Hello. This is another episode of Optics Trade debates. Today, we are going to discuss the “two generations” of the Axion models – the XM and XQ.
Let us begin with similarities. The first one is that the body and styling stayed almost the same. The housing material is magnesium on both, and both are waterproof as well. The way the lens cover is made (it sticks to the carrying strap) is the same, and also the arrangement of all the buttons. The XQ38 has the same stream vision as the XM30S. Apart from that, they are not that similar.
For the differences, it can be seen that XQ models are bigger, and the XM models can easily fit into your pockets. Moving on to the sensor, these devices, of course, have different sensors. KEY models have 320x240, whereas, on the newer models, the sensor has been improved to 384x288. The pixel size is also different: there are 12 microns on the XM models, and the XQ models have 17 microns.
What is more, the NETD (Noise equivalent Temperature Difference) is different (60 millikelvins and below 40 millikelvins). This means that with the new models, you can detect smaller temperature differences which is especially usable in harsh weather conditions such as rain or fog. Another difference is also the type of the sensor: vanadium oxide and amorphous silicate – completely different sensors.
The first original Axion sensors were completely new and they were first introduced with these devices, while the XQ sensors have a long history of being used in Pulsar devices. They were already used in the Quantum and Core series, normally with lower temperature sensitivity, so the NETD was below 60 millikelvins.
They came out with completely new devices, but the sensor technology was already known from other Pulsar devices. The name XM immediately tells you that this is the 320x240 sensor, the amorphous silicate sensor; while the XQ tells you that it is a 384x288 sensor. Regarding the battery difference, you can see that the newer models use a different standard – the APS5, whereas the old battery is called the APS3.
Even the installation of these batteries is different: if we take a look at for example Axion XM30S, you just simply push the battery in and with the press of a button, ejected the battery out. Now, with the new models, the technique is a little bit different. First, you have to find where the battery fits in, and then you simply screw it in at the end and you fix it in place. This is a new battery standard first introduced on the XQ Axion models.
If we take a look at the KEY models, they use the LCOS display with the resolution of 9.960x720, while the XM30S uses the AMOLED display: 1024x768. These models can withstand temperature down to -25°C without problems. With the new XQ38 models the eyepiece is much much better for all those who wear glasses, so it is much easier to look through them; this is a huge improvement for everybody with either poor eyesight or with glasses.
These two devices have a detection range of roughly 1.400 m, while with the XM30, there is 1100 m of detection range and with the KEY and the same with the XM30S. The XM22 has roughly 900 m, so the detection range of the smaller models is a bit lower than with the XQ models. Because it is meant for a shorter range, the KEY XM22 does not have the focusing ring. It also has a fixed focus, while all other models have a normal focusing mechanism.
What are the price differences? They vary from 1.000 € to 2.000 €. This is in 2020 – the prices do change. Another difference between these devices is the stream vision capabilities, so only two devices have a stream vision capability: the XQ38, and the XM30S. This means that they have the capability to record videos, take pictures, and to connect them to your smartphone. You are also able to upgrade it wirelessly, while both of the KEY models and the laser rangefinding models have to be connected to your computer to upgrade the software.
Because these can capture photos and record videos, they are also equipped with 16 GB of internal memory whereas other models do not have internal memory because they do not need it. What is really strange is that the new laser rangefinding model still has all the lettering in blue, and the blue button, even though it lacks it.
What about the field of use? We know that we can use this for hunting, surveillance for mountaineers, for rescue services in the mountains, etc. It is however true that the laser range finding models are aimed at those who shoot and hunt and use their laser rangefinder to calculate the ballistic profile, and if to take the shot or not. The KEY models are basically meant for those who just want KEY features and nothing else, so they fit in the pocket. They are really small, compact and they are lightweight as well as very affordable.
The XM30 enables you to take photos and videos, it also has a better lens than the KEY models, and the display is upgraded as well. The XQ38 gives you everything that the XM30 gives you, but it provides better image details, a longer range of detection, and the laser range finding model for those who need the information of the distance to the target.
This is it. If you enjoyed the video, you can check out others with individual reviews of these models. If you have any additional questions make sure you leave a comment, and we will see you in the next debate. Goodbye.
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