Here it is at last: the first handheld thermal imaging device from Steiner that we have been eagerly awaiting. It is brand new, available immediately and belongs to Steiner's "Nighthunter" product family. The other members of the brand family are considered to be outstanding quality optics – so the bar is set high. To set the mood: the Steiner Nighthunter 8x56 binoculars have enjoyed a legendary reputation for many years. Especially when night hunting, this optic plays to its strengths. This is ensured, among other things, by the large objective lens combined with a particularly high light transmission. This allows the hunter to keep an overview even in poor light conditions.
Within this series, Steiner is now taking the next step and launching the Steiner Nighthunter H35, the first digital thermal imager in the series. With this handheld device, the manufacturer wants to combine image quality, speed and ergonomic operation with high robustness for rough hunting conditions. But what does the new Nighthunter H35 have to offer in terms of features and technology?
Features + technology of the Steiner Nighthunter H35 thermal device
Externally, the Nighthunter H35 comes in a robust Makrolon housing – this material is also used in the binoculars mentioned at the beginning. The housing provides water resistance and shock resistance of up to 30 g of force. The device can also be used in a temperature range of -10 to +50 degrees Celsius. Here, you immediately notice Steiner's military background: this is massive quality of the upper class – a device that was developed for tough outdoor use.
For operation, five buttons sit on the housing, plus the diopter adjustment on the side. This should allow for intuitive operation. A USB-C and a micro-HDMI port are also installed in the device for connectivity. The USB port is also used for charging the optic. In addition, WiFi connections are also available for external connections.
On the software side, the Nighthunter H35 comes with a picture-in-picture function as well as a total of eleven different color modes (polarity) and optimized color preselection: White Hot, Black Hot, Red Hot, Iron and Blue Hot. Since experience has shown that recognition and thus preferences differ from user to user, a wide selection is thus available for ideal observation. The device can be calibrated either automatically, with the help of the scene or the shutter.
According to the manufacturer, the permanently installed 6000 mAh lithium-ion battery provides a battery life of up to four and a half hours. Whereby the weather conditions can also have an influence on the runtime here. To save power, the H35 also has a standby function. The permanently installed power source is more or less the "Apple way". Other manufacturers often rely on a removable battery here. Our test will show how well this solution works for the Steiner H35. Users who need or want to use the device for longer periods can easily connect an external power bank thanks to the USB-C port.
Of course, like all "thermal imaging cameras", the H35 also has a recording function. Both pictures and videos can be recorded. Due to the technical requirements, you have to reckon with a small loss of quality here – but this does not affect the basic performance as a thermal imaging device.
A pleasing detail: the Steiner M35 comes together with a high-quality, well-padded bag that protects the device very well. A carrying strap is also part of the standard equipment.
Quantum Vision: the interaction of sensor, display and software in the Steiner Nighthunter H35
Three main components work in the Nighhunter H35 and their interaction is perfectly coordinated. This should ensure high image quality and perfect display of fast-moving objects. All three components are also state-of-the-art. Steiner calls the interaction of these components Quantum Vision.
The sensor with a size of 640x512 pixels and a pixel pitch of twelve micrometers offers a comparatively high resolution. This is another reason why Steiner deliberately decided to launch a universal device with a 35-millimeter lens (aperture F1.0). Because here the user can rely on a detailed image even when using the digital zoom. The maximum field of view at 100 meters is 12.5x9.4 meters.
To display the recorded thermal image, the Bayreuth-based manufacturer has installed an LCOS display of the latest generation. It has a resolution of 1280x960 pixels and guarantees smooth playback with a refresh rate of 50 hertz.
The last element of the Quantum Vision trio is the latest generation software. Even if this doesn't seem to be as important as the hardware solutions at first glance, this impression is deceptive: the software is responsible for the conversion and corresponding reproduction of the image in the display. It takes over much more tasks than just providing the menu and the settings. In the case of the Nighthunter, it also ensures that the possibilities of the powerful hardware are used to the maximum in terms of fast objects, for example.
The Steiner Nighthunter H35 in video
Connectivity of the Nighthunter H35: the Steiner Connect App
Along with the release of the thermal imager, Steiner has also expanded the functionality of its "Steiner Connect" app. In addition to the IFS series scopes, users can now also use the H35 with the app. This allows the hunters, for example, to take pictures and record videos during their observation. They can then share them directly with hunting friends accordingly. A streaming function is also available. This allows the hunter to see the image captured by the Nighthunter live on his/her smartphone or tablet. This expands the range of applications once again: for example, attaching the Nighthunter H35 to a tripod while the hunter can observe without having to hold the device in his/her hand. The app is available for Android and iOS devices.
Steiner Nighthunter H35 specs and price
|Objective Lens: ||35mm F1.0|
|Sensor:||640x512 resolution / 12 μm pixel pitch|
|Eyepiece:||LCOS display, 1280x960 pixels @ 50hz|
|Dimensions:||232 x 70 x 72 mm|
|Weight:||24.5 oz/695 g|
Quantum Vision technology; internal power supply, 4.5 hours battery life, powerbank charging via USB-C possible; additional micro HDMI jack and integrated WiFi, Steiner Connect app compatible, 11 different color modes (polarity), stadiametric rangefinder; picture-in-picture function; usable at -10 to +50 degrees Celsius; waterproof and shockproof up to 30 g. Pouch and carrying strap are part of the factory equipment.
|Price:||3299 euro (MSRP in Germany)|
The Steiner Nighthunter H35 is available now
Steiner's new thermal device is already available at retailers as this article goes to press. The recommended retail price is 3299 euros. For this, the buyer gets not only the device, but also accessories such as a multifunctional bag, a belt, various connecting cables and a wealth of international charging adapters are included. The latter means that the hunter is also well equipped on a hunting trip.
Currently, we have already tested the device in practice. You will find the complete report shortly as usual on all4hunters.com.