This blog post will provide a review of the Hikmicro LYNX PRO LH19, which is a thermal imaging monocular from the Lynx Pro series.
- About the Hikmicro
- Physical Properties
- Optical Performance
- Hikmicro Lynx PRO-LH19 price and warranty
- Scope of Delivery
- Hikmicro and Competition
- Entry-Level Thermal Monoculars
- Final Thoughts on Hikmicro Lynx PRO-LH19
About the Hikmicro
Hikmicro is a relative newcomer to the market of sport optics. The technical know-how is powered by Hikvsion, the parent company. Hikvision is a Chinese company that manufactures thermal imaging solutions for security and thermal screening applications. The company is headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, and has more than 18,000 employees. Hikvision is the world’s largest supplier of video surveillance products and holds over 50% of the global market share for security cameras.
In 2017, Hikvision entered the world of outdoors and hunting. Just a few years later, Hikmicro offers thermal optics in all form factors: monoculars, clip-on devices, and thermal rifle scopes. The first monoculars by Hikmico were Owl models that garnered a lot of attention. Such low-priced thermal optics were hard to come by.
Interested in Lynx Pro?
Hikmicro Lynx Series
By the time Lynx thermal scopes hit the shelves, the Hikmicro brand name was familiar to hunters looking for entry-level thermal vision. Hikmicro Lynx Pro models were a huge step in the right direction. These monoculars are light and compact. There are many models available, different in sensor capabilities and display specs.
- Hikmicro LYNX PRO-LH15
- Hikmicro LYNX PRO-LH19
- Hikmicro LYNX PRO-LH25
- Hikmicro LYNX Pro LE10
- Hikmicro LYNX Pro LE15
Lynx LH19 Pro is a small monocular that measures 17 centimeters in length. The device is the widest near the objective lens, where it measures roughly 6 centimeters. All Hikmicro Lynx devices have an ergonomic shape similar to FLIR Scout TK. This Lynx thermal imager weighs 300 grams.
On the bottom surface of the Lynx HL19, you’ll find the threaded screw to install the monocular onto a tripod. Next to it, there’s the Type-C port for the USB charging cable that’s included in the packaging. Note that Hikmicro does not supply a charger or power bank. The scope also comes with a lanyard attached. The string is long enough to wear around the wrist (but too short use it as a neck strap).
Hikmicro Lynx Pro-LH19 has a 19-millimeter objective lens. Note that this is a PRO model, so the pixel pitch of the sensor is 12 microns in comparison to the 17-micron pitch of regular models.
Watch our Review
Water and Heat Resistance
All Hikmicro thermal monoculars are waterproof with an impressive rating of IP67. Per the manufacturer’s claims, you can submerge Lynx Pro LH19 one meter in water and the unit won’t have operational issues. As far as temperature resistance is concerned, you’re safe to use this Hikmicro from -30°C to 55°C (-22°F to 131°F).
The build quality is okay but the plastic housing is a letdown. For what it’s worth, the soft-click controls are pleasant to touch and the scope is reinforced against accidental impacts with thick rubberized armor. The objective lens has a soft rubber cap that is attached to the main frame so you won’t lose it. The USB port has a similar cover.
The integrated battery in the Hikmicro Lynx devices is unfortunately no longer the standard. A removable battery that can be charged independently is usually a much better solution for thermal devices. Aside from its impracticality, the battery does provide enough power to last 7 hours of continuous use.
Sidenote: If you’re curious about how much energy popular thermal imagers use, the Optics Trade team has got you covered. We test them all and keep you up to speed.
Check out the Real Battery Life section on this blog
Hikmicro claims the company builds its sensors in-house, which is rare. Even the market leader Pulsar outsources the main device component to the French Lynred. You can also buy them as stand-alone Hikmicro products. This model uses a vOX core with 384×288 pixel resolution.
The pixel pitch on this PRO model is 12 microns, whereas standard models offer a 17-micron pixel pitch. You get 50 pictures per second, which is the maximum frame frequency allowed for personal use.
Lynx models have 2 calibration modes:
- automatic sensor calibration or
The detection range of this Hikmicro Lynx sensor is 900m (13.8° in degrees) in combination with a 19 mm lens.
Perhaps the most important specification of sensors is thermal sensitivity, listed as the NETD factor. NETD stands for Noise-Equivalent Temperature Difference. It tells you what’s the smallest difference in heat emission between two points that is detected by the sensor. The better the sensor sensitivity, the more image details will be preserved. Hikmicro Lynx PRO LH 19 has a NETD factor smaller than 35 mK, which is very good.
The short press of the M-labeled button toggles between 4 color palettes. If you press the Mode button long enough, you’ll enter the main menu.
This is where you can access finer settings like language, changing brightness and contrast, hot tracking, scene mode (Jungle or Recognition), and more. The menu is very intuitive and simplified. We also appreciate that the WiFi connectivity is easy to set up.
Modern thermal devices are multi-functional gadgets and Hikmicro Lynx models are no different. This monocular has a photo and video output. The media recording function can be activated with the 2nd button from the front, which shows a small camera symbol.
There are 8 gigabytes of internal memory to save media files. What is more, Hikmicro LYNX PRO-LH19 can be controlled remotely by connecting the device to your smartphone app via Wi-Fi. So you can always transfer your clips and clean up space.
The optical quality of the Hikmicro Lynx PRO-LH19 thermal monocular is good. The image is clear and the detail is preserved well. The device is also easy to use and has a variety of advanced features.
We like the soft rubber ocular because it makes for comfortable extended-time viewing. It’s also flexible and there’s no need to remove your glasses.
The display uses LCOS technology of liquid crystals and measures 0.4 inches in diameter. Compare that to the basic Lynx L15 model that has a narrow 0.2-inch screen.
The screen resolution is 1280×960 pixels. The display quality does not disappoint. By clicking the Mode button (labeled with an M-letter in white), you can choose the preferred display color mode.
Four palettes are available:
- Black Hot,
- White Hot,
- Fusion, and
- Red Hot.
Magnification and Zoom
The base magnification of this device is 1.86, which is standard. The highest magnification possible is 14.88x.
The digital zoom can be operated with the top button nearest to the rubber eyepiece. It shows a small magnifier symbol. Short clicks toggle between 1x, 4x, and 8x mage zoom-in. Of course, the image quality drops with the zoom increase.
Field of View
As the name suggests, the Lynx LH19 PRO model is built with a 19mm objective lens. The Germanium glass material used is nice for the price point. Hikmicro uses a fast aperture lens F1.0.
The field of view on the low end of magnification is 240 meters. The adjustable focus can be controlled with an aplastic wheel button next to the eyepiece that clicks pretty loudly.
Hikmicro Lynx PRO-LH19 price and warranty
The LYNX PRO-LH19 Thermal Imaging Monocular is priced at 1309€ and includes a two-year warranty.
Scope of Delivery
The only 2 freebies in the product box are a white lens cleaning cloth and a USB-C cable to charge the battery.
Hikmicro and Competition
Now, let’s take a look at what else the market of thermal monoculars has to offer. When we make these comparisons, keep in mind that Hikmicro Lynx Pri LH19 costs 1309 euros and is manufactured in China.
Hikmicro Lynx PRO-LH19 vs. Pulsar Axion XM30 F
Pulsar Axion XM30 F belongs to a league of its own. It’s better than Hikmicro in every aspect except for the display quality. Pulsar has a bigger lens, top-notch magnesium build and performance reliability. Not only that, Pulsar is famously wholly manufactured in Europe.
Pulsar has better brand awareness and customer care than all entry-level manufacturers combined.
Hikmicro Lynx PRO-LH19 vs. Pulsar Axion XQ35
For €200 more, you can get Pulsar Axion 2 XQ35 , which is obviously leaps and bounds better than Hikmicro Lynx LH19 PRO. There is just no competition against Pulsar models. So, let’s just move the comparisons to an even playing field: to other Pulsar alternatives from Chinese companies like Inifiray, TermTec, and Guide.
Hikmicro Lynx PRO-LH19 vs. Guide TD410 Thermal Imaging Monocular
Guide TD410 Thermal can be yours for €1299. While the prices are nearly identical, this Guide is bigger and heavier. The main advantage of Guide TD 410 is the interchangeable battery, The build quality of the Guide thermal monocular is lower than the PVC used by Hikmicro. Guide TD 410 is also not as impervious to liquid damage as Lynx PRO.
Hikmicro Lynx LH19 Pro vs. Infiray
Chinese InfiRay is yet another company that benefits from Pulsar’s struggle to match its product supply with demand. InfiRay Eye models with 19-millimeter objective lenses are the closest match to Hikmicro Lynx LH19. They’re similarly priced too. In all honesty, we’d pick Hikmicro every time over Eye models as both the sensor and display specs are better on Lynx optics.
TermTec Cyclops 325 vs. Hikmicro Lynx PRO-LH19
The next possible competition is TermTec Cyclops 325. Sometimes, you’ll see the same device listed as TermEye 325 scope since the company underwent the same delineation process as HikVision with their HikMicro brand in 2017.
ThermTec Cyclops 325 has 25mm objective lens. The device operation is another big difference between the two. We like Hikmicro better. TermTec Cyclops 325 is almost entirely operated with the oversized red button on top of the chassis, which is almost like a joystick. It’s very reminiscent of Night Pearl SEER models. The other 2 controls are the screen recorder and power button. The TermTac model is bigger and heavier than LH19 at 470 grams.
Entry-Level Thermal Monoculars
As you can see, there are some significant differences between the build quality and optical efficiency of entry-level thermal monoculars.
When it comes to conventional optics, we know what to expect from each price class. A lot of times rival scope products are so neck and neck that the choice comes down to intangibles – like brand loyalty and personal preference.
Unfortunately, the market of thermal and night vision has not yet solidified into neat price-to-performance categories. With the influx of fast-advancing Chinese companies, Pulsar might lose some ground. But as of now, it’s the product availability that drives customers to inferior alternatives like Hikmicro, Infiray, and Guide.
So what are the positives? The device is light and small, fitting neatly into the palm of your hand. It also makes no difference if the left or right hand is your dominant one. The control board on top is always within the fingertips’ reach. This compact form factor with ergonomic buttons pretty much eliminates hand fatigue. The rubber coating protects the unit from unintentional bumps and scratches in the field.
For the price point, the sensor has a decent performance. Of, course it does not come close to the top-dog Pulsar Axion but more on that later. The soft eyepiece and comfortable display of Lynx PRO LH-19 contribute to a very pleasant viewing through extended observations. What is more, thanks to 7 hours of battery runtime you needn’t worry that your enjoyment will be cut short.
- a light and small device
- a control board on top of the device
- battery life
Now let’s see where Hikmicro missed the mark.
The €1309 pricetag is a bitter pill to swallow. In particular when juxtaposed to Pulsar Axion – a device far superior to Hikmicro Lynx that is somehow cheaper. Pulsar Axion XM30 F thermal imaging monocular costs 1190 euros. The pricing of Lynx PRO models is difficult to justify, as the stock availability is the only factor working in Hikmicro Lynx LH19’s favor.
The integrated battery is impractical. Pulsar has long moved on to removable batteries that can be bought and charged separately. Many Chinese manufacturers followed but not Hikmicro. Guide Gryphon models, for example, have removable batteries.
Last but least, the start-up time is a real thorn in our side. Yes, the Lynx screen is quick to turn on but it will take you about 30 seconds before you can operate the device. Most manufacturers don’t list the real number. To avoid buyer’s regret, we strongly recommend checking our Optics Trade Real Start-Up Time article.
All in all, Lynx Pro LH 19 is a mixed bag for sure. Some people are satisfied with its performance while others hoped for an affordable thermal imager that could compete with Pulsar’s models. But then again, there are no brands that could rival Pulsar in anything except the sheer volume of factory production.
- integrated battery
- start-up time
Final Thoughts on Hikmicro Lynx PRO-LH19
This is what it comes down to. Choose to wait for Axion XM30 F or look elsewhere. You might not get the same value for money but as the German proverb goes, ‘“A sparrow in the hand is better than the pigeon on the roof”.
Overall, the Hikmicro Lynx PRO-LH19 is a decent thermal monocular for the price. Its build quality is not as good as what the best-of-the-best can offer, but it does offer some decent features for the money. Its main advantage is that it is very lightweight and easy to use, making it a good choice for people who are new to thermal imaging.