Sony essentially fused together two high-quality camcorder optics into one ergonomic product. The result, their DEV-5 Digital Recording Binoculars, are a real treat for folks who like to explore nature or attend live sporting events. As you'll see in this video I shot, they also make a nice accessory when out for a helicopter ride (or similarly scenic/aerial escapades).
From the start, they felt solid and natural in my hands. The viewfinder, diopter-adjustable for each eye, offered a sharp field; and their ability to quickly autofocus when panning across subjects at varying distances kept it so. I was impressed with their 10X optical plus 10X digital zoom (for a total of 20X, as highlighted in the last few seconds of the video) and image stabilization. They did well in low light. The buttons — including a dedicated 2D/3D switch — all felt intuitively placed. And the menu (seen through the viewfinder) was easy to navigate.
Of course, two grand feels like a lot to spend, given that other camcorders with similar or better zooms are much less expensive. But ignoring the price tag, having a great set of geotagging, stereo audio and HD video recording binoculars is very cool.
Credit: Sony Electronics