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  /  Night Vision   /  Color Night Vision Monocular Review: The Incredible SIONYX OPSIN

Color Night Vision Monocular Review: The Incredible SIONYX OPSIN

SIONYX has just released a helmet-mounted, color night vision monocular, the OPSIN. Powered by a unique Black Silicon Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor.  CMOS semiconductor technology is also used in cell phone cameras. The CMOS sensor is not damaged by bright light like traditional image intensification.  OPSIN provides low-light visibility well beyond human eyesight to observe, detect, identify and even record targets of interest in moonless-starlight environments.

I have been using OPSIN for several months now. Both on the range and on patrol, the biggest advantage of OPSIN is the ability to use it under any light conditions without ear of damaging the delicate and expensive tubes of older night vision. The clear digital display combined with recording and navigation features provide situational awareness and the ability to document training and evidence.

I found that I able to use OPSIN in situations I would never risk intensification tubes. Ranges using white light go from complete darkness to 2000 lumen lights on targets. OPSIN lets me see the shooters in the dark and adjusts when the lights come on. I can see everything I need to see, shooters and targets, hazards and bystanders.

Opsin works best with some light but the addition of an IR illuminator makes observation possible in complete darkness. IR lasers can be used in full day light making zeroing and equipment adjustment easy. The monocular can be used with either eye, with glasses or goggles. The eyepiece provides twenty-five millimeters of eye relief with a rubber eye cup for a comfortable fit. The objective lens and diopter are focusable.

Made of glass-reinforced polycarbonate, OPSIN is durable and lightweight at only 10.6 ounces or 301 grams. OPSIN arrives in a water-resistant custom MOLLE bag with the components necessary to charge up and get running immediately. Set up was easy. I charged he battery with the power supply included. OPSIN’s flexible swing arm attaches to a standard flip-up helmet mount.  This mounting system features a quick-release button and is fully adjustable. A rechargeable battery pack is included and creates a balanced helmet weight distribution for low fatigue. The sealed rechargeable battery extends operation time beyond eight hours with a full charge.

The user can navigate and view current coordinates to maintain geo-awareness with the onboard digital magnetic compass and GPS. OPSIN features a simple three-button interface with quick functions to navigate the internal menu.

This edge-to-edge field of view provides an immersive experience for the user for optimal situational awareness. The user-selectable frame rate, adjustable from 30/60/90 fps, offers imperceptible latency to adapt between moving or stand-and-stare operations.

OPSIN pairs with a companion mobile app allows flexible firmware updates. The companion mobile app will be available through Apple and Android app stores in the coming months. OPSIN will connect to the app via onboard WiFi and Bluetooth, allowing video streaming to the app and over-air firmware updates.

Priced at an MSRP of $2595, OPSIN is not cheap, but it comes with a one year warranty and there are no tubes to burn out. Made tough, OPSIN is drop-tested at two meters, passing beyond MIL standard, with an IP67 rating for safe use in harsh environments. The unit won’t be damaged when exposed to bright light and can function during the day for drills, training, and mission planning.

Notable Features:
• Proprietary SIONYX XQE-1350 Black Silicon CMOS sensor
• Large high-definition AMOLED display (1920×1080)
• <1 millilux moonless-starlight sensitivity
• IP67 rated
• Shock and vibration tested
• 45° field of view
• 8-hour rechargeable battery
• Store up to 256GB of content onboard

For more information about SIONYX products, please visit this LINK


SIONYX is a silicon-based photonics company that develops and manufactures proprietary ultra-low-light CMOS image sensors and high-performance night vision camera systems.

These sensors dramatically enhance the performance of light sensing devices commonly used in commercial, industrial, medical, and defense-related applications. SIONYX has supported the U.S. Government (Defense and Intelligence) with advanced imaging and camera technology, resulting in the first approved digital night vision camera module for the U.S. Army.

SIONYX is headquartered in Beverly, Massachusetts.

About the Author /

Mark Miller is a former Customs Agent and a Green Beret who served in Afghanistan and a number of other live fire locations. A student of firearms and shooting, he is an FFL and a SOT. The guiding philosophy of his life is that terrain and situation dictate tactics and the enemy always gets a vote on any plan.

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