With night vision and thermal imaging devices steadily gaining in popularity, more and more optics manufacturing companies are delving into the world of these modern optical gadgets. Two weeks ago, Zeiss informed us of their brand-new thermal imaging monocular that was going to be introduced at IWA 2020 (The fair has eventually been postponed to September). Given that they are one of the most established and renowned optics manufacturing companies in the world, much is expected of Zeiss products, regardless of the device launched.
Zeiss DTI 3/35 thermal imaging monocular
Only one model has been scheduled for release. It features a 384×288 sensor with a 17 μm pixel pitch. The lenses installed are of high quality, made of germanium. The display, which boasts a 1280×960 pixel resolution, is of the LCOS type. Zeiss claims that the range of detection of this device is around 1250 m. The standard magnification is 2.5x, but you can increase it to 20x with the help of a 4x digital zoom. Furthermore, the magnification can be increased with 0.5 zoom steps, allowing the user to set an optimal setting for detail recognition & reliable identification. The lens measures 35 mm in diameter. The refresh rate is 50 Hz, meaning that the image is fluent even when panning or observing moving objects. The operating temperature range of the device is from –10 °C to 50°C.
DTI 3/35 is powered by an integrated, non-removable Li-Ion battery which supposedly runs for up to 7 hours. When it runs out of power, it can be charged with the supplied USB-cable which you plug into the USB-C port on the device. You can capture photos and record videos – the files are saved onto the device’s internal storage with 8 Gb of capacity. Even though 7 hours is a generous amount of operational time on a single battery, a removable battery would be a better solution. Now, you’ll have to use a power bank if you wish to use the device for extended periods of time.
The shape of the device is similar to other thermal imaging devices on the market – it is the button placement that makes the exterior of this device look unique. The buttons are placed in a triangular manner, a feature that Zeiss refers to as ErgoControl. They can be easily navigated even in complete darkness thanks to the intuitive placement. Furthermore, the left/right buttons are slightly lifted at the sides, adding to the overall ergonomics. The form factor used and the weight of the device (450 g) allow the users to hold the device singlehandedly without experiencing hand or finger fatigue – this applies to both right- and left-handed users.
The device can be paired with a Zeiss Hunting App which can be installed on a smartphone with an Android or iOS operating system. This user-friendly application ensures simple download and sharing of pictures and videos, streaming in real-time, manipulating with the device’s functions, etc.
Even though the production doesn’t take place in Germany but in Asia, Zeiss guarantees that the manufacturing process is conducted in accordance with Zeiss’ high-quality standards.
The competition in the thermal imaging market is quite rough, with Pulsar rapidly updating their devices. Zeiss claims that the three strongest points of the DTI 3/35 compared to its competition are button & shape ergonomics, Streaming and Data-Trasfer simplicity, and 0.5 zoom steps which enable reliable identification. Zeiss uses a slogan that unifies all these features – ‘Handle the Night’. The first revealed price was higher than that of the competitors (3200 €) but they soon announced that a discount of 250 € applies to all who order it until 31. 21. 2020 (the final price is 2950 €). For a device carrying a Zeiss logo, a premium price was, nonetheless, expected. The delivery will commence in August 2020.