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In this report

Digital Camera Binoculars: Ratings of Sources

Total of 20 Sources
1. ConsumerReports.org
Dec. 2006
by Editors of Consumer Reports
Our AssessmentOne pair of camera binoculars, the Meade CaptureView, is tested here -- ranked in comparison with 10 regular binoculars with the same 8x magnification. Each model gets ratings for image quality, durability and ease of use -- but the ratings apply only to the CaptureView used as binoculars. Camera features are not mentioned.
2. The New York Times
Mar. 24, 2005
Sizing Up a New Species: Camera-Binoculars
by David Pogue
Our AssessmentThis review compares four digital camera binoculars: the Bushnell Instant Replay 8x32 (now discontinued), the 3-megapixel Bushnell Compact Instant Replay 8x30, the Celestron VistaPix and the Meade CaptureView CV-4 (now the CV-6). After testing each personally, reviewer David Pogue concludes that despite their drawbacks, camera binoculars could be worth buying because they're much more comfortable for long watching than an ultra-zoom camera. While each of the four camera binoculars has distinct advantages, the Bushnell Compact Instant Replay is rated best for its balance of features and price, though the Meade CaptureView provides comparable image quality.
3. Consumers Digest
Jan. 2005
High-Performance Binoculars
by Len McDougall
Our AssessmentThis review mainly covers regular binoculars. The only digital camera binoculars recommended are the Bushnell 8x32 3.2-megapixel Instant Replay. The review praises "wow-factor pictures" and an ability to focus as close as 11 feet. Unfortunately, this model is now discontinued, and the camera part of the 3-megapixel Bushnell 8x30 model can focus only as close as 60 feet.
4. ConsumerGuide.com
March 2006
Celestron VistaPix 72216 Binoculars Review
by Editors of Consumer Guide
Our AssessmentThis single-product review of the 2-megapixel Celestron VistaPix 8x32 camera binoculars (Model 72216) gives a fair assessment of this model's pros and cons, based on obvious hands-on testing. The review notes that while a tripod makes a big difference in the quality of the photos, image quality is still poor in dim light, and video quality is poor even in bright light. "Overall, the VistaPix 72216 doubles as a decent pair of binoculars and a budget digital camera. However, for the enthusiast, this model is no replacement for either." A 3-megapixel model has since been released but isn't reviewed here.
5. FlightSim.com
June 2005
Meade CaptureView Puts You in the Action and Brings Back the Photos
by Cap Mason
Our AssessmentThis is an in-depth rating of two Meade CaptureView digital camera binoculars, the waterproof 3-megapixel Meade 8x30 CV-6 with variable focus as close as 30 feet, and the now-discontinued 8x42 CV-5 (2 megapixel with focus fixed at 66 feet to infinity). Both have the ability to save up to 20 seconds of video with an instant replay.
6. Laptop Magazine
Apr. 10, 2005
MagPix SX3 Review
by John Biggs
Our AssessmentLaptop Magazine tests the 10x25 (3-megapixel) MagPix SX3 camera binoculars, finding them usable even in low light, especially because they have a tripod mount. Although the review rates the MagPix SX3 digital binoculars only three out of a possible five stars, they're still recommended as "excellent for those who want to take stadium action shots" or for bird watching. The Nov. 2005 issue recommends the Bushnell Instant Replay 8x32 digital camera binoculars as a gift for sports fans but doesn't document any testing.
7. BackpackGearTest.org
May 2007
Bushnell ImageView Binocular-Camera Owner Review
by Mike Wilkie
Our AssessmentThis detailed review by an active hiker covers two years of use of the 10x25 Bushnell ImageView 11-1025 camera binoculars, with VGA (640-by-480) resolution. The review includes sample photos of the camera binoculars. While the Bushnell model proves useful on hikes, the camera function is disappointing -- not surprising given its resolution. Furthermore, because you can't turn off the sound on the camera, it scares away the wildlife you want to photograph.
8. MacHome
Apr. 2005
MagPix SX3
by Theano Nikitas
Our AssessmentThis one-page review concludes that the MagPix SX3 is "a cool, albeit limited, combo." Reviewer Theano Nikitas recommends MagPix SX3 for any situation in which binocular power is more important than picture quality. No other models are rated.
9. ePhotoZine
MagPix B350 Binoculars Review
by Editors of ePhotoZine
Our AssessmentThis U.K. photography site offers an in-depth review of the first-generation camera binoculars by MagPix, the B350, finding the image quality extremely disappointing. No other camera binoculars are rated.
10. OpticsPlanet.net
As of Jan. 2009
Digital Binoculars With Camera
by Editors of OpticsPlanet.com
Our AssessmentAt this huge retail site, editors identify several specific models as the best digital camera binoculars among the more than 30 models listed. The Celestron Vistapix 8x32 model with a 3.1-megapixel camera is both an editor's pick and a best seller here, but several Bushnell models are also editor's picks. The site is especially useful because it provides full specifications for so many digital camera binocular models, plus answers to questions customers have asked about a model. However, very few owner-written reviews are published here.
11. Amazon.com
As of Jan. 2009
Camera Binoculars
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentQuite a few digital camera binoculars have accumulated at least a few reviews and ratings from owners here, and some models have received an objective review from an editor at Amazon.com. The site shows the average rating (on a five-point scale) of each model, along with the number of owner-written reviews on which that average is based. Most camera binoculars get ratings of three stars at best, regardless of price or camera resolution.
12. Binoculars.com
As of Jan. 2009
Digital Camera Binoculars
by Editors of Binoculars.com
Our AssessmentQuite a few digital camera binoculars get at least a few owner-written reviews at this retail site. The Celestron VistaPix 8x32 3.1-megapixel model gets reasonably positive reviews from quite a few owners.
13. The Wall Street Journal
July 16, 2003
New Tool for Birders: Camera Binoculars
by Walter S. Mossberg
Our AssessmentWalter Mossberg, technology expert for The Wall Street Journal, reviews three digital camera binoculars from Bushnell, Pentax and Meade. He and an assistant test each for picture quality and ease of use. The review concludes that while none take pictures as good as those from a midrange digital camera, "all did a passable job" in testing. This article is now very outdated, because digital cameras have evolved so much since the review was written.
14. Forbes
Apr. 2005
Instant Replay
by Editors of Forbes
Our AssessmentThis review of the Bushnell Instant Replay digital camera binoculars is based on personal field testing, reporting that even without a manual, "we were up and filming in 10 minutes." The review focuses on features rather than on the quality of the digital images. It isn't clear which Bushnell Instant Replay model is tested, and no other models are rated.
15. Popular Science
Apr. 2005
The Near-Perfect Combos
by David Carnoy
Our AssessmentThis roundup of camera binoculars recommends the MagPix SX3 digital binoculars, especially for its true 3.1-megapixel camera sensor. (Some digital camera binoculars advertise 3-megapixel resolution without actually having a 3-megapixel sensor. The resolution is interpolated -- something of an advertising trick.) Unfortunately, no testing or even personal use is documented, and no drawbacks are noted.
16. Walmart.com
As of Jan. 2009
by Contributors to Walmart.com
Our AssessmentWal-Mart lists only two sets of camera binoculars here, mixed in with a very long list of regular binoculars. Both models get enough reviews from owners, though, to make their average ratings significant. The less-expensive model gets higher ratings.
17. Adorama.com
As of Jan. 2009
Digital Binoculars
by Contributors to Adorama.com
Our AssessmentAt the time of our report, only two digital camera binoculars had been reviewed by owners here, and neither model had accumulated enough reviews for the average ratings to carry much weight. The Celestron 8x32 3-megapixel model receives higher ratings than the Barska 8x32, even though the latter model has a 5-megapixel camera.
18. Cabelas.com
As of Jan. 2009
Bushnell 8x30 Image View Binoculars/Digital Camera
by Contributors to Cabelas.com
Our AssessmentThree owners give the Bushnell 8x30 camera binoculars (with the 2.1-megapixel camera) an average rating of only two out of a possible five stars here, but this reflects very mixed reviews. One owner says it works fine for videos of football games, while the other two owners struggle to get their shots in focus. The 3-megapixel version isn't listed here.
19. Epinions.com
As of Sept. 2007
Camera Binoculars
by Contributors to Epinions.com
Our AssessmentSearching within the binoculars list shows the few owner-written reviews published here. Though only three models have been reviewed here -- and none get high average ratings -- it's worth reading these reviews if you're interested in these specific models.
20. About.com
Nov. 2004
Top 5 Digital Camera Binoculars
by Michael Carr
Our AssessmentThis brief review recommends five digital camera binoculars, but the models aren't ranked and there's no evidence of testing or actual use. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)

Digital Camera Binoculars Runners Up:

MagPix SX3 *Est. $150

3 picks by top review sites.

Meade CaptureView CV-6 *Est. $200

2 picks by top review sites.

Celestron VistaPix 8x32 *Est. $145

2 picks by top review sites.

Meade Captureview 8x30 3.2 Megapixel Waterproof Digital Camera Binocular
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $87.99
Average Customer Review:  
Celestron VistaPix 8x32 3.1 Megapixel Binocular/Digital Camera w/LCD (Champagne Gold)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $271.95   
Average Customer Review:  
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