Night vision technology is going digital fast. Look at all the major vendors and they all have a digital product offering. IR (infrared red) digital night vision uses a circuit board camera that is very sensitive to visible and IR light. This alone is why prices are falling and once you go digital IR, you will never go back.
This technology is in an early growth state and is making advances in light sensitivity and power every few months. In our opinion digital devices are equal in quality to Gen2+ at a fraction of the cost. The new starlight cameras are coming and will one day be a standard which is hundreds of times more sensitive to light than typical consumer market IRs.
IR digital night vision camera boards use the infared light band waves that are invisible to human and animal eyes. But IR sensitive night vision camera technology can also utilize visible light band waves as well.
For example, IR night vision scopes can see around a distant area at night taking advantage of an outside light that is on. You can point it at an area with a bright street light with no damage, in fact your view is improved. This is something that you may not think is important until you are out hunting in a situation where you want to look into shadows around lighted area. Can’t do that with a traditional I2 (intensifier tube) night vision device which will either be damaged by bright lights or shut off leaving you with no visibility at all.
The Digital Crosshairs 1000 night vision clip-on has a 4.3 inch rail mounted monitor that makes it easy to scan dark field or wooded areas without any eye blindness that results from peeking through a bright night vision scope eye piece in the dark. Your eye can’t adjust quickly back to night vision after looking into the bright scope’s viewer. This makes it possible to comfortably hunt for hours with virtually no eye strain or night blindness.
Just like phones and automobiles, everything will have a display sooner or later. Why not a rifle scope?
There are a lot of affordable night vision products on the market today that are pretty good. Unlike traditional expensive intensifier tube or thermal night vision products that are expensive to manufacture, digital night vision is a commodity based product. The primary components of digital night vision are not proprietary at all. Digital night vision is based on standard components:
IR camera board
IR camera board lens
Night vision scope manufacturers do not make these components, they purchase them and integrate them into branded products.
Digital night vision scopes can easily see 100 to 150+ yards in the dark. Even the low end is enough for most hog or coyote hunters.
Digital Crosshairs 1000 is a $600 night vision clip-on product that uses 1000 TVL (television lines) resolution board cameras, quality lenses, and a large 4.3″ LCD targeting system instead of the mini display used by traditional industry leaders. Unlike other clip-on systems, Digital Crosshairs clips onto the eye piece of the scope and takes advantage of the optics. The better the scope, the better the results.
Traditional clip-ons mount to the front of the scope and just use the scope’s optics as a magnifier for the micro display on the end of the clip-on. A quality scope in that case really adds no value like it does with Digital Crosshairs 1000.
A lot more hunters will be enjoying the thrill of night vision hunting when they learn about the new affordable digital night vision products on the market today.
These products are a lot less expensive than the traditional intensifier tube technologies and thermal scopes that have been on the market for years.
Our prediction is that digital night vision will be killing thermal and Gen 3 products popularity. Not many hunters can afford $2,000 to $10,000 for a night vision scope to shoot hogs and coyote 70 to 100 yards away. Makes no sense to spend that kind of money. But $600 or less for a night vision scope that lets you sit in a stand and shoot pray 50 to 150 yards away is a real winner.
One down side of getting a night vision scope is that most people hunt with a family member or hunting buddy. Hunting in the dark of night, if you are a family member or friend not looking through the scope, you can’t see anything. Daytime hunting with friends, everyone in the group can see what the hunter is shooting at. Night hunting is different.
Digital Crosshairs 1000 is a night vision rifle scope clip-on that lets friends and family members see in the dark too. It actually has a rail mounted LCD targeting monitor which enables everyone to look over the shooters shoulder in the dark and watch the action. Now that is fun for everyone.
Digital night vision is technically based on the IR CMOS board camera used in the build. If you are researching it ask your vendor what board camera they are using.
They may say a branded name but all CMOS cameras are made in China. Digital Crosshairs 1000 uses 1099 IR CMOS camera boards that are 1000 television lines in resolution. They also use an IR illuminator based on the Oslon Black 850nm IR emitter, the most powerfull in the industry. Technical facts like these you should ask of any vendor.
China does not make great innovative products but they do make quality component, like CMOS board cameras, batteries, and displays used by all U.S.A. manufacturers. Your Ford has an LCD made in China.
When looking at digital night vision think of it as the commodity it is becoming today. IR illuminator, CMOS board camera, mini LCD display resolution or in the case of Digital Crosshairs 1000 a 4.3″ rail mounted LCD display are the future of night vision technology for hunting.
A $4000 dollar night vision product and the $600 dollar Digital Crosshairs product should be judged based on components not brand names.