Optic Review: Torrey Pines Logic T12-M Mini Thermal Imager

During the last Big 3 Media Event in Daytona Florida, I was introduced to a mini thermal imager made by Torrey Pines Logic. While it may look like a mini red-dot sight, the Torrey Pines T12-M is actually a combination of a small thermal camera and a 1-inch digital color display. Together with its all metal housing and the solid state electronic internals, the Torrey Pines Logic T12-M is made to withstand recoil and rough handling.



My review sample comes with a QD mount, which is essential for using it on a weapon. The T12-M has just two buttons for its control. I found it easy for turning on the sight and change between the display modes. However, the control needs more buttons to adjust the reticle or change some of the internal settings.



The front of the T12-M is taken up mainly by the battery compartment and the mini thermal camera. The T12-M uses a CR123 lithium battery for about 8+ hours of run time. There’s a user configurable sleep mode that helps to conserve battery power. The thermal camera has a very wide 50-degree field of view (FOV). Torrey Pines Logic does offer longer range models with 60m (T12-N), 100m (T12-W) and 150m (T12-V) effective range.



The view from the T12-M’s 1-inch display in the color mode. The display resolution is only 80×60 pixel but it’s usable. Torrey Pines Logic told me that the 1-inch screen is rated for high recoil application and the whole T12-M is designed to be work mounted on a pistol slide.



Switched to the “white hot” display mode. The monochrome view gives it a better display of heat radiating subjects to the black background. The T12-M is the wide field of view model offered by Torrey Pines Logic. Its 50-degree FOV is good for close-up but the detection range is limited to only 30 meters.



The NV Green simulation mode. It’s very close to the White-hot mode but it’s in green color. I didn’t find the built-in reticle, which is user changeable, to be very useful for using it as a gun mounted optic for rifle or carbine. The adjustment is not very precise and with only two buttons in the control, it’s a lot of multi-clicks for just a simple adjustment. The display reticle also doesn’t seem to be parallax corrected.



A better method of using the T12-M was shown to me, which is putting it in front of a red-dot sight on a rifle. The QD mount on the T12-M really allow it to be mounted or removed with ease.



Due to the sight height of T12-M, which is too short for lower 1/3 co-witness on an AR rifle, I had to pair it with the only absolute co-witness red-dot sight that I have. Even then it still is not a perfect height match but it to be usable.



Torrey Pines Logic T12-M mini Thermal Imager Specification:
Effective Range: 30+ meters
Refresh Rate: 30 Hz
Field of View: 50 degree
Display size: 1 inch
Display Resolution: 80×60 pixel full color
Size: 2-in x 1.8-in x 1.5-in
Weight: 3.43 oz w/o battery
Power: 1x CR123 Lithium battery
Battery Life: 8+ hours
MSRP: $699

Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim’s direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at- gmail.com


  • Jolly

    For so many reasons.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I’ve worked with the sensor they are likely using. You can get them for about $25-65 depending on volume. And the LCD is pretty cheap. Even if they’re using a top of the line ARM, the fixed costs on this thing with an exposure should be under $125 or so. For a retail price of $700, that’s a good markup for them.

    This is at least a glimpse into the future.

    • Suppressed

      If memory serves me, the press release for these did the fire photo, so these might not actually be Tim’s photos. Of course it’s also possible that he sought out to duplicate the press release photos for himself using some friends of his.

      • Timothy G. Yan

        All were taken by the bonfire after X-mas dinner with family.

        • Suppressed

          Good stuff. I got to looking around trying to find product/press release for what I was referring to and can’t even find it, so it was obliviously a different thermal sight and/or blog anyway.

  • Mark

    ¿Battery life of 8 hours? ¡No bueno!

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Overpriced and not very useful but still kind of awesome.
    Might be useful on a side rail not as a sight but just for night vision.

  • nova3930

    I took a look at these but the killer for me was refresh rate in addition to the range. I think these have a future but for right now several of the digital night vision options, like the atn x-sight, are probably better values….

  • Anon

    30Hz is definitely annoying, especially with an 80×60 display; 60Hz would be better for a start. I thought TI displays were bad, but that is a whole new level.
    Honestly though they are insanely cool. A tiny thermal sight with range well suited for indoor use (I would stick one on a Kriss SBR in a heartbeat) and with a battery life expected of a thermal sight that can only take one battery.
    Sure, the aimpoint fans will complain and say their sight is better in every application because of the battery life and neglect the differences in sights and technologies and thusly required power consumption.
    It is far more affordable than the Andres TIMRO which seems to max out at 25Hz, although the TIMRO has quite a lot ore features.

  • Sam P

    Wouldn’t a red mode make more sense, than green, white, or color?

  • Joe

    Neat, but not quite there yet.

    I’d stick with the thermal phone dock.

    But can this thing be reconfigured to ping for Aliens?

  • wetcorps

    Doesn’t quite safe if this is your only way to identify a target. But still pretty cool.

  • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    In a few years, it will be ready for prime time

  • ConservativeSurge

    When’s the rest of this “review” going to be published?