SIONYX Nightwave, strong low light performance

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, 100-ton USCG master.

21 Responses

  1. David Bradsher says:

    Would you be able to use the android of the app on the Raymarine Axiom platform via wifi?

    Great article.

  2. Tom Moore says:

    Curious about the daytime performance… Would this be an effective camera mounted aloft on a mast for enhanced daytime situational awareness as well? I know there are certainly better resolution options that are cheaper just trying to understand if the Sionyx is dual use case or not.

  3. Alan Howell says:

    We’re you able to see crab pots or small bouts in the water with the Sionyx?

  4. Jim says:

    How do you think the Nightwave would be able to find a MOB in the dark? I would think that the Flir’s heat sensing format would be superior. I have the pretty basic Flir M232 and thankfully haven’t had to use it for an MOB but it sure works great while on the hook at 2am to check out the surroundings, especially with the pan and tilt features. Thanks for a great comparison.

  5. Ben-
    I noticed that in the 5/2 Video that the FLIR camera that is mounted well forward, seems to be getting “jammed” by the nearby red and green Navigation lite. I can see noisy red and green bands to the left of center that stays in place at all times. I wonder if that would improve with the lights turned off for a few moments during the test.

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:


      You’re right about that and I am very bothered by the visible interference I captured. It’s my fault for the placement of the camera. I noticed it while I was out and captured some video with the running lights off. I guess I should say I thought I captured it because in reviewing the footage I couldn’t find it. I didn’t notice an appreciable difference but am disappointed not to have the cleaner video.

      -Ben S

  6. Keith Klein says:

    I’ve used a FLIR for 12 years. One major issue is that it depends on infrared radiation. I found that several hours after dark, buoys will cool down after dark to sea temperature and become invisible. Occ a small sail boat at anchor with no lights on and a small engine that cools down quickly with no one on board will also cool down and not be visible.

  7. Keith Klein says:

    The best night vision is a generation 2 or 3 photomultiplier scope and nothing compares to that. Unfortunately they are prohibitively expensive. The military use them for night spotting. The faint light of a few stars is enough to activate the phosphors.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It would have been interesting to see how the FLIR compared when the optical camera was used. It is supposed to be good down to near infrared

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      The video I added on 5/2 does show the performance of the optical camera. I also plan a full review of the M364C.

      -Ben S.

    • Brad says:

      The Nightwave also reaches into the near infra-red as well, and into IR as well. It sees the 400-1200NM spectrum, where visible light is 400-700NM, near-iR is 700-1000NM, and IR is 1000-8000NM. This isn’t the same as Thermal IR, which is 8000-14000NM.

  9. It would have been interesting to see how well the FLIR camera compared. It is supposed to be good down to near infrared

  10. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Ben, I agree that IP boat cameras are nice, but don’t most MFDs still come with one or two analog (NTSC/PAL) video inputs? To me that seems like an easy-to-setup and reliable way to use a fixed nav cam like the Nightwave, especially for skippers who’d rather not mess with a tablet (which may also be overly bright in dark conditions).

    I realize that networking the video to multiple helms may be important on some boats, but I think that some high-end MFDs can convert analog video into streaming IP video, right? And since most MFDs support a screen mirror app, isn’t that a possible second-station analog camera workaround?

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      You’re right that many MFDs do still have analog NTSC and PAL inputs but many (most?) of the entry level don’t. For example, Panbo(at) has a Garmin 943, Raymarine Axiom+ 9”, and 9” Simrad NSX. Of those three MFDs, only the Garmin supports analog video input. I think it’s reasonable to expect with Raymarine and Simrad having dropped the feature that Garmin may well follow in future models.

      -Ben S

      • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

        Well, dang, the bigger NSX and Axiom+ models don’t seem to have analog video inputs either, apparently a trend I had not noticed. But I see that the Axiom Pros have dual analog inputs and can also network their video streams. And here’s hoping that the must-be-coming Simrad NSX “Pro” (or whatever it will be called) includes the same video input flexibility.

  11. Sven says:

    The one thing I like in my PTZ camera, is I can park it facing the rear when it’s not in use, when I know there’s a ton of salt spray coming, etc…. My fixed bullet camera takes a beating from the rain and salt spray that hits it, so I often then use the PTZ when I really need to see (it also has a self drying mode that is helpful).

    So even without PTZ, it’d be nice if there were a mechanical shutter.

  12. Larry Olson says:

    How do these cameras do in the fog?

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