Beyond Scopes: The Benefits of Digital Binos

Thinking of trying thermal or night-vision but concerned about getting a lot of use out of a single product? Binoculars might be your answer.

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Beyond Scopes: The Benefits of Digital Binos

When it comes to thermal and night-vision optics, riflescopes get a lot of the glory. It makes sense — they’re a vital piece of equipment for night hunting, and today’s models have some spectacular features that make digital scopes more useful than ever.

But scopes aren’t the only game in town. In fact, they’re a very specific, specialized product when you think about it. Riflescopes do ONE thing really, really well — sit atop a firearm and provide a way to aim at the target. It’s what they’re for, and nothing else will really suffice for that use. But outdoorsmen and women have all sorts of other optical needs that riflescopes just aren’t suited for. From hiking to scouting to hunting, loads of outdoor adventure seekers share a common gear need: binoculars. They might not get the attention and glory that scopes do, but binos serve a much broader purpose and hit a much bigger market. We all need a pair (or two).

ATN's Binox 4K is as useful during the day as it is after dark.
ATN's Binox 4K is as useful during the day as it is after dark.

When it comes to nighttime digital optics, and specifically binoculars, ATN has filled the market need nicely, offering both thermal and day/night models to suit any outdoorsman or woman who wants to “see” at night. The best part? They’re not as expensive as you’re probably expecting.

If night-vision is your preference, the ATN Binox 4K 4-16X is a “smart” ultra HD day/night-vision binocular with a laser rangefinder built in. Today’s night vision has come a long way from those eerie green-glowing images you’ve seen in military movies. These days, the image you’ll see out of ATN’s Binox 4K is in crisp black and white, thanks to the ATN Obsidian Core and cutting-edge 4K Ultra HD sensor. During the day, that same technology offers clear, crisp, color images.

This model weighs 2.5 pounds and offers 15+ hours of runtime on a single charge. A two-year warranty is included, and MSRP is just $899. That’s a competitive price for the mid-range of standard binos that don’t include night vision or smart features!

The BinoX 4T series, on the other hand, uses thermal technology rather than night-vision. Because thermal reads heat signatures, it can be used day or night without the image being disrupted by fog, rain or even brush, which is one of the advantages it has over night-vision imaging. The BinoX 4T comes with your choice of two Gen 4 sensors (384x288 or 640x480) and three lenses (a 1.25-5X, a 2-8X and a 4.5-18X). Swap between black-and-white and color modes as you prefer, and take advantage of the infrared illuminator and 1,000-yard laser rangefinder. With an impressive 16+ hours of run time, you can hunt all day or all night without a recharge, and forget about single-use batteries. The BinoX 4T line uses an internal lithium ion battery that recharges via a USB. These binos weigh 2.5 pounds and have a three-year warranty.

The BinoX 4T line offers thermal tech to any outdoor adventure seekers who use binoculars.
The BinoX 4T line offers thermal tech to any outdoor adventure seekers who use binoculars.

Thermal allows you to “see” more in the dark because it can read heat through brush and fog, which night vision cannot do, and these thermal models are more expensive than the night-vision Binox 4K. MSRP on the BinoX 4T starts at $2,699 — a bargain for thermal binos with this extensive list of features and a quality processor.

What makes all of these models “smart?” For starters, ATN’s BIX (Ballistic Information Exchange) technology lets the binoculars “talk to” other ATN gear, including BIX-enabled riflescopes. Properly set up and utilized, this tech eliminates holdover by adjusting your optics according to the distance measured by the built-in laser rangefinder. No app needed!

On top of that, all of these binoculars are capable of video recording in full HD, and if you like, you can live stream and record to a micro SD card at the same time. The day/night-vision model even offers 120 fps slow-motion video — the only digital binocular on the market to do so.

All models come with comfortable eye relief and interpupillary adjustment capability, so you can get just the right fit. If you’ve been interested in getting into the thermal or night-vision market, a pair of binoculars might be the perfect way to get started. They’re a universal product used for all sorts of outdoor activities, they’re considerably more versatile than a riflescope, and they’ll feel more familiar in your hand than a monocular. Give a pair of ATN’s binoculars a shot — maybe for Christmas this year? — and start enjoying the benefits thermal and night-vision have to offer.


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