Every once in a while and new and unique product finds its way across my desk and the Aurora Sport Night Vision camera is one of those pieces.
The Aurora Sport is an ultra-compact night vision camera that can be used to view, photo, and record images in low light to near-total darkness.
I have owned a budget GEN II night vision scope that for the past 5 years or so that at the time retailed for about $1000. Like all things tech, there’s been a lot of improvement in the technology while the price has continued to drop. The Aurora is about 1/3 the size of my old unit and has a very impressive feature set.
In the past, budget-friendly night vision was just that, night vision. You had to look through the reticle and the device would amplify the available light and present and greenish, monochrome image. While it worked well at the time, this is a new era.
The Aurora is compact, think the size of a skinny beer can. The case is rugged and substantial. You can immediately tell this is well-built.
The Aurora Sport will act as a night vision scope, night vision camera, and night vision video camera. To take things one huge step further, the camera easily syncs with your mobile phone or tablet and allows you to view the projected images in real-time on the big screen of your device of choice.
For boaters, this presents a bunch of unique options. You can choose to use the unit as a handheld device or you could easily use a variety of standard camera mounts, like a Gorilla Pod. and affix the unit to your tower or top and use a tablet on your dash to navigate tricky marinas or anchorages in the dark. The “streaming” feature opens a world of possibilities.
For guys like me that love to hunt, this little unit will be a staple in my hunting pack. Many times before daylight you can hear animals coming in just out of sight or shuffling around in the dark. You can easily keep the Aurora around your neck and quickly pick it up to investigate the things that go bump (or crunch) in the night.
Now all these features and tech aren’t worth much if the image quality isn’t there. While marketing photos on a website are great, when it comes to tech like this, I like to see first hand just what it can do. In order to test the unit we left the slip at dusk and tried some real-life situations around the harbor.
For the first test, we wanted to see how much it would aid in finding the channel and then identifying anything we might not want to hit. As soon as the light was completely gone, we motored around the mouth of the harbor and began looking around.
You can see in these two images, the difference between the same image of harbor light and break wall. The first image was shot with the Aurora. You can clearly see the water, rocks, and the city in the backdrop. The second photo was taken with an iPhone and represents what we were seeing with our eyeballs. It’s always hard to capture photos at night, but we hope this comparison will give you an idea of the night and day difference. You could easily see any obstacles that would otherwise be dangerous.
To take it one step further, we captured the same image using a screenshot from the SiOnyx app. This really took the image to even another level. It was clear, crisp, and in color.
Here are a few more shots from around the marina. Keep in mind, these were all taken in pitch black conditions with just the normal dock lighting.
As you can see, The Aurora Sport does make a huge difference when navigating these dark and narrow waterways at night.
All in all, we were extremely impressed with the unit overall. A few things that stand out are the size, build quality and mobile phone integration. Overall, the package was sleek, well built, and easy to use. The menus were easy to navigate as was the mobile app. Because of its small size and big features, it will definitely be a must-have in our boat bag or hunting pack from now on.
While it doesn’t have the full MFD integration of a much more expensive unit like FLIR, this little camera packs versatility that no fixed mount camera can match. At a retail price of $599, this modestly priced piece of tech will keep you safe on your next outing.
Check out the SiOnxy website to learn more.