Our team had the opportunity to visit HIKMICRO's booth at this year's IWA 2023 in Nuremberg, Germany, and take a closer look at their latest innovations. The Thunder TH35PC was one of the best-selling models from the first generation, thus we were eager to see what improvements HIKMICRO had made to their Thunder TH35PC 2.0 devices.
Upon first examining the Thunder TH35PC 2.0, we were surprised that apart from a few design changes, the general form factor did not change that much from the previous generation. Nevertheless, the device felt well-balanced and comfortable to hold, with conveniently placed top controls. For those seeking a more compact option the device might not be the first option though as it retains a considerable weight and size.
HIKMICRO Thunder 2.0 Specifications
The Thunder TH35PC 2.0 boasts several improvements over its predecessor, including a replaceable battery, and improved sensor sensitivity. With a 12 μm high-grade sensor, 20mK sensitivity at a resolution of 384x288 pixels and an observation distance of up to 1800 m, the device is capable of recognizing objects up to 600 m away and identifying them at distances of up to 300 m.
Battery life is another area where HIKMICRO has made significant strides. The device can operate for up to 6.5 hours on a single charge, and it comes supplied with two 4000mAh batteries and a charging station. The manufacturer states that by switching the two batteries on a terrain, users can have over 13 hours of total operating time from the device.
Users will be happy to hear about HIKMICRO ditching the bayonet and opting for a direct thread using the Dedal mounting standard (M52x0.75) as this will certainly simplify the process of fitting it onto universal adapters without requiring a reducing ring.
Another change from the previous generation is the focusing knob with a turn of 270 degrees, which replaced the focusing ring, making for easier and finer focus adjustment. Additionally, the upgraded version comes with a quick-access menu button that enters the brightness settings instantly which we found to be convenient. The TH35PC can also recognize recoil and automatically start and stop video recording.
Pricing and Availability
The second-generation Thunder is expected to be available at the end of April 2023. Along with the Thunder TH35PC 2.0, HIKMICRO offers other versions of the device, namely the basic model TE19C with a 12 μm 256x192 resolution sensor, along with the TQ35C and TQ50C models with a 12 μm 640x512 resolution sensors.
The TQ50C has a higher base magnification and a narrower field of view though and might be best suited for shooting at longer distances, while the TQ35C will most likely be right at home in feeding grounds. The price will depend on the individual model, with the TE19 starting at approximately 1200 €, the TH35PC at 2359 €, TQ35C at around 2999 €, and the most expensive TQ50C at 3359 €.
While we appreciate the improvements made to the Thunder 2.0, such as the replaceable battery and the new focusing knob, the device is still quite bulky which could potentially be a downside, especially since the competition is betting on the size reduction and practical form factor. However, we do think it is a good move that HIKMICRO gave up the bayonet and now uses a direct thread with a Dedal mounting standard (M52x0.75), essentially eliminating the need for the reducing ring.
HIKMICRO is making impressive progress by introducing competitive devices that can compete with premium brands like Pulsar. Although Pulsar has also upped its game by slashing prices on Krypton 1 and launching the new Krypton 2, it is evident that HIKMICRO is here to stay, innovate and improve its devices down the road. We are, however, excited to see what the future holds for HIKMICRO and other brands in the market, especially after the official release of Pulsar Krypton 2.