Night vision monoculars – Buying guide & Comparison
If you’re looking for the best night vision monocular under 200 but have no idea where to start, then you should be glad to learn that we’ve done the research so that you don’t have to. We know how hard it is to find such a device that’s so small yet versatile, and this is why we’ve scoured the market to bring you the most highly acclaimed versions. There are lots of nighttime monoculars out there, but we recommend the Astromania Portable SKU_AM_NV as the smart choice. Small and rugged, this monocular has a high-sensitivity sensor and 7 IR light levels to give you clear images even under low-light conditions. This device can also capture still images as well as video and store them on a micro SD card. In the unfortunate event that it is sold out, you might also want to check the Solomark Blue-infrared LYSB00THZ2NFE.
With so many products flooding the market nowadays, it can be quite difficult to find the best budget monocular that doesn’t sacrifice quality. There are several features you might want to look at before buying your first optical instrument for nighttime observations. Here is a short guide that should help you make a better buying decision.
Get a model with IR LED illumination
Especially if you plan on using your monocular in near total darkness, you definitely need some sort of assisting light. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see much, and the sensor will probably not get enough light in case you want to take photos or shoot videos.
Fortunately, many models for sale feature an IR LED lighting system which should do a good job in helping both the optical system and the sensor and provide clear images with plenty of details. Some devices also have a button to adjust the light intensity, with many popular models featuring 7 light levels to give you flexibility.
Balance magnification and performance
While you might want to get high magnification powers, you should try to also think of sensor performance if you plan on using it during the night. This is because when it comes to light, the inverse-square law applies. What this means is that the further away you are from a light source (the object or animal that light bounces off of towards you), the dimmer the light (double the distance and you get 4 times less light).
For photos and videos, you want a considerable amount of light, so you want to stick to a good monocular for the money with a magnification of 3x up to 5x, which should more than suffice most activities, whether it’s night trekking, surveillance or even hunting.
Digital storage considerations
If you want to shoot a lot of images or long videos, you want to have plenty of storage space. Many of monoculars come with 1GB up to 4GB micro SD cards which should suffice for moderate use. Depending on your shooting style, you might want to up that to 16 or even 32GB so you don’t run out of space when you really need to shoot a scene.
Another option is to use a transfer USB cable to transfer digital data live unto an external device. Some monoculars include these cables in the package.
Opt for a tripod for increased stability
You might want to prevent those dreaded blurry shots or incomprehensibly-shaky videos if you shoot during the night, where the available light (even the IR from the monocular) is scarce, and that’s a good enough reason to get a stable platform such as a tripod, or at least a monopod.
That way you get to enjoy clearer and sharper images and videos without becoming frustrated at the lack of quality or difficult operation.
Top night vision monoculars reviews in 2018
Because finding the right night vision monocular can be a time-consuming process, we have decided to give you a helping hand. After careful research and comparisons, we’ve gathered information on some of the best models so we can give you the top budget monocular reviews. Check out some of the most appreciated models on the market and choose the one that suits your preferences and style.
Astromania Portable SKU_AM_NV
The Astromania night vision monocular is an ideal choice for night time hunters, wildlife observers, and other adventurers who enjoy exploring in the dark.
The high-sensitivity sensor will enable you to see details even in low-level light at a distance of up to 328 feet.
While you get good performance from the sensor even without assisting light, you can improve focusing abilities and image quality with the IR LED illuminator which offers 7 light intensity levels. This device has a 3x magnification so you can view close-ups of wildlife or other distant objects with ease.
You can take photos and videos with the Astromania Portable monocular and download them to your computer. This product also comes with a 1GB micro SD card so you can store your images and video, a mini USB cable for transfer, as well as a protective soft case and a neck strap for easier transport.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($128.99)
Solomark Blue-infrared LYSB00THZ2NFE
The Solomark night vision is a high-quality monocular which enables you to see even in low-lit conditions.
This instrument is perfect for nighttime explorations, surveillance, and hunting. All lenses are multi-coated for improved light transmission and clarity while the sensor is great at capturing details even in very dark ambients.
You get 7 levels of assisting IR LED light to improve performance and increase brightness so that you can view objects at distances of up to 328 feet. You can also record your favorite still images and even videos at a push of a button and then store them on the included 4GB micro SD card.
This device is easy to use and can also be mounted on a tripod to improve stability and prevent shaky videos or blurry images in dim environments. You can also use the zoom feature to increase the size of photos by 1.3x up to 2x.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($129.99)
Bushnell Equinox Z 260130-P
The Bushnell Equinox Z is a highly-versatile monocular that’s perfect for both daytime observations and nighttime adventures.
This device offers control over magnification with powers ranging from 1x to 3x. With the 3 x 30mm model, you get to view targets at distances of up to 500 feet, while the 4.5x 40mm and 6x 50mm can enable viewing distance of up to 750 and 1000 feet respectively.
Besides acting as monoculars, the 4.5x and 6x models are also flexible cameras which can take photos or videos and store them either on a micro SD card or transfer it live with the video data cable.
With the multi-coated glass elements, you benefit from brighter and more detailed views and images of your favorite species, while the IR light will help give you better performance during nighttime. You also have the option to mount a tripod or monopod for extra stability and sharper shots.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Optiscope Night Vision
With the Optiscope Night Vision monocular, you get an ideal tool for nighttime observations. This device offers great performance while also selling for a low price. You get a small and compact monocular which can fit inside your pocket, yet provide clear views even in the dark.
The sensor of this monocular can enable you to see in low-light conditions at distances of up to 328 feet.
You can zoom in thanks to the 3x magnification, and you can also capture your favorite nighttime images which can be stored either on a 4GB mini SD card or on a larger-capacity card of your choice of up to 32GB. You can also shoot videos and view them on your favorite TV back at home.
This night vision monocular gives you control through a few intuitive buttons. The IR control offers 7 levels of IR LED light to assist you during the night.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($119.99)
Lixada 5×40 Multi-functional Digital
If you’re looking for a multi-functional device that functions as a night vision monocular, a camera, and a video recorder, then the Lixada 5×40 Multi-functional is just what you’re looking for.
With 5x magnification capabilities, you get to bring wildlife or other objects of interest close to you even when lighting conditions aren’t ideal.
This quality monocular comes with a 40mm lens which will give you a clear field of view up to 656 feet away, which is quite an impressive feat for such a small device. Thanks to the rugged exterior, you don’t have to fear using it in bad weather, as the casing is resilient to damage as well as humidity.
You get to watch your favorite animal species for afar, record videos or take stills with a compact digital monocular which only measures 8.1 inches in length and weighs 12 ounces so that you enjoy quality and portability at the same time.