You get what you pay for – it is known.
So, how cheap can you really buy night vision?
The BestSight Night Vision Hunting Camera Scope is less scope and more camera with a TV.
It’s interesting and is certainly a curiosity, but does it work?
For the price, you mightn’t be expecting much, but then again, for the price, you’ll be pleased to find that it actually works.
What We Like: Night vision camera scope
What We Don’t Like: Poor user manual
Best Uses: Night Shooting, Day Shooting, Varmint Control, Digital, NV Camera, Close-Range Detection
- Sensor: N/A
- Magnification: N/A
- FOV: Unknown
- Display Resolution: Unknown
- Eye Relief: N/A
- Color Modes: Day & Night
- Battery: 3x 18650
- Dimensions: 5” display/2 lbs (approx.)
Our Verdict: The concept behind the Best Sight Hunting Camera Scope is brilliant but execution of it is okay. For the price, this is type of night vision you can afford, and is good for limited use like pest control and low-cal varmint hunting. If that’s the goal for the night with airsoft or rimfire rifles, you’re all set for a fun night of rat chasing.
Who is the BestSight Night Vision Hunting Camera Best Suited to?
Ranch pest control, varmint hunting, light cal rifles, beginners, and cost-conscious buyers. It’s not a high-end night vision scope nor is it really a night vision scope at all. It’s a camera with a mini TV screen that allows you limited visibility in the dark.
It can be used for day shooting, allows for binocular vision shooting, and it’s super cheap. For under $200 bucks, the Best Sight Camera Scope is worth buying just to check it out. If you’re mounting it a to a pest rifle with a long enough day scope, you won’t be disappointed.
How Does the BestSight Night Vision Hunting Camera Perform?
The Best Sight Night Vision Hunting Camera Scope is a curiosity. For the price, you get what you pay for, and if it weren’t for a design like this, you wouldn’t be able to afford night vision.
The Best Sight Camera Scope has an interesting design as it’s essentially multiple components of digital night vision split up into individual components. Think of it as a mini TV screen, camera through the eyepiece, and a flashlight that you don’t have to hold – it is what it is.
Surprisingly, it works but obviously not without limitations. It does provide acceptable night vision, but you will be limited in detection range to around 60 yards. A better illuminator can stretch that just past 100 yards. But for most rat, rabbit, and pest hunting, it’s well within performance range for productive pest control of the ranch. If you want to hunt foxes, hogs, and coyotes, you may as well check out better recoil-rated varmint night vision scopes.
Features & Benefits
Night Vision Camera Scope
This isn’t what we would call a night vision rifle scope, but when you can’t afford anything better, what are you to do? This is where such a product may prove to be an alternative but only as a temporary unit.
The entire “optic” is essentially made up of three parts – display screen, camera, and an IR illuminator.
The IR is mounted on the tube between the objective bell and turret system on your daytime scope. The display screen is mounted on the tube between the turret system and the eyepiece. The camera sleeve is mounted directly to the eyepiece.
The display screen has three-button operation on the rear side and is very simple to use. The camera sleeve has a Day/Night switch that allows you to move between color mode for day shooting and night vision mode for night shooting.
Use with Day Optic
The concept behind the NV camera is the same as a clip-on – to turn your day optic into a digital NV optic. You maintain your zero, your crosshairs, and all your day scope’s familiar functions.
Once assembled, you must align the camera with the reticle, so you can rotate the camera sleeve in place until the crosshairs are centered. To focus the reticle, the hole in the sleeve allows access to a focus wheel so that you can bring those crosshairs into sharp focus. Once that is done, go ahead and focus the target and target scene with your usual method of focus, be it an adjustable objective or side focus parallax turret.
You won’t have room to put your eye to the eyepiece because the camera sleeve sits there instead. You’ll be doing all your shooting with two eyes open and you’ll be glad to have the wide 5” display.
Use for Low-Caliber Rifles
With a lot of fragile-looking parts, it’s not rated for high-caliber cartridges. The manufacturer doesn’t state that, but experience tells us that this is really only good for air and rimfire rifles like 17 HMR, 22LR, 22 Mag, and other similar cartridges.
With proper assembly and mounting, you could try your hand at setting it up with an AR platform such as 223 (556). Some of the lowest recoil resistance night vision scopes can only handle up to 8 ft.lb of free recoil energy cartridges. That may be the max limit of the Best Sight Camera but staying within half that range would be better for the mounting assembly.
With too much recoil, the display may cause issues such as blanking, whiteout, loose display, or accidental dismounting of the display. The major concern is dislodgement of the batteries from their connections.
A major concern with such a night vision system is mounting. You have plenty of components in this design that is far different to an all-in-one night vision scope. Instead of mounting just one scope with all the components built into the optic, this requires three different parts to be mounted separately. This equates to more parts that must fit the day scope.
Fortunately, Best Sight includes all the hardware needed to mount the night vision camera system. They include both 30 mm and 1” rings for fitting the display to the day scope tube, dual-ring compression clamp mount for the IR flashlight, and camo tape for wrapping around the ocular for protection and better camera sleeve gripping.
The camera sleeve fits oculars that have a maximum diameter of 45.72mm (1.8”). If it’s wider than this, the camera sleeve will not fit. While it can be adjusted for smaller apertures, it cannot be adjusted for larger ones.
As you can understand for the low price, this isn’t your long-range night vision scope. During day shooting, you can shoot out to 100 yards and achieve better than expected imaging quality – it’s daytime.
But for night shooting, you’ll need to rely heavily on IR use. The included IR is underpowered, and some buyers state it’s not good enough past 40 yards. For those that have been able to get out to 100 yards with the included IR report very pixelated imaging but visibility, nonetheless.
A better IR will extend the range and playing with the brightness and contrast settings can help to provide improved imaging quality. It’s not perfect, but the camera scope does provide the primary benefit you’re after – vision in the dark.
Poor User Manual
If you can call it a user manual at all. The included paper is more of an assembly instruction sheet that many find hard to understand. Many say the diagrams and instructions are lacking and there is very little, useful information.
Fortunately, there are videos online that provide detailed instructions on assembly and use. Be prepared to do your own research if you want to make the most of the BestSight Camera Scope.
The Best Sight Night Vision Hunting Camera does not come with batteries, but the battery compartments for the display and IR are fitted to take 18650 Li-ion rechargeable batteries. The “flat” 18650 batteries will be too short.
Battery life depends on camera settings, battery brand and quality, and battery charge level. With fully charged batteries, you can likely achieve up to two hours of operation from one set.
There is no built-in recording function and no micro SD slot. It does not record video or take photographs.
No. The Best Sight Night Vision Camera is not weatherproof. In inclement weather, keep the display and camera sleeve dry.
No. The Best Sight Camera Scope is designed to be used with a daytime rifle scope. It mounts to the scope to provide both digital day and night modes. You must also use the display screen to use the setup.
There are mixed experiences with BestSight customer service. Very few have been able to acquire a response and resolve their issues directly with the brand. Unfortunately, most cannot say the same.
The BestSight Night Vision Hunting Camera Scope has some good potential. It’s obviously not for full-on hog hunting and even quality surveillance use, but it can be put to good use for recreational plinking and some varmint control.
While it is a cheap buy, an IR illuminator would be a wise upgrade and you will need to purchase the right, specialized batteries which equates to an increase in price. Fortunately, you’re still staying around the $200 mark in the end.
Is it worth it? It depends on what you intend to do with it. For serious applications, consider increasing the budget closer to $500 for night vision.
For rat chasing, rabbit hunting, possum stalking, and other types of varmint hunting fun, the camera scope may be the right kind of cheap alternative for you.
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Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast who is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on hunting, optics, and the outdoors.