With the advances in digital image capture over recent years, it was only a matter of time before the idea of combining a camera and a pair of binocular finally caught on.
As the prices of digital cameras have fallen and made relatively sophisticated image capture available to a wider and wider audience, it is hardly surprising that this growth is spilling over into the digital binocular market.
What have become accepted as digital binoculars up to now, is actually a misnomer.
The majority of digital binoculars are an optical device with a digital camera attached.
You still look through traditional optical lenses but you have the facility to record what you are viewing either as still images or short movies. The images are captured on SD or MMC cards, for transfer to PC or or a suitably equipped printer at a later stage.
With traditional binoculars, you can watch the action you are observing, but have no way of recording those images for posterity or to be able to analyse in more detail, after the event, unless you have a camera set to record the same scene you are viewing
With the advent of the combined camera and binoculars, you are still able to view with the same degree of detail but can record those images for later review and replay in the case of digital video.
The best of both worlds without the need for separate pieces of equipment.
Recently though, another piece of equipment has aspired to the title of Digital Binoculars, with perhaps a better claim to the title than existing equipment.
This device is truly digital in nature. It captures the image using a miniature digital camera, and displays the image on a 2.5 inch TFT screen which is viewed using a viewing port for both eyes.
The camera has an optical zoom of up to 22x, a digital zoom of up to 220x.
The camera auto focuses, doing away with the need to fiddle with manual focus, dioptres and adjustment for your eye spacing. (IPD)
Truly, the first Digital Binoculars. The only thing it doesn't do is record the action, curiously enough.
It's not available anywhere, but on the Web currently.>