Sony a7SII: Digital Night Vision vs Analog Night Vision

Digital night vision hasn’t caught up to analog cathode tube yet, but it’s getting very close. T.REX ARMS tested the Sony a7SII with its IR block removed to make it perform better in low light, against the analog Armasight by FLIR PVS14 and the Sony a7SII was actually competitive with the PVS14 when there was a little light present in the environment. The analog PVS14 was only able to outperform the Sony a7SII in extreme low light conditions, but not by much.

The PSV14 also had an advantage since it comes with a 26mm f/1.2 lens attached, while the Sony a7SII only had a Sony 50mm f/1.8 lens. T.REX should have performed this comparison with a f/1.4 Sony lens to better compare the difference between the PSV14 and a7SII. The Sony a7SII performed significantly better with a little light present and it can see in color, which the PVS14 cannot. The Sony a7SII was also set up for auto exposure and might have performed better if setup entirely manually.

It’s interesting how close these technologies are getting and I am sure digital will surpass analog for this nitch application in the near future. It’s entirely possible that the new Sony a7SIII could outperform a PSV14, but we will have to wait and see. Overall this is a very interesting demonstration from a channel that does not focus on photographer or videography/cinematography.

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