With more thermal vision devices available every day, it is sometimes difficult to decide which one is the best for one’s demands. Night Pearl is a Czech company with plenty of experience in this field, which is why we were eager to check out two of their Night Pearl SCOPS thermal vision monoculars – 13 and 19 PRO.
Let’s take a look at the outer appearance first. We’ve seen this form factor before as it is one of the most popular and commonly used in the world of thermal vision monoculars. It combines simplicity and ergonomics – the user’s hand fits around it nicely while the rubber surface ensures an excellent grip. The rubber on the ocular ensures that no ambient light disturbs the user during use. On top of that, the animals won’t see the bright light shining into the user’s eye from the screen as the rubber blocks it. Buttons are ergonomically positioned, with finger placement in mind. There are only four, so you won’t have problems remembering each one’s function, making it easy to use them in complete darkness. The dioptre setting is in an interesting location – on the left side, next to the ocular where a right-handed user can easily access it with a thumb. If you are right-handed, you will be able to manipulate with all the device’s functions single-handedly, which is very practical. Neither of these two models has a manual lens adjustment for focusing on a specific distance – this function is limited to models with bigger lenses from this series. Based on the distances that these two (smaller) models cover, having this type of adjustment is unnecessary. On the bottom of the device, there is a thread that allows you to mount SCOPS on a tripod should that be necessary.
SCOPS devices are simple to use. 13 and 19 PRO versions don’t have the photo/video capturing capabilities. Some will look at that as a disadvantage, but not all – many hunters don’t need the recording function. If you still wish to take photos/videos, you can pair one of these two SCOPS devices with an external video recorder (not included in the package). Night Pearl used to have the 19 PRO II version with the recording capability in their offer but they eventually discontinued it as they wanted to keep the price for the basic models as low as possible. At the moment, only SCOPS devices with lens diameter bigger than 25 mm have a recording capability. On SCOPS 13 and 19 PRO, you can switch between 5 colour modes: White Hot, Black Hot, Red Hot, Rainbow, and Bird.
The monocular features a flashlight, which is especially useful when trying to reach an observation point (a raised hide, for example) at night. The LED can only be turned on when the device is turned off.
The device can be set to standby mode – a great add-on if you wish to preserve the battery but don’t want to go through the 4-second switch-on process when you need the device again (keep in mind, though, that even 4 seconds of switch-on time is excellent for such a device).
The battery is integrated and cannot be removed, meaning that you recharge it with the help of a USB-cable and a power adapter. A removable battery would be great to have, as you can quickly replace it with a spare one if it discharges during a hunt. Nevertheless, Night Pearl promises up to 15 hours of battery life on both devices in optimal weather conditions, which is (more than) enough for any type of hunt. On top of that, you can use a Powerbank if you wish to keep on using the device for longer – you can even charge it during use. Keep in mind that the colder the weather, the faster the battery will deplete. For this reason, the ability to charge the monocular with a powerbank while hunting is great. If we compare it with other thermal monoculars with non-removable batteries, battery life is definitely one of the biggest advantages of these two devices.
Differences between the two models
The number in the name refers to the lens diameter in millimetres. The ’13’ and ’19’ models are of the same size, roughly 160 millimetres long, which is compact for this type of monocular. The ’19’ model boasts a bigger field of view (330 m/1000 m) but the ’13’ model isn’t far behind. The ’13’ model operates at 1.2x magnification, but the image can also be set to 2.4x magnification with the help of 2x digital zoom. The ’19’ model features a 2x and 4x digital zoom, with standard magnification set to 1.4x. SCOPS 19 PRO has a better sensor (384×288 px), providing more details than the ‘13’ model with a resolution of 240×180 px. Sensor superiority can be noticed especially when both devices are set to 2x digital zoom. Both models feature an LCOS display with a resolution of 720 x 540 pixels.
With SCOPS ‘13’ you can expect a range of detection up to 750 m for deer-sized animals (in optimal conditions), but to clearly determine which animal it is, it has to be within 180 m of distance (the smaller the animal, to closer you have to be). Keep in mind that the range of detection is influenced by background, humidity and other environmental factors. SCOPS 19 PRO has a somewhat longer range of detection (up to 1100 m for deer-sized animals) and recognition – the animal has to be within 280 m of distance. This, again, depends on the size of the observed animal and the environmental factors.
All SCOPS models feature a VOx sensor.
Other models in the SCOPS series
There are five other available models in this series:
All PRO models have a sensor with a resolution of 384×288. The difference between 35 PRO and PRO II is in display resolution – PRO has a display resolution of 720×540 px while PRO II boasts a display resolution of 1280×960 px. MAX models have an even better sensor resolution – 640×512 px. They are designed for the most demanding users, providing the most detailed images with better detection and recognition.
Let’s point out the strongest points of these two thermal night vision monoculars. We loved the low standard magnification and the devices’ performance at this magnification. The 19 PRO model, reasonably, provided more details because of better sensor resolution and bigger lens diameter, but the ‘13’ model is quite cheaper – the price of around 1080 € makes it one of the most competitive affordable thermal vision monoculars currently on the market (19 PRO, meanwhile, costs around 1700 €). We are huge fans of the long battery life – even though the battery is not removable, you can expect up to 15 hours on a single battery, which is more than enough for every hunting situation. For longer observations, have a Powerbank on you. We assume that SCOPS 13 and 19 PRO will appease the demands of many hunters out there. If you seek recording capability & even better image quality, be sure to check out other SCOPS devices with a lens diameter of 25 mm and greater.
Source and author: Andraž Gradišnik, www.optics-trade.eu