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The Bestguarder WG-50 monocular gives you (somewhat surprisingly) good quality night vision for live viewing, photos, and even video at a relatively good price. It’s not the biggest name it optics, and from the description at Amazon you can tell that it’s not an American company. Yet Bestguarder manages to produce a nice night vision monocular here.
The last time I checked, they didn’t even have an English website that I could find. They seem to simply sell their products via Amazon, which is fine. There are actually more and more companies using this marketing channel these days, so we might have to just get used to it.
If you just want to see that Amazon page to check the pricing and availability, you can click (or tap) the link just below.
The WG-50 Monocular Is Like a Video Camera
There are many features of this Bestguarder monocular that will first make it look and feel more like a standard video camera than a night vision optical instrument.
It may not dawn on you at first that you can use the WG-50 NV monocular in the daytime as well as in the dark.
It has a Picatinny rail, so you could attach it to any other piece of gear, like a rifle, that is similarly equipped. However, you might want to hold off on doing that, depending on what the gear is because the Bestguarder night vision monocular weighs 1 ½ pounds.
Like a regular video camera, the WG-50’s camera capabilities include both stills and video. You can take still photos in the following pixel resolutions.
- 2592 x 1944
- 1600 x 1200
- 640 x 480
You can shoot video (NTSC and PAL standards both available) at 30 frames per second with sound (using the built-in microphone) at these resolutions.
- 1280 x 720
- 640 x 480
In daylight, you can shoot in color. At night, you shoot in black and white.
You can save images and footage on an SD card, but you have to supply your own. You can also automatically date and time stamp your photos and vids. You can’t replay via USB cable on a smartphone, but you can connect it to a computer for viewing.
Features of the Bestguarder WG-50
The “50” in the model name of the WG-50 mono stands for the 50 millimeter objective lens. That’s quite large, even for a pair of binoculars, but it good to have because that means you’re getting a lot of light passing through the tube. That’s important, especially at night, for getting as clear a picture as possible.
This Bestguarder monocular magnifies your target 6 times real life. You can also zoom in up to 5 times (5x) normal for an even closer view. You twist the objective lens, rather than a dial as on binoculars or most other monoculars, to focus the target image.
The glass is fully multi-coated, but that’s probably it. I couldn’t see any other glass treatments, like dielectric or other coatings being applied. Still, being fully multi-coated is pretty good.
For night viewing, the built-in 850Nm infrared illuminator is rated out to 1150 feet (350 meters). That’s roughly 380 yards. In other words, you can see from one end of the football stadium to the other.
The rubberized unit is IPX4 rated; that is, it can withstand splashes from any direction, but it can’t take high pressures streams and can’t be submerged in water. So try really hard not to drop your WG-50 in a puddle.
You can mount the monocular on a tripod using either the jack on the bottom or the one on the side. For handheld use, there is also the convenience of a removable strap.
The Picatinny rail (see above) is really intended for attaching another, more powerful IR device, so you can pick out your target even more easily in the dark. It is not intended for helmet mounting.
The user interface is a TFT (an advanced form of LCD) screen on which you can see directions in any of seven languages. (I wasn’t able to find out what those languages are. I would assume one is English.)
You can adjust the IR level to any of four different settings and the brightness level to any of three. This is a nice pair of features because you’ll potentially be using this in quite a variety of lighting conditions. Depending on the amount of ambient light available, you’ll adjust these settings up or down accordingly.
Power for the electronics inside normally comes from 4 AA alkaline, NiMH, or Li-ion batteries you provide. You can alternatively attach an external power pack, presumably for longer uses. Bestguarder strongly recommends against using rechargeable batteries, due to their short lifespan.
The WG-50 measures roughly 8.2 inches by 4.1 inches by 2.4 inches. It’s probably a little too big to fit into most pockets, but you should easily be able to tote it in a pouch or backpack.
The unit comes with standard FCC, CE, and RoHS certifications. In other words, it legal and safe to use it pretty much anywhere.
The most unusual facet of owning the Bestguarder WG-50 may be that, the last time I checked, there was no English website for the company. If you need a user manual, you have to email them (per a question and answer dated 2016 that I found) here: email@example.com
Good luck with that.
Conclusions about the Bestguarder WG-50 Monocular
Those who insist on buying only American-made products are missing out on some great pieces of equipment and great deals by passing on those made elsewhere.
This Bestguarder monocular fits into that latter category. If I were in the market for this kind of night vision camera, I would give it a serious second look.
To get your second look, check out the Bestguarder WG-50 at Amazon today.