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InfiRay Talks: Digital Night Vision and Thermal Vision

InfiRay Talks: Digital Night Vision and Thermal Vision


When it comes to night vision, most of us naturally think that these products are professional tools that enable us to have visible imaging in nighttime. But do you know how many types of night vison devices under the category of "night vision"? Actually they are three main types: image intensifier night vision, digital night vision and thermal vision. The image intensifier night vision is largely limited used in military and law enforcement, so the topic we want to focus on is digital night vison and thermal vision which are widely applied in the civil field.

Digital Night Vision                                                                         Thermal Vision

Digital Night Vision& thermal vision

For digital night vision, when the darker light resources enter the high-sensitivity CCD (Charge Coupled Device) or CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) sensor, they will be converted into electrical signals and be transferred and processed through the processor, these digital signals will be re-processed by the integrated software algorithm and sent to the LCD or OLED screen display, finally they will form a visible imaging and reflection of real objects.

Thermal vision is divided into active and passive. To put it simply, active thermal vision use thermal searchlights to illuminate targets and receive reflected thermal radiation to form an image and the passive thermal vision radiates infrared rays based on all objects whose absolute temperature is above zero (-273°C). The basic principle of it is to detect the heat radiation emitted from the targets and the background and form thermal imaging through the integrated processing and algorithm.

Basically, these night vision devices are mainly used for:

  • Wildlife observation and explores
  • Night hunting and paintball game
  • Search and rescue
  • Night fishing and boating

Both digital night vision and thermal vision are able to use for day and night, but in consideration of different working principles there have indeed evident differences between digital night vision and thermal vision. The main differences between digital night vision and thermal vision can be concluded:

1) The effects of digital night vision focus more on "recognition" compared to thermal vision. In other words, the targets seen by the digital night vision is their real appearance that can be distinguished. Thermal vision expresses a heat distribution map of the targets, not the realistic appearance of them.

2) Difference on detection range: the detection range of the digital night vision is limited is greatly affected by the weather and environment. The thermal detection range is longer and has more advantages in dealing with adverse weather conditions such as foggy and raining days.

3) Difference on practicality in wild: the digital night vision can effectively assist the user to observe and walk freely all day, especially in nighttime, because it reflects the real image; the thermal visionemphasizes "search" and is suitable for searching within a certain range target or area.

4) Difference on budget and cost: the general rule on market is: digital night vision devices are cheaper than most of middle and high-range thermal vison devices. The production cost of the NV sensors and objective lenses are lower than thermal sensors (thermal objective lens are mental-made). Beyond that the thermal vision devices have higher requirements on technology, workmanship and materials.

In brief, with technological innovations and developments, both digital night vision and thermal vision are multifunctional devices with applications. Besides clear visible image quality the practical options like internal WIFI, APP connection, PIP function, photo and video, etc. make digital night vision and thermal vision devices ever popular on markets, particularly with the reducing production cost on thermals more and more people will turn into having more options or taking their thermals or NVs in certain environments.

By the way, great news from infiRay Outdoor is comming: first digital NV riflescope will be released soon. As we know, infiRay contribute itself greatly to providing users with excellent thermal outdoor devices and bring technical superiority and ever clear image quality to users, so what would be the first digital NV riflescope of infiRay? Stay tuned and look forward to the release!

Find more details and product information on official website:


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