GoPro Rival Launches Unbelievable Full Color Night Vision Camera

Low-light performance of cameras has been important for decades, but the action cameras like GoPro have always struggled due to size limitations. Tech brand SiOnyx's new camera has utterly obliterated the competition in this area.

The SiOnyx Aurora action camera has ridiculous low-light performance when put side by side against the GoPro Hero 5. Honestly, I wouldn't compare the two in many areas as the GoPro range is generally more versatile and better across the board. But the USP of the Aurora, as its name implies, is low light and that it does very well indeed. What other modern action cameras see as pitch black, the Aurora can show as far closer to what your eye sees, hence their name for the USP as "true color night vision." This is partially achieved through a 16mm f/1.4 lens, and partially through the vaguely described "ultra low light CMOS" sensor which is purported to "trap" 10 times more light than a standard CMOS sensor. It's an interesting read on exactly how that's achieved, but something I won't go in to here.

The footage is a little erratic with exposure and what looks like invasive stabilization, but the resulting footage is previously unachievable without tens of thousands of dollars to drop. The price is an interesting area of discussion, though.

On the one hand, it's really cheap for the low-light performance it offers. Personally, I can't see when I'd use it, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who would. However, at $799, it's over twice the price of the GoPro Hero 5 they keep comparing it to, which out-performs the Aurora in almost every other area you might consider with an action cam. SiOnyx have clearly set themselves in opposition to GoPro and while it might have been wise to do so when comparing videos shot by moonlight, that may well be the only battle it wins. That said, it can shoot infrared among a few other interesting features. Here's excerpts from the specs as listed on their website:

  • Sensor: Ultra low light CMOS
  • Lens: 16mm; f/1.4, 2.0, 5.6 selectable
  • Video: 720p .MOV
  • FPS: 8,15, 24, 30, 60
  • Photo: 0.9 megapixels

However, I'm not saying this isn't a great piece of kit; it's a truly impressive — albeit specialist — camera. Many of its specifications may look dated, but it's doing things that just about no other affordable camera can do right now. What would you do with it?

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Rob Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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Any comps on the Hero 6? I've had some pretty good results with that.

They should have priced it identical to the GoPro. Charging more is the kiss of death I think. Perhaps they're banking on a pro market to pick up on it, dunno.

I agree. As soon as I saw the $700.00 price tag I stopped reading their site. Not worth the money IMHO.

This smells big time fake “news”! First of all there is no independent test to confirm any of the low light video capabilities. This article is just based on their press release and video. As such it is just an advertisement. We don’t know what kind of settings the GoPro had. I can put a GoPro in 200 ISO next to my Iphone at night and you will see similar results. It’s about time FStoppers gets more serious and stops posting press releases masked as real stories.

Honestly not so impressive if you look at the quality provided.
720p? Well take a go pro in 4K, push exposure in post, Remove noise and downscale it to 720p... You will have quite similar result.....
And this video is also quite funny how they try to "extrem sport video" going down the slope at 5km per hour... A perfect example of this product placement. Copy, but don't deliver

this would make a good security cam for night club bars and their adjacent alley.

With technology as advanced as it is in 2018, why are we producing products with a .9mp camera?

I agree with Lou Bragg and cameramanDop in the comments here. I was not impressed and if anything I just became skeptical. Unusable footage all around and 720p isn't good enough for anything these days, even mobile viewing.

They claim the boat footage is 720p 30fps. There's no way that's 30fps unless they screwed up encoding the video and somehow dropped frames. Playback looks way to choppy and more like a hyperlapse mode or something shot at a lower framerate