FLIR RS32 vs RS64 vs PTS233 - Thermal Scopes Review (2022)

As a hunter, taking down any target is considerably harder under the cover of darkness

Your equipment could mean the difference between an accurate kill or simply giving away your location and anonymity.

A good quality thermal scope is invaluable when out in the field. Quite literally your sight in the dark - vital equipment to any successful hunter.

Today the market has become saturated with options and choosing a thermal vision companion is no shot in the dark (pun intended). We have taken the liberty of comparing and reviewing three sensors we personally recommend you take a closer look at.

FLIR is the leading brand in thermal optic technology and recently debuted their newest thermal sensor known as the Boson Core. Let’s take a look at what makes this device so unique and why it’s currently the talk of the hunting town.

New FLIR Boson Core

The Boson Core is a first in some of the technologies housed in its tiny exterior.

Expandable infrared video enables the most advanced image processing known to date while simultaneously working with peripheral sensors and communicatory devices.

With so much going on one would presume the energy consumption to be quite high. However, it seems FLIR found a way around excessive consumption and the Boson proves to be one of the lowest starting at just 500mW.

It gives you the option of a variety of lenses and shutter options. It’s among the first of its kind to operate at full function in temperatures ranging from the extreme -40 to +80°F.

Some notable features worth mentioning:

  • List 21 x 21 x 11mm camera body
  • Weighs only 7.5g
  • 12μm pixel pitch
  • 12km operational altitude

The intelligence behind the Boson is something FLIR has been working on for years. For it to finally be at your fingertips, powering the thermal viewers we know and love is a hunters blessing.

Micron Pixels

When it comes to thermal optics ‘micron pixel’ is a term that demands attention.

When a thermal imaging device is designed around a smaller microbolemeter it allows the user to fit smaller lenses when using the unit. This reduces cost of equipment and saves a hunter on costs in the long run.

Smaller lenses are cheaper and easier to lug around in the field. Size-conscious microbolemeters are a growing point of interest amongst the thermal optics community. The smaller the better.

Detection Ranges

(Video) Hog Hunting Equipment | RS32 & RS64 FLIR Thermal Scope Launch | JAGER PRO™

What it really comes down to is how the thermal viewer performs in target detection when put to use in the field.

The FLIR PTS233 is one of the units powered by the Boson Core intelligence. The precision imagery can detect a human size (give or take) target up to 300 yards away. With the upgraded lenses on the PTS536 and PTS736 that range is even longer. The PTS536 and PTS736 feature a 50mm lens and 75mm lenses with 4x and 6x optical magnification.

The RS32 and RS64 units vary in ability depending on your lens of choice.

The RS64 is more focused around extreme long-distance imaging especially if you are using 35mm and 60mm lens which also has 16x digital zoom. This allows you to zoom in even closer on targets and with the 640x480 thermal resolution even when using the digital zoom your image quality will be clear.

Refresh Rate

Another critical factor to consider in a thermal viewer is the rate at which the device is able to refresh itself. A fast moving target requires faster refresh rates for accurate image relaying.

In spite of the RS64 having higher thermal resolution its refresh rate is only 30Hz. The RS32 outshines with a whopping 60Hz refresh rate, double that of the RS64.

The PTS233 (and other PTS models) matches that of the RS32 also at 60Hz.

Battery Life

The battery lives of the RS64, RS32 and PTS233 are relatively the same. At full charge the units will run up to four hours of continued use before the battery packs need to be recharged.

The RS64 and RS32 battery packs are not interchangeable and need to be recharged using the built in USB port. I would say built in batteries may be better because you could buy external USB charger for less than $30 and use it to recharge scope on the go. In contrast the PTS233 batteries (CR123Ax2) are completely swappable; here though we suggest buying re-chargeable batteries or an external battery pack to save money over the long run.

The PTS233 has the feature of a low power mode that can be activated in order to extend this four-hour run time even further.

Connectivity

Unfortunately, these ranges of FLIR thermal scopes are not preinstalled with the Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity technology present in some of the other thermal optics devices. This is no doubt to keep costs low and the product as affordable as possible.

Hunters seeking to live stream their footage will have to seek additional technology to add to their setup.

On the bright side the PTS233 does feature a new USB-C connector which is a first for these types of technological devices.

Video Recording

(Video) Flir Thermosight Pro PTS233 | Full Review

Another standard feature across the FLIR range (sans the PS32-R series) is the ability to video record the imagery being processed through the viewfinder.

Through video output features all three of our units have this ability and simply require a connection cable in order to link them to your choice of DVR device, which will in turn record the respective imagery.

The PTS233 is the only unit that can store actual footage within the unit itself, free of a cable. Up to 2 ½ hours of video recording or 1000 still images can be held in the unit. The PTS line also has shot activated recording so that all of your shots are automatically recorded.

ThermoSight® PRO PTS233

FLIR RS32 vs RS64 vs PTS233 - Thermal Scopes Review (1)

Features:
  • Shot activated video recording
  • Weighs just 0.65kg
  • New Boson 12 micron thermal core
  • 320 x 256 VOx Microbolometer
  • Four zoom functions

This little device really is cutting edge in terms of thermal imaging technology. It is one of the first 12 μm pixel pitch scopes on the market and it’s affordable.

Powered by the Boson Core, the PTS233’s microbolometer offers users the luxury of a range of considerably smaller, interchangeable lenses making possibilities in the field endless.

The recent release of its newest model saw online forums and reviews go through the roof with positive feedback & excitement.

People are especially impressed by its affordability because the same size scope would have cost almost double the price just a few years ago.

Considering price difference when compared to the RS32 and RS64 this unit comes in out on top every time. The 320x256 thermal resolution of the PTS 233 will give higher resolution compared to 320x240 resolution of the RS32. While all units could no doubt get the job done, the PTS233 is packed with small extras that make the experience of thermal viewing just that much more enjoyable.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Boson Core Technology
  • Swappable batteries
  • Can hold video recording in unit
  • USB-C connector
  • Low power mode to extend battery life

CONS:

(Video) Hog Hunting Equipment | Zeroing the FLIR RS64 60mm Thermal Sight | JAGER PRO™
  • No Bluetooth or Wifi connectivity
  • Water resistant with no IPX certification

FLIR RS32

FLIR RS32 vs RS64 vs PTS233 - Thermal Scopes Review (2)

Coming in a close second to the PTS233 is the FLIR RS32 designed specifically with longer distance optics as its main focus.

It uses the FLIR Tau2 17 microbolometer sensor and has the ability to house a series of three different lenses all for optimized, long distance viewing. Regardless of the terrain where you operate this ability will come in handy. It gives you that extra scope of distance while also allowing you to keep some extended distance from the predators.

Public commentary around the RS32 is generally positive, dubbing the unit a pretty solid and well performing device all round. While the unit may not be able to house recorded imagery, it does allow for a cable that can easily link to a DVR for recording if needed.

Something worth mentioning is the noticeably higher cost of the RS32 when compared to the newer, more modern PTS233 unit. We can’t really see much justification for this other than its ability to shoot over longer distances, built in battery life and better water resistance. So, if this is a personal preference for you then the extra dollars will be worth it.

PROS:

  • Fast refresh rate
  • Long distance scope
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Can be submerged in up to 3 feet of water

CONS:

  • Pricier than others
  • Cannot hold video footage in unit

FLIR RS64

FLIR RS32 vs RS64 vs PTS233 - Thermal Scopes Review (3)

Features:
  • 640x480 thermal resolution
  • 30Hz refresh rate
  • Weighs about 0.8kg
  • Active Matrix LCD Screen
  • Fixed Focus
  • 3 Inch Eye Relief
  • Can be submerged in 3 feet of water
(Video) FLIR RS Thermal Scope Scene Presets RS64 2X 60mm

Another more costly unit when compared to the PTS233, the FLIR RS64 offers many similarities to the RS32 unit.

Also fitted with the FLIR Tau2 17 microbolometer sensor that allows for 640x480 thermal resolution.

The RS64 thermal rifle scope has several different fixed lens options. Most notable on this device is its incredible 16x zoom function. The 16x zoom if effective because of the higher thermal resolution and display resolution unlike with the above models.

Another benefit is having a wider field of view and the ability to zoom, the RS64 35mm is going to be better compared to higher powered optics that have a narrower field of view, almost four times the ability of its counterparts.

While this unit wouldn’t necessarily be our first choice from the three, it is certainly ahead of the thermal game in many distinguishable ways. As a thermal viewing until on a whole it offers a well rounded and inclusive experience with all the basics one needs when out in the field.

Added features such as video recording can be linked easily to the device. Also, since all the lenses are already fixed there’s no need to carry additional pieces of equipment into the field.

PROS:

  • High resolution thermal sensor
  • 16x digital zoom
  • Advanced integrated sensors
  • IPX7 waterproofing

CONS:

  • Can’t interchange lenses
  • Only refreshes at 30Hz

Last Thoughts

Thermal vision is an ever changing, ever evolving industry. Year after year we see the advancement of both heat and distance sensors.

As these advancements find their way into our hunting lives it becomes a field of endless opportunity in optimizing one’s experience out in the field.

FLIR is a brand you can trust: A brand that is conscious of the varying needs of each different hunter and one that attempts to create something for everyone in the form of thermal viewing.

So, the question is which unit from FLIR most tickles your hunting fancy?

(Video) Coyote Crypt V6- Flir RS32

FAQs

What is the best thermal scope? ›

The 4 Best Thermal Scope

Trijicon Teo Reap-IR Mini Therma: Best for Hog Hunting. Pulsar Trail XP38 1.2-9.6×32: Best Thermal Scope for the Money. Pulsar Digisight Ultra: Best Budget Thermal Scope. ATN ThOR 4 1.25-5x: Best For Coyote Hunting.

What is the best thermal scope for hog hunting? ›

The 4 Best Scope For Hog Hunting

Leupold FX-II Ultralight 2.5×20: Best Hog Hunting Scope. Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35: Best Scope for Fast Target Acquisition. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20x: Best Night Vision Scope for Hog Hunting. Pulsar Trail 2 LRF XP50 Thermal Riflescope: Best Thermal Scope for Hog Hunting.

What should I look for when buying a thermal scope? ›

Specs to look for when choosing a thermal scope.
  • Magnification. Magnification is the ability of a thermal scope to enlarge a distant object by magnifying it. ...
  • Resolution of the scope and sensor. ...
  • Scope Detection Range. ...
  • Reticle pattern. ...
  • Refresh Rate. ...
  • Zoom type. ...
  • Battery life. ...
  • Warranty.

What are the different types of thermal scopes? ›

Types of thermal scopes
  • Handheld thermal scopes. The simplest way to get a thermal view of the world is with a handheld monocular that isn't designed as a rifle scope. ...
  • Standard thermal scopes. ...
  • Clip-on thermal sights. ...
  • Vehicle-mounted. ...
  • Thermal core. ...
  • Display. ...
  • Refresh rate. ...
  • Objective lens.
26 May 2022

What brand thermal scope does the military use? ›

The AN/PAS-13B Thermal Weapon Sight (TWS) is an infrared sight developed for the United States military by Raytheon. The sight is designed for use on small arms in the U.S. military's inventory, but it can also be used as a standalone observation device.

What does FLIR stand for? ›

The term FLIR stands for the abbreviation Forward Looking InfraRed. The abbreviation FLIR originated in the course of the further development of the infrared camera at the beginning of the 1960s.

What's better night vision or thermal? ›

Thermal scopes can easily detect animals or moving objects from a long distance whether it is day or night. Their detection is better than night vision scopes. Even in the roughest weather, they can help you see (except in extreme cold).

How long do thermal scopes last? ›

Electro-optics need a power source. More often than not, a thermal imaging scope uses CR123 batteries, but there are a variety of options. However, battery life will range depending on how you run the scope. A common range is 3-5 hours.

What thermal scopes are made in the USA? ›

Thankfully, you've found ATN Corp. Our thermal scopes and other monocular products are made right here in America, and we have a commitment to quality that's been recognized with numerous awards.

Can you see snakes with thermal imaging? ›

Against the background of other objects, humans, animals, or cars have higher temperatures, and they show up more clearly on the device's screen. However, cold-blooded animals like snakes, for example, would be virtually impossible to detect with a thermal imager.

Can thermal scopes see through walls? ›

No, thermal cameras cannot see through walls, at least not like in the movies. Walls are generally thick enough—and insulated enough—to block any infrared radiation from the other side. If you point a thermal camera at a wall, it will detect heat from the wall , not what's behind it.

What are the three different types of thermal imaging technology? ›

Infrared cameras come in three basic types: short wavelength, mid-wavelength, and long wavelength. Each type has its own place in facilities maintenance, depending on use and operation.

Does FLIR still make thermal scopes? ›

SPI proudly offers a wide array of FLIR thermal scopes and sights for our modern warfighters, defense operators, law enforcement & hunters.

What is the most expensive thermal rifle scope? ›

1. Trijicon REAP-IR Series – Marine Approved Choice Award
  • At $9000, this is the most expensive scope that we have on our list, but the features included are worth it if you have this type of money to spend on a badass thermal scope. ...
  • Check out the video below as it has some awesome footage!
21 Feb 2021

Can you see deer antlers with thermal imaging? ›

Typically, deer have antlers so the thermal should be able to definitively tell you that none of your deer have horns. With a thermal, you can see the antlers when they are growing in and there is blood running in them. When they stop growing and harden you most likely can't see them, especially at any distance.

Do military snipers use thermal scopes? ›

A variety of advanced thermal imaging riflescopes are being used in military roles like patrolling, engaging targets and for use with snipers.

Do Special Forces use thermal scopes? ›

Special forces will often have lasers on their weapons but they can't see them in a thermal environment unless they are heat lasers.

Where are ATN Thermal scopes made? ›

Yes, this is made in China. Clearly reads made in china on the box and the unit. According to the ATM website, 100% made in USA.

What is the difference between FLIR and thermal? ›

FLIRs make pictures from heat, not visible light. Heat (also called infrared, or thermal, energy) and light are both parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, but a camera that can detect visible light won't see thermal energy, and vice versa.

Can FLIR see through fog? ›

Although thermal imaging cameras can see in total darkness, through light fog, light rain, and snow, the distance they can see is affected by these atmospheric conditions.

Does FLIR work in daylight? ›

FLIR thermal cameras work both day and night, regardless of light. They're totally immune to the effects of darkness, glare, or even direct sunlight.

Does sunlight damage thermal scopes? ›

While it might be expected that rain and wind can damage a poorly designed or poorly assembled camera, the sun is also capable of damaging the sensitive thermal detector in certain thermal imaging cameras not designed to the standards that Flir Systems maintains.

Can you use a thermal scope in daylight? ›

Thermal imaging cameras contain a special lens which focuses the heat, or infrared energy which is given off by an object onto a detector which is sensitive to heat. So, being that it is unaffected by light, thermal imaging will work just as well in daylight as in complete darkness.

What is better for coyote hunting night vision or thermal? ›

Thermal gives you much better detection, while night vision gives you much better identification. Several people, including myself, choose to run an ATN OTS Thermal monocular for detection and an ATN X-Sight 4K for ID and shooting purposes.

What does ATN stand for in scopes? ›

American Technologies Network, Corp. (ATN) is a manufacturer of high-end Night Vision Devices, Thermal imaging devices, Military/LE Binoculars and Duty/Tacitical Flashlights. Night Vision devices include Riflescopes, Goggles, Spotting scopes and Binoculars.

Do thermal scopes need an illuminator? ›

Thermal imaging detects minute differences in heat when detecting game. Thermal scopes detect radiation and do not require any visible light to produce an image.

Is a thermal scope worth it? ›

A good thermal imaging rifle scope will often cost more than night vision, but it will also make zeroing in on your target a whole lot easier. Additionally, a thermal imaging scope will be just as effective during the day, so you can be sure you'll get plenty of use out of it.

What thermal scope does the US military use? ›

The AN/PAS-13 Thermal Weapon Sight (TWS) provides Soldiers with individual and crew served weapons the capability to see deep into the battlefield, increase surveillance and target acquisition range, and penetrate obscurants, day or night.

Are any Leupold scopes made in China? ›

Leupold riflescopes are all designed, machined, and assembled in our Beaverton Oregon manufacturing facility. We do not have any other riflescope manufacturing facilities or offices anywhere in the world.

Where are Hawke scopes made? ›

Hawke does not shirk the fact that nearly all of its scopes are made in China, but the strict in-house quality control is something that Hawke Optics takes seriously and the company offers a lifetime warranty (to the original owner) as testament to the faith the makers have in their products.

Can you see alligators with thermal imaging? ›

Humans, animals, and automobiles all produce heat and are typically warmer than their surroundings, allowing a thermal imager user to get a good look at them. Because their body temperature adjusts to their surroundings, coldblooded animals like snakes and alligators are more difficult to see.

Do polar bears show up on infrared? ›

This helps the bear retain its heat and stay warm. Because of this efficient reflection of heat, the fur also maintains the same temperature as the air around it, making the polar bear relatively “invisible” under an infrared camera.

How far can FLIR one pro See? ›

How far you can see or detect a hot spot is a function of how hot the object is relative to its surroundings. The bigger the temperature difference, the easier it is to see. However, if you are looking for a more accurate temperature reading, you should be no more than 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 m) away from your target.

Can thermal imaging see through aluminum foil? ›

Can thermal imaging see through aluminium foil? ​The answer is NO. Any electrically conductive material will block infrared radiation. The greater the conductivity, the greater the blocking.

How do soldiers avoid thermal imaging? ›

Across the globe, the US Army is eyeing two new technological breakthroughs to avoid thermal imaging, with the help of US camouflage manufacturer Fibrotex. These are the Ultra-light Camouflage Netting System (ULCANS) and the Improved Ghillie System (IGS).

Can thermal imaging see through glass? ›

Can thermal imaging see through glass? Thermal imagers cannot pick up visible light. Therefore, Glass is not seen as transparent when viewed through a thermal imaging camera.

Is thermal imaging the same as infrared? ›

An IR thermometer, also known as a spot pyrometer or a temp gun, gives you a single number—the temperature measurement of a single spot on your target. A thermal imaging camera gives you temperature readings for each pixel of the entire thermal image, and allows you to visualize an entire scene in thermal.

Is night vision better than thermal? ›

Night vision scopes can render higher-resolution images than thermal scopes. They use ambient light sources or the IR to help you see in the dark. Through night vision scopes, you can easily detect your targeted game even if there are other moving objects since, you are getting almost the actual image.

Is a thermal scope worth it? ›

A good thermal imaging rifle scope will often cost more than night vision, but it will also make zeroing in on your target a whole lot easier. Additionally, a thermal imaging scope will be just as effective during the day, so you can be sure you'll get plenty of use out of it.

Can thermal vision see through smoke? ›

Yes, thermal cameras can detect heat through smoke, and are widely used by firefighters for this purpose. Soot particles in smoke effectively block visible light, but allow infrared radiation to pass through, letting firefighters or other first responders navigate through smoke-filled environments.

How long do thermal scopes last? ›

Electro-optics need a power source. More often than not, a thermal imaging scope uses CR123 batteries, but there are a variety of options. However, battery life will range depending on how you run the scope. A common range is 3-5 hours.

What is the difference between FLIR and thermal? ›

FLIRs make pictures from heat, not visible light. Heat (also called infrared, or thermal, energy) and light are both parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, but a camera that can detect visible light won't see thermal energy, and vice versa.

Can you see snakes with thermal imaging? ›

Against the background of other objects, humans, animals, or cars have higher temperatures, and they show up more clearly on the device's screen. However, cold-blooded animals like snakes, for example, would be virtually impossible to detect with a thermal imager.

Can thermal see through walls? ›

Thermal imaging devices can't “see” through walls. But pointing a thermal camera at a building still reveals sensitive information about what's going on inside. Thermal cameras read the heat radiating off of an object.

Does sunlight damage thermal scopes? ›

While it might be expected that rain and wind can damage a poorly designed or poorly assembled camera, the sun is also capable of damaging the sensitive thermal detector in certain thermal imaging cameras not designed to the standards that Flir Systems maintains.

Can you see red dot through thermal? ›

It's essentially like looking through a window, so when you have a clip-on thermal in front of a red-dot, you're basically looking at the thermal's display from quite some distance away from where you'd normally want your eye to be — as a result, you generally can't see the entire display.

Can you see deer horns with thermal scope? ›

Typically, deer have antlers so the thermal should be able to definitively tell you that none of your deer have horns. With a thermal, you can see the antlers when they are growing in and there is blood running in them. When they stop growing and harden you most likely can't see them, especially at any distance.

Can FLIR see through clouds? ›

In each case, pilot vision improves, but clouds and fog remain a problem. Water droplets are usually smaller than 100 microns, which is small, but still much larger than the span of an infrared or visible-light wave, so neither infrared light nor visible light can pass easily through clouds.

Does FLIR work in daylight? ›

FLIR thermal cameras work both day and night, regardless of light. They're totally immune to the effects of darkness, glare, or even direct sunlight.

Can FLIR see through fog? ›

Although thermal imaging cameras can see in total darkness, through light fog, light rain, and snow, the distance they can see is affected by these atmospheric conditions.

Can you use thermal scope in daytime? ›

Thermal scopes detect radiation and do not require any visible light to produce an image. Thermal imaging devices can be used equally well day and night.

What are the three different types of thermal imaging technology? ›

Infrared cameras come in three basic types: short wavelength, mid-wavelength, and long wavelength. Each type has its own place in facilities maintenance, depending on use and operation.

What does ATN stand for in scopes? ›

American Technologies Network, Corp. (ATN) is a manufacturer of high-end Night Vision Devices, Thermal imaging devices, Military/LE Binoculars and Duty/Tacitical Flashlights. Night Vision devices include Riflescopes, Goggles, Spotting scopes and Binoculars.

Videos

1. FLIR Personal Vision Systems Road Trip Part 3 - Video-Review by www.TECHEYES.com
(TechEyesTV)
2. FLIR RS Thermosight Color Palettes
(Ultimate Night Vision)
3. Coyote Crypt V3- Flir RS32
(Cole Chandler)
4. FLIR RS64 60mm Field of View Demonstration
(Ultimate Night Vision)
5. Tannerite Explosion through RS32 35mm Flir
(Kenzies Optics)
6. First Thermal Hog Hunt with a FLIR RS64 2x 60mm
(Ultimate Night Vision)

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