Night Vision and Thermal Imaging technology started as valuable technology for military purposes. Due to their development, civilians also could access it. The use goes from hunting, navigating, recreation, surveillance, and any other activity that requires operation at night hours. Both enhance and locate the images at night when the human eye cannot detect them.
However, they have important differences. If you are trying to decide what is the best option for you, you can find the key factors in how each technology works. Initially, the main and more visible difference was in the result of a thermal imaging sight and a night vision sight.
But both technologies have been constantly evolving and you can find other factors that deserve your full attention. Moreover, the enormous popularity reached by hunting activities is generating a variety of devices with additional and extraordinary features.
Table of Contents
The most outstanding feature of the night vision optic is the typical glowing green color reflected in the image. To produce this kind of image, the Night Vision technology uses any type of light. It may come from different sources such as the moon, stars, or artificial light. This necessity for supportive light is precisely the most important feature. Although this technology can reproduce images in dark environments, it always requires relying on external light sources.
- How Night Vision works
The process to reproduce images in the dark consists of detecting low amounts of light and then amplifying it. It is possible because tiny particles of light called photons get into the image enhancer. There, the photons touch a first surface with a photocathode that starts releasing electrons. Then it goes to the second surface to multiply the electrons. Finally, the electrons hit the last screen that turns them into the light. They result in brilliant images due to the multiplied presence of electrons.
- Use of infrared lights for Night Vision
Since Night Vision technology always requires a source of light, many devices include infrared light. It allows the use of technology no matter the location. Even during moonless nights and in the absence of other sources of light. Although the human eye cannot detect it, some equipment displays it like a spotlight.
Digital Night Vision
Night Vision technology went digital and it differs from the traditional version by not having an intensifier tube. Instead, it uses an objective lens to capture the light and then process it through a charge coupler. Finally, it is possible to see the light reflected on an LCD screen but in black & white tones.
Advantages of Night Vision
- It is a great alternative for hunters
- Basic night Vision technology doesn´t require displaying extra lights to find an objective
- It can find targets located from a long distance
- Digital devices offer a clear and crisp image
- You can find equipment at affordable prices
Disadvantages of Night Vision
- It requires an additional source of light when there is not an external source
- It doesn’t reach long-distance targets through the fog, foliage, or tall grass.
- Dark shadows and nights require an extra source of light
Thermal optic technology does not process light to display images but the heat of objects and animals. It can detect all the variations of heat and the color of the image will result in different tones of black and grey. Also, the newest versions allow users to select different colors and tones.
- How Thermal Optics work
To create images, Thermal technology uses a digital image of what it detects by using pixels. Hence, the quality of the image will depend on the number of pixels.
Advantages of Thermal Optics
- It doesn´t require external sources of light to produce images
- It can reach objects and create images through the fog, foliage, and tall grass.
- Different color of the images represent different temperatures
Disadvantages of Thermal Optics
- The increase or magnification of the image reduces the number of pixels and consequently the quality of the image.
- More expensive than traditional Night Vision devices.
Night Vision equipment, including Thermal Optics, is very popular among hunters. Commonly, many animals like pigs and coyotes go out at night. That provides an excellent moment to hunt them but they need to be prepared to detect them.
To do so, Night Hunting Optics seem to work well as they are usually attached to the rifle. They come with traditional Night Vision of Thermal Optics. That allows hunters to obtain more freedom of movement and less weight to carry around. Also, they come with a variety of features that display different quality images with a high capacity to zoom up. And, they can detect predators at different distances. Besides, it is possible to attach accessories like tripods, powerful batteries, and more.