ATN X-Sight 2 HD Review : Should you buy this Digital Day/Night Riflescope?

Gungoal's Rating

 

ATN X-Sight 2 HD is a unique digital riflescope equipped with night vision, video recording and other whizz features. The video recording feature fits in well with Social Media society where sharing our experiences and achievements are the norm.

Night vision capability at its quoted price is another sought after feature. Certainly the ATN X-Sight can’t perform as well as Gen 3 or thermal optics, but for the money it’ll get your hog hunting going without breaking the bank.

At 600 (price subjected to change), ATN X-Sight 2 HD is certainly not a cheap riflescope. But in its own niche of Digital Day/Night riflescope, the product is deemed as rather mid to low end. If you’re looking for the real deal, check out the $5,500 Armasight Gen III PVS14.

1,400 is not a small sum of money, at least for me. So it’d be wise to dig out further information to decide whether you should get yourself a ATN X-Sight 2 HD.

Quick summary

If you love gadgets or technology in general, you will be happy with this ATN X-Sight 2 HD. Compared to Sightmark Photon XT 4.6, X-Sight 2’s image is better during the day. During night, the Photon XT is slightly better at gathering light. ATN X-Sight 2 has more features, but Photon is easier and faster to operate.

Compared to Firefield NVRS, the X-Sight has better image and can be used both during day and night. Firefield NVRS, however, cannot be used during the day as sunlight would damage the night vision scope. Firefield NVRS also has no additional feature. The only advantage Firefield has is its cheaper price.

ATN or American Technologies Network Corporation was founded in 1995. Its main products are Digital Smart Day/Night Optics and Smart Thermal Imaging Optics. In the past, ATN products were deemed as not high quality and customer service was infamously dismal. With the change of CEO in recent years, however, these issues have faded away and ATN products are now a choice to consider.

There are 2 available X-Sight 2 models to choose from, which are :

PROS and CONS of ATN X-Sight 2 HD

Pros

  • Very affordable night vision optics
  • Recoil activated video recording + Bluetooth and Wifi Streaming
  • Smart rangefinder and ballistic calculator
  • Wider FOV compared to peers
  • Easy to zero with digital zeroing

Cons

  • Consumes batteries very fast
  • Glass not as clear as traditional scope of the same price
  • Need to invest in IR illuminator for its full potential
  • Pixelated on high magnification
  • Slow to boot
  • Heavy and bulky
  • 2 Years warranty

 

ATN X-Sight 2 HD gives you the much needed upgraded from the its Prior Versions

As its name suggests, ATN X-Sight 2 HD is an upgraded version from its original version. With its first generation, ATN X-Sight image rendering and its IR illuminator are much worse.

Similar to your smartphone’s camera, image from digital riflescopes aren’t just determined solely by “glass” but also its color pixel “guessing” or image algorithm. ATN releases X-SIght 2’s firmware updates periodically much like your smartphone apps. You basically download firmware updates into an SD card then plug it into the scope, which it will prompt you whether to update or not.

Best for : Shooters who love new technology or want affordable night vision optics.

Image and Night Vision 4/5
Batteries 3/5
Additional Features 5/5
Weight and Size 3.5/5
Durability 3.7/5
Value 4.8/5

 

The Whole Story of ATN X-Sight 2 HD

Since no optics nor products exists in isolation. And words such as “crisp” and “great” glass don’t really mean much when you have no benchmarks. I’ll be comparing ATN X-Sight 2 HD with other digital and/or night vision scopes. Normally I’d look for similar priced optics, but there are not many similar options around in the market, so bear with me the price difference.

Read on to find out why ATN X-Sight 2 HD, even though impressive, isn’t a perfect scope.

Meet the Benchmarks

ATN X-Sight 2 HD, 3-14×50 costs about $600 (at the time of this writing). And I’ll be comparing it with :

Sightmark Photon XT 4.6×42 Firefield NVRS 3×42

These are 2 affordable night vision options in the market. They should be able give you a realistic feel of how good ATN X-Sight 2 HD really is.

Image and Night Vision Quality

ATN X-Sight 2 and Sightmark Photon XT are digital day/night vision scopes while Firefield NVRS is a Gen I night vision scope. These are not really apples to apples comparison, but all 3 are affordable and popular night vision optics which many people might be weighing their options upon.

To determine ATN X-Sight 2 3-14×50’s performance, I lined it up alongside Sightmark Photon XT 4.5×42 and Firefield NVRS 3×42.

Comparing ATN X-Sight 2 HD with Sightmark Photon XT, during the day the X-Sight 2 is a better optics as you have full-color sight picture, while Sightmark is available only in black and white mode which makes it more difficult to distinguish objects.

During the night, Photon XT is better at gathering light and could see a bit better and further than the X-Sight 2. But in order to shoot beyond 75 yards, you’d need to invest in a new IR illuminator with both scopes.

With a good IR illuminator, both the scopes can reach out to 450 yards on a bright night. Furthermore the X-Sight 2 will have enough light and can provide competitive quality image to the Photon XT.

Field of View from the X-Sight 2 3-14×50 is noticeably bigger than the Photon XT 4.5x, while the Photon XT FOV is slightly bigger than X-Sight 2 5-20x.

ATN X-Sight has the ability to digitally zoom, which will appear grainy but is more flexible than a fixed 4.5x of the Photon XT.

FIrefield NVRS cannot be used during the day as too bright light could damage its Gen I night vision mechanism. Furthermore its night vision range is much shorter and clarity cannot compete with the X-Sight 2.

ATN X-Sight 2 is a Battery Hog

  • ATN X-Sight 2 HD : 4 AA batteries or external power source
  • Sightmark Photon XT : 2 AA batteries or external power source
  • Firefield NVRS : 2 AA batteries

There are 2 options to power the X-Sight 2. One is to use 4 AA batteries and the other is to connect an external battery with its external power port. Separate batteries for IR illuminators are also required.

If you turn off all non-essential features, such as GPS, Bluetooth and Wifi, it can run for about 4-5 hours on AA Lithium batteries and 2 hours with standard alkaline ones.

With external batteries, the X-Sight 2 can run for more than 12 hours, depending on your external battery capacity and supplies. And the lucky news is that a $20-25 would be more than adequate for the job.

Sightmark Photon XT uses 2 AA batteries to power its operations and can run for about the same 4 hours. It can also uses external power source.

Firefield NVRS, being a pure night vision optics, consumes much less batteries. With 2 AA standard batteries, I’ve run it on for about 8 hours and the night vision is still alive and kicking. Specs on paper says it can last for 20 hours with IR illuminator and 50 hours without.

Feature rich : Videos, Recoil activated recording, Bluetooth, Wifi, External battery, Smart holdover and more

One of the main selling point of ATN X-Sight 2 is its ability to capture video on your shots, using recoil as a trigger to record videos. You can set it to record x seconds before and after recoil to get cool vids for friends and families. Plus, still photos can also be taken with the X-Sight 2.

Bluetooth and Wifi Streaming are available to transfer photos and videos quickly without the need of removing its SD card. Note that if you don’t have any internet network, you can store your photos and videos in the SD card.

Similar to smartphones, you can get a time and GPS location stamp on your videos and pictures taken by the scope.

Smart Rangefinder and Holdovers are useful, as the ATN measures your target distance, calculate your bullet drop and shift your reticle accordingly with just a few clicks. I’ve tested the rangefinder and found that it works to 500 yards on a clear day. And the bullet drop compensation was done accurately for my 500 yards shot.

Zeroing is relatively easy as you can adjust it digitally without worrying about its turrets repeatability. Plus, there are multiple reticle patterns and colors to choose from.

One complain is that the X-Sight takes 7-10 seconds to boot and could make you miss your game if you don’t constantly leave your digital optics on, consuming batteries.

Sightmark Photon XT has much less feature than the X-SIght 2. It has 6 reticle options and Easy one shot zero (Same with X-Sight 2). But it can’t record videos on its own nor has any smart rangefinder, ballistic calculator.

The Photon XT is built for simple uses and loads much faster than the X-Sight 2

Firefield NVRS 3×42 biggest feature is its featureless-ness. Since Firefield NVRS isn’t a digital optics, it doesn’t have those fancy stuffs but is very simple and fast to operate.

Technology is heavy

Many of these high tech scopes are considered heavy and bulky. If you’re into lightweight build, then ATN X-Sight 2 HD is not the right scope for you.

ATN X-Sight 2 HD 3-14×50 Sightmark Photon XT 4.6×42 Firefield NVRS 3×42
Length (inches) 11.6 15.7 9
Weight (oz) 34.4 23.6 30.7
Objective lens (mm) 50 42 42

X-Sight 2 Lens Cover Trick

One popular photography trick, which also applies to ATN X-Sight 2 HD, is to replace its daylight hood with a scope flip cover. Then drill a hole on the objective lens cover and put it on for better depth of field. You may need to experiment with different diameter hole size. Mine works best at 3/8″.

Moderate durability, Only 2 years warranty

Personally I have a great run with all 3 optics and experienced no durability issues. That said, these scopes are not SHTF rugged nor battle-proven and should be treated as such. And since the X-Sight 2 and Photon XT are electronic devices, they should not be left exposed in the rain.

Firefield NVRS could also be ruined by too much exposure to sunlight and cannot be used during the day.

ATN offers only 2 years warranty on its ATN X-Sight 2, which is less than its peers.

Photon XT has 3 years warranty while Firefield NVRS gives you 3 years and can be increased to 5 years warranty with registration on its website.
 

Hear What Others have to say about ATN X-Sight 2 HD


 

My Verdict of ATN X-Sight 2 HD

Gungoal's Rating

If you love gadgets or technology in general, you will be happy with this ATN X-Sight 2 HD. Compared to Sightmark Photon XT 4.6, X-Sight 2’s image is better during the day. During night, the Photon XT is slightly better at gathering light. ATN X-Sight 2 has more features, but Photon is easier and faster to operate.

Compared to Firefield NVRS, the X-Sight has better image and can be used both during day and night. Firefield NVRS, however, cannot be used during the day as sunlight would damage the night vision scope. Firefield NVRS also has no additional feature. The only advantage Firefield has is its cheaper price.

Pros Cons
✓ Very affordable night vision optics ✗ Consumes batteries very fast
✓ Recoil activated video recording + Bluetooth and Wifi Streaming ✗ Glass not as clear as traditional scope of the same price
✓ Smart rangefinder and ballistic calculator ✗ Need to invest in IR illuminator for its full potential
✓ Wider FOV compared to peers ✗ Pixelated on high magnification
✓ Easy to zero with digital zeroing ✗ Slow to boot
✗ Heavy and bulky
✗ 2 Years warranty

 

Alternative options

1. Sightmark Photon XT 4.6×42

  • Slightly cheaper
  • Better light gathering
  • Worse during daytime
  • Less features, no videos nor smart holdovers
  • Better battery efficiency
  • 3 Years warranty

 

2. Firefield NVRS 3×42

  • Much cheaper
  • Not digital riflescope
  • Worse image
  • Can’t be used during daytime
  • Better battery efficiency, but can’t use external power source
  • 3-5 Years warranty
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