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Through the Thermal Lens: Fox Photography with HIKMICRO

Through the Thermal Lens: Fox Photography with HIKMICRO

Simon Eardley had an opportunity to test out the HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 25mm 384x288 12um Smart Thermal Monocular, which was loaned to him by Elite Optical Distribution, and he has made a very insightful video review and field test of the thermal device. The filming took place in the countryside of mid-Wales where Simon uses they HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 thermal monocular to find foxes to photograph. Simon’s video can be viewed in this blog or on his YouTube channel. A list of Q&As can also be found at the end of this blog giving you all the information you need at a glance. They cover questions such as how do you use a monocular in the field? What are the key features of HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 Thermal monocular? How does a thermal monocular work? and why is a thermal monocular useful for wildlife photography?

In his video, Simon says that the HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 is compact, fitting easily into a pocket, making it practical for field use. The device comes with 2 rechargeable batteries and has features for recording video and taking still images. Full of praise for the build quality, functionality, and the high capabilities of the sensor, he compares it favourably to the thermal cameras fire fighters use.

Simon highlights some of the features of the HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0. The monocular has several image settings: Fusion, Red Hot, White Hot, and Black hot. Each of theses settings are useful in different lighting conditions and environments. It is also equipped with various adjustments, including brightness, magnification (starting at 2.4x), and a dioptre for personal eye adjustments. Simon also comments that the device is not just for use at night; it can be effective at any time of the day.

In the video, you see that the monocular helped the presenter to locate fox cubs, which would have been difficult to spot otherwise. The HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 is a valuable tool for wildlife photographers for this very reason- it aids in locating subjects rather than improving photography skills directly. Simon shares his philosophy in this video where he details that finding and tracking wildlife is a significant part of wildlife photography, and tools like the HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 thermal monocular provide a real edge.

The HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 isn’t the only piece of equipment Simon uses in this video. As an experienced wildlife photographer, he describes his setup and gear that he takes with him on a wildlife photography adventure. This is not only camera equipment, but also camouflage gear to blend into the environment as well as a natural screen he constructed using branches from nearby trees, emphasizing the importance of concealment as well as wind direction when approaching wildlife without detection. Simon uses a Nikon Z9 with a 300mm f/2.8 lens for optimal light gathering and detail in his shots.

Simon’s outing and field test was successful as he managed to observe 9 fox cubs and their mother. The HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 Thermal Monocular was crucial for locating fox cubs and the video clearly demonstrates thermal optics’ effectiveness and use in wildlife observation. Simon would recommend the HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 to other wildlife photographers and nature enthusiasts. This is also shown by his reluctance to give the device back to those that loaned it to him. Maybe he should give South West Optics a call – I am sure we can work out a good deal for him!

Here a is the specifications on the HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 25mm 384x288 12um Smart Thermal Monocular:

  • Image Sensor: VOx Uncooled Focal Plane Arrays
  • Max. Resolution: 384 × 288
  • Frame Rate: 50 Hz
  • Pixel Interval: 12 μm
  • Response Waveband: 8 μm to 14 μm
  • NETD: Less than 20 mK (@25°C), F# = 1.0
  • Lens (Focal Length): 25 mm, f1.0
  • Focus Mode: Focus Ring
  • Detection Range: 1200 m
  • Min. Focusing Distance: 2.5 m
  • Magnification: 2.4x to 19.2x (8x)
  • Field of View(H × V), Degrees/ m @100m: 10.5° × 7.9°/ 18.4 m×13.8 m
  • Display: 1024 × 768, 0.39 inch, OLED
  • Palettes: Black Hot, White Hot, Red Hot, Fusion
  • FFC (Flat Field Correction) Mode: Auto, Manual, External Correction
  • Exit Pupil: 6 mm
  • Eye Relief: 20 mm
  • Diopter (Range): -5 D to +3 D
  • Brightness Adjustment: Yes
  • Tone Adjustment: Cold, Warm
  • Contrast Adjustment: Yes
  • Record Video: Yes
  • Capture Snapshot: Yes
  • Audio Recording: Yes
  • Standby Mode: Yes
  • Storage Built-in EMMC: 16 GB
  • PIP (Picture-in-Picture): Yes
  • Hotspot: Yes
  • Hot Track: Yes
  • Distance Measurement: Yes
  • Type: Replaceable and Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • Battery Operating Time: 6.5-hour continuous running with CVBS and hotspot function off (@25°C)
  • Type-C Power Supply: 5VDC, 2 A
  • Supports External Power Supply: Yes
  • Protection Level: IP67
  • Dimension: 172.5 mm × 56.0 mm× 60.8 mm
  • Weight: 277 g without battery
  • Working Temperature: -30°C to +55°C

Here is a list of FAQs offering all the information you need at a glance:

Why do you think a thermal monocular is useful for wildlife photography?

A thermal monocular is useful because it helps spot animals in low light or hidden conditions. For example, Simon recently found fox cubs using the HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 25mm 384x288 12um Smart Thermal Monocular, which he wouldn't have noticed otherwise. It gives photographers an edge in locating subjects.

How do thermal monoculars work?

Thermal monoculars detect heat signatures from animals and displays them in different modes like fusion, red hot, white hot, and black hot. This helps in identifying animals in various lighting conditions.

Can you use a thermal monocular during the day?

Yes, a thermal monocular can be used any time of day. It's not limited to nighttime use, making it versatile for spotting wildlife at any time.

What are the key features of the hick micro thermal monocular?

Key features include:

  • Rechargeable battery with long life.
  • Video recording and still image capture.
  • Multiple magnifications and heat signature display modes.
  • Compact and lightweight design.

How do you use the thermal monocular in the field?

Use the thermal monocular to scan the area for heat signatures of animals. This helps to locate animals without disturbing their habitat. Once the subject is found, you can plan an approach and set up my camera for photography.

What other equipment do you bring for a wildlife photography session?

Simon brought with him a Nikon Z9 with a 300mm lens, various camouflage gear for concealment, a thermal mat for comfort, and other essentials like lens cleaning supplies, spare batteries, and a head torch for navigating in the dark.

How important is concealment in wildlife photography?

Concealment is crucial. Proper camouflage and concealment help you get closer to wildlife without scaring them off. It increases the chances of capturing intimate and natural behavior of animals.

What tips do you have for getting close to wildlife?

  • Use camouflage clothing and gear.
  • Use a thermal device, like the Lynx 2.0 thermal monocular, to help you locate animals from distance
  • Be mindful of wind direction to avoid your scent reaching the animals.
  • Move slowly and quietly, feeling the ground under your feet to avoid making noise.
  • Arrive early and stay patient, as it might take hours before animals appear.

What makes the HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 thermal monocular different from others?

The HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 thermal monocular is compact, lightweight, and has a high-quality sensor. It's user-friendly and offers features like video recording, multiple display modes, and good battery life, making it ideal for wildlife photography.

Will using a thermal monocular make you a better wildlife photographer?

While it won't make you a better photographer directly, it will significantly improve your ability to locate wildlife. Having your subjects in sight is half the battle in wildlife photography, and this tool can give you a substantial advantage.

You can purchase a HIKMICRO Lynx 2.0 25mm Smart Thermal Monocular by clicking HERE.

You can view a wide range of thermal devices by clicking HERE

You can shop an extensive selection on optics by clicking HERE.

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