Binoculars aren’t just for viewing and identifying objects in the distance anymore. Like everything else in our world, they’ve gotten “smart,” and you may be impressed to learn what they’re now capable of. No, you’re not able to make a call from a pair of binos or stream your favorite shows on them (yet), but some come equipped with a binocular camera so you can take pictures and share your experience with others. If you’re considering getting binoculars with photo and camera capabilities, use this blog as a binocular basics guide so you can make the most of your purchase!
Considering you’re buying binoculars with camera capability because of the camera, let’s start there. The binocular camera is a small digital point and shoot camera that’s located on top of the binos. It will usually have the same magnification as the binoculars, so you can capture moments as you see them through the lenses. However, it is important to remember that your eyes will see things a little differently than the binocular camera, so some slight differences can be expected. Many binoculars with camera capabilities will include photo editing software, so if you aren’t happy with your image, you can always edit it to more accurately reflect your vision.
There are a lot of important specs to consider when choosing a pair of binoculars with a camera, so if you’re confused and wondering, “what do the numbers on binoculars mean?” don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. You’ll often see a binocular camera have numbers like 8x30 or 8x42, and they’re pretty easy to understand. The first number is how many times an image is magnified, or enlarged, and the second is the size of the lens in millimeters. The larger this second number is, the better the performance of the binocular camera. However, this also means that the physical size of the lens, and the binoculars as a whole, will be bigger.
A binocular camera will also have numbers describing the number of pixels the image will contain, but these don’t matter as much. For instance, pictures taken on a 2MP (megapixel) camera will be almost indistinguishable from pictures taken on a 3MP camera or 4MP camera. The quality of the lens will often have more effect on the image than the number of pixels.