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Digital Scopes Comparison

Digital Scope Comparison

We have compared some of the important specs from some of the main models available in New Zealand.

This page is probably best viewed on a Tablet or on a computer – We have added notes to each section

You should be aware of some basics before you consider purchasing a scope. Have a think about what you want and why and how you are going to use it

As you can see from the tables below all these scopes are in the same class but there are some very significant differences.

If you would like to know more or compare what you are thinking – talk to us or even experts from a competitor they should all be able to answer your questions.

Brand / Model

Price

Batteries

Waterproofing

PARD 008

$1399

1 x 18650 Battery

IPX7

Pulsar Digex 450

$2499

Pulsar Internal Battery; Plus for IR Torch

IPx7

Sightmark Wraith 4-35

$1299

4 x AA for Scope; Plus 2 x CR123 for IR Torch

IP55

ATN X Sight 4K

$1599-1699

ATN Internal; Plus Batteries for IR Torch

Weatherproof

Batteries

The best batteries are those with a good capacity, are easy to change.

  • 18650 – hold around 3100-3200ma per battery; can also be used in your torches and are the best choice
  • Internal batteries limit your selection and are often expensive to replace or carry spares as they are limited to 1 design and supplier
  • CR123 while they are small they lack the battery capacity and more are required – Typically 650ma per rechargeable battery

Environmental Ratings (Waterproofing)

IP ratings are shown as a numbers – higher is better protection

  • 5 for Water means: water jets
  • 6 for Water means: Powerful water jets
  • 7 for Water means: Immersion, up to 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) depth

You read more about IP ratings online; BUT scopes are electronic devices and we use them outdoors, its wet, humid, damp etc It would pay to have the best protection from that or you may have issues.

If no rating is given; that means you should ask why – its not a requirement to do a test to sell a product, but it is a requirement to do the tests to show the rating.

Brand / Model

Size

Weight

PARD 008

162 x 54 x 69mm

450 grams

Pulsar Digex 450

388 x 78 x 78

950 grams plus 140 for IR Torch (1090 grams total)

Sightmark Wraith 4-35

266 x 63 x 75 mm

1020 grams plus IR Torch

ATN X Sight 4K

379 x 76 x 76 mm

1010 Grams plus IR Torch (3-14 is 940 grams)

Size

These scopes range from 450grams for the PARD 008 to over 1000grams (1kg) for the others and they are huge. Modern electronics have long been focusing on miniaturization there is no need to carry such a heavy and bulky item.

The physical size of the scopes vary a lot – the image below shows their sizes

Bottom line: Electronics are very small these days and why would you want to carry an extra half a kilo or something twice the size

Brand / Model

IR Type

Photo

PARD 008

Internal

IMG-3448

Pulsar Digex 450

External

digex

Sightmark Wraith 4-35

External

Wairth

ATN X Sight 4K

External

Xsight

External IR Torches

Night vision is not new and its very well-developed these days so flaws like requiring an external IR to even function to an acceptable level that are fundamental!

Anything that requires an external IR is just a bad design – would you buy a car with an externally mounted engine?

External IR Torches should only be used to extend the range beyond a good acceptable level; and NOT be the sole source.

Bottom Line: You are going to need IR light to use the scope so it is really important that it is inbuilt; plus additional torches mean additional weight and batteries

Have a look at the photos above for a idea – We struggled to find a image from ATN image with their IR Torch attached – interesting for a ‘night vision scope’

Brand / Model

Optical Magnification

Pixel Spacing

Digital Zoom

PARD 008

6.5x

2.9um

13x (2 Times)

Pulsar Digex 450

4x

4.2um

16x (4 Times)

Sightmark Wraith 4-35

4x

Unknown

35x (8.75 Times)

ATN X Sight 4K

5x (or 3x)

Unknown

20x (4 Times) / 14x (4.6 Times)

Digital Zoom

When you use digital zoom, it ONLY enlarges the pixels AND reduces the image resolution and the image quality. And the further you zoom the worse it gets

The more steps you use in Digital Zoom the worse the image will be from the base optical level – The size of the sensor reduces this at the beginning if it is more pixels recorded, but once the image is smaller than the sensor there aren’t any extra pixels to make up the image and from then its all down hill for image quality.

For example if the 1920×1080 sensor is on 8 times zoom you are using just 240×135 pixels displayed on your screen at 5×5 pixels for a SINGLE real pixel

Bottom Line – be very wary of claims of huge Zoom ranges as to if they are really usable or not at real shooting distances

Digitals require light to work

Digital Night vision requires light to work – they are nothing like a tube night vision Gen3 etc device. Good sensitivity will work well in full moon or at dusk and dawn; but reality is they are going to require an IR Light to work.

How much light needed is determined by a bunch of factors

  • Pixels – Pixel size affects Resolution. Smaller is best for Resolution. BUT the smaller the pixel the harder it is to make them sensitive to light. which matters when there isn’t much light (remember Digitals basically require light, they are NOTHING like a Gen3 Tube – Pixel size is measured in Microns (u)
  • Lens – bigger lenses let in more light –
  • Type of Sensor – there are various sensors out there and it depends what they are and how they are setup – just because one is HD or 4K Doesn’t mean one is better than the other

Can I just Add extra Light to Any Digital?

No – Sensors must be able to accept the additional IR light; you can’t just add more light and expect them all to work or they will wash out and appear all white

Bottom Line – Digital Scopes should be designed to work with a good amount of light; provide excellent resolution and be able to accept extra light should you want to.

Brand / Model

Display Size

PARD 008

Sony 1024 x 768

Pulsar Digex 450

1024 x 768

Sightmark Wraith 4-35

1280 x 720

ATN X Sight 4K

1280 x 720

Screen Size

Various screen sizes exist; and not all are equal in viewing quality – the screen is the part you look into so its something you should consider

A wide 1280×720 Screen has been reported harder to use on the forums – your eye needs to be right on the optic to see the full width of the screen. This is something you should consider – Bigger numbers aren’t always better, its how it appears to you

This is an image with the 2 sizes of screen and your normal day scope

Service and Reliability

Where are the serviced; what happens if there is an issue?

Look on the internet – the UK is massive user of Digital Night Vision and you will find pretty much every answer you want there. Some brands have had major issues around software and there are several quite reliable independent reviewers who have side by side compared various models who have invested a lot of time in comparing scopes – let us know if you would like a link

Marketing Images

Are you looking at Marketing Images and Video – or do the New Zealand Agents openly show you Made in New Zealand REAL WORLD video/images? If the Agents aren’t out there testing and using the gear – How can they support it?

Bottom Line: There is a reason PARD’s are very popular and recommended in so many places by independent experts

Resolution to Thermal – Why Digitals show far more Resolution

The space between the pixels on a thermal is typically 17um (Microns) or some are 12um; vs a digital with can be less than 3um which is a huge difference, plus your typical thermal is 320 or 640 pixels across, vis 1920 odd of a digital, so there are a lot more pixels per square inch of what you are looking at.

The PARD 008 is just 2.9um – vs a 17um that’s 486% difference – plus since the overall numbers of pixels is vastly different – over 2 Million for the PARD, vs a thermal 320 scope at 76 thousand and a 640 at 307 thousand.