This paper presents an optical readout method based uncooled infrared imaging system that contains an optical read-out section and a bi-material micro-cantilever arrays (BMCA) detector. The optical read-out section is based on incoherent light spatial filter technique. The read-out section converts the deflection angles of BMCA caused by absorption of infrared (IR) radiation to a visible image through optical filtering operation of the BMCA with a knife-edge filter. A spatial mathematical model is presented to describe the read-out method and its validity is proved. The IR image of a person's hand obtained through the using of the 100′×′100 BMCA and the 12-bit A/D quantizer demonstrates the ability of the system to create image. The performance test shows that the average Noise-equivalent temperature difference (NETD) of the imaging system can arrive at about 183mK with some areas having a NETD as low as 78mK.