At the core of our products is a vision to democratize night vision technology for use across multiple domains and industries. Our ability to build powerful imaging into compact products has won us accolades in the defense as well as the commercial space.
In this context, we recently met wildlife documentarians Rana Belur and Sugandhi, who were keen to document the nightlife of the nocturnal sloth bear in its habitat at the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary in Ballari, Karnataka, India.
We accepted the challenge and put one of our first-generation handheld thermal cameras to test. The following is a synopsis of the filmmakers’ experience with our Foxhound thermal imager.
Documenting sloth bears in their natural environment was a difficult task because the bear hot-beds were lined with huge boulders, and the shy mammals came out of their caves only after the sun set.
Rana and Sugandhi wanted a rugged night vision camera that could film the bears and other animals without disturbing or distracting them with camera lighting. Since the film was to be shot from a distance, they required a zoom or swappable lens to provide them with a range of options for their shoot without compromising usability, weight or power.
Our lightweight thermal imager, Foxhound, with an easy-to-use interface, digital zoom, video recording and in-built storage and retrieval was a perfect fit for their requirements.
On field, Rana and Sugandhi experienced not just a sturdy thermal camera but an equipment that intuitively contrast corrected to set the animals out from their surroundings and other obscurants. Further, they also reported benefiting from Foxhound’s extended battery life that helped them shoot without worrying about long hours or scene details.
This video has been shot with permission from the Karnataka Forest Department and the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary.
We would like to thank the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary for their cooperation.
Foxhound was a thumping success for Rana and Sugandhi’s documentary project because it was built to perform in a variety of complex environments and demanding scenarios. Rana and Sugandhi expressed hope that “this technology can be used to protect [the] wild[erness] and allow [people] to tell stories about wildlife in India” without intrusive techniques or damage to the habitat.
While thermal imagers have been widely used by professional documentary makers, their steep prices kept them out of reach for wildlife enthusiasts, forest officers and conservationists. At Tonbo, however, we we are working to make thermal imaging widely applicable, accessible, and affordable.