Review: InfiRay Eye E6+ & E6 Pro thermal spotting scopes

Great design and good performance sum up InfiRay's pair of third-gen Eye thermals

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InfiRay Eye E6 thermal review
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InfiRay offers a pair of third-generation Eye E6 thermal spotting scopes, one at $4400, the other at $3900, and their performance makes them extremely tempting monoculars in that price bracket.  

The basic specs give you a good idea of why they’re good: they have large 640×512 sensors, small 12um pixels, 25mK or less noise equivalent thermal difference, and long-lasting built-in batteries.

By long-lasting, I mean the claimed six hours is realistic, and even if you’re using them hard you’ll get four hours. 

They’re solid, well designed and give you very good optics. Value for money is above average. 

The key differences between the two are base magnification and field of view. 

The Eye E6 Pro V3 starts at a higher 2.9x magnification but has a narrower 8.8-degree field of view.

The Eye E6+ V3 starts at a slightly lower 2x magnification but has the wider field of view at 12.5 degrees.  

In most situations, you’ll appreciate the Plus’s wider field of view. After all, a spotter is for finding things and the wide view makes the task quicker and easier, particularly in a big, open paddock. 

InfiRay Eye E6 thermal review
The E6 Pro (left) has higher magnification but a narrower field of view. These images show roos to the left of the central tree and sheep to the right, at 1000m distance

Still, the Pro’s magnification makes targets that much clearer and easier to pick from other objects. It also brings with it longer detection range, so if distant targets are common in your hunting grounds you might prefer it. 

The Pro has another thing to justify its $500 higher price: a bigger 50mm objective lens compared with 35mm in the E6+. That seems to be the main reason it has a slightly crisper image than the Plus. 

This ensures better chances to confidently identify targets. The difference is more obvious in bad weather, too.  

InfiRay Eye E6 thermal review
The Pro (right) has a larger 50mm objective lens, giving a small optical advantage

Personally, I’d take the wider view of the Plus every day of the week. In practical use, that’s the most important difference and because of it I reached for the Plus more than the Pro. 

I’ll describe their image quality together, as there’s really very little between them. The low 25mK heat differentiation figure ensures cleaner distinction between heat signals. It adds clarity in fog and rain, and while the effectiveness of the E6s was certainly reduced in poor conditions they provided more detail than I saw in the other handful of similarly priced thermals I’ve tested. 

On one drizzly night I picked up targets more than 1300m away and was confident to claim them as kangaroos.  

In normal conditions at regular ranges, targets stand out very well in the E6s and are pretty clearly identifiable by midrange thermal standards. They not so good that they make it easy for novices — one person I went out with spotted a pig a little way away which turned into a deer a bit further away before finally revealing itself as a rabbit just 30m away. 

You have to learn to look for the clues given by movement and behaviour, and if you’re not impatient you’ll work it out pretty easily with these InfiRays. With a bit more experience and patience than my mate, I doused his excitement by identifying the rabbit in a few moments. 

The digital zoom increases the base optical magnification by 2x and 4x, making the Plus a 2x/4x/8x scope, while the Pro is close to 3x/6x/12x. As usual, you’ll get increasing pixellation as you go but it’s not too bad. 

Claimed detection ranges are over 1800m for the Plus and almost 2600m for the Pro, neither of which I could accurately test but I can say they both picked up targets as far out as I ever needed them to and beyond. I certainly saw target-like heat signals as far as 1500m.

The five colour palettes are great. InfiRay’s very clear hot-target pallette — which is a white-hot setting with maximum contrast — really makes targets pop out at you. The regular white-hot and the black-hot are both quite clear and give a good overview of the landscape as well as the target. 

The red-hot is still my pick for initial scanning and spotting, even if targets are not as well defined. The fusion pallette provides a very good level of detail in cluttered scenes.

I like having the choice of all five pallets and I reckon InfiRay has each of them calibrated very well. 

They’ve also put clever design into the Eye spotters, which are so easy to handle and use. Unless you’ve got very small hands, they will fit neatly into your grip. The three main buttons are raised and responsive to finger pressure. The fourth button, which is mainly for powering on and off or sleeping, is operated by your little finger and has been designed accordingly, with a different feel and requiring a softer touch. Someone thought that through. 

InfiRay Eye E6 thermal monocular review
The Eye E6s are a good fit in your hand with easy-to-use controls

The wide rubber eye cup fits snugly and blocks incoming light. Focus takes only a moment to find.  

The menu is laid out for intuitive use. The InfiRay app could still do with some development to make it function more smoothly (maybe it’s just the way it works with an Apple device) but it does what it needs to do. The connection to a remote screen happens quickly and reliably.

The Pro is fractionally bigger than the Plus, being 202mm long as opposed 188; weight is 500g and 420g respectively. They’re both billed as pocket sized but they’re at the top end of that scale. They just fit into my hunting jacket’s largest pockets.

InfiRay Eye E6 thermal monocular review
The InfiRay app does the job but could function a bit more smoothly

There’s not much you can criticise about these two InfiRay spotters. They work exactly as they should and provide image quality and features that are right up there for value in this price bracket. Sure, there’s some competition at this price but these ones are among the best. 

As I said, my pick of these third-generation Eye monoculars was the E6+ for its wider field of view, and it’d save me $500. But if range is more important where you hunt, the E6 Pro will serve you better. 

INFIRAY EYE E6 V3 SPECIFICATIONS
NB: Two figures indicate E6+ / E6 Pro respectively
Sensor: 640x512p
Pixel size: 12um
NETD: 25mK or less
Frame rate: 50Hz
Objective lens: 35mm / 50mm
Field of view: 12.5deg / 8.8deg
Display: 1024x768p OLED
Optical magnification: 2.0x / 2.9x
Digital zoom: 1x, 2x, 4x
Claimed battery life: 6 hours
Dimensions: 188x65x64mm / 202x65x64mm
Claimed detection range: 1818m / 2597m
Warranty: 3 years
Price (2021): $3900 / $4400

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for an interesting review Mick.

    Obvious question that was not mentioned – the built-in batteries – are they user replaceable?

    I’m completely over buying electronics with built-in rechargeable batteries that are not user-replaceable. Look at our phones – the old “dumb” phones were user replaceable in seconds and we often carried a second battery so we could keep going if away from power for a while (or to make sure it was REALLY turned off). Now with iPhones etc you cannot remove the battery or replace it as it ages. It is like built-in obsolescence. The battery loses its capacity to hold a charge as the device ages and then has to be thrown away because the battery cannot be replaced.

    No matter how good it is – I am NOT – going to spend almost $4,500 for a gadget that is useless after 3 or 4 years because the battery won’t hold charge anymore.

    Cheers,

    Practical Hunter

    • Good question, which I hadn’t thought to ask because I’m probably so used to built-ins now that it seems normal. Re-charging packs can be carried pretty easily these days, and there’s plenty of reason to criticise disposable batteries. You’re right, it’s not always good if rechargeable batteries can’t be replaced, especially in the long run. I’ll endeavour to find out more.

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