Night Vision Devices: Frequently Asked Questions

February 23, 2021 0 Comments




Digital Night Vision Devices

Digital night vision devices are observation, aiming and stationary devices that combine modern digital technologies and high-quality optical components.

Unlike night vision devices based on electron-optical converters, digital devices are not afraid of being exposed to sunlight and can be used at any time of the day.

Their cost, as well as the cost of their production, is much lower than that of devices based on electron-optical converters.

Digital night vision devices work on the basis of CCD and CMOS matrix, which provides the user with a high-quality image, which significantly exceeds devices based on electronic-optical and hybrid converters.


Features and Functions of Digital Night Vision Devices




Using Night Vision Devices at any time of the day

Unlike night vision devices based on electron-optical converters, the sensitive element of digital devices is not afraid of either side or direct illumination.

This allows digital night vision devices to be used at any time of the day, even in sunny weather.


Photo / video recording

Most modern digital night vision devices have a built-in photo and video recorder that allows you to save the info.

Data can be stored on built-in storage or memory cards.

You can use third-party devices, the display of a digital device, or the screen of a smartphone to view saved materials, if the device has wireless data transfer capability.


Working with smartphones

Digital night vision devices equipped with a Wi-Fi module can be synchronized with smartphones and tablets with a pre-installed applications.

This function is used for wireless transmission of videos and photos, remote control of device functions and image settings, quick and easy software updates.




High speed of work

Modern digital night vision devices for hunting and observation are equipped with powerful electronic components (microprocessors) that provide fast image processing and stable operation of built-in digital functions.

Unlike devices based on electronic-optical converters, digital night vision devices turn on and off in a matter of seconds thanks to which they are always ready to be used for your activity.


Connecting accessories

Despite the large number of built-in functions, digital night vision systems can be used with other useful accessories, the main of which is the Infra-Red illuminator.

An infrared light not only increases the observation range, but also allows the device to be used in complete darkness.

In addition, laser rangefinders, external power supplies, control panels and much more can be connected to digital night vision devices.




Resistance to loads

First digital night vision devices, manufactured at the end of the first decade of the 2000s, were extremely poorly protected from adverse environmental conditions, in particular from low temperatures.

Over the years, the requirements for devices have grown, and the resistance to load and extreme conditions has also grown.

Modern devices work in the widest temperature range, suitable for hunting in any weather. The digital scopes withstand the recoil of powerful hunting weapons.


Interaction with the environment

Digital observation and sighting devices are distinguished by a large number of built-in sensors designed for orientation in space and environmental analysis.

Such devices can be equipped with an electronic compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, rangefinder etc.



digital vs electronic-optical converters


Differences Between Digital Devices from Night Vision Devices Based on Electronic-Optical Converters and Thermal Imagers


Difference from electronic-optical converters

  • Functionality day and night
  • Full exposure to light
  • Affordable price
  • Long lifespan
  • Long target detection range
  • Multi-purpose functionality
  • Synchronization with mobile devices


Difference from thermal imagers

  • Affordable price
  • High definition image
  • Limited long-range observation
  • Necessity to use an infrared illuminator
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Different picture modes and color palettes


Important Features of Digital Night Vision Devices for Hunting

  • Type of matrix
  • Field of view
  • IR illuminator
  • Energy efficiency
  • Resistance to loads
  • Functionality
  • Connection to smartphone





Pros and Cons of Digital Night Vision Devices


  • Price
  • Functionality at any time of the day
  • Different picture modes (black-white, green, color)
  • Ability to save photos and videos
  • Noiseless operation
  • Quick setup
  • Wireless transmission of videos and photos
  • Long lifespan



  • Necessity to use infra-red illuminator
  • Difficulty of observation at long distances
  • High energy consumption
  • Short delay in image processing
  • Color accuracy




Types of Night Vision Devices and Areas of Use


Digital night vision monoculars

Digital night vision monoculars are compact observation devices for individual use.

The development of digital night vision devices for personal use began precisely with monoculars, with the first Ranger series devices from Yukon company.

Today, digital monoculars are in the assortment of almost all manufacturers involved in the production of digital night vision devices.

These devices are compact in size and easy to operate. Designed primarily for handheld use, therefore most often have a built-in IR illuminator.

They are best at observing at short and medium distances. They can be used as a primary or secondary observation device.


Distinguishing features of digital night vision monoculars:

  • Compact devices
  • Lightweight
  • Can fit in a jacket pocket
  • Built-in infra red illuminator
  • Observation with one eye





Digital Night Vision Sights

Digital scopes are weapons-mounted devices for observing a target at any time of the day.

They differ from classical optical scopes in that the image is displayed on a built-in micro-display. They differ from thermal imaging scopes in the way they receive and process images.

Day / night digital sights operate in the visible spectrum. The lack of lighting is compensated by using built-in or plug-in infrared illuminators.

Digital sights for day and night observation are used for hunting, for security purposes, when performing special operations and in night orientation.


Distinctive features of digital sights

  • Weapon mount (integrated or separate mount)
  • High resistance to shock loads and adverse weather conditions
  • Connecting an infrared illuminator (built-in IR)
  • Various color palettes (color, black and white, green)
  • The presence of one or more reticle
  • Digital zoom, picture-in-picture mode
  • Functions to make accurate shooting easier (rangefinder, tilt sensor, ballistic calculator)
  • Large capacity battery for continuous operation, external power supply connection





Night Vision Digital Binoculars

Night vision digital binoculars are devices for manual or stationary observation at any time of the day.

Their main advantage is the ability to conduct observation with two eyes.

Devices of this type are suitable for day and night hunting, performing special tasks, security activities, patrolling, searching for missing persons and catching criminals.

Most digital binoculars are equipped with a tripod socket, which allows them to be used as a stationary observation device.

The most popular digital night vision binoculars are the Binox-HD and Binox-4K models from ATN.


Distinctive features of digital binoculars

  • Observation with two eyes
  • Stationary use (mounting on a tripod)
  • Wide field of view, observation of a large area
  • Built-in video recorder for saving materials





Digital Spotting Scopes

Digital spotting scopes are observation devices primarily made for stationary work.

They are distinguished by high optical and digital zoom capability, and are excellent for observation at long distances (with sufficient lighting).

They are used for bird and animal observation, security purposes, for sporting events.

Digital spotting scopes for observing in low light conditions are popular at shooting competitions, because they allow you to quickly assess the results of shooting, even at night.


Distinctive features of digital spotting scopes

  • Stationary use (mounting on a tripod)
  • High magnification power (optical / digital)
  • Built-in video recorder (for digital night vision devices), built-in digital camera (for classic models)
  • Large capacity battery for continuous operation, external power supply connection





Digital Night Vision Attachments

Digital night vision attachments are compact devices for mounting in front of daytime optical scopes.

In some cases, digital attachments can be used as a stand-alone day or night vision monocular, from which they most often differ only in the eyepiece.

Digital night vision attachments can be mounted in front of a large number of riflescopes, giving the shooter a night vision rifle scope.

They are easy to install and quick to set up. The connection is made using special adapters connecting the day scope objective lens and the eyepiece of the attachment.


Distinctive features of digital night vision attachments

  • Compact and low weight
  • Mounting on a weapon or manual use
  • Built-in or plug-in IR illuminator
  • No magnification (in attachment mode)





Digital Surveillance / Night Vision Cameras

Digital night vision cameras are stationary or integrated devices for surveillance in limited lighting conditions.

The cameras are actively used for security purposes, for protection of important state facilities and territorial borders, for street patrolling.

Integrated cameras are used in night driving control systems.

A night vision video recorder allows you to monitor the road at twilight and at night, to prevent emergencies.

Street cameras with night vision are an integral part of modern urban infrastructure.


Distinctive features of digital night vision surveillance cameras

  • Used for indoor and outdoor surveillance
  • Can be integrated for night driving control
  • The image is displayed on an external monitor
  • Power supply connection, 24/7 operation



Fields of Application of Digital Day and Night Vision Devices

  • Day hunt
  • Night hunt
  • Security
  • Special operations
  • Tourism and surveillance
  • Sport




Day hunt

Unlike classical night vision devices based on electron-optical converters, digital devices operate on the principle of a video camera, and their sensing element (sensor) is not afraid of flare. Thanks to this, digital night vision devices (day / night devices) can be used during daytime hunting.

The resulting image in these devices is displayed on the built-in display, and the absence of a special filter that cuts off the waves of the IR spectrum (in view of the need to use an IR illuminator for work at night) may affect the accuracy of color reproduction in the daytime, which is not a critical aspect and does not affect the daytime hunting process.


Night hunt

Hunting in dawn-twilight and at night is one of the most popular areas of application for observation and sighting digital devices.

Digital monoculars and rifle scopes are most often used for hunting. Binoculars are less commonly used if observation is carried out from a tower and it is possible to mount the device on a tripod.

The digital rifle scope for night hunting can be used as the main tool for finding and hitting a target.

A popular solution is also a tandem of a thermal imaging monocular and a digital rifle scope.

Digital devices have a lower sensitivity than electronic-optical converters, therefore, for their successful use at night hunting, an IR illuminator is important.






For security purposes and patrolling, the most popular solution is the use of stationary digital night vision cameras.

These devices are designed for round-the-clock monitoring, as they are powered from the electricity.

They are equipped with infrared illumination for night operation. Digital surveillance cameras can be equipped with a wide variety of functions and sensors (motion tracking, target lock, automatic notifications, and more).

The resulting image is displayed on an external monitor.

Hand-held and tripod-mounted digital devices are also used for security and patrolling: monoculars, binoculars, and spotting scopes.


Special operations

There are increased requirements for devices that are designed to be used for special operations, which primarily means operating conditions, performance and stability.

The army most often uses expensive night vision devices based on electronic-optical converters and thermal imagers.

Digital surveillance devices are used to protect important objects (stationary cameras), when searching for missing people, catching  criminals, liquidating the consequences of emergencies (monoculars, rifle scopes, binoculars).

Regardless of the tasks, these devices must have a high resistance to external loads and adverse weather conditions.





Tourism and surveillance

Digital day and night vision devices are very popular with tourism and nature observers.

These devices not only allow surveillance at any time of the day, but also have the ability to save photos, videos and audio materials.

The ability to mount on a tripod and transmit the resulting image to the screens of mobile devices allow for long-term observation without discomfort.

For long-term outings into nature, digital devices provide the ability to connect external power sources (some models are equipped with quickly replaceable power supplies or run on standard AA batteries).



Digital observation devices are used in various sporting events and as part of team sports events. Models with a built-in laser rangefinder are especially popular.

The most popular sports areas that use digital observation devices are golf and shooting.

Spotting scopes with the ability to save photo and video materials, as well as to conduct observation in limited lighting conditions, allow to quickly and accurately assess the the accuracy of shots at various shooting competitions.





Popular Manufacturers of Digital Night Vision Devices



Yukon Advanced Optics is an international manufacturer of night vision devices, such as optical sights, night vision monoculars, night vision binoculars, laser rangefinders, night vision riflescopes, spotting scopes and more.

Yukon digital night vision devices are popular in the civilian market, as well as among professionals whose activities are related to night surveillance.

Today’s assortment of the company includes several models of high-quality digital night vision devices, including: Yukon Sightline and Yukon Photon digital sights, Yukon Signal monoculars.

All Yukon devices work on the basis of CMOS matrix and provide users with high-quality images at any time of the day.



ATN Corporation is an American manufacturer of digital night vision devices and thermal imagers.

ATN’s digital surveillance products are designed to deliver high performance and have many built-in digital features.

Some of the most popular ATN products are the ATN X-Sight II HD digital sights and the ATN Binox HD binoculars.

Today they are replaced by the ATN X-Sight 4K advanced digital sights and ATN Binox 4K Binoculars.

Among the features of these devices, it is worth highlighting: video recorder, the ability to connect to a smartphone, large-capacity batteries and the ability to connect external power sources, resistance to shock loads and adverse weather conditions, the ability to analyze the environment.



Pulsar is one of the leading manufacturers of night vision devices based on electronic-optical converters, thermal imagers and digital night vision devices, the development of which is given special attention today.

The company’s assortment includes digital sights of the Digisight Ultra series, Forward and Forward FN attachments, as well as modern digital sights for day and night, such as Pulsar Digex, which outwardly practically do not differ from daytime optical sights.

All PULSAR devices are shock-resistant, work in any weather and provide shooters and hunters with high-quality images at any time of the day.





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