I’d like to start by thanking Thomas Jacks for the loan of the RT. It has been an unlucky time in a sense because as you may know the crops have been growing in the fields. Which has limited the areas I was able to shoot and test out the RT.
But I managed to get out and record some footage, from dusk and at night.
The RT is the updated model in the range of Photons which include:
- 4.5-9x42s and 6-12x50s
- 4.5-9×42 and 6-12×50
Starting at £550 to £600
The IR Illuminator:
The S line has a better detection range at 200m & 280m, where the other RT’s have a detection range of 140m & 180m. This is due to the improved IR illuminator with 10 power settings, increasing the brightness the higher you go.
Where as before you’d get 5 hours from the Photon, you now only get 3.5 hours from 4 AA batteries. This is down to the demand of the illuminator giving you the extra range. The Illuminator is able to focus in and out to adjust to your needs.
You can, however, add a 5v battery pack into the side with the USB cable supplied, making your night time foray even longer. With the added battery and depending on the power of the battery, you won’t be needing packs of AA’s.
Personally, I think you should purchase an extra IR torch. This allows you to get a cleaner light at night, whilst saving you power. I don’t have a problem with the on board IR as it doesn’t get in the way, but for starting out it’s more than adequate.
The RT series stay to the basic layout of the XT models and physically look about the same. But the change now is the 4 AA power pack on the right side, instead of being in the top. They have also included a Mic on the right side, to record any audio you wish to hear back at a later time.
Focusing is just the same as the previous models, the demo models focus rings were a bit stiff. ThouIh i put this down to being new and not being well used. The flip up cap helps for those sunny days if you want to shoot during bright sun light.
I would recommend purchasing the one piece mount, that allows the RT to come back towards the face. It is a 30mm mount and makes it comfy to use over a long period of time. With the standard 30mm mount I found I was leaning into the scope. Which felt awkward after some time.
Access to the recording button is easy. It is found on the back IR illuminator. Tho don’t confuse this for the IR on-off switch. This is where you can take photos and scroll through videos and photos using the wheel menu button on top. When you just press the small button it will start the video recording. Again easy and simple to use.
Video quality comes out at 640×480
Pictures on the RT are up to 1280×960.
At the top where the old AA’s went in you now have two buttons. The first button powers on the device and also turns off the the display. Pressing once turns off the display, while holding it down it counts down from 3 on the display to power off.
The second button/wheel is the menu selection. By holding down the button brings up you menu display to select the different options. Simply turning the wheel left or right moves the highlighted section up or down, depending on what you want. Holding it down for a few seconds will close the menu and return to the main screen.
On the main screen by pressing the wheel, you will be able to select from a little menu in the top right corner of the screen. This will include WIFI, IR from 1-10 and magnification. turn to select and press to choose.
This is simple to use as there are only two settings 4.5x or 9x magnification. There is no optical magnification so it does this digitally, the only down side is that it becomes more pixellated.
You can’t zero in 9x magnification as this is to do with the one shot mode when selected. In these circumstances I bore sighted and then measured how far from centre i was, then dialled on the elevation and windage.
The camera resolution has gone up on the RT to 768×576 where before they were 656×492.
The microphone is held on the right hand side of the RT next to the battery pack. For me this is something to catch those great moments in the car, to hear mates shouting “Did you see that?” There was a slight hiss but audio is picked up well. It won’t reach to the target but it certainly adds to the moment. After all this is a small mic and not meant for award winning films!
Sharing your capture content is made possible by their new APP which works on IOS or Android. Any of the Pulsar or Yukon range with this built in can use the app. There are two ways to transfer files, one use the supplied usb to the computer and it comes up as a mass storage device. Or download from the device to your phone from the 8g internal memory.
The App itself is easy to use and can control the device to a limited ability. App menus are simple and well laid out whilst standing out from the dark background. The App can change IR and magnification and turn the display on or off, then start and stop recording. When you are connected to the phone, you can also choose between photo or video shooting.
You cannot access the main menu to change reticles etc.
(Disclaimer) Demo issues:
I can not say how the new photons will have changed from my demo model in the software department. I’m using an Iphone 7 with all the updates available at the time of the test.
Here is a little issue i picked upon, it didn’t save to my photos on the phone even tho it will want access. It saves it in the app itself, with some options to share. One is by email the other by txt, tho at this present time a software update is needed. When playing the footage I couldn’t scroll through the footage, it would only play and pause.
I tried to email and txt but it would only send a blank email or txt. You can how ever use iCloud to transfer files to be able to send files. Tho with this it would be easier to plug into the computer and access it that way to send. Even then i couldn’t upload to the cloud any files bigger than 15mb. Files are saved as a mix AVI and MP4 with photos as JPEG.
All in all these have been teething issues on the demo model, and hope they are sorted by a software update already.
The RT and RTs are for those wanting to record straight to the device with a built in 8g internal memory, and not having any leads hanging off with a recorder. A great bit of fun for those wanting a step into the video blogger to show friends and family online. Tho still being a capable bit of kit to use on any rifle from air rifles to centre fire, or shotgun for that matter! I had this mounted to my .17HMR and had no bolt catching issues using medium 30mm mounts.
The RT covers the range of any night time hunting situation, as not many people will shoot long ranges in the dark. This is the most important safety issue at night. Rats, rabbits and foxes stand no chance when this is on a rifle. Fun for all and with the ability to prove it to your mates, you can show them the one that didn’t get away.
This is waterproof and shock resistant so being in the rain is of no issue. Being knocked from getting in and out of the car won’t be a problem either.
So get out and look for these at you local dealer. For more information on the Photon range got to:www.thomasjacks.co.uk
This review has been provided by CJ over at 617. Be sure to check them out and like their page.