Pulsar Trail XQ50 and XP50

Discussion in 'Night Vision/Thermal' started by Whosure, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Whosure

    Whosure LSB Member LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    I am about to bit the bullet and put a thermal scope on layaway, but I am not sure what features and functions are offered with the different models. Can you tell me what the pros and cons between these two models?
     
  2. theblakester

    theblakester Got a black belt in keeping it real. LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Basically, the XP50 is half the magnification and twice the resolution. It's also well over $1000 more. the XP50 is better if you do a lot of close range hunting (thick brush, calling in coyotes real close etc) bc of the wider field of view, and if you want to also use it a lot for scanning (the wider field of view is beneficial there too). The XQ50 has a similar picture at native zoom as the XP50 does on 2x (digital) zoom. If you're going to primarily use it as a 50+ yard scope and won't be doing a lot of scanning large fields/multiple areas on the move, and are tight on $$ then the XQ50 might be a better value for you. I'm sure Brian Schaffer and others will chime in and better explain and/or add on to this. Good luck either way!
     
  3. whitehotmist

    whitehotmist LSB Member

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    theblakester pretty much nailed it... I have the XQ50, and except for the POI issues with mine I love it..
     
  4. Brian Shaffer

    Brian Shaffer Hog Hunter SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    theblakester was mostly right but made a couple small math errors.

    Many people think that 640 resolution is double that of 320 resolution (I know, Pulsar uses a 384 core, but I will use 320 here just as an example). It isn't. It is quadruple the resolution. Remember that we are dealing with a two-dimensional grid. For example, is a 2x2 square double the size of a 1x1 square? No, it is quadruple the size. That is what we are dealing with on the resolution front. So 640 resolution isn't double 320, it is four times as much.

    Maybe it would be easier to just consider this in the actual number of pixels...

    Using the actual scopes in question...
    The XP50 has 1.6x native magnification at 640x480 resolution. This gives you 307200 pixels
    The XQ50 has 2.7 native magnification at 384x288 resolution. This gives you 110592 pixels.

    So the XP50 actually has 2.78 times the resolution of the XQ50, but the XQ50 has 1.69 times the magnification at native magnification. This is true, but is misleading and isn't the whole story.

    People like to run the numbers by zoom level, but that just isn't relative...

    Native
    XQ50 2.7x 384x288
    XP50 1.6x 640x480

    2x Digital Zoom
    XQ50 5.4x 192x144
    XP50 3.2x 320x240

    4x Digital Zoom
    XQ50 10.8x 96x72
    XP50 6.4x 160x120

    8x Digital Zoom
    XQ50 NO 8x digital zoom
    XP50 12.8x 80x60

    Probably a more comparable way to run the numbers mixes the magnification levels. Unless people are shooting very close, the usually will not be using the 1.6x native magnification on the XP50. They are going to bump that up, often double to 3.2x. They will get more magnification, less resolution, and a more narrow FOV, but be able to make a more precise shot with the reticle covering much less of the target. For comparative consideration, this is similar to the base magnification and resolution of the XQ50, but somewhat better. Here, what doesn't matter is how many times you zoomed, but what the actual level of magnification is.

    XP50 1.6x 640x480 Native - Low Magnification, larger FOV, best level for scanning. (307200 pixels in use)

    XQ50 2.7x 384x288 Native (110592 pixels in use)
    XP50 3.2x 320x240 Zoomed 2x (78600 pixels in use)

    XQ50 5.4x 192x144 Zoomed 2x (27648 pixels in use)
    XP50 6.4x 160x120 Zoomed 4x (19200 pixels in use)

    XQ50 10.8x 96x72 Zoomed 4x (6912 pixels in use)
    XP50 12.8x 80x60 Zoomed 8x (4800 pixels in use)

    This does not tell us about image quality, however. So I took the number of pixels in use and divided it by the level of magnification and came up with the number of pixels relative to magnification level...

    XP50 1.6x 640x480 - Low Magnification, larger FOV, best level for scanning. (192000 pixels used relative to magnification)

    XQ50 2.7x 384x288 Native (40960 pixels used relative to magnification)
    XP 50 3.2x 320x240 Zoomed 2x (24000 pixels used relative to magnification)

    XQ50 5.4x 192x144 Zoomed 2x (5120 pixels used relative to magnification)
    XP 50 6.4x 160x120 Zoomed 4x (3000 pixels used relative to magnification)

    XQ50 10.8x 96x72 Zoomed 4x (640 pixels used relative to magnification)
    XP 50 12.8x 80x60 Zoomed 8x (375 pixels used relative to magnification)

    What does this mean? Well the XQ50 at 10.8x, for example, is going to have an image that looks a little better than the XP50 at 12.8x because the XQ50 has less magnification and more pixels in used, BUT LESS MAGNIFICATION MEANS A SMALLER IMAGE.

    So let's make the calculations even more relative. I think I have this right. Somebody with higher conceptual math skills may be able to come along and say I did this completely wrong, but I believe this is correct.

    When we look at the comparable levels of magnification for the basic zoom levels, the XP50 is always has 1.185185185185.... (repeating) times more magnification. So the XP50 6.4x is 1.185... times more magnfication than XQ50 5.4x. Since resolution is squared, we square 1.185... and multiply it by the resolution (pixel count) of the XP50 to show the comparable number of pixels in use at the XQ50's magnification. Make sense?

    So at 2.7x, the XQ50 has 110592 pixels in use and the XP50 has 110407 pixels in use. Pretty darned close, right?
    At 5.4x XQ50 has 27648 pixels in use and the XP50 has 26970
    At 10.8x XQ50 has 6912 pixels in use and the XP50 has 6742
    So basically, the XQ50 actually does have a better image than the XP50 at the same levels of magnification, but the difference is very slight and most folks probably would not be able to tell the difference. For all practical purposes, the picture quality is going to be the same, given the same level of actual magnification.

    So what do you get for the extra money of for the XP50? You get a lower native magnification with a higher resolution and larger FOV on the low end and a 1.185... times more magnification at the high end. Where the levels of magnification match, you are getting the same basic image quality.

    If you do a lot of shorter range shooting inside 50 yards and need the wider FOV, or need it for scanning, get the XP50. If you do a lot of shooting beyond 75 yards, I think you might as well go with the XQ50 because everything from 2.7 (native) to 10.8 (digital zoom) magnification is going to be the same basic image as the XP50. The XP50 does go to 12.8x digital zoom, but the image is getting pretty pixelated at that point.

    {WHEW!}
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  5. whitehotmist

    whitehotmist LSB Member

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    :gold star:
     
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  6. Whosure

    Whosure LSB Member LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Amen! LOL
     
  7. fanninland

    fanninland LSB Active Member LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Damn Brian. This should be a sticky.
     
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  8. RattlesnakeDan

    RattlesnakeDan San Antonio Texas LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    This is all I got. lol
     
  9. Brian Shaffer

    Brian Shaffer Hog Hunter SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    That was the important part. The rest is just the information behind it.
     
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  10. JoeBano

    JoeBano New Member

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    Thanks for the detailed explanation Brian. I had it completely backward and thought the XP50 would be better for longer range shots, shows what I knew (or not). Even though I will be taking shorter shots I went with the XP50 anyway because of the higher resolution. Turned out I made the right choice all along. It is a great scope with very nice resolution.
     
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  11. Fredhorace77

    Fredhorace77 New Member

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  12. Bama

    Bama LSB Member SUS VENATOR CLUB

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    Outstanding, Brian!
     
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  13. Sidelight

    Sidelight LSB Member

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    The interesting comparison (For long range shooting) will be if they produce a native 3 power 640x480 unit.
     
  14. Brian Shaffer

    Brian Shaffer Hog Hunter SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Why they won't/haven't is interesting. Back when I was pro staff for Pulsar, we (dfwroadkill and I) brought that issue up specifically and at different times with the bigwigs at Sellmark who is the US importer, explaining that for general hunting/utility purposes, magnification of 2.5-3.5 would be a much better product than the low end native magnification. What was done with that insight is unknown to me, but apparently the people in Belarus where Pulsar is made did not adopt the concept. A huge part of their market is European and apparently the Europeans like the lower end native magnification for some reason, or so I was led to believe.
     
  15. TEXASLAWMAN

    TEXASLAWMAN Lone Star Boars Owner LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    I've been bitching at them about this for the last year as well.
     
  16. Brian Shaffer

    Brian Shaffer Hog Hunter SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Yeah, I bet a lot of people have, dealers, etc., but it doesn't seem to register.

    I don't get it. They made the Helion XP50 with 2.5x but not the Trail XP50. I thought they got it exactly backwards.
     
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  17. fanninland

    fanninland LSB Active Member LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Yep, my thoughts exractry
     
  18. Jake

    Jake Bandera, Texas LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Yep they have heard it from me too. I will get one if they ever decide to produce it. In the meantime I went with the XQ50.
     
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  19. EZToForget

    EZToForget New Member

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    Jake are you pretty happy with your purchase? Do you wish you would have gone with the XP50?

    I thought about going to the Trijicon 2.5x to get a little higher mag instead of the XP50. But at this point I don’t have any equipment and if I save money on the thermal I can grab a pvs 14 and a scanner much sooner and have all 3. If I go with the Trijicon it will be a year and a half down the road before I have all 3. The 1.6 native is the biggest thing holding me back from the XP50. My LONGEST shots will be 300, my avg shots will be 100 to 200 (coyote). I think I am going to have to rent some stuff to really find out.... but $200 a rental adds up if you want to try 3 units.... I guess it’s money well spent if you make the right choice afterwards.
     
  20. Rookie

    Rookie LSB Member

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    The new flir models might be what you're looking for.

    Where are you located? If you were anywhere close to me (which is doubtful) I'd let you look through my IR Hunter. Maybe someone is close enough to offer the same.
     

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