First impressions of the Xinfrared T2 Pro Thermal Camera for smartphones – could this be a game changer? Also look at … me I am an influencer.
Well this really is quite exciting. I just received the new Xinfrared T2 Pro Thermal Camera to try out and my first reaction is wow!
Full disclosure: Xinfrared sent me the camera to try out so long as I reviewed it. They were convinced I would be impressed and I am.
I took the camera out of the box last night and down to my local park Brooklyn. This was not the best place to look for mammals, or to find them, though I spotted a few bipedal ones. So I am looking forward to trying this out for real in a week when I get to New Guinea and will make a more detailed report in July on how I went. But my first impression are very positive
This is a tiny camera that weighs a few grams. It plugs in directly to the charging slot on my phone. Download an app and away you go. Clearly this is great news for anyone worried about brining a larger scope across some of the tougher international customs checks or who has as little space in their carryon as I do: the case and scope are about the size of a pair of earbuds.
Using your phone means you look at your phone’s screen – not down the end of a monocular – which is much easier on your eyes and your ability to stay upright.
I confess I was sceptical about the quality of the device but it is way way better than my 2017 Pulsar scope. I realise quality has improved a good deal since 2017 so I will be interested in comparing this side by side wit a new scope. But here is a view of the Freedom Tower (the tall one!) from across the East River last night. It is 3 miles away.
So far as I can work out there is not much of a zoom feature with this, but I never use zoom anyway on my Pulsar. But the T2 lets me focus in much more closely than my current scope, which doesn’t register anything nearer than about 8ft. The T2 was picking up my dog Butter as she trotted along in front of me (probably concerned that we were out so late).
There are a bunch of options you can play around with including temperature compensation and temperature measuring distance. I am not sure what these do in practiice but they sound useful. I won’t really know until I get out in the field.
You can also see a little red cursor in the photos above. This is not a sniper’s laser mark. Its optional and identifies the hottest part in any image. Maybe useful. Maybe not.
The trouble with using this in New York City is that it never gets dark here and – as yesterday was sunny – the concrete jungle was so sun-baked that even if squadrons of raccoons were running wild on the streets I am not sure I would have seen them. True I was a bit surprised we didn’t see a rat but they are usually more common running out of restaurants or along subway lines than in the park. Let’s see how it picks up the tree kangaroos next week.
You can also take pictures and record video direct from the screen which is very cool. I was getting some thermal-envy seeing some of the recent footage people are posting.
And finally the T2 comes with a clamp and grip that means you can carry the phone with the camera attached on an extender cable and also tie a lanyard onto the grip so you can hang it around your neck when you reach for your camera.
My one concern is battery life. I not know yet how long I can run this without draining my phone battery. Even if the camera drains very little power, my phone screen is going to be on and so I will need to recharge my phone after a couple of hours I guess. But that means unplugging the camera and plugging in a juice pack. Maybe the iphone double charging adapter I have just ordered (the idea came to me as I was writing this) will solve both this and the ‘I need new case’ problem. Though it won’t solve the problem of needing a power source to recharge the juice pack every day rather than relying on a big bag of AAs if we are somewhere without mains power.
But I have saved what might be the best for last: the price This retails for under $400! You can buy it from Amazon in many countries and I am told if you use the code ‘mammalwatch’ (all lower case) in the “add promotion code” field on the payment page you should get a $20 discount, so long as you buy it direct from the infiray store on Amazon. Message me if you have any problems. Or buy it from the Xinfrared store here.
Unless you are a desperate for a thermal scope in the next month you might prefer to wait until I can report back on how this works in the field for real. But if you are about to buy one then I would give the T2 Pro some serious thought.
Has anyone out there got one already? If so what do you think?