There is a wide range of night vision devices , however it is not always easy to find information about the technical characteristics that must be taken into account when we decide to buy one . A few months ago we shared an article about the most common uses of these devices , and today we discuss some of the aspects that must be evaluated when choosing a viewer. Do you dare with night vision?
Hunting and fishing, forest security, for guards and security guards, in military operations … These are some of the most common functions for which night vision devices are used, either conventional or thermal vision .
There are several modalities, from classic binoculars to viewers, glasses or monoculars . In all cases we must take into account their characteristics to choose the one that best suits the needs and specific uses we are going to give, how far we will use it and how much light.
From there we must focus on another type of more technical features: capture of light, generation to which it belongs, capacity for increase and reach, field of vision … To make the best choice, we provide this list with the most important points that you have to weigh to choose the night viewer that suits us best:
- Photosensitivity (μA / lm): the higher it is, the better. It is the ability of the equipment to convert photons into electrons.
- Scope: this value will depend on the gain of the system, its resolution, the increases and the ambient light that there is. The range determines the power of the device and how many meters it will allow to see.
- Field of vision: refers to the range in meters of vision at range. It will have to be greater the further away the target is.
- Resolution: is the quality with which the image can be displayed. The higher the resolution, the greater the sharpness and the greater degree of detail can be appreciated. With a high resolution, people or animals can be identified at a long distance.
- Ergonomics: we will also have to assess the size and weight of the device, as well as its ease of use. If it is going to be used for a long time to follow, it is preferable to opt for glasses or binoculars.
- Distortion: the degree of ‘deformation’ suffered by the image during its reproduction. The Gen 2 and Gen 3 viewers produce an image without distortion.
- Resistance: it is essential to take into account its resistance to environmental factors, especially when you want to use it in places with bad weather or harsh weather conditions (rains, extreme temperatures, etc).
- Battery: it is essential to take into account the power supply of the device, whether they are rechargeable batteries or use conventional batteries. It is not advisable to run out of battery at the least opportune moment.
What does each generation of night vision consist of?
Basically, there are 4 generations depending on the characteristics of the intensifier tube , the key element of any night vision device.
So, Gen 0 and Gen 1 are based on the creation of an electrostatic field and without acceleration of photons to intensify, distorting the image by the edges. Gen 0 always needs IR, but Gene 1 is already capable of amplifying residual light, improving performance and partially correcting the distortion.
On the other hand, the Gen 2 and Gen 3 tubes are much smaller and consume less energy. Those of Gen 2 have automatic gain control, glare protection and equal resolution throughout the image. On the other hand, Gen 3 triples its sensitivity, even though it does not mean big differences.
In general terms these are the most important aspects that must be taken into account when choosing a night vision device. In any case, and especially for beginners, it never hurts to consult with professionals .