My wonderful wife has only gone and bought me a dream milestone birthday present, hasn't she? Something that she KNOWS I've been after for some time - but never could justify the outlay to be honest.
She's bought me a HIK MICRO OWL OQ35 Thermal camera. The PRO version (OQ35 not OH35).
I'm so excited about the things I can do with this, I can hardly begin to tell you.
I've been looking longingly at thermal cameras for a while now - and whilst I know Pulsar Helions are widely considered to be the best - they are also the priciest these days - but as I often maintain - you're buying the badge with "known" brands like Pulsar - something I try to avoid doing if you can do just as well elsewhere, but at a considerably lower price point (must be the Scottish blood in me).
My new HIK MICRO OWL OQ35 does what Pulsar Helions do - but for a lot less money. Job done as far as I'm concerned.
The pro (OQ rather than OH) in this model means the sensor is larger (and so therefore is the pixel pitch) than in standard models (640×512 pixel sensor with 17um) and rather like DSLR cameras - I'm ALL about a larger sensor and larger pixel pitch - I REALLY appreciate the difference with this - and always have done.
I need the sensor to be sensitive enough to make (well insulated with feathers) BIRDS visible at night as well as (the larger and more obviously-warm) foxes, badgers and deer for example.
What I'd ideally like to do with my new toy, is take it down to the local heath in late Spring and early summer and try and watch nightjars with it - I also hope to show my eldest boy some nightjars this year.
That's pretty-well the primary reason why I had been looking at these thermal cameras for some time (this model in particular) - to watch nightjars with it - as it can literally see in the dark.
I do love nightjars you know. Only swifts beat them in my "bird charts" (if I ever made a list that is).
And I do wish this thermal camera instead of being an "OWL", was actually called a HIK MICRO NIGHTJAR OQ35!
Ok, that's all for now as I've been on the computer far too long already today.
I'll leave you with a few short videos I shot this morning with my new "OWL" before dawn. EDIT and one I have just shot this evening (well after dark) of a hedgehog in the garden (clip 7 below).
All videos shot in the dark (or near dark).
All tests (sorry about the shaky footage).
I'm sure there'll be more night videos soon.
And perhaps of a review of this TASTY bit of kit?