I've only had it a couple of days, but here are my thoughts so far:
It compared with my 7X40's 1500 Model with a 300 RUM round for size perspective:
While it may look the same, the laser inside of this thing is a whole different animal...you can actually hear
it fire! While the beam divergence was only slighly larger on the 1500 model (it's pretty good), the laser in the 3000 Pro is about 10 times brighter (rough eyeball estimate) and is completely free of voids, etc in the pattern.
In any case, enough mumbo jumbo. I've only had it a couple of days so these pictures aren't representative of its ultimate capabilities, they're just what I happened to have handy at the time. I've only had it out of the house once so far for a few minutes looking for stuff to range (damn work schedules/wife's work schedule/kids to take care of!)...most of the stuff from the vantage point I chose was too close to be interesting. But here are a couple shots:
It wasn't the absolute worst conditions, but you can see the sun is shining and there's a fair amount of mirage between me and the targets. Had there been any good targets in view a couple hundred yards farther I have no doubt it would have gotten them. And under better conditions....
The sun had gone behind the cloud for these shots so it was better conditions:
In bright sunlight it tops out between 1800-1900 yds on those trees. Of course they're over relatively level ground (you have trees in the reticle separated by over 1000 yds distance) so I think it will do even better on steep hillsides in mountain country. Nevertheless, not to bad.
But one of the best features as far as hunting is concerned, is target selection. About the only "limit" I felt with the old 7X40 up to the 1500 yd range was ranging small objects. Sometimes you just couldn't get them. It could range a hillside or big tree at 1500 but a deer? No, not even close. I got them out to 1000 when things were perfect but beyond 7-800 or so you had to be really careful you weren't reading the hillside behind the deer. Luckily this was better during hunting season and the worst in the summer time with tall grass that hid most of their bodies.
This is pretty typical of all rangefinders. They'll give you the range of whatever returns the strongest reflection. The first method for improving this is keeping the beam divergence as low as possible so a larger percentage of the laser is on the deer vs. the hillside behind it. And these have the best that I know of short of the Vector IV (yes, I actually measured it):
But even with a tight beam, at some range it is simply so much bigger than the deer you're likely to get a reading from whatever is behind him because more of the signal is returned from that range. This is the natural way most "hunter grade" rangefinders work. And it's the way this one works in "Automatic Selection Mode."
The difference is, this unit will range both the deer and the hillside behind it. It'll let you decide if you want the range for whatever returns the strongest signal, whatever was the farthest object (if you need to range through a screen of brush or something this would be useful).
But most useful for I figure over 90% of LRH is the setting it to return the "first target" range. It'll range the deer and the hillside behind it. But it'll tell you the range of the deer.
Here's an example of this at work:
What most rangefinders would say:
It is telling you the range of the trees behind the pole, because that's where most of the laser is reflecting from.
In First Target Mode:
First target, every time. This thing ranges small objects like nothing I've seen. I can't wait to see how far I can range a deer next month.....
Another big thing people will notice is how friggen fast it returns ranges--basically instantly. The old 7X40's were pretty darn fast most of the time, but on longer range objects where they were struggling a bit it might take close to a second (I think it actually fires the laser again or something).
But not these, the specs list less than 0.3 seconds and I believe them. It's pretty much as fast as you can press the button whether you get a range or not. And of course you can just hold down the button for rapid fire "scan mode" but I find it ranges so fast when you do that it's hard to even read the ranges before the next one comes up.... In any case, it'll either range it or it wont pretty much instantly...you don't have to spend a bunch of time waiting and hoping.
Anyway, just some initial comments on the rangefinding abilities I've found so far. I'm quite impressed. I'll have more as I get more time with it....
This thing is the real deal, folks. Just a couple of years ago I was lusting over trying to find a Vector 1500, or find a used "Old" Geovid for a price I could afford (expecting to pay way more). Technology is catching up...just a few years ago anything with this capability would have cost 5 times as much....
BTW, many of those pictures look a little phunky with lots of black around them...this is the fault of my camera not agreeing with the eyepiece of the rangefinder--it couldn't get the full FOV. Don't worry, that's not what it looks like with your eyeball.