Canon Announces Two New Entry-Level Binoculars Featuring Lens-Shift Image Stabilization

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,260
288
Davidson, NC
I have 10+ year old Canon IS binocs....they are still great.

Once you use image stabilized binoculars, you won't want to use "regular" ones again. I remember reading how you can see Jupiter's Galilean moons with binoculars....well, using these, you actually CAN!
I have seen them with $50 binoculars I got from Sears to view Halley’s Comet in the mid ‘80s.
 

Chaitanya

EOS 6D MK II
Jun 27, 2013
1,128
210
33
Pune
Serious bird watchers tend to go for Swarovski, Zeiss and one or two other excellent brands. 8x20 and 10x20 have too small apertures for light gathering and too small exit pupils. And, 8x magnifications are very easily used without worrisome image shake.
I think Swarovski and Leica are in a class of their own with Zeiss lagging a little behind but still miles better than anything Canon/Nikon/Pentax offer.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,619
2,105
I think Swarovski and Leica are in a class of their own with Zeiss lagging a little behind but still miles better than anything Canon/Nikon/Pentax offer.
Optical quality aside (and the Canon L binoculars are quite good optically) with 10X or greater power, image stabilization has a much greater benefit than improved optics, unless you’re going to mount your binoculars on a stand.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,821
3,337
As sometimes, I followed up by reading discussions on the web. It seems that the people who like the Canon IS tend to be the stargazers who like seeing Saturn's rings and Jupiter's moons. Birdwatchers often have to pan quickly to follow BIF and identify. If they want high magnification they go far higher and use scopes. Frankly, I take a quick photo and enlarge 10x on the backscreen for identification of distant birds.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,973
1,187
119
As sometimes, I followed up by reading discussions on the web. It seems that the people who like the Canon IS tend to be the stargazers who like seeing Saturn's rings and Jupiter's moons. Birdwatchers often have to pan quickly to follow BIF and identify. If they want high magnification they go far higher and use scopes. Frankly, I take a quick photo and enlarge 10x on the backscreen for identification of distant birds.
Mariners like IS too, but that fits in with your internet observations, static objects suit IS better. Having said that there is a button to turn on or off IS, I have found no disadvantage in having it and it is often a very strong advantage.
 

scottburgess

Canonical Canon
Jun 20, 2013
216
3
After much comparison shopping, we bought a Vortex Razor 10 x 42. Cleaner and brighter than almost anything else we tried, and considerably brighter than what the naked eye sees. The $5k Swarovski was minimally better; saved almost $4k with Vortex.

Canon hasn't done well with the design of its IS binoculars. They simply haven't been sharp enough, and the sharpness matters much more than the IS for most users. Even compared to Canon's 18 x 50, you can see more with a top pair of 8X or 10X binoculars.

There are some excellent bird-watching reviews of binoculars, but if you're shopping for binoculars I additionally suggest trying the top models in your price range at a sporting goods store before buying. Eye relief, closest focus, and other specs matter too, and you really won't get a feel for overall performance or the build quality without handling them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SteveC

TAF

EOS RP
Feb 26, 2012
345
35
Definitely crippled: too dark. Could have used dual 400/2.8L.

Also, they are not mirrorless => Canon is doomed.

Yes, actually, they ARE mirrorless. They use prisms. So Canon is saved.

Although in this case mirrorless might be a net negative. I have a set of Soviet stabilized binoculars that uses mirrors (lighter than prisms) on a gyroscopically stabilized platform internal to the unit. They work very well (including on boats and aircraft), other than their very high battery consumption. Modern versions have magnetically suspended the mirror assembly, which reduced power consumption substantially.
 

RobbieHat

EOS M50
Feb 4, 2015
41
31
54
Rocklin, CA/The Sea Ranch, CA
Serious bird watchers tend to go for Swarovski, Zeiss and one or two other excellent brands. 8x20 and 10x20 have too small apertures for light gathering and too small exit pupils. And, 8x magnifications are very easily used without worrisome image shake.
Leica actually make the benchmark birding glass. I completely agree on the lack of need of IS for binoculars.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,973
1,187
119
Leica actually make the benchmark birding glass. I completely agree on the lack of need of IS for binoculars.
It depends entirely on your use of them as to how much ‘need’ IS becomes. On boats it is very very useful, I don’t like using non is binoculars when I am at sea.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,821
3,337
Leica actually make the benchmark birding glass. I completely agree on the lack of need of IS for binoculars.
For the hell of it, I checked out a series of website on the best binoculars for birding. There was an almost random selection, with makes I have never heard of. Some didn't even mention Leica! Audubon has probably got it right with Swarovski, Zeiss and Leica at the top. And, Vortex and some other makes like Kowa are superb. One of our bird guides had the latest Zeiss and they were really good. I like Swarovski for their impeccable guarantees.
 

RobbieHat

EOS M50
Feb 4, 2015
41
31
54
Rocklin, CA/The Sea Ranch, CA
For the hell of it, I checked out a series of website on the best binoculars for birding. There was an almost random selection, with makes I have never heard of. Some didn't even mention Leica! Audubon has probably got it right with Swarovski, Zeiss and Leica at the top. And, Vortex and some other makes like Kowa are superb. One of our bird guides had the latest Zeiss and they were really good. I like Swarovski for their impeccable guarantees.
Yeah, I have the older Ultravids and they are the perfect combination of bright, super sharp, light and easy to focus and carry at near eye level. I have had five pairs over the years and nothing compares to them.