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Product ReviewsTechnology

FLIR SCOUT III

FLIR-SCOUT.jpg

If I only had one word to describe the FLIR Scout III it would be “advantage”. Few new technologies revolutionize how you approach a hunt and significantly impact the odds of success.

No matter how much gear we buy most of it isn’t going to overcome the keen senses of the most prized big game out there. This is no more apparent than at night when our human eyes are rendered nearly useless in comparisson. The FLIR Scout III turns the tables on this disadvantage and put the ball pack in our court.

The Scouts thermal imaging capability allows hunters to spot game through the darkest of nights and make decisions on how to approach their hunt. You can now avoid being busted on the way in to a stand, glass a dark field in the early morning to know if that buck is going to pass by your setup and effortlessly track hard to find fresh blood no matter how little there is. It is a true advantage to have one of these units along for your hunt but let’s look into all the features that make this camera stand out product.

FLIR makes a series of rugged thermal cameras for the outdoors but this specific model, the FLIR Scout III 640 which is new for this year. There are two other FLIR Scout III models the 240 and 320, in the lineup which feature an identical build but slightly different imaging features. This first thing I noticed is how well built the housing felt and how natural it felt in my hand. It weighs only 12 ounces (28 grams) and has a soft rubberized layer around the outside. This helps you grip the camera in all types of conditions but also absorbs noise that may occur during operation or transport. The entire unit can be operated easily with one hand and once you turn it on you really get a sense of the technologies power.

FLIR Thermal Camera

Once activated by the “Power” button you will see a short load screen and then the camera will be active within it default setting. While the behind the scenes technology is complex operating this model definitely is not. There’s no additional setup required to get started and no confusing manuals. In fact the camera only has 4 buttons:

  1. Power Button
  2. Display Brightness
  3. Palette Selection (change the colors and sensitivity of thermal image)
  4. Zoom

FLIR Hunting Thermal

The FLIR Scout III 640 really shines when it comes to its ability to detect and display thermal images at a distance. With a detection range out to 1,200 yards and a 4x zoom this thermal camera has incredible spotting capability. In addition it has high speed 60Hz or 30Hz frame rate displays to ensure you pick up every little movement. You also have 7 thermal image options to choose from in terms of how you want to view your image.

White Hot

Hot objects appear white and it’s optimal in environments with very high or low contrasts.

Black Hot

Hot objects appear black which makes objects appear more lifelike.

Graded Fire

Hottest objects appear anywhere from Yellow to Orange with the warmest heat signatures appearing yellow. Environments appear in shades of grey.

InstAlert

Hottest objects appear anywhere from Red to Yellow with the warmest heat signatures appearing red. Environments appear in shades of grey.

Thermal Imaging Hunting

Offered in various sensitivity levels.
Level 1

Hottest 5% of the image is colored and everything else is shades of grey.

Level 2

Hottest 10% of the image is colored and everything else is shades of grey.


Level 3

Hottest 15% of the image is colored and everything else is shades of grey.

Level 4

Hottest 20% of the image is colored and everything else is shades of grey.

Depending on the conditions of your hunt and the environment you will have to decide which of the FLIRs thermal images suite you best. Don’t worry about what that environment might be because the FLIR Scout III is rated to operate in temperatures as low as -4°F (-20°C) and high as to 122°F (-50°C) without issue.

In addition its quick charging lithium ion battery lasts for 5 hours which should be more than enough for the average hunter. Also if you’re interested in recording the action at night the FLIR Scout III comes with a mini-USB to AV jack that you can utilize to capture the action. The FLIR Scout III also comes with a carrying case, mini-usb charger, wrist strap and warranty.

I had high expectations of this product and somehow it managed to exceed them. FLIRs thermal imaging is extremely impressive but this technology does come at a cost. However, if your willing to invest in something that offers you a real advantage you won’t be disappointed. The FLIR Scout III 640 is a game changer for hunters with proven capabilities that will help put you in the right place at the right time, so you can take that trophy shot. The rest is up to you.