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Night vision equipment for mortals

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Old Thursday 26th December 2019, 19:18   #26
Mike Hunter
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Thanks to Torchepot and Newzzler for replies.

Relatively little interest does suggest these are not for birders yet. Or at least not at the prices for a decent model. Yet.

The ones highlighted are more at the top end. I think what I'd conclude is that the technology is there, but at the moment it remains specialist, therefore expensive. The price will probably only start dropping for us mere mortals in line with demand when the manufacturers can make profits via economies of scale.

I'll keep an eye open for the breakthrough product!

Mike
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Old Friday 27th December 2019, 19:13   #27
jurek
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My impression so far is that the night vision field is still waiting for its Ford T moment. That is a model which would be both affordable and practically useful for an average person.

Please, keep writing, I will read this thread with interest.
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Old Friday 27th December 2019, 23:58   #28
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Winter should be the time of peak utilization for NV gear, the long cold nights show off the IR sensor to best advantage, plus no leaves to interfere.
Maybe a night walk to complement the Christmas Bird Count would help raise the awareness of the technology among birders.
As is, NV is poorly understood and not marketed very effectively, especially given the still high prices. Unless that changes soon, it may be that cell phone sensors with extra high sensitivity will allow effective near NV at a fraction of the cost of current IR based offerings
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Old Monday 30th December 2019, 13:01   #29
Mike Hunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jurek View Post
My impression so far is that the night vision field is still waiting for its Ford T moment.
Great phrase and agree! Until that moment I'll aim to find White-fronted Scops-owl in Thailand the old fashioned way - torch and luck!

Mike
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Old Sunday 12th January 2020, 20:25   #30
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Thermal is the only area we will see improvements, which will come as soon as someone can make high quality mid-infrared optics cheaply (ie not germanium). Then we could have zoom capability and larger lenses cheaper. The pixels aren’t going to get smaller, so the same number but cheaper or larger sensors for a higher resolutuon view, but currently these are extra costly.
Intensifier night vision is as good as it will get and it’ll stay very costly, though in the EU we now have more options that we used to. Camera based night vision is lead by sionyx with their large pixel “black silicon” sensor, which you can buy https://www.nhbs.com/sionyx-sport-ni...ion-monocular? though not with more than unity magnification. It has been shown to work well in urban situations where there are areas of bright and dark, but when you get really dark out in the countryside with no moon or under trees it will just give noise.
The other camera based units need some light to help them, using 940nm LED will minimise the visibility of the light.

For spotting warm creatures I would back thermal, unless you are in a warm country where the environment is the same temperature as the creatures!
I’d hope pulsar to announce new thermal units at the ShotShow in a few weeks, maybe at the higher end though. The axion look good but I understand there is a long shipping wait. Personally I’d avoid the <1000 units at the moment.

Peter
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Old Sunday 12th January 2020, 22:38   #31
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Out of interest, how do these various systems compare to biological systems already in use out there?
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