Half action-cam, half super-sensitive low-light color monocular, the Aurora is a curious result of an overactive wish list.
Do you want to video a midnight hog hunt or do surveillance at night? Do you want a waterproof action camera small enough to squeeze into all the usual small-cam snowboard/skiing/motorsports places? But you’ve also always wanted night vision that has real color capabilities — instead of the harsh green TV you’re used to in NV goggles and scopes? This camera purports to do all that, and at an affordable price for NV (or a not-too-high price for an action cam).
While color night vision has been played with for ages, such as the interesting work Tenebraex did almost fifteen years ago, and historical attempts at digital night vision products have mostly fallen flat (I’m looking at you, Xenonics SuperVision), today’s tech has pretty much caught up with the wish list. Digital camera sensors have gotten to the point to where some DSLRs and mirrorless cameras can pull in ISO numbers of 400,000 or so. Which, if you don’t speak camera-nerd, is basically gathering enough light to see in the dark. With a fat stack of 40 patents, some Ivy-league geeking and tweaking of the sensors, and the will to make night into day, the Sionyx unit will do double that ISO number, sucking in impressive 800,000 ISO ratings.