I am a lover of nature, wildlife and I find great pleasure in sightseeing, observing and taking photos of wildlife in their natural habitat. For this to happen, I sometimes have to observe from great distances and a great way to do this is by using binoculars that get me right in the thick of things. On many occasions, I have missed great shots because I had a camera on one hand and a pair of binoculars on the other.
Here is a list of the Best Binocular Camera
Before I could change up to take the shot, what was to happen had already happened. A friend of mine came across a pair of binoculars with an in-built digital camera and bought one for me as a birthday present, it improved my experience taking fleeting wildlife photos drastically. Basically, they work by merging two worlds, the digital camera and the binoculars. The result is that one is able to take a photo, on demand, using the built-in digital camera of the magnified image as displayed when looking through the eye piece.
With this in mind, it did not take me long before I was visiting various websites in search of the ultimate binocular camera. I realized that there were many things that came to play before any one final decision was made on a purchase. For myself, a good picture quality, expandable memory slot, night vision, and long range were key. For most other features, I either had to compromise or evaluate whether they were deal breakers or not. For anyone intending to make a binocular camera purchase, the following may be important aspects to consider;
- Price. When it comes to purchasing a good binocular camera according to price, it calls for a balancing act. An affordable one would be ideal but at the same time would be on the bottom end in terms of features in comparison to other binocular cameras. Don't expect to be impressed by binocular cameras that cost as little as 16 US dollars at best they would be a play thing for your child. There are some impressive binocular cameras below the 100 US dollars mark but I would advice looking for options that cost at least $200 US dollars.
- Image quality. The main purpose for getting a binocular camera is the capability of taking photographs. A good one should be able to take great quality photos. This is something to consider very seriously since most binocular cameras are not designed to take good quality photographs. A higher resolution is ideal since it enables the camera to churn out better quality images.
- Binocular Capability. This refers to a wide range of features that mainly revolve around the binoculars only. They are: eye relief, range, field of view, exit pupil diameter and magnification power. Since the binocular cameras are usually designed to be small, they do not leave enough room to allow powerful binoculars. It is important for a customer to sieve through the binocular capabilities of the intended options of purchase to determine which qualities are acceptable.
- Media Format. If you are a professional photographer, then it would be very important to select a binocular camera based on the format if the images or videos it shoots in. A RAW image format would be the best however, I am yet to find any binocular camera that is capable of taking images in this format.
- Purpose. This is rather self explanatory. Most of the binocular cameras out in the market are not suited for high end picture production, they are good for taking personal journals. If you are a scientist they may be good for studies but if you are an artist, I would advice sticking to the traditional long range camera.
There are many more aspects of a binocular camera that may make any individual prefer it to others and it is up to one's own diligence in researching on any media for information.
Here are a few binocular cameras that I have used before and found to be the best ones.
1 - Sony DEV-50V/B Digital Recording Binoculars
Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
This is one the best binocular camera out there for sure. It's imaging capabilities are unrivaled and it seems to be decades ahead of the competition when it comes to most other aspects. Ever since I bought the Sony DEV-50V/B, I have had great adventures and because of them, I have been able to show some of the spectacular scenes and wildlife I have had the pleasure of seeing. It is a compact gadget, fits perfectly in the arm, and also packs impressive specs. It is of my favorite.
- Dimensions: 5.85in x 2.85in x 6.2in
- Weight: 27 ounces
- Apparent field of view (diagonal dimension): 36.9 Degrees (16:9) / 29.2 Degrees (4:3)
- Magnification (Photo Mode): x0.5 - x25
- Magnification (Movie Mode): x0.8 - x12 (2D: Digital zoom is OFF) / x0.8 - x25 (2D: Digital zoom is ON) / x0.5 - x6 (3DResolution (Photo Mode):
- 20.4 megapixels 16:9 (6016 x 3384)
- 10.0 megapixels 16:9 (4224 x 2376)
- 2.1 megapixels 16:9 (1920 x 1080)
- 0.3 megapixels 4:3 (640 x 480)
- Resolution (Video Mode):
- 2D 1920x1080/60p, 50p (PS), 60i, 50i (FX,FH), 1440x1080/60i, 50i (HQ, LP)3D 2x1920x1080/60i, 50i
- Media Type: Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC compatible
- Recording time: 150-185 minutes (depending on 2D/3D)
- Playback time: 275-315 minutes (depending on 2D/3D)
- HDMI out: Yes
Sony DEV-50V/B Digital Recording Binoculars
In my opinion, there is very little that would deter anyone from purchasing this binocular camera. It pack serious features that its competitors cannot even begin to compete with. I have several hours of footage from several adventures and the only thing I find unimpressive is how fast the battery runs dry on this gadget. In active use I struggle to churn out 3 hours and I would recommend a back up power source while you are on the go. The Sony DEV-50V/B Digital Recording Binoculars is a pricey gadget and rightly so since it has all these impressive features on it. It can be purchased at Amazon or on the official website for about 2000 US dollars. This could be a deal breaker for many people but considering how far it beats the competition, I reckon anyone would make this purchase.
2 - BARSKA 8x32 Binocular & Built-In 8.0 MP Digital Camera
Rating: 2.7 / 5.0
This was actually the binocular camera my friend got me as a birthday present. I have had it for a long while now and I still consider it to be on of the best Binocular cameras out there. It has a 1.5 inch LCD display that enables a user to review already taken photos and videos.
- Dimensions: 6.1in x 4.5in x 2.4in
- Weight: 13.76 ounces
- Resolution (Photo Mode):
- 0.3 MP (640 x 480)
- 3.0 MP (2048 x 1536)
- 5.0 MP (2560 x 1920)
- 8.0 MP (3264 x 2448)
- Resolution (Video Mode): 640x480
- Magnification: 8x (fixed optical) 4x (digital zoom)
- Angle of View: 6.3 Degrees
- Minimum Focus Distance: 16.4 feet
- Exit Pupil Diameter: 4.0 mm
- Eye Relief: 14 mm
- Weatherproofing: No
- Tripod Socket: Yes
- Objective lens Diameter: 32 mm
- Prism type: Roof
- Exit pupil: 4 mm
- Field of view: 330 feet at 100 yards
BARSKA 8x32 Binocular & Built-In 8.0 MP Digital Camera
The BARSKA 8x32 Binocular & Built-In 8.0 MP Digital Camera is a bit of an old one among a younger crowd in this list. It was quite impressive when it came out and since most of the competition has caught up now, it just remains the "veteran" in some ways. I am always disappointed with the fact that it drains battery even when it is turned off and in the sun the LCD display completely washes out making it impossible to see images during playback while on the go. None the less, it was the first binocular camera I used and it still deserves to be among the best. It can be bought from Amazon or from the official website for approximately 160 US dollars.
3 - Bushnell Imageview 8x 30mm 12MP
Rating: 2.4 / 5.0
This is a sleek binocular camera that feels very compact when handling. It is designed in a great way to accommodate the various hustles one may go through in the wilderness. I used the Bushnell Imageview 8x 30mm 12MP when a friend loaned it for an expedition I wanted to take a while back.
- Magnification: 8x
- Obj Lens: 30mm
- Close Focus: ft/m 10 / 3
- Lens Coating: Fully Coated
- Field of View: 310 feet at 1000 yards
- Adapt to Tripod: Yes
- Eye Relief: 12mm
- Focus System: Center
- Exit Pupil: 3.75mm
- Prism Glass: Bk-7
- Waterproof/Fogproof: No
- Prism System: Roof
- Weight: 13.5 ounces
- Size Class: Full
- Power Source: 3 AAA
- 2592x1944 (Photo Mode)
- 1280x720 (Video Mode)
Bushnell Imageview 8x 30mm 12MP
The Bushnell Imageview 8x 30mm 12MP is a true powerhouse and it is capable of taking really nice photographs. It can be bought from Amazon or from the official website for approximately 145 US dollars. I was impressed that the SD slot could take up to 32GB of added external storage which meani I could take several minutes of footage. However, it is unfortunate to say that since the inter-pupillary distances for the two optics are too far apart, I could not use this binocular camera. It is ideal for people with widely spaced eyes.
4 - PYRUS 12x32 Digital Camera Binoculars
Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
If you are looking for an awesome binocular camera under 100 US dollars, then this is a great one to buy. When I used it, I was impressed greatly by its design and general aesthetic. It took very good photos some of which rivaled my friends iPhone camera. The 2 inch LCD display was also an impressive feature that I liked, it was large enough to provide for a great playback experience.
- Dimensions: 5.5in x 3.1in x 7.5in
- Weight: 15.8 ounces
- Binocular Specification: 12×32
- Magnification: 12x
- Exit Pupil diameter: 3.8mm
- Objective lens Diameter: 32mm
- Distance of Exit Pupil Diameter: 8mm
- Minimum Focus Distance: 8m
- LCD Display: 2in (4:3)
- Media Format: JPEG (Photo Mode) AVI (Video Mode)
- Memory Card: Yes (Maximum 32GB)
- USB Interface: Yes (2.0)
The packaging includes a lens cleaning cloth, the user manual, the USB charging cable and the binocular camera itself. The PYRUS 12x32 Digital Camera Binoculars can be purchased from Amazon or other optics stores on the internet for approximately 95 US dollars which is quite a fair bargain for the kind of quality you get.
5 - Eoncore 2 inch LCD Display Digital Camera Binoculars
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
This is another great binocular camera that is bellow the 100 US dollar mark. On the Eoncore 2 inch LCD Display Digital Camera Binoculars I found that the LCD is of a great quality. The dimensions allowed me enjoy holding it and it was easy to holster it when I was on the go. This together with the PYRUS 12x32 Digital Camera Binoculars are very difficult to tell apart, the basically have the same specifications.
- Dimensions: 5.75in x 4.06in x 2.17in
- Weight: 15.49 oz
- Magnification: 12x
- 1000 meters of vision: 96m
- Exit pupil diameter: 3.8mm
- Distance of exit pupil: 8mm
- Minimum focusing distance: 8m
- Photo format: JPEG
- Video format: AVI
- Anti-shake: Yes
- Photography method: single shoot, 2s timing, 5s timing, 10s timing
- Model: FS608R
- Card Type: TF (TF Card up to Class 4, others don't support Video function)
- Form Color: Black + Silver
- Material: ABS
- Image Sensor: CMOS
- Image Sensor Size: 1/2.7 Inch
- Lens Focal Distance: 8m
- Lens Focusing Range: 8mm
- Optical Zoom: 4X
- Digital Zoom: 4X
- Effective Pixels: 5.0MP
- Image Resolution: 5M, 3M, 1.3M
- Video Resolution: 1440x1080p, 1280x720p
- Video Frame Rate: 30fps, 60fps
- Built-in Memory / RAM: No
- Storage: 32GB (Max. Capacity)
Once purchased the packaging contains the binocular digital camera, the micro USB charging cable, a cleaning cloth, a user manual and a 4GB TF card. The Eoncore 2 inch LCD Display Digital Camera Binoculars may be purchased from Amazon as well as other retail stores for optics on the internet for about 94 US dollars.
Here are a few other binocular cameras that you may want to consider aside from the ones I have already listed above;
- PowerLead Pxlo FS608 Digital Camera Binoculars
- Meade CaptureView Digital Camera Binoculars
- Vivitar MagnaCam Binocular Digital Camera
Binocular cameras are an interesting combination of two somewhat similar products. On their own, cameras and binoculars stand out for the niche they serve but when put together to make the binocular cameras, they end up being too ordinary of a gadget to recommend to any one individual. Personally, I found them to be great because in times when I needed to take photographs on the go, they worked very well. However, the photos they took were lacking in quality and my range was limited to some extent. They are great to take the perfectly timed photos people always gag over, but to some people, the reality of them is not as impressive as the idea. It makes sense since it is nearly impossible to have all great features of a good camera and binoculars on just one tiny device. No optics company has yet devoted enough resources in developing such a product and I would advice seriously considering the reason as to why you would want such a gadget.No one binocular camera is the best. All have their impressive features and at the same time under perform in various other areas. I have not found the ultimate binocular camera yet and it may be because the innovation is still in its budding stages. I shall just have to wait and search a while longer.