Bushnell Stealthview II 3x32
I have looked everywhere on the internet, and there are absolutely no reviews of it.
I've never used night vision before, and think having some sort of NV would be a cool toy to play with. I've also been hearing someone set off fireworks near my backyard at 3 am on a few Saturday nights this summer, so I'd be curious to see who is doing that.
What I like about this Bushnell NV is that it is supposed to be true color, and not green or B&W like most other NV. I also like how it takes only 4 AA batteries, instead of 6 like that Yukon 5x42 digital NV that's gotten good reviews.
Jodi, a review with some video from the output would be great. looking forward to it.
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lsd - to answer your questions:
- The tripod mount is on the bottom around the middle.
- In total darkness you have to use the IR beam, or else you won't see anything at all. In fact, it automatically turns on the IR beam if it detects low light conditions. You could manually turn it off, but then you wouldn't see anything.
- It is full color, but only in daylight. In dark conditions, it will be black and white.
- It does not come with a video out cable, and the video out jack appears to require a 3.5mm plug. I'd probably have to go on ebay to find a 3.5mm to composite adapter in order to use it.
Here is the full review I posted on amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Digital- ... 003H3E87S/
There are a few different digital night vision monoculars out there, but I chose this Bushnell 3x32 monocular because it's supposed to let you see in color (instead of black & white or green like the other ones) and it uses 4 AA batteries (instead of 6 like the other ones - most chargers only let you charge 4 batteries at a time, so I don't want to have to use my charger twice in order to use the monocular).
I didn't see any reviews on this particular monocular though, so I took a chance and ordered it. My order didn't ship for a while since it was on backorder, but I finally got it a couple weeks ago. I guess this product was just released, due to the fact that there were no reviews and it was on backorder at all retailers until 2 weeks ago.
When I received the Bushnell 3x32 monocular, I noticed a few problems with it:
- The IR indicator LED never turned on.
- The power indicator LED never turned green like the manual mentioned - it was always a light-red color.
- Whenever I turned the monocular off, I could never turn it back on immediately - I always had to wait a few minutes before it would turn back on.
I contacted Bushnell customer support about these problems, and they confirmed that they were all problems, and that I could send it in for a warranty repair, but it would probably be easier and quicker for me to have the retailer exchange it. So that's what I did.
Now I have just received the replacement monocular. It does not have the power issue (having to wait a few minutes before being able to turn it back on) that the first one had. I can turn this one off and turn it back on immediately. But sometimes I have to press the power button a few times before it will turn on/off.
There are still problems with the LED indicators. The IR indicator LED never turns on. The power indicator LED is still light-red, although I can see a faint green color appear/disappear whenever I press the IR button. According to the manual, the power indicator LED should only be light-red when the monocular is in auto-off mode. But it is always light-red (with an occasional faint green color on the right edge if I press the IR button), even when it is not in auto-off mode. Since both of the monoculars I have tried have shown these LED indicator problems, it seems to be some sort of manufacturing problem and not just a one-off problem with an individual unit.
The replacement monocular also exhibited difficulty with closing the battery cover. I had to do some adjusting of the metal plate on the inside of the battery cover to be able to close it. The first monocular did not have that problem.
Another problem with this monocular is that it is called the "StealthView II". But it really isn't all that stealthy, because whenever it is powered on in the dark, there will be a small beam of visible light that comes out of the eyepiece (I'm not talking about the IR beam that goes out the opposite end). If you are out at night holding the monocular right up against your eye, then no one should be able to see the light that comes out of the eyepiece. But once you move the monocular away from your eye, then that beam of visible light might shine on your face or your shirt or the wall behind you, and then other people or animals might see you. Not exactly stealthy.
Now I've used the monocular a couple of times outside at night. The specs say it has a range of 300 feet. I'm not sure it's quite that far - 300 feet would be almost the length of a football field, and I don't think I was able to see that far. I think 200-250 feet might be more accurate. But whatever the range, if you are looking at something at the far end of the range, it will appear fairly dark and a little tough to make out. Also, the field of view is supposed to be 70 ft @ 100 yards. That may be accurate during the day, but it will be less than that at night, since you won't be able to see anything without the IR beam, and the IR beam does not light up the entire LCD - it only lights up a circular area within the LCD, causing the field of view to be smaller. And you also have to constantly adjust the focus if you want to view objects at different distances.
Another thing is that it is supposed to let you see in color. Well, that's only the case during the day when there's enough light. If you use the monocular during the day (one of the advantages of digital night vision - you can use it during the day and it won't get damaged unlike traditional night vision), then everything will appear in color, but if you use it in the dark, then everything will appear black and white.
One of the things I wanted to be able to do with the monocular is to use it inside my house and look out the window at night. Like I said before, you really need to use the IR beam when there isn't much light - in fact, the unit automatically turns on the IR beam when it detects a lack of light. I've tried turning off the IR beam manually in the dark, and you won't see anything at all if you do that. That is a problem if you want to look out your window at night. You need to have the IR beam on, but then the IR beam will reflect off the window and make it very difficult to see outside. I could partially see out the window (and I only saw a few nearby objects), but it really wasn't usable. Then I tried opening the window, and while I didn't have the reflection problem anymore, things did seem a little fuzzy and the viewing range may not have been as good. Maybe that was due to the fact that my window has a screen on it?
The monocular has what should be a cool feature - video out. Along with a tripod mount on the bottom and an AC adapter (included), you can set it up as a surveillance camera. But the video out seems to use a 3.5mm jack, and there was no cable included for that. So I'd have to find a 3.5mm-to-composite adapter in order to try to record video from the monocular.
The monocular comes with a case and a strap for the case. The monocular itself also has an area on which you can attach a strap, but there was no strap included for the monocular itself.
The last thing is that when I have used the monocular for over 10 minutes, the vision in my left eye would become blurry, and take a couple hours to go back to normal! Whenever I use the monocular, I hold it up to my right eye and shut my left eye. So maybe I am shutting my left eye too hard for an extended period of time, and that causes it to get blurry? Whatever the reason, it's a really strange side effect of using the monocular!
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