Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Good budget device - missed a couple of design choices that would have made it even better.
on 27 September 2015
It's not bad - the batteries last an average amount of time, and it's well built.
In "Day mode" - there's an IR filter that flicks over the sensor, and the display turns colour. You can see fairly well in twilight with it like this.
When you click the "IR Light increase" button, the "Day mode" turns off, with an associated "click" as the IR filter flicks away from the sensor.
The picture then turns black and white (IR light passes through the red/green/blue parts of the sensor almost equally well) - and the software turns the output completely black and white, so there's no colour cast visible.
The sensitivity to light in this mode also increases a fair bit.
The night mode has 3 levels of brightness for the Infra-red LED.
BUT! The night mode can't be turned on without having the associated IR LED running - and it's around 850nm (960nm is completely invisible), which means there's some visible red light to be seen out of the IR light lens. You can cover it up and enjoy the enhanced ambient light boosting without giving yourself away, but it's a waste of battery power.
The instructions say "For watching animals at night only" - but I think some deer would be spooked by the light, not just humans!
The eyepiece on my unit is very loose - my nose keeps changing the diopter adjustment I set, so I've bodged a solution by wrapping an elastic band around it, and then the unit.
The resolution of the LCD is around VGA 480x300 ish.... and when you get focussed properly you can read newspaper headlines at around 20 feet.
There's no delay between the light hitting the CMOS sensor at the front, and the picture being displayed. (some systems have noticeable delay!) which is a plus.
I found the buttons to be very hard to press, and can make your fingers hurt if you're constantly adjusting them. But you wont be clicking them accidentally.
The "Brightness" setting isn't brightness at all - it adjusts the gamma setting (and contrast)... the amount of brightness between the darkest part of the image, and the lightest.
In practical use, this means the screen goes from all grey to highly bright areas of no detail, and highly dark areas of no detail. But with a setting somewhere in between you can always get a good contrast image.
What you can't do is actually lower the brightness of light coming out of the LCD panel - and if your eyes are dark adapted, looking through the eyepiece can be blinding! This also adds to the battery drain.
This isn't a bad unit - the image is clear, the IR LED on full brightness can penetrate 70 or more meters, and the rubber case keeps out the weather. The image is sharp in the display, and the focussing ring moves smoothly and is firm, The unit is also small and light.
It uses 3 x AA batteries too. Get them rechargeables in!
The IR LED glows red, and can't be turned off in "night mode", and the LCD brightness can't be decreased - two big battery guzzlers, and quite blinding for dark adjusted eyes. The buttons are hard to press, and the diopter adjuster is very loose.