Cheap Night Vision Binoculars

I was recently contacted by someone looking to get some cheap night vision binoculars that they wanted to use mainly for viewing wildlife in their garden:

Question - Binocular AdviceQuestion:

I would appreciate one or two suggestions for night time binoculars (two eye pieces) for use in the garden watching wildlife but would like to be able to see to sufficiently well to collect the slugs and snails!

I doubt £50 ($70) is going to get me anything decent but £500 would be too much. I guess £200-£300 ($250 – $350) is about where I think my spend is at

Answer:

Many thanks for your question, which I will try answer the best I can and to the best of my knowledge:

The problem with Night Vision binoculars in regards to price, is that because they are essentially two NV monoculars stuck together, they tend to cost much more – quite often double.

Until quite recently, I had not actually tested or reviewed a NV binocular that falls within your budget and have always been rather skeptical of low costing NV devices. So in the past, I would have suggested that you would probably need to spend at least £350 ($400) in order to achieve a real working night vision instrument, making sure that you stay well clear of night vision devices like the “As Seen on TV” Atomic Beam Night Hero Binoculars that are nothing more than a con.

Good News

However, times change, especially where electronics are involved and the pice of night vision, especially digital night vision has drastically come down and so I thought it was high time for me to test a cheap night vision binocular and I have to say that whilst not quite at the level of higher costing devices, the overall performance was far and above what I had expected and certainly ideal for viewing wildlife around the garden, on camping trips and much more:

Wildgameplus WG500B Digital Night Vision Binoculars

Wildgameplus WG500B Digital Night Vision BinocularsCosting around $200 / £180 / € 180 these “entry-level” digital night vision binoculars wear really an eye-opener for me in that the night vision performance and image quality was far above what I had expected to find.

The WG500B and many the other similar devices that you can now find records video in 1080p, takes photos and has a large LCD screen for easy viewing, a built-in infrared illuminator for use in complete darkness, a variable magnification of between 3.6x to 10.8x (3x Digital Zoom), and many other features which at this price level is impressive.

For more, details as well as sample photos and videos of what I captured both during the day and at night, I highly suggest you take the time to go over my full review of the Wildgameplus WG500B Night Vision Binoculars.

However, also note that as good as they are, they are not perfect. At this price this is understandable, but in my experience, none of their weaknesses are deal-breakers, and so long as your expectations match your budget, I am sure you will be more than happy with them.

More Options

Note: If you want a better NV performance, a more rugged device, and improved image quality, then I would still suggest spending a little more and most certainly opt for a monocular.

Cheap Night Vision Monoculars

Of the ones that I have used, the
Night Owl Optics NOXM42-AL Night Vision Monocular (pictured right) is one of the cheapest (had a list price of £470 / $330 yet is currently available for less than £220 / $170 – see prices here) and yet performed really well.

For more options, take a look at the links to some other online retailers that I have placed on the right-hand menu of this page.

Digital Night Vision
Luna Optics LN-DM5 Digital Night Vision MonocularAlso worth looking at are digital night vision monoculars, this technology has really progressed and they now work as well or even better than many Gen 1+ or even Gen 2 devices yet cost a whole lot less. Take a look at those from brands like Bushnell and Luna Optics:

For example the Luna Optics LN-DM5 Digital Night Vision Monocular that I recently reviewed really surprised me both in terms of it’s build quality and performance in even the darkest of conditions. Yet at the time of writing will only set you back about £150 / $180 (check current prices here).

If you want to spend a little more, there are some devices like the Night Owl Optics iGen 20/20 and the Luna Optics LN-DM50-HRSD which can also record still images and video of what you are viewing.

Magnification
I would also keep in mind that it may be easier to reach out and collect small creatures like
slugs and snails with a lower-powered NV device. Whilst even the most powerful NV devices have much lower magnifications than binoculars and so should be fine, perhaps you may also consider looking at the 1x or 2x devices out there.

Here again is where digital night vision has an advantage as many of them also come with variable magnification settings. Thus you can use the higher powers to get a better view of the wildlife at the end of your garden and then turn it right down when you need to.

 
 

Further Questions & Related Information:

I hope that I have been of some help and that you get what you need. If you have any further questions, or need some advice or even if you want to tell me what you eventually decided to get and how they work out for you, I would love to hear from you. Please just use the comments section at the bottom of this page which will help me to keep it all in one place.

Have A Question For Me? Need Some NV Advice?

If you are unsure about what Night Vision product to get, or indeed that of any daytime binocular or spotting scope and you cannot find the information here on the BBR, please drop me a line here and I will do my best to get back to you.

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