. Pervs.

Design

It feels like military grade hardware: strong, waterproof, and can be used right or left handed.

Using It

There's a lot of wow factor here, and once you're over that there's screwy ergonomics. Buttons are way harder to push than they should be, and the menu system is written like an engineering textbook.

The Best Part

You can see in the fucking dark! (And choose between several visualisation modes, which are really handy in different circumstances)

Tragic Flaw

Aside from the butterface menus and unresponsive buttons: it chews through batteries very quickly.

This Is Weird...

You need a screwdriver to remove the batteries, which is screwy because a) They're supposedly "field-replaceable" and b) The thing eats batteries like they're covered in sugar and sitting in a pie dish.

Test Notes

• The modes you see in the video are White is Hot, Black is Hot, and Red is Hot (with varying sensitivities)
• The reason we peed in the video was to show that it could be used in animal tracking. That glowing white in the shot after was recorded minutes later. Impressively sensitive.
• Look how bright the cell phone was when we put it on the ground. It stayed that way for a long time, making this good for recovering lost objects.
• You can record stills and video clips to an SD card, but with a maximum resolution of 320×240. Pretty low-res
• That strange looking eye-piece you see in the photos is to prevent light-leak so you aren't detected, but it means you have to firmly press it against your eye, which takes a little getting used to

Should You Buy It?

FLIR Scout Lightning Review: IT LETS YOU SEE IN THE DARK, DUDES

Depends who are you are. Are you a rich hunter? Then yes! Are you a security professional? Then sure! Are you an average consumer who is curious about night vision? Then no, because it costs $4,000. Unless you're going to use it for your livelihood, or you've just got tons of money to burn, it's pretty hard to justify. If you can justify it, however, have fun!

FLIR Scout TS-Series

• Lens: 19 mm lens with 24° field of view (optional 2x extender) or a 65
mm lens with 7° field of view
• Battery: 4AA
• Photo/Video: 240×180 or 320×240
• Rechargable: Yes
• Storage: SD card
• Waterproof: Yes (IP67)
• Price: $4,000
Gizrank: 3 stars

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