Handheld Thermal Imagers
FLIR & Raymarine Handheld Thermal Imagers
See in the dark for less.
When it bought Raymarine, thermal-imaging specialist FLIR had just introduced a range of handheld thermal imagers called the First Mate with launch prices starting at $3,000. To no one’s great surprise, Raymarine soon introduced a range of thermal-imaging cameras too.
Now, less than 18 months later, FLIR has followed up with a new First Mate called the First Mate MS—a handheld imager that is shorter, slimmer, and just a little over half the weight of the earlier model yet matches it in performance.
There are two versions of the new camera: the $1,999 (MSRP) MS224 produces a slightly grainy but acceptable 240x180-pixel image and can be expected to “see” a small boat such as an inflatable at a range of about half a mile in pitch darkness. For an extra $1,000, the MS324 adds a 2x digital zoom function, complemented by a 320x240-pixel image giving a corresponding increase in detection ranges—about 50 percent better.
And if you don’t like the yellow color scheme from FLIR, the same imagers are available in two-tone gray as the TH series from Raymarine.
This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.