Is it night vision? Is it a camera? The Sionyx Aurora is both and then some. It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever seen and with a price point online at $799 it’s pretty tempting. Okay, it doesn’t tempt me I already own one! I won mine at the Outdoor Retailer trade show. When it came in I shipped it straight to my friend Casey Jones. He would crash Pro Staffer Jared Hilton’s hog hunting party to put the Aurora through its paces. Watch the video and you’ll see Casey knows what he’s doing.
The Sionyx Aurora isn’t a replacement for a thermal scope like the $4000 Pulsar XP50. That’s a sweet night scope and Aurora is digital night vision at less than a quarter of the price. So don’t look for a high resolution magnified image.
What the Aurora does is let you see in the dark, take pictures in the dark, and video in the dark. “Yeah, but there are other devices that let you do this,” you say. Right. This one does it color. Yet as much as I love tech, the real icing on the cake for me is the usability of this thing.
I’ve only gotten to do a quick demo, but from a design and user experience perspective the Sionyx Aurora is flat out awesome. Do you hate having to dive through menus to make changes to devices? Me too. I like multiple physical inputs that I can learn to use without looking, without reading a menu.
At this juncture, the Aurora is more camera than weapon sight. This keeps it off the ITAR restrictions. Its controls are more camera like than other night vision products. Want to go from taking still images to video? Just rotate the dial one click. No entering the menu system. Time to play back your footage? Two more clicks. There’s a big record button on top.
Casey’s video demonstrates both the color and monochrome modes of the Aurora. It also demonstrates the manual focus required, no different than a PVS-14 and many thermal scopes. However, Casey’s camera operator didn’t know that when filming for the video. Judging image quality will have to wait for another post.
This won’t be the final word on Sionyx Aurora but I think you’ll find it helpful. This device is getting a lot of attention. I was just at a two day event with first responders of all stripes, helicopters, drones and yes, there were several Aurora devices in the group. Add your comments and questions and we’ll do our best get answers.
Special thanks to Casey at Essayons USA for the Video!