Whether you wanted to go hunting past 11 pm, or simply observe the hidden mysteries of the night, at some point in your life, you surely wished to have night vision. But since the human visual systems are not as well adjusted to low light situations like those of some other species such as cats, bats, and owls, this is where night vision optics come in and save the night.
Digital night vision optics are becoming more and more popular and slowly replacing analog night vision optics. Digital night optics are also becoming more affordable with each passing year, and that is also the reason for manufacturers of analog night optics lowering their prices – which is especially evident with such devices from Dipol and Jahnke.
There are, unfortunately, fewer manufacturers of night optics, but we were still able to see and test the products of those who remain at Shot Show 2020. However, Shot Show was the last fair this year, as IWA 2020 was canceled, as well as Shot Show 2021 and IWA 2021. The canceled fairs might also be the culprit for fewer product releases in 2020. But among those released, we picked out some favorites.
PARD 007A – Digital Night Vision Attachment
The first generation of this digital night vision attachment was presented last year, in 2019, and now, in 2020, PARD released the second generation which, in addition to 007, gained the letter ‘a’, and is now called PARD 007A. PARD managed to produce a device that is less expensive than those made by the competition but with a decent optical performance still.
Even though newer does not always mean better, the second generation of this attachment, the one introduced in 2020, is in fact improved, and some of the changes include an improved display, formerly LCD, now OLED, which contributes to a better, sharper image and lower battery consumption.
In addition, there is now an LED indicator on the body of the device that was not there before, and you can know whether the device is turned on or off without looking through the lens. It is extremely cheap and has practically no competition in its price range, the only downside is that it is mounted on an eyepiece, so it is not recommended to mount it on rifles of stronger calibers. Why? Because by mounting the adapter on the eyepiece of the riflescope, you significantly reduce the eye relief.
Pulsar F455 – Digital Night Vision Attachment
This digital night vision attachment was released in 2019, but since it is so noteworthy, it deserves to be on our 2020 list as well. It should also be pointed out that in this price range, which is around 1200 €, there is practically no real competition. For his price, Pulsar F455 truly is remarkable. However, 2020 was not forgotten when it comes to this optics, as an update was introduced in May 2020, which now allows devices to record sound.
Other things have been improved, such as the ability to press pause while recording. Even though there is no difference in the design of the housing, every little improvement counts – and updates have become Pulsar’s habit, which also allows them to lead the way for other night vision optics. Overall, what we loved in 2019 and what we continue to love in 2020 is the device with an amazing sensor, a wide field of view, and an astounding image quality.
Pulsar Digex – Digital Night Vision Riflescope
Our last, but definitely not our least 2020 favorite is Pulsar Digex, a digital night vision riflescope. What should be pointed out is that the exterior is extremely sophisticated – it looks like a normal riflescope, except the housing hides high-tech firmware. Also, the installation comes as simple as with ordinary riflescopes with 30mm rings and the sensors, as well as the screen, are of high quality.
Namely, the sensor Pulsar Digex features is the highly-sensitive HD CMOS sensor which provides a high definition image, packed with details. And since 2020 is the year to find yourself and spend time in nature, the device is fully waterproof if you decide to spend your time in the rain. And to capture all your wonderful memories, Pulsar Digex also has the abilities to capture images and record videos.
Our 2021 prediction is for digital night optics to improve even further, and for their prices to become even more competitive. Most innovations can be seen in the field of night riflescopes and riflescopes, and in the field of monoculars, significantly less.
Analog night optics are still excellent in terms of optical quality, but digital night optics have huge advantages, so they are gradually but surely making their way to the front. Bottom line: Humans have amazing sight, but we do not see very well in the dark, that is why night vision optics can be of excellent help, and here we picked out our top three of 2020.