Binoculars with Digital Camera: a Scam?

Bushnell Digital Camera Binoculars

In the past, possibly you could say that binoculars that have a built in digital camera were a scam, then as technology progressed and more serious manufacturers became interested  they moved onto what I would call a novelty item. Fun to play with, but still no match for a separate good quality camera and binoculars. The problem in the past was that image quality from the camera was always very poor and the binoculars were not much better.

Combining the two to produce digital camera binoculars is an obvious choice and is sure to become a hit once you get it right, I have written this  previously: Binoculars with Camera – The obvious choice

So where are we now in the evolution of the digital binocular camera?

What is interesting is at the moment none of the really serious camera brands who also make quality binoculars (Canon, Nikon and Olympus)  yet produce a pair of binoculars with a camera, which must surely say something? I am sure that their research and development departments are working on the idea and it will only be a matter of time until one of them produces a quality binocular camera.

Bushnell Digital Camera Binoculars

One of the biggest manufacturers producing some of the best binocular cameras is Bushnell with their range of ImageView and InstantReplay camera binoculars, which is one of the few that captures video as well as still photographs. This allows you to observe and record the action at the same time.

Bushnell are well known as innovators, for example they were pioneers in the development of laser rangefinders, which now are not only used in binoculars but also the excellent range of Bushnell Golf Range Finders. So it is no surprise to see them leading the way in the development of binocular cameras.

Other of the more serious brands producing binocular cameras include Celestron and Meade and Barska.


No binoculars with a camera are not a scam, but if you are hoping to reproduce the quality of photograph that you would get from a quality digital SLR camera, or you expect the binoculars to be as good as a high end pair of Swarovski Binoculars, you will be disappointed. If however you would like to make a quick capture of what you have just observed, then perhaps they are just what you need.

Cost & Where to Buy Camera Binoculars



2 Responses to “Binoculars with Digital Camera: a Scam?”

  1. Dan says:

    In this article, you state “Bushnell with their range of ImageView and InstantReplay camera binoculars, which is one of the few that takes pictures through the actual binocular lens…” but this was posted the same day as another article reviewing the InstantReplay binos which stated they do not use the binocular lenses for the camera. Which is it?

  2. Best Binocular Reviews says:

    Hi Dan,

    Many thanks for pointing this out – I have now updated the article as I don’t think that the InstantReplay camera binoculars take the photos through the binocular lens. The Bushnell site does not say for sure, but am assuming that the fact that they don’t shout about it means that they don’t. If anyone has a pair or knows for sure I would love to get your comments.