The only two options NV available to pick are 1. Sightmark Photon 6.5x50s digital Nv 2. ATN-X sight 5-18 smart NV Well, I need a good suggestions between them. I will be hunting hogs and deers especially at night. The target hunt is usually 70-100 yards. So I need NV which capabilities to about 100 yards clear shots.
I have a photon xt in the 4.6, with an external IR basically a t20 or t38. cannot attest to the ATN. So it doesnt have quit the zoom as the 6.5, but will give you an idea.
Heres a video I posted a couple months ago of it. When the hog is under the feeder he is roughly 80 yards away. I shot him closer to 60-65. but you get the idea of clarity. and the picture is much clearer. Video degraded on youtube, I am sure I did something wrong.
I"ve tried and returned 3 different X-sights mostly because of the auto dimming at night. YMMV but I chose the Photon over the x-sight for night time, but in reality the photon is now on a backup gun and I'm running a Pulsar N850LR on my main nighttime shooter.
Basically, you can get an X-Sight and likely have a better image and a lot of problems or you can get a Photon and have an image that isn't quite as good, but the scope will just plain work as advertised. The X-Sight has never worked as advertised. However, if you like to tinker and troubleshoot, the X-Sight is for you.
Loc: Flatlands of NY
I've owned both(and a Pulsar N550) and still own a 5x x sight. I wanted to record my hunts and the x sight fits my needs. I got tired of fumbling around with the wires and mini DVR with the other scopes. Push one button on the x sight without taking my eye off my target and it's recording. Since the 296 firmware version came out, my X sight has worked without issues and is also working with the 343 firmware too. Haven't shot anything with the 343 version, but it's sighted in at 100 yards on my DTA 260 and ready to go. The 3x x sight has and is having some issues, so I can't comment on its reliability.
I have had both the 5x and the 3x ATN xsights, to many issues with both and to much time checking zero after all the updates trying to get it working the way it should have at its release date. Went with a Photon with the UNV 20IR and couldn't be happier with its simplicity and battery life. I still have a hunting partner with an xsight and at 125 yards, both with an add on IR, the Photon wins hands down IMHO.
I have no real experience with the x sight. I own two photon scope. They are simple and with a t-20 ir they will easily make pigs dead at 150 yards. You have to have the right expectations. They are not $4000 thermal scope or $3000 gen 3 scope. For $500 you will go out and kill pigs. No nonsense.
There's much to be said for simplicity and that's why I opted for the Photon....not to mention the fact that I think you pay something for all the bells and whistles, hat come with the X-Sight, meaning lower quality in the features that matter. Could be wrong, but that's how I ultimately made my decision.