We have compared some of the important specs from some of the main models available in New Zealand and also their real performance and service
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
In the Digital Night Vision there are a huge list of specs and side by side some things can sound like the same as its often the processing or other factors that drive the performance; so with that in mind here are the important factors that you should establish before spending your hard-earned money.
- Buy a PARD
- At least ensure that you look at a PARD - watch our videos at least
- Be informed it's your money - Read on to the long version
If you wonder why we say that - we can back it up - Literally PARD rules the digital night vision market for a good reason - performance and design.
Watch our videos, talk to us - We really do hunt at night and use all types of night vision - We can very much state we are Experts
- Be very aware if the sales person (yes a sales person) is trying to push another brand, ask them if they can get a PARD?
- Have they actually hunted at night with them - where are their videos
- Ask them why this brand is better than a PARD
- What range out of the box can it see WITHOUT an external Torch
- Where are your New Zealand Basic REAL images (Not marketing)
- What batteries does it use
- If it breaks how long before I can get it back (PARD's are serviced in Whangarei)
Looking at something and want advice
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.
Batteries are probably the most important item that will determine the overall lifetime of the device
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
- Avoid designs like this
- Some have both an internal battery and an 18650 battery
- Avoid Designs like this - that's another layer of electronics and what will happen if the internal fails
- CR123 while they are small they lack the battery capacity and more are required – Typically 650ma per rechargeable battery
You can read more about Batteries here
Digitals require light to work
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.
Pards are Typically 400m+ (850nm) see our videos
My longest shot is 660 yards on a Pig - out of the box, no tricks
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
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.
If there is a Laser Rangefinder - does the scope include full ballistics?
Ballistics in a night scope are gold
These scopes range from 450grams for the PARD 008 S 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
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.
Given the sensor size and screen size of most scopes - anything beyond 2x digital zoom is going to degrade the image!
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
Service and Reliability
Where are the serviced; what happens if there is an issue?
Ask the question - Do you want your scope to be away for 3-6 Months? Ask how long?
PARD's are serviced here in Whangarei, yeah Northland, New Zealand :)
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
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 S or DS 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.