Pulsar is one of the most rapidly growing companies in the field of NV and thermal optics development. They’ve become extremely popular in the recent years, mostly because their devices offer a great price/performance ratio. In this article, we will talk about the features of their digital NV monoculars – Digiforce. 860RT and X970 are the models currently produced in this series.
First, we are going to point out the most notable differences between the two devices. The most important one is in the integrated illuminator – Digiforce 860RT‘s illuminator emits a beam of light with the wavelength of 810 nm, while the X970 is equipped with an illuminator that emits light with the wavelength of 915 nm. Because of this, the X970 is much more suitable for hunting applications (animals cannot detect this wavelength). The 860 RT is made for classic observing during the night and can also be used for safety means.
With the X970, the user can observe objects that are up to 450 m away, while the 860RT allows us to observe objects up to 250 m away. X970 is more durable – it has a frostproof OLED-display and can operate even in extreme temperatures such as –25℃. It comes with the „Sum Light“ function which allows the user to use the device without the integrated infrared illuminator. This function is especially useful for hunting in the twilight. X970’s sensor has a resolution of 752×582 while the 860RT is equipped with a 640×480 sensor. X970 boasts a notably bigger field of view. The battery will die sooner than on 860RT because of the additional functions that it offers. Since X970 is made for hunting applications, another function is added – a reticle that allows measuring approximate distances to objects (game) with known height (deer – 1.7 m, wild boar – 0.7 m, rabbit – 0.3 m). The retail price for the X970 is 890 € while the 860RT will cost you 390 €.
What do these two have in common? Even the name implies that these are digital night vision devices. In contrast to analog night vision devices, the sensors on the digital ones do not get damaged if we expose them to the daylight. Because of this, they are great for use when it starts to get dusky outside. During daytime, it is advised that a special filter (included) is put on the objective lens. The filter decreases the flow of light to the objective lens, resulting in an image with enhanced contrast. The devices also offer the „display off“ function – the user can turn off the display without interrupting other functions of the device. This is especially useful with the X970 as the users can hide away from the approaching game. The resolution of the display is 640×480 on both devices. Both are IPX4 certified, meaning that they are splashproof (rainproof).
Pulsar Digiforce operates on 4 AA batteries but can also be filled with an external power supply unit. The unit will notably extend the battery life, especially during the colder months. In winter, the unit can be stashed under the clothing where it is kept warm, allowing the user to use the device for longer. With Digiforce, the user can take pictures and film videos; however, X970 requires an external recording unit which has to be bought separately. The unit is connected to the device via the cable. Digiforce 860RT has internal memory, which means that the external recording unit is no longer needed. The pictures and videos are saved on the device’s memory, and the user can transfer them to the computer with a cable or Wi-fi.
860 RT is the first device from the Digiforce series that supports the Stream Vision app. Once the user installs the Stream Vision app on his or her smartphone, the image, seen through the device, can be projected on the smartphone’s display in real time. The app also allows the user to manipulate with some other functions of the device.
It is important that we say a few words about Digiforce 870 VS as well. This device has been discontinued but can still be bought in the stores of several Pulsar distributors. In functionality, the device is very similar to Digiforce X970 – it is equipped with an illuminator, that emits light with the wavelength of 915 nm, which makes it great for hunting applications. However, the resolution of the sensor is not as good as with X970; the field of view is narrower; it only offers one magnification, and is equipped with a housing and a display that are not as temperature-proof (870 VS can only be used up to –15°C). Because of this, the device is much cheaper than X970 (X970 costs 890 €, 870 VS costs 390 €). 870 VS allows the capturing of images and videos as well but also requires an external recording unit.
Pulsar Digiforce X970 is a great choice for those who are looking for an efficient NV monocular with great resolution while 860RT will convince people looking for an affordable NV device that is used for other applications. Both devices are backed with a 3-year warranty. Pulsar offers service even when this period expires.
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