Gen 1 vs Gen 2 Night Vision

Gen 1 vs Gen 2 Night Vision: Which One Is Better?

A night vision device (NVD) is an electronic device that enables images to be produced in low-light or no-light conditions. The military, law enforcement agencies, and hunters often use them. The devices work by collecting ambient light, such as starlight, moonlight, or infrared radiation from a scene and then amplifying it to produce a visible image. This amplified signal is then projected into an eyepiece, viewfinder, or another optical system for viewing.

There are two main types of night vision devices: image intensifiers and thermal imaging. Image intensifiers work by converting photons of light into electrons. These electrons are multiplied and output as an image on a phosphor screen. Thermal imaging devices detect differences in temperature between objects in the scene and create an image based on those differences. Here is a detailed guide that will help you understand Gen 1 vs Gen 2 Night Vision easily:

Gen 1 Night Vision Technology

A night vision scope is a device that amplifies ambient light so that an observer can see in low-light or no-light conditions. The term typically refers to a telescopic sight incorporating an image intensifier tube.

In its simplest form, the image intensifier tube is a photocathode ray tube (CRT) coated with a phosphor on the front and back surfaces. Incident photons strike the front surface, pass through the phosphor and strike the photocathode, releasing electrons. An electric field accelerates these electrons towards the rear surface of the CRT, where they impact metal grids. The impact creates secondary electrons, which are accelerated towards the phosphor screen. Each electron impacting the screen liberates multiple photons of visible light, resulting in a bright image on the screen.

Many factors affect image quality, including lens design, sensor resolution, digital noise reduction, automatic gain control, and brightness/contrast adjustments.

Generation 1 night vision scopes were first developed in World War II for military use. They were large and cumbersome devices that used vacuum tubes to amplify ambient light. Generation 1 scopes could not produce clear images in very low-light conditions and had very limited use.

The first generation of night vision devices was developed in the 1940s and used vacuum tubes to amplify the ambient light signal. These devices were large and heavy, required frequent servicing, and had limited battery life. In 1966, the US Army introduced the first Generation 1 (Gen 1) night vision binoculars called AN/PVS-4 used during the Vietnam War.

Advantages of Gen 1 Night Vision Technology

We all know that Gen 1 Night Vision technology is basic for the first generation. Therefore, it has very basic features that are good for newbies. If you’re a newbie, you should opt for Gen 1 night vision because it is very easy to set up and use. Moreover, gen 1 technology is cheaper, and you can get the best gen 1 night vision scope for up to $1000.

Disadvantages of Gen 1 Night Vision Technology

The main disadvantage of gen 1 night vision technology is its shorter life expectancy. The gen 1 gadgets do not have a longer life expectancy, and you will need to change your gadget. Moreover, they are not good for long-range shootings because their visibility decreases.

Gen 2 Night Vision Technology

A Gen 2 night vision scope is a device that amplifies light levels so that you can see in the dark. It operates by gathering ambient light and then converting it into an electronic signal. This signal is then amplified and projected onto a viewing screen, allowing you to see objects in the dark that would normally be hidden from view.

There are different types of Gen 2 night vision scopes available on the market, so it is important to do your research before purchasing. Some things you may want to consider when choosing a gadget include the magnification power of the scope, the size and weight of the unit, and the type of technology used.

Once you have selected the best Gen 2 night vision scope, there are a few basic steps you need to follow to use it effectively:

  1. Always charge the battery.
  2. Mount the scope securely to your firearm.
  3. Aim at your target and adjust the focus accordingly.
  4. Pull the trigger to discharge the weapon.
  5. Look through the eyepiece and enjoy the view!

Advantages of Gen 2 Night Vision Technology

Gen 2 night vision technology is a little advanced and good for long-range shootings. Moreover, it has some extra features like longer, better life, and some gadgets come with camera recording. If you choose a gen 2-night vision gadget, you will also get a longer life expectancy. These gadgets have a life expectancy of 3000 to 5000 hours.

Disadvantages of Gen 2 Night Vision Technology

If you are a newbie, then gen 2 night vision gadgets might be a little difficult for you to operate because of their features. Moreover, these gadgets are a little expensive, and not everybody can afford them.


Every generation of night vision gadgets has its benefits and drawbacks; it depends on which technology will suit its needs. If you compare Gen 1 vs Gen 2 Night Vision then as a newbie, it is better to opt for a gen 1 gadget, but if you have some experience and are looking for something for longer range shooting, you can choose a gen 2 night vision technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are gen 1 night vision any good?

Yes, gen 1 night vision is good for shorter-range hunting. This technology is best for newbies to practice and learn about night vision technology.

What are the cheapest NVGS?

There are many cheap night vision gadgets available. These gadgets are good for newbies, and they can increase their knowledge about night vision by using them. You can get the best cheap night vision scope for $500-$800.

Which gen night vision is best for newbies?

If you are a newbie and have no knowledge about night vision technology, you should opt for gen 1 technology. The main reason to opt for a gen 1 night vision is that it is cheap easy to set up and use.

How much does night vision cost?

An average night vision technology costs $500-$1000, but if you go for a gadget with better features, it can cost as high as $3000.

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