After destroying a Bresser NV monocular trying to get it repackaged into a short eye relief scope mounted NV unit (NB: ribbon cables do not appreciate constant bending and refitting!)
I have recently been playing around with NV capabilities of standard video cameras with an IR light source.
cue the purchase of a 850nm Ultrafire IR torch with slide zoom
You would be surprised what you can see in total darkness with an IR source on some DV cameras.
I have a old leica lensed Panasonic 3CCD DV camera which produces a great picture, unfortunately at the size of a housebrick it is not ideal for a scope mounted NV
The ultimate would be a phone width camera but unfortunately all the ones I have tried including the I5 are not high spec enough chips to register the IR source
I then tested the GoPro I purchased recently
With the LCD backpack add on the unit is 4cm thick, I already tested it for use behind a scope and it comes out to 9-10cm to get a good through the scope image on narrow FOV
the extra benefit is the image is quite small so you can actually go quite close to the screen to further reduce the feeling of additional eye relief.
This is the view through a 6x42 scope shown on the LCD backback:
have my eye on a x2 lens to further improve the usefulness!
This clip below was shot in a cupboard in total darkness with the GoPro on narrow FOV and HD settings
The images are shot with a variety of mid zoom to full flood on the IR torch
None of the objects are reflective so I can only imagine what a pair of eyes might look like!
Next steps are to fabricate a mount for the camera (the Andrex roll I used for the scope test won't last I suspect) and a mount for the torch and do some night testing