Superior image quality, with a digital device one does not get the image distortion from the photocathode or phosphorescent screen blemishes as occurs with intensifier tubes.
Until now, all night vision devices have used intensifier tubes that take the collected light energy from the objective lens in the form of photons, convert them into electrons, amplifies or multiplies them and then sends them onto a phosphor screen that changes them back into visible light.
Digital Night Vision
SASNV-RS-26 Night Vision Viewer uses a form of digital night vision to amplify the available collected light and display it on a screen which you look at through the eyepiece as you would on any standard night vision monocular.
Standard night vision uses rather fragile vacuum tubes and are at risk of damage from bright light exposure. This is not the case with Digital NV devices, indeed many of them can actually be used during the day.
SASNV-RS-26 Night Vision Viewer is essentially a monocular, but it's styling is quite different to most standard NV units.. To help with this, under the device and on the battery compartment cover is a large thumb indent that does a good job of encouraging you to hold it correctly with one hand at this point, taking most of the weight. From here you can reach all the buttons including the three-way switch without really having to change grip. Your other hand holds onto the barrel of the objective lens at the front of the unit to adjust focus and steady the device.
The whilst the shape is very different, it really works as you can easily change all the settings and adjust the focus without having to take your eyes away from the eyepiece. It is also easy to use when wearing thick gloves.
As with many monoculars, the eyecup can be rotated to adjust the diopter setting and so focuses it for your personal eye-sight onto the display screen.
Infrared Emitter (IR)
Located right next to the objective lens is what looks like a second smaller lens, this is the infrared illuminator where a very bright infra-red light that is invisible to the human eye is emitted. The emitter casts the light out at an angle of 12° from the device, which is the same as the viewing angle. So when the IR is switched on, the whole image lights up and not just a small spot in the center of the field of view, often seen on other NV products. This infra-red light is not a laser, it is created using a very small light emitting diode (LED), which are known for their long life and despite their size are able to deliver light at very high power but use a relatively low amount power to produce it.
The IR is designed to be used when there is not enough external light for the SASNV-RS-26 to work adequately. So the IR helps by sending out its own light for the night vision device to then use to "see" what, to our eyes, is in complete darkness.