The Pulsar Digisight Ultra digital riflescope range was first presented at the IWA show in March 2017. Unlike the Photon XT riflescope, which proved to be very popular among hunters thanks to its design, ease of use and dependability (and also cost), the Digisight Ultra is a premium digital riflescope offering the most versatile package of features in the Pulsar product range.
The Digisight Ultra N355 riflescope was the first to enter the European market. It was heralded as the flagship of the Digisight Ultra model range. The unit features a form factor which distinguishes all the new Pulsar devices, including Trail thermal sights and Helion monoculars, as well as Forward F night attachments.
The Digisight Ultra N355 uses a highly sensitive ½” CCD sensor with a resolution of 752x582 pixels. The size really matters – the larger the sensor size, the more light it gathers, and the more sensitive is the unit. The new riflescope is even more sensitive than the Digisight N960 and ensures similar viewing range. It is probably all to do with the more advanced software, whilst both use similar sensor and optics.
The basic configuration of the Digisight Ultra N355 includes a removable LED IR illuminator with a wavelength of 940nm. This operating range is considered invisible – animals do not respond to it. Basic magnification is 3.5x, with a x4 digital zoom bringing total magnification to 14x.
The riflescope is controlled with buttons in the upper left panel of the housing. These buttons are located in a single row parallel to the optical axis (the ON button is on another panel). This layout permits operation with both hands although left-hand operation is more convenient. The buttons are well spaced, easily felt by the fingers. The location and function of a button is detectable by touch. The buttons are sufficiently large to allow trouble-free operation when wearing gloves. The riflescope is also supplied with a remote control that duplicates all the unit’s functions. The remote control is equipped with buttons and a scroll wheel (for both press and rotate operation) is a welcome feature.
Digisight Ultra is equipped with many features and functions not available in previous generations of Pulsar digital riflescopes. Most of these innovations are deserving of separate mention.
B-Pack power system
All night vision devices, digital or thermal, have high power consumption. The Digisight Ultra N355 features a new modular power system – a high capacity quick release rechargeable battery that looks like (and actually is) part of the housing. Battery capacity is sufficient for 6 to 10, or more, hours of operation, depending on the battery model and operating mode of the riflescope. Besides the high capacity and extended operating time, previously characteristic only of cable-attached power supplies, the advantages of this new solution ensure the dimensions of the riflescope are the most compact possible, giving easy and reliable operation – there is no risk of unexpected power failure if the cable is accidentally unplugged. Furthermore, the riflescope can be still powered by an external power bank via a microUSB port which also charges B-pack system.
It is fair to say that the power power supply issue of the Digisight Ultra N355 has been completely resolved. The system is ideal, and I do not see what improvements could be made to it.
Video recording and Wi-Fi
Another new feature certain to be popular among a significant proportion of hunters is an integrated video and photo recorder. The 8Gb onboard memory is sufficient to record several hours of video or to take thousands of photos. The user can upload a recorded image to a computer via a USB cable. Alternatively, the Stream Vision application can be used to upload footage via Wi-Fi to iOS and Android-run mobile devices, or to view the video on the display of a gadget in the real time. Even though these functions do not directly affect hunting performance, viewing the footage may give pleasure during close season. Cutting a video with the most exciting hunting moments at the end of the season makes it possible for a hunter to create a video record of hunts and to share achievements with fellow hunting enthusiasts.
The Stream Vision application allows the user to update riflescope’s firmware. The application notifies automatically when a firmware update is released for download from the update server. Thus, bug fixes (if any) and new features are introduced automatically. Today Pulsar is announcing a ballistic calculator function that will be available to all Digisight Ultra owners irrespective of when purchase was made.
Watertightness is one of the essential consumer features of the riflescope. The Digisight Ultra N355 can be submerged in water to a depth of one metre for a short period of time without damaging it. I do not encourage such experiments. The bottom line is that the IPX7 degree of protection guarantees the riflescope continues to perform in heavy rain.
Picture within picture
The “Picture within Picture” function shows on the display another window with a magnified image of the aiming zone. At the same time, the shooter can see the main image with basic magnification. This essential feature, previously available only in Apex riflescopes, improves shooting accuracy. I strongly recommend that you try it.
Another new software feature is the built-in rangefinder. It is difficult to assess range using both day and night monoculars. The rangefinder in the Digisight Ultra has a dynamic scale designed to measure distance from objects that are 170cm, 70 cm and 30 cm high (deer, wild boar and hare). An animal being viewed is ‘placed’ between two bars (the distance between these bars is changed by pressing buttons), while at the same time range is shown on the display. The rangefinder does not guarantee accuracy under 1 metre, but it does allow the user to assess distance with acceptable accuracy.
Color representation in night monochrome (as well as for television and daytime) images was previously incorporated only in thermal devices. The Digisight Ultra N355 is the first riflescope in the Pulsar range (and probably on the market) with programmable alteration of image colours. Although the photosensitive matrix is black and white, the central processor has several profiles for the visualization of both monochrome and full color images through a fixed scene sensor that uses a proprietary extrapolation algorithm.
The long relief of the exit pupil, multiple distance marks in the memory, zeroing profile memorization, display off function, elevation and side incline, informative on-screen symbols, wide range of operating temperatures are features that are standard in all Pulsar digital riflescopes; they apply in full also to the Digisight Ultra N355. This riflescope has everything a hunter needs and more. This is probably the most customer-focused riflescope in the night-vision optics market.