FLIR Scout III Thermal Monocular Review (2021)

flir scout iii monocular

This is a comprehensive Flir Scout III review!

This thermal monocular can capture crisp images of a moving car or a running object using a high frame rate. As a wildlife photographer, you can use this device to spot wildlife animals with great details.

The rugged constructions and waterproof housing allow it to be used in rainy conditions equipping security staff and hunters with high-quality thermal imaging.

This review will discuss all the available sizes, specs, and features that the Flir Scout III offers. 


FLIR Scout III Overview

Its smooth thermal imaging makes it special due to a higher frame rate (60Hz). You won’t feel any eye fatigue and face any flickering due to a high frame rate. 

This thermal monocular is an ideal choice for wildlife enthusiasts, hunters, and law enforcement personnel due to its IP67 waterproofing and robust drop-proof design for up to 1 meter. 

flir scout iii monocular

It starts up in seconds, and you don’t need any special training to handle it. Just grab your Flir Scout lll and go with it. It doesn’t weigh too much, and you can conveniently place it in your pocket to get it out whenever you need it. 

The Flir Scout 3 is manufactured in Wilsonville, Oregon, like the rest of its products. And it goes through some rigorous quality tests to ensure top performance in the outdoors. 

The thermal imaging quality and the rugged construction come with a fair price tag, as you are getting quite a lot here. 

The FLIR Scout 3 is available in three different sizes, and they cater to the varying needs of users and are sufficient. 

In the following two sections of this review, we will discuss some common features in all these three sizes. The later sections will focus on the individual features of each size. 

Scout II vs. Scout III

You’ll experience a significant difference between these Flir models. The Scout III gets a serious upgrade when it comes to frame refresh rates. The Scout II’s refresh rate is around 9 Hz, while the Scout III has a frame refresh rate of 60 Hz. It means you will not get any screen flickering and less eye strain. 

Faster refresh rates mean you can easily set your eyes on quick-moving targets in pitch black conditions. It means the Scout III is more suitable for serious hunters and law enforcement personnel. 

The Scout II is geared much more towards general-purpose outdoor activities. You can watch for predators, track games, and stay aware of your surroundings in full darkness.

Scout III performance

The Scout 3 thermal monocular can produce quite sharp vision in full darkness and glaring light. You can easily pick out animals in no light conditions. 

flir scout iii monocular

Screen

The Scout III monocular comes with a 640×480 LCD display. It might not sound that big, but it doesn’t matter much for thermal imaging. You can conveniently see the heat signatures of your target up to 600 yards away. If you are using it in marine conditions, you can see small vessels up to 1700 yards away.

You can see a battery sign on the screen that allows you to keep using thermal imaging to track the game without fear of going instant blackout. 

There are four different color patterns you can choose when viewing your images. It means you can easily alter the views based on the light conditions in the surroundings. It helps to relieve eye strain and stay camouflage not giving your position to your target.

Thermal quality

The Scout 3 monocular is equipped with a quality 336×256 VOx microbolometer. It’s a highly efficient sensor that can detect your target, either a man or an animal, from 600 yards away in full darkness. It can also detect a small vessel from 1700 yards in complete darkness. 

The monocular also features a high frame refresh rate of 60 Hz, which means it can track down moving targets. 

Plus, there are three different image polarities that you can choose from, including white-hot, black hot, and InstAlert. It means you can alter the display for better viewing of heat signatures in different conditions and terrains. 

If you use a thermal monocular, you should know how hard it is to identify the game at a distance. But the Flir III turned out to be a game-changer for me when it comes to identifying targets without getting busted.

User interface

The Scout 3 thermal monocular features a straightforward user interface that will keep your focus on the target and not on the information that is displayed on the screen. 

There are no technical details provided and on-screen symbology. It means you don’t have to go through a learning curve to use this device. 

The screen turns on in 2 seconds. It allows you to identify the moving game before you lose sight. You will navigate all the settings easily and optimize its image quality according to your requirements and preferences.

Body and grip

The Scout III thermal monocular comes with a robust design and construction. The company has drop tested it for 1 meter. It won’t break easily if you drop it accidentally. Its operating temperature range is -4F to 122F allows you to use it in extreme weather conditions. Plus, it comes with a waterproof rating of IP67, so you can use it in rainy conditions. 

flir scout iii monocular

This thermal monocular is rugged and can handle even the most extreme conditions. You can even store it at temperatures between -40F and 140F.

This thermal monocular has an ergonomic design, and it fits in your hand quite well. Its dimensions are 6.7-inch x 2.31-inch x 2.44-inch, and it only weighs 12 ounces. This means that you can comfortably hold it in one hand for long viewing sessions and keep it in your pocket when not use it. 

Additional functionalities

The Scout 3 thermal imager comes with an inbuilt camera sensor that allows you to capture thermal images and videos for record purposes using the video out cable. This feature is essential for surveillance and security applications. 

The camera sensor can also manage 2x magnification, which means that you can amplify your target’s thermal imaging for a better view. 

It also features a lithium-ion battery that can last for up to 5 hours. But if you are going to stay longer than that, it would be better to carry a power bank to avoid inconveniences. 

FLIR Scout III model sizes

There are three sizes available in the Flir Scout III model. The most popular are Scout II 320 and Scout III 640 among the law enforcement personnel and hunters due to high frame refresh rates and crisp imaging quality. The Scout III 240 is more commonly bought for personal or property surveillance. 

The table below provides a detailed overview of all the sizes available in this model. 

Scout III 240Scout III 320Scout III 640
DetectorVOx microbolometerVOx microbolometerVOx microbolometer
Resolution240×180 336×256 640×512 
Display640X480 LCD640X480 LCD640X480 LCD
Frame rate30 Hz60 Hz30 Hz
Field of view24X18 degrees17X13 degrees18X14 degrees
Detection range380 yards600 yards1200 yards
Batteries05-hours5-hoursFive-hours
Dimensions (LxWxH)2.44×6.7×2.31 inches6.7×2.31×2.44 inches2.31×6.7×2.44 inches
Weight12 oz12 oz12 oz

FLIR Scout III 240 Thermal Imaging Monocular

The FLIR Scout III 240 review has revealed an excellent choice for camping, land management, personal security, and property surveillance. This device comes with a thermal sensor that will allow you to see in the dark up to 380 yards comfortably and small vessels up to 1000 yards. 

The instant startup of Flir scout iii 240 thermal imaging monocular prolongs the battery life by eliminating the need for standby. You can comfortably see a quick-moving target because it comes with a decent frame refresh rate of 30 Hz. It means that you won’t have to deal with much flickering when the frame is refreshed to provide you with your target’s current position. 

The Flir Scout III 240 allows you to take pictures and record videos and download them over USB to maintain a record using an output cable. Flir 240 has a lightweight design and has a very ergonomic grip for longer observational sessions.


FLIR Scout III 320 Thermal Imaging Monocular

The Flir Scout iii 320 thermal imaging monocular gear towards hunters and law enforcement professionals. The Flir Scout III 320 features a powerful thermal sensor that will allow you to detect a man or a beast from 600 yards comfortably. 

Flir 320 also comes with the best frame refresh rate of 60 Hz in all Scout III sizes. It means you can keep an eye on a target on the run, but you can track it on the go by seeing a lifelike thermal video display. 

The FLIR scout iii 320 review shows that you can adjust power, brightness, and switch between WH/InstAlert/BH/Graded Fire color palettes and zoom 4x or 2x using the intuitive buttons with one hand. This size is also convenient to hold for long hours, and you can comfortably place it in your pocket when not in use.


FLIR Scout III 640 Thermal Imaging Monocular

Flir scout iii 640 thermal imaging monocular is the most powerful of all the Scout III sizes because it allows you to track a man or a beast by displaying lifelike thermal images of heat signatures from as far as 1200 yards and a small vessel from 3500 yards.

This one is for serious hunting and law enforcement applications, but you can use it for surveillance as well. It comes with a very ergonomic design and is comfortable to hold in various conditions.

All thermal image devices perform much worse after rain due to a more uniform temperature that reduces the contrast, but that’s not the case with Flir 640. You won’t get distorted heat images of the object after water coatings.


FLIR Scout III Warranty

The Flir Scout III thermal imaging monocular, just like all other outdoor and tactical systems by Flir comes with a standard 2-year warranty and a 3-year extended warranty (upon product registration) that covers all the components but doesn’t include user-replaceable batteries. 

These systems’ uncooled sensors are covered under a 10-year extended warranty if you register your product with Flir. 

It’s quite a decent warranty, especially if you consider the components’ quality in constructing these monoculars by Flir. However, you won’t get any warranty in case of theft, lost, or damaged due to accidental breakage.

Here is Flir’s product warranty page for all its outdoor and tactical gear. 

Downsides

It has a low magnification. The Flir Scout III does come with a 2x magnification which is already low for this price range. 

I wish it could have an anti-fog lens. When you use it wearing a face mask in cold weather, the exhaled air blurs the vision by creating a fog on the lens.

What’s in the box?

  • Flir Scout III thermal imaging monocular.
  • Wrist strap.
  • Molle bag.
  • USB charger.
  • USB cable.
  • 2-year standard warranty (extendable).

What is included in the box here is sufficient for you to get going. It would have been better if the box also included a neck lanyard as well. Not everyone will feel comfortable wearing it on the wrist. 

FLIR Scout III user reviews

The FLIR Scout III comes with an average user rating of 4.0 stars, which is pretty decent, but it should have been better, especially at this price range. 

Some people have complained about its magnification and how it handles the images at full magnification. It can influence the clarity of the images that you take. 

However, most of the reviews are positive, and they love the quality of the thermal images that this device can produce in different terrains and conditions. 

I have had this unit now for about a month, and I love it. It’s very easy to use, very clear images, and it does all it is advertised to do. According to the other reviews, the images are fuzzy. I do not find this at all. Maybe the instructions were not read, and the diopter adjuster was not used; who knows. I had reservations about spending the money for this but am very glad I did. I would recommend this unit to anyone needing, or wanting, this type of unit.

From OpticsPlanet

Alternatives

If you don’t want to go with Scout III for some reason, then you can explore these alternatives. 

FLIR Systems Scion OTM

The Flir Scion OTM thermal imaging monocular comes with a vivid OLED display that will allow you to see in the dark comfortably and won’t have to deal with any image noise or blurriness at all. This monocular has an exceptionally ergonomic design for comfortable single-handed usage. 

AGM Global Vision AGM Asp-Micro

The AGM Asp-Micro thermal imaging monocular features Wi-Fi capabilities, and you won’t even have to use the USB cable for file transfer with this one. It also comes at a much lesser price if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option. 

Pulsar Axion Key XM30

If you are more interested in range finding for your hunting excursions, you should consider buying the Pulsar Axion Key XM30. It doesn’t come with a thermal camera but features a rangefinder and a variable magnification ranging from 2.5x to 10x. It allows you to detect your target that is 1400 yards away from you. 

Verdict

The Flir Scout III is a great choice for hunting and surveillance. It allows you to see people, animals, and objects from a far distance in the darkest conditions without getting busted. 

It is available in three different sizes, and the Scout 320 is the most popular one. You can use it to scan for feral hogs and coyotes without needing to hold up your thermal-equipped rifle.

You can purchase the Flir Scout III thermal imaging scope directly from the company, either online or in-store. Plus, you also have the option of buying it from Flir authorized dealers located across different states. 



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