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Best Thermal Imaging Drones For Hunting [2023 Update]

Best Thermal Imaging Drones For Hunting [2023 Update]

Drone hunting has become widespread, and thermal imaging drones for hunting can better spot, track and locate prey, and we will explain the updated version of the best thermal imaging drones for hunting in 2023!

Is Thermal Camera Drone Hunting Legal?

From an ethical point of view, hunting with the advantage of the high-tech equipment of thermal imaging drones may be seen as a violation of the principles of fair hunting, while reducing the chances of escape for prey.

From a legal point of view, the use of thermal imager drones for hunting may be suspected of destroying wildlife ecosystems, angering people, and threatening public safety. But at present, there are still no relevant laws and regulations restricting thermal imaging drone hunting.

We recommend that, in any case, the use of drones for hunting must comply with local laws, regulations and ethical standards.

How can a thermal imaging drone help me for hunting?

Thermal drones are fitted with an infrared camera for thermal photography and videography (also known as thermal imaging).

Thermal drones are used to detect any object that emits a temperature difference from its surroundings. In game hunting, thermal drones track and locate animals more effectively than traditional hunting methods.

Thermal Imaging Drones 640t drone footage

Specific performance of thermal imaging drones for hunting:

  • Locating Animals: - Thermal drones locate animals hiding in dense foliage or in low-light conditions. Thermal cameras on drones can detect an animal's thermal signature and display it on a monitor, allowing hunters to pinpoint its location.
  • Tracking Injury Game: - If a hunter injures an animal, thermal imaging drones are able to detect the animal's heat signature, which is especially useful in dense forests where tracking is difficult.
  • Reconnaissance: - Aerial reconnaissance using thermal drones can provide information on an animal's location, movement patterns and behaviour.
  • Surveillance: Hunters can use thermal imaging drones to monitor an area for poachers or other illegal activity.
  • Safety: - Thermal imaging drones can also be used to check the area for predators and other potential hazards.

Best Thermal Camera Drones for Hunting 2023

Autel EVO II 640T V3

Autel EVO II 640T V3 thermal imaging drone

The Autel EVO II 640T V3 drone is equipped with a new generation thermal camera with a resolution up to 640 x 512 @ 30 Hz. The drone is foldable, highly compact, with dual camera sensors, three-axis gimbal stabilization, and 10 thermal color palettes when viewing thermal images, which can quickly find prey tracks in complex hunting areas.

Details

Camera Specifications of Autel EVO II 640T V3

Thermal Camera

Visible Light Camera

Sensor Uncooled VOx Microbolometer Sensor 1/1.28"(0.8") CMOS
Effective Pixels: 50 MP
Lens FOV H33°V26°
Focal length 13mm
Lens FOV: 85°
35 mm format equivalent focal length: 23 mm
Aperture: f/1.9
Focus range: 0.5 m to infinity (with auto focus)
Zoom 1 - 16x ISO Range Video: 100-64000
Photo: 100-6400
Pixel size 12 µm Shutter Speed Photo mode: 1/8000 ~ 8s
Other: 1/8000 ~ 1/frame rates
Wavelength range 8-14 µm Digital Zoom 1 ~ 16x (Max. 4x lossless zoom)
Temperature range High gain mode: -20° to +150°
Low gain mode: 0° to +550°
Maximum photo size 8192*6144(4:3)
4096*3072(4:3)
3840x2160(16:9)
Temperature measurement accuracy ±3℃ or ±3% of reading (whichever is greater)
@Environmental temperature-20℃~60℃
Image Format JPG (default) / DNG / JPG+DNG
Accurate temperature measurement distance 2-20 meters Video format MOV / MP4
Video resolution 640x512@25fps Video resolution 3840x2160P60/P50/P48/P30/P25/P24
2720x1528P60/P50/P48/P30/P25/P24
1920x1080P60/P50/P48/P30/P25/P24
Video format MOV / MP4 (Support H.264/H.265) Max bitrate 80Mbps
Camera resolution Infrared mode: 640*512
Picture-in-picture mode: 1920*1080, 1280*720
Supported file system FAT32/exFAT
Photo mode Single shot
Burst shooting: 3/5 frames, 3 is the default
Time Lapse:JPG: 2s/5s/7s/10s/20s/30s/60s
   
Photo format JPG (with irg file)    

Autel EVO II 640T V3 has a maximum horizontal flight speed of 20m/s, a maximum flight time of 38 minutes, and a maximum image transmission distance of 15km. It is controlled by the Autel smart remote control V3. The remote control has a 7.9-inch screen and a brightness of up to 2000 nits , in a low-light environment or at night, you can observe the traces of the thermal imaging camera drone tracking the prey.

Autel MAX 4T

Autel MAX 4T drone with thermal imaging camera

Autel MAX 4T will be one of the most leading commercial drones in 2023, with semi-autonomous drones, multiple sensor cameras, and leading A-Mesh networking technology to build a drone fleet to achieve a wide range of drones Deployment, the top of the drone has a replaceable load interface, which can be equipped with RTK modules, megaphones, flashes, and lights. The MAX 4T drone can also be interconnected with EVO Nest and Autel Skycommand Center to form a highly effective drone aerial solution.

Details

Check out the camera specs of the Autel MAX 4T

 

Zoom Camera

Wide Camera

Thermal Camera

Sensor 1/2" CMOS, Effective pixels: 48M 1/1.28 CMOS, Effective pixels: 50M Uncooled VOx Microbolometer
Lens Focal length: 11.8-43.3mm (35mm, equivalent: 64-234mm) Aperture: f/2.8-f/4.8 DFOV: 85° Focal length: 4.5 mm (equivalent: 23 mm) Aperture: f/1.9 AF motor: 8-wire SMA, PDAF focus DFOV: 64°
Aperture: 13mm
Focus: f/1.2
Max Photo Size 8000×6000 3840×2160 640*512
Max Video Resolution 7680×4320 8192*6144 4096*3072 640*512
Pixel Pitch / / 12 um
Temperature Measurement Method / / Center measurement, pot measurement, rectangular measurement
Temperature Measurement Range / / -4℉ to 302℉, 32℉ to 1022℉ (-20°C to
150°C, 0 to 550°C)

The maximum horizontal flight speed of Autel MAX 4T can reach 23m/s, the maximum flight time is 42 minutes, and the farthest image transmission distance is 20km. It is controlled by Autel smart remote control V3. The current max series and V3 remote control are not compatible. Autel MAX 4T will undoubtedly be a high-cost hunting thermal imaging drone, which serves more commercial organizations and public safety departments.

DJI Matrice 30T

DJI Matrice 30T Thermal imaging drone

The DJI M30T is part of the DJI Matrice 30 series, delivering a powerful payload in a foldable package. It features a new remote control and app DJI Pilot 2, 3 high-resolution cameras and the ability to create 2D maps and shoot in 4K or higher resolution. This drone has intelligent mission functions such as obstacle avoidance, ActiveTrack, map autonomous missions, automatic takeoff and landing docking station.

Details

Check out the camera specs of the DJI Matric M30T

 

Zoom Camera

Wide Camera

Thermal Camera

FPV Camera

Sensor 1/2" CMOS, Effective pixels: 48M 1/2" CMOS, Effective pixels: 12M Uncooled VOx Microbolometer  
Lens Focal length: 21-75 mm (equivalent: 113-405 mm)
Aperture: f/2.8-f/4.2
Focus: 5 m to ∞
DFOV: 84°
Focal length: 4.5 mm (equivalent: 24 mm)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focus: 1 m to ∞
DFOV: 61°
Focal length: 9.1 mm (equivalent: 40 mm)
Aperture: f/1.0
Focus: 5 m to ∞
 
ISO Range 100-25600 100-25600    
Max. Video Resolution 3840×2160 3840×2160   1920×1080
Max Photo Size 8000×6000 4000×3000    
Pixel Pitch     12 um  
Temperature Measurement Method     Spot Meter, Area Measurement  
Temperature Measurement Range     High Gain Mode: -20° to 150° C (-4° to 302° F)
Low Gain Mode: 0° to 500° C (32° to 932° F)
 
DFOV       161°
Frame Rate       30 fps

The maximum horizontal flight speed of DJI Matric M30 can reach 23m/s, the maximum flight time is 41 minutes, and the farthest image transmission distance is 15km. M30T is a value-for-money drone among thermal imaging drones, but as a hunting thermal imaging drone, the price is as high as $15,000, which is not an ideal price.

DJI Mavic 3T

DJI Mavic 3T thermal imaging drone

Mavic 3 Enterprise is an updated version of Mavic 3 or Mavic 3 Cine, divided into M3E and M3T, M3T is a drone with a thermal imaging camera. The Mavic 3 Enterprise Series drone can do just about anything, but the drone body doesn't have onboard memory.

Details

Check out the camera specs of the DJI Mavic 3T

 

Tele Camera

Wide Camera

Thermal Camera

Sensor 1/2" CMOS, Effective pixels: 12M 1/2" CMOS, Effective pixels: 48M Uncooled VOx Microbolometer
Lens FOV: 15°
Format Equivalent: 162 mm
Aperture: f/4.4
Focus: 3 m to ∞
DFOV: 84°
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Focus: 1 m to ∞
DFOV: 61°
Format Equivalent: 40 mm
Aperture: f/1.0
Focus: 5 m to ∞
ISO Range 100-25600 100-25600  
Max. Video Resolution 3840×2160 8000×6000  
Max Photo Size 4000×3000 3840×2160  
Pixel Pitch     12 um
Temperature Measurement Method     Spot Meter, Area Measurement
Temperature Measurement Range     High Gain Mode: -20° to 150° C (-4° to 302° F)
Low Gain Mode: 0° to 500° C (32° to 932° F)

The maximum horizontal flight speed of DJI M3T can reach 21m/s, the maximum flight time is 45 minutes, and the farthest image transmission distance is 15km. The DJI M3T is an option most users should consider when hunting a thermal imaging drone.

Autel EVO II 640T V2 Enterprise

Autel EVO II 640T V2 Enterprise bundle thermal imaging drone
Autel EVO II 640T V2 is the leader in thermal imaging drones, among which Autel EVO II 640T V2 is also the leader of the best hunting drones in 2022. EVO II 640T V2 has dual cameras, and the enterprise package version can support multiple Load, supports SDK tasks, and sets exclusive solutions for drone hunting.
Details

Check out the camera specs of the Autel EVO II 640T V2

Thermal Camera(FLIR BOSON)

Visual Light Camera

Sensor FLIR BOSON Sensor 640*512/ 320*256 Sensor 1/2" CMOS
Effective Pixels: 48 MP
Performance temperature: -20~60°C
Pixels EVO II Dual (640) 640*512
EVO II Dual (320) 320*256
Lens FOV: about 79°
35mm Format Equivalent: 25.6 mm
Aperture: f/1.8
Shooting Range: 0.5 m to ∞
Pixel Pitch 12 µm ISO Range Video: ISO100~3200 (Auto)
Video: ISO100~3200 (Manual)
Photo: ISO100~3200 (Auto)
Photo: ISO100~3200 (Manual)
Wavelength 7.5 - 13.5µm Shutter Speed Electronic Shutter: 8 ~ 1/8000s
FOV EVO II Dual (640) 32°
EVO II Dual (320) 34°
Digital Zoom 1 ~ 8x (Max. 4x lossless zoom)
Lens EVO II Dual (640) 14 mm
EVO II Dual (320) 6.3 mm
Still Image Resolution 8000x6000 (4:3)
7680x4320 (16:9)
4000x3000 (4:3)
3840x2160 (16:9)
Zoom 1 ~ 8x Still Image Format JPEG / DNG / JPEG+DNG
Still Image Resolution Infrared Mode:640x512
Picture in Picture Mode: 1920x1080, 1280x720
Still Photography Modes Single Shot
Burst Shooting: 3/5 frames
Still Image Format JPEG Video Resolution 7680x4320 p25/p24
5760x3240 p30/p25/p24
3840x2160 p60/p50/p48/p30/p25/p24
2720x1528 p120/p60/p50/p48/p30/p25/p24
1920x1080 p120/p60/p50/p48/p30/p25/p24
Still Photography Modes Single shot, Burst shooting, Time Video Format MOV / MP4
Video Resolution Infrared Mode: 640x512 (US)
Picture in Picture Mode: 1920x1080 p30, 1280x720 p30
Codecs H.264 / H.265
Video Format MOV/MP4 (H.264/H.265 supported) Max Video Bitrate 120Mbps
    HDR Video Recording Supports 3840x2160, 2720x1528, 1920x1080 HDR video recording

The maximum horizontal flight speed of Autel EVO II 640T V2 can reach 23m/s, the maximum flight time is 38 minutes, and the farthest image transmission distance is 15km. Controlled by Autel Smart Remote Control V3, the difference from Autel EVO II 640T V3 is the difference in the camera sensor.

DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual

DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual thermal imaging drone
The drone is equipped with a high-sensitivity FLIR thermal camera that provides infrared and visible light imaging. It also has obstacle avoidance, tracking functions, autonomous flight functions, and can be controlled through the DJI Pilot App.
Details

Check out the camera specs of the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual

M2ED Visual Camera

M2ED Thermal Camera

Sensor 1/2.3" CMOS; Effective pixels: 12M Sensor Uncooled VOx Microbolometer
Lens FOV: approx. 85°
35 mm format equivalent:24 mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Focus: 0.5 m to ∞
Lens HFOV: 57°
Aperture: f/1.1
ISO Range Video: 100-12800 (auto)
Photo: 100-1600 (auto)
Sensor Resolution 160×120
Max Image Size 4056×3040(4:3);4056×2280(16:9) Pixel Pitch 12 μm
Still Photography Modes Single shot
Burst shooting: 3/5/7 frames
Interval (2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s)
Spectral Band 8-14 μm
Video Recording Modes 4K Ultra HD:3840×2160 30p
2.7K:2688×1512 30p
FHD:1920×1080 30p
Image Size [2] 640×480 (4:3);
640×360 (16:9)
Max Video Bitrate 100 Mbps Still Photography Modes Single shot
Burst shooting: 3/5/7 frames
Photo JPEG Video Recording Modes 640×360 @8.7fps
Video Format MP4,MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) Accuracy High Gain: Max ±5% (typical)
Low Gain: Max ±10% (typical)
    Scene Range High Gain: -10° to +140°C
Low Gain: -10°to +400°C
    Photo JPEG
    Video MP4, MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)

The maximum horizontal flight speed of DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual is 72 km/h, the longest flight time is about 31 minutes, and the farthest image transmission distance is 10km. DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual can be used for wildlife hunting very well, and it is a mid-to-high-end level of thermal imaging drones.

Teledyne FLIR SIRAS™

Teledyne FLIR SIRAS™ thermal imaging drone

SIRAS™ is the first professional drone with thermal imaging and visible light camera payloads from Teledyne FLIR, a well-known manufacturer and sales company of thermal imaging cameras.

Affordable, easy-to-fly, and IP54-rated thermal imaging drones with interchangeable payload systems, the SIRAS thermal imaging drone is suitable for industrial and utility inspections, firefighting, law enforcement, and search and rescue missions.

Details

Check out the camera specs of the Teledyne FLIR SIRAS™

IMAGING & OPTICAL
EO Camera Optics Effective Focal Length (EFL) 4.8 mm, 67° HFOV, F/# 1/2.3
EO Camera Resolution 16 MP with 20 MP mapping mode, 128x zoom
FLIR MSX Yes, photo mode only.
IR Camera Optics Effective Focal Length (EFL) 13.6mm, 32° HFOV, F/# 1.0
IR Camera Resolution 640 x 512, radiometric, 5x zoom
Radiometric Features Spot meter, Isotherms, Region of Interest (ROI)
IR Video Frame Rate 60 Hz

The maximum horizontal flight speed of SIRAS can reach 18m/s, the maximum flight time is 31 minutes, the farthest image transmission distance is 9km, and there is no geographical fence limit. In hunting thermal imaging drones, it's just a novice just getting its ticket.

Yuneec H520

Yuneec H520 thermal imaging drones

The Yuneec H520 is a powerful, non-foldable device with great reliability, stability and precision. One of the features of Yuneec H520 series is that it does not transmit data to a remote server, and the team mode function controls drones and cameras separately.

Yuneec H520 series has multiple interchangeable camera gimbal loads, E30Z/X, E90/X, E10T/X, CGOET/X. Among them, E10T/X is used as the thermal imaging camera load.

Details

View the Specs of the Yuneec H520 Thermal Imaging Camera Payload

RGB Imaging

Thermal Imaging

Sensor 1/2.8" 2.13MP FOV
E10T
34° or 50°
E10Tv
32°
E10TX
34° or 50°
E10TVX
32°
Aperature F2.8 Pixel Pitch 12µm
Equivalent Focal Length 23mm Resolution
E10T
320 x 256
E10Tv
640 x 512
E10TX
320 x 256
E10TVX
640 x 512
Video Resolution 1920x1080 25FPS Temperature Measurement Range High Gain: -25° - 100°C / -13° - 212°F. Low Gain: -40°C - 550°C / -40° - 932°F

The cost of the Yuneec H520 is high, and it is necessary to consider cost and applicability when choosing a thermal imaging drone for hunting.

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