Bushnell is one of the top optic makers in the market. With products characterized by superior technological features and impressive functionality, it’s no surprise that Bushnell is one of the industry leaders.
Its Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular is one of its best sellers. Bushnell has also introduced the Z2 line which is the new generation of monoculars within the Equinox series.
Known for its high quality and affordable price tag, the digital night vision device has become a consumer favorite. Are you considering purchasing one? Let’s discuss the difference between the two lines.
Equinox Z2 line vs Equinox Z line; what’s new?
The Z2 line features new and upgraded functionalities such as HD recording whereas the Z line has standard resolution. In addition, you now have the ability to upload images to SmartPhones for fast sharing.
We’ll highlight the most impressive features present on both monoculars that you’ll find useful. After which we’ll touch on the not so great aspects in order to give you an unbiased review.
We’ll round up the article with our overall recommendation regarding what we think about the product. Hopefully this will aid in your decision making.
Equinox Z2 Line (New Generation)
Equinox Z2 3x30mm
This night vision monocular allows you to view images that are 500 ft away day or night. This is thanks to the inbuilt infrared illuminator. The same IR illuminator is designed to allow for long viewing.
You can capture high quality images with this device thanks to the impressive 1080p resolution. Once images and videos are captured, you can upload them to your tablets or phones for fast sharing.
If you’re working on a budget, the 3 x 30mm lens is ideal. But though it’s cheaper, durability is questionable. And you’ll have to sacrifice a long viewing distance. However, if you specialize in short distance viewing, then it will suffice.
Equinox Z2 4.5x40mm
This model has a 40mm lens which makes it a relatively powerful lens. And since the lens is thicker, you can enjoy a longer viewing range of 750ft.
Like the 3 x 30mm model reviewed above, it also features an integrated IR illuminator which allows for long viewing.
Equinox Z2 6x50mm
This is the most powerful lens within the range which also makes it the most expensive. But you’ll be getting a high quality powerful lens which features a solid construction.
This model has the longest detection range of 1000ft which makes it the ideal unit for long range viewing. The only thing you’ll have to sacrifice is a wide field of view which isn’t associated with thick lenses.
Equinox Z Night Vision Review (Previous Generation)
Equinox Z 3x30mm
This is a high-performance night vision monocular that offers illumination both day and night. Other features on the device include image capture, video recording and daytime color. With this model, you’ll get up to 500ft detection range with built in illuminator.
This is the ideal unit to pick for close range viewing. Weighing only 15oz, it’s a relatively lightweight model that allows for easy handling. Transportation from one place to the next is hassle free thanks to the portable and compact design.
Equinox Z 4.5x40mm
The 40mm objective lens is a clear indication of how powerful the device is. Thanks to the thick lens, you can enjoy a long detection range of 750ft during the day.
You can easily attach another illuminator on the side rail provided for easy handling. For clarity in viewing, the screen displays color images during the day. At night, the images are displayed in black and white.
At night, you can view images within 100ft thanks to the built-in illuminator. For a closer look at the images, you can make use of the 4.5x magnification functionality. It helps that the images can be zoomed up to three times with this monocular.
Equinox Z 6x50mm
This 50mm lens is the most powerful lens in this series. And to own this unit, you’ll have to part with more because it’s the most expensive.
With this model, you can magnify images up to six times for a closer look. The model weighs 27oz making it the heaviest within the range. But it’s still light enough to allow for easy handling.
You can expect a high quality product if you pick this unit thanks to the solid construction. And it has an impressive long detection range of 1000 yards.
Benefits of Digital Night Vision Over Traditional Night Vision
So why pick a digital night vision device over one with traditional night vision? Firstly the digital night vision devices are much cheaper compared to their traditional counterparts. In addition, they come with the following benefits:
- Produce a much clearer image thanks to the higher resolution
- They won’t be blinded by bright lights
- Longer lifespan
- You can use the night vision devices without the need of using an infra-red source
Where Do the Units Best Excel?
The Equinox Z and Z2 are known for their versatility. They can be used for various applications which include:
- Law enforcement
- Security surveillance
Bushnell Equinox Z Available Optics
The Bushnell monoculars are available in three different models as indicated above;
- 3 x 30mm
- 4.5 x 40mm
- 6 x 50mm
Depending on the one you pick, the lens will vary in thickness which ultimately determines factors such as field of view, detection range, price and quality.
The model with the thicker lens such as the 6 x 50 mm will have a longer detection range. But though it has the most powerful lens, you’ll have to pay more for the unit. By picking this model, you’ll be getting a high quality monocular compared to the 3 x 30mm lens.
What’s in the Box?
Upon receiving these monoculars, you’ll also find the following in the package:
- Protective carrying case
- Wrist wrap
- USB cable
- Lens cleaning cloth
Rugged Construction/ Design
You’ll be impressed by the rugged construction of these monoculars. They’re covered by water-resistant housing making them ideal to use in wet conditions without worrying about damage. The monoculars are rubberized to protect them from accidental drops.
You can enjoy optical clarity thanks to the multicoated glass objectives. And what sets this brand apart from the rest is the devices don’t only record photos and videos, but sound too.
The monoculars’ night vision capabilities are made possible by the integrated infrared-sensitive CMOS sensor and micro LCD screen.
With these units, you can adjust the IR brightness to suit your preferences - and the environment. But make sure, there are no obstructions in your path when viewing images. Trees and other structures present during viewing will cause the illuminator to bounce off the obstruction causing a whiteout.
These devices are powered by four AA batteries which you’ll have to purchase separately. Upon charging, you can expect a 12-hour battery life if the infrared illuminator is off. When it’s on, the unit runs for six hours before the next charge is necessary.
To save your battery, the monocular features auto-off capabilities. It’s designed to switch off after 10 minutes of being idle - unless ‘video out’ is active.
The monoculars have tripod mounting capabilities. This units feature two rail mounts that come with locking screws. The mounts are made of lightweight but durable aluminum which offers a rock-solid attachment to the monocular.
Can you mount it to a rifle?
Yes; the first rail mount is designed to attach to your firearm’s wall for convenient handling and usage. The second one acts by holding your night vision device by its accessory rail. But note that these mounts can’t be purchased separately.
All Bushnell monoculars come with a limited lifetime warranty. These warranties are fully transferrable and cover both accidental damage & defects in workmanship and materials.
What we don’t like
Moving on to the drawbacks, unfortunately these monoculars don’t come with an SD card. The units utilize video out capabilities; captured images and recorded footage are stored in a 32GB micro SD card which you unfortunately have to purchase separately.
In addition the scopes aren’t detachable from the lenses. So viewing images up close isn’t easy.
From the above it’s clear that the Bushnell Equinox Z & Z2 make for ideal night vision devices. They’re perfect for hunting enthusiasts and law enforcement personnel looking for their first monoculars but not willing to spend much on the devices.
If you’re looking for a long lasting unit, this is the night vision monocular to pick. The construction is top-notch as evidenced by the solid feel of the device.
Granted, it’s slightly more expensive than other brands such as the SoloMark Digital Vision monocular. But the impressive viewing distance and build quality of the unit are worth the extra dollars. And since it’s intended for regular outdoor use, you’ll get value for your money.
Which digital night vision monocular will be your new favorite gadget in the field?