Digital Night Vision-The New Way To See In The Dark

Digital night vision is the latest and greatest in night vision evolution. Recent improvements in CCD and CMOS sensor technology have resulted in much better near infrared light capture. The displays, near infrared illuminators and image interpreting software that feed the displays have also been improved and optimized for night vision.

Stationary Digital Night/day Devices

For business and home surveillance, stationary digital cameras using near infrared illumination have become common. The right cameras in the right place will capture a fairly complete picture of your surroundings, day or night.

The cameras can be combined with a multi-channel recorder for a permanent record. This is something that could be very useful after the fact.

The big sellers generally offer four to eight channels. These surveillance systems are easy to set up and include everything needed. The DVR will include a high capacity hard disk that works with a video compression system to provide an easy months worth of recording. Remote viewing by way of the internet and a PC is fairly standard.

Of course, the more cameras the better as the range on these devices can be limited to 15 ft or less in night mode. The addition of IR illumination done correctly can significantly increase the range and image quality. Still, the more cameras you have the more coverage. 

Defender SN502-4CH-002Installation can be a bit tricky but for the most part not that difficult. Camera placement for best coverage and image quality can be done by trial and error. Before running any cabling, mount them temporally and check the system out.

The average handy person can route cabling from the exterior through soffets, attic spaces, drop ceilings and walls without too much trouble. If you do it yourself, pay attention to the length of cable supplied. These surveillance devices come with a limited surveillance area that is defined by the length of the cable in the box. The length of cable required isn't just the up a wall and a few feet through an open space. There are bends and turns in between. Some careful measurement, a little planning and a good diagram can be very helpful. 

These systems are readily available on line and the prices have dropped like a rock in the past few years.

Digital Night Vision in The Field

Digital night vision is not up to the performance of the newest Gen 3 or the best Gen 2 devices but they are giving the standard Gen 2 devices some competition and at a fractionYukon Ranger 5x42 of the cost.

There are now digital night vision monoculars on the market with light gathering and image quality comparable to Gen 2 at Gen 1 night vision prices. Two of the best examples are the Yukon Digital Night Vision Ranger 5x42 and the Bushnell 5x42 Stealth View Night Vision Digital Monocular.. 

The medium to long range performance of these digital monoculars is impressive..

Some big advantages of digital night vision devices:

Day and night use: Image intensifiers are useless in bright light and especially daylight.   The image intensifiers in most of the night vision available to the general public are destroyed or at least badly damaged by bright light. Digital night vision devices work as well as any camcorder in the daylight and produce clear bright images in near dark conditions. Digital night vision devices handle the transitions between night and day without image interruptions or equipment damage.

Instead of the round green image of the image intensifier tube you are presented with a clear black and white image on a rectangular screen. With some models you even have a choice of display colors and even color vision. The images are as clear on the edge of the image as they are at the center.

Both of the digital night vision devices mentioned above allow direct video output for digital recording or viewing on an auxiliary monitor. Image intensifiers require camera adapters.

Digital night vision technology is the night vision of the future. Just like the old cathode ray tube televisions, the image tubes used in night vision devices may all be replaced by CCD and CMOS sensors in time.


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night vision generation
   gen 1 night vision
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   gen 3 night vision

digital night vision

ir illuminator

ATN Night Vision
Yukon Optics
Bushnell Night Vision
Night Owl Night Vision