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Sionyx OPSIN: Next Generation Of Color Night Vision [Review]

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Photos by Tamara Keel

While some large and power-hungry digital night vision units have seen special use for over a decade, wearable units have been plagued with low resolutions, unacceptable image latency, limited spectrums, and other limitations. 

The recent release of the Sionyx OPSIN changes all of that. Piggybacking on their previous release, the Aurora, Sionyx listened to the feedback and didn’t just merely upgrade their sensors but the entire form factor — a Handycam with a helmet mount it ain’t.

Ruggedized, IP67 waterproof, and shipping with everything you need to attach the nod to your noggin along with an 8-hour battery pack, the daylight-capable Sionyx OPSIN is an off-the-shelf solution for low-light viewing along with a bevy of features. Like the Aurora before it, the OPSIN renders nighttime images in color, kinda. When IR light is added to the traditional palette you get some weird rendering, but even without faithfully rendered colors it adds incredible depth to the image. 

Though certainly not a true hybrid unit, the new BSI CMOS has a wide enough range that we were pleasantly surprised to find it even bleeds into the thermal range. Add in a 1280×1024 resolution and 1920×1080 display, refresh rates of up to 90Hz, latency of under one frame, overlay and GPS capability, along with on-board recording, and there’s an awful lot to love here.

While modern digital NV hasn’t lived up to the promise in the past, the capabilities of the non-ITAR Sionyx OPSIN aren’t a surprise to the camera nerds among us who’ve been following sensor development. We’ll be putting it through the paces, but so far it absolutely lives up to the hype. 


  • Sensor Resolution: 1280×1024
  • FOV: 44 degrees
  • Visible Spectrum: 400 to 1200nm
  • Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • MSRP: $2,599

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