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Pulsar Axion KEY XM22 VS Pulsar Axion KEY XM30 | Optics Trade Debates

Welcome to a new edition of Optics Trade debates. Today, we are going to discuss the differences and similarities between Pulsar Axion KEY XM22 and XM30.

Let us begin with similarities. If we look at the body first, we can see that Pulsar uses both the same form factor on both models. Both housings are made of magnesium, so they are very durable. They both have the same button placement, so they have the power button in the front, the up button, the menu button, and the down button. They both use the same battery: the AP3, which is easily inserted, and then you just eject the battery out with the help of a button – it is a simple solution.

If we take a look at the optical characteristics, they both have the same sensor: 320x240, they both have a NETD (noise equivalent temperature difference) of below 60 millikelvins. Newer devices, such as Axion XQ have NETD of below 40 millikelvins. They both have an LCOS display with a resolution of 960x720 and they can withstand temperature as low as -10°C. The pixel pitch is 12 microns, and this is basically the distance between two adjacent pixels. The sensor is physically a lot smaller than the sensors with the 16 mm pixel pitch, so the distance between two different pixels.

They also both lack Wi-Fi capabilities and neither has stream vision, you cannot connect them to a smartphone, you cannot capture images, you cannot record videos, and you have to update the device with a micro USB cable. With each new firmware that Pulsar releases, the image quality increases. There is a rubber ocular eyepiece, which is not the best solution for those who wear glasses, and you can damage this rubber if you fold it down many times. The charger is not supplied with either of them, it is only supplied with other Axiom models. Most people charge it with a micro USB cable, but you can also buy the charger additionally.

Now, let us move on to the differences. The main difference is the front lens. With an XM30 model, it is a 30 mm lens, and with an XM22 model, it is a 22 mm lens. This gives you different optical performance: first of all, with the bigger model, there is 2.5x to 10x of magnification. With the smaller model, the base magnification is 2x, so you get a little bit lower magnification, but a wider field of view. The second difference is that XM30 has a focusing ring around its objective lens. That means that you are able to fine-tune the focus and you will see the details a little bit better. The 22, on the other side, has a fixed focus and that means you lose some details but you gain ease of use because everything is relatively speaking in focus and it is much easier to use it.

Third but not least, what is also a difference is the range of detection. The smaller device, the XM22, has a range of detection around 950 m, while the XM30 goes all the way to 1300 m. So you get a range of detection that is a little bit longer, as well as details with the bigger model. With the smaller model, you get a wider field of view. Shorter range detection also means a shorter range of identification. The identification is quite a challenging term because it really depends on the atmospheric conditions, on the fog, and the size of the animal. Normally, with the longer range of detection, you also get a longer distance of identifying the animals or anything else on the other side.

What is a big advantage of the XM22, is its price, because this device is priced below 1000 €. At the moment, it costs 989 €, while XM30 costs 1290 €. The difference in weight is around 20 g; they both weigh around 250 g. We have to point out that KEY XM22 is currently Pulsar's most affordable thermal vision. For below 1000 €, it Is almost unimaginable to get a magnesium housing and this level of build quality. The image quality is also superb but still, the build quality is out of this world for a device that costs roughly 1000 €. Both come with a 3-year warranty and Pulsar offers great service, as even after two years you are still able to service them if something goes wrong.

We hope we more or less covered all the basics, but if you forgot something please use the comments below and we will get back to you. If you like our videos please watch some others. Thank you, bye.


Products mentioned in the Pulsar Axion KEY XM22 VS Pulsar Axion KEY XM30 debate:

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Pulsar Axion KEY XM30:


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