Is it such a stretch from cameras to binoculars? Sony doesn’t think so. The company unveiled two new sets of digital HD-video-capable binoculars last week. Sony’s DEV-3 and DEV-5 binoculars are the first of their kind. Both of these binoculars are capable of capturing HD videos in either 2D or 3d in addition to snapping 7.1-megapixel photos.
One has to wonder, why would you want a pair of binoculars that can also take photos or video? Well, some avid bird watchers may want to snap photos of rare feathered friends. The same might also be true for people who like to watch professional sports. Or, for those professional photographers who may have to capture an image from far away (the paparazzi come to mind). Still, at more than $1000 for each pair, these binoculars don’t come cheaply).
The DEV-3 and DEV-5 Difference
It’s hard not to think of people using these cameras for spy purposes when going over the DEV-5 specs. This set of binoculars comes with a built-in GPS tracker that includes geo-location tagging of photos. Private investigators and worried husbands alike will find much use for this pair of Sony binoculars. In addition, the DEV-5 set comes with 20x optical zoom (the DEV-3 pair comes with 10x optical zoom).
For GPS tracking ability and a lot more zoom, you’ll pay $2000 for Sony’s latest binocular offering. If 10x zoom is enough for you, the price will be around $1400. Both of these prices are high when considering that these are binoculars, but the rate of the new Sony binoculars doesn’t seem so high when you consider the price of a decent digital camera (far more than $1000).
Anyone who considers purchasing the DEV-3 or DEV-5 binoculars will also need a way to keep these devices running for a long time. That’s why Sony has included a rechargeable battery pack. The included battery comes with up to 3 hours of recording power (2D), which is decent for any kind of recording device. You won’t be able to take these binoculars on a five hour hike while recording the entire time, but you can certainly capture still photographs and quick videos without running out of juice.
You’ll also get a carrying case, binocular strap, and lens covers with the DEV-5. If you’re looking at the DEV-3 option, none of these accessories are included. Are accessories and GPS tracking abilities worth the price hike? I’m not so certain. Of course, it all depends on what you plan to do with these binoculars.
An Interesting Move for Sony
You have to admire the fact that Sony is attempting something new with these two sets of binoculars. It’s rare to see binocular for sale in large electronics stores these days, but Sony may change all of that. Having the ability to see small objects long distance is something that many consumers may pay a high price for, and Sony will have the market cornered with binoculars that can snap photos and record videos at the same time.
If you’re in the market for binoculars, or if you know someone who uses these devices regularly, the DEV-3 and DEV-5 binoculars from Sony may be well worth looking into. Both sets will be available during the winter of 2011.