As a kid, I always wished I could take pictures through my binoculars. It wasn’t that I was unhappy with the binoculars I had – quite the opposite. The Bushnell binoculars that dad bought me weren’t fancy, but they were mine.
The family was on a tight budget and our Christmas gifts were frugal. But when I got the binoculars, I was exceptionally happy. For a kid who spent his days climbing trees and building forts in the woods with his friends, that set of binoculars was just about the perfect gift dad could have bought me.
Even so, in my mind’s eye I could see me capturing the images I saw through them to share with my family later. But, that was a long time ago and digital cameras were a thing of Star Trek. Today, however, things are different.
Earlier this year, Bushnell introduced the new ImageView 8×30 binocular that has the ability to capture not just photos, but HD video as well. The camera is a 12 megapixel camera, which means it captures roughly three times the pixels (data) than the high-end Canon 1d camera I used to photograph major league baseball games as a stringer for Sports Illustrated some 10 years ago.
Megapixels aren’t the entire story, as sensor size and glass play large roles in producing great photos. I’d expect the sensor to be comprable to the ones found in today’s point and shoot cameras.
The glass is likely much better than what is found in a point and shoot. First of all, it is glass – not plastic which can be found in some cheap cameras. The glass is “fully-coated,” which should enhance clarity and help prevent distortion.
The built in camera uses standard SD cards up to 32 GB in size. This allows for recording of more than two hours of HD video and/or thousands of still images. The video, by the way is 720p in resolution.
The Bushnell binoculars also have a built in USB port for transferring the images or displaying them on an external monitor or television. The binocular package ships with a USB cable and a remote shutter release.
The entire kit retails for less than $300. For that once-in-a-lifetime hunt or trip, being able to record through the binoculars is an incredible asset. I’d be happy to have them just for a run of the mill pig hunt here in Florida. Check them out over at Amazon.