Sony has launched the world’s firstdigital binoculars to record in AVCHD 2.0 format. The new models, DEV-3 and DEV-5, can record Full HD video with stereo sound at the touch of a button, and add a 3D mode.
“Now consumers can watch birds, wildlife, sports action and more in steady, sharply-focused close-up views, while capturing their subjects in crisp Full HD,” said Andy Bubala, director of the camcorder business at Sony Electronics. “These new models add entirely new levels of flexibility and convenience to viewing, recording and enjoying your favorite images and scenes.”
Users can select the variable zoom on both models to scan a wide area at low magnification before zooming in seamlessly to pinpoint a subject, such as birds in a field. Turning on the digital zoom at magnification settings over 10x boosts the DEV-5 model’s total magnification range from 0.9x up to 20x digital, rivalling many high-powered conventional binoculars.
The DEV-3 model pulls wildlife, sporting subjects and architectural details closer with a maximum magnification of 10x optical. In 3D mode, the binoculars’ maximum magnification is 5.4x optical.
Electronic autofocus allows both binoculars to focus cleanly on subjects less than half an inch away when recording in 2D. Separate images for left and right eyes are captured by a matched pair of precision G Lens optics by Sony with “Exmor R” CMOS sensors and powerful BIONZ processors.
The DEV-3 and DEV-5 digital binoculars feature Optical SteadyShot image stabilization (Active mode), the optical stabilization system that’s found on Sony Handycam camcorders and Cyber-shot cameras. The binoculars can be connected via HDMI to any HD television with HDMI input for viewing images. There’s also a USB connection for transferring video clips to a PC for storing, editing and sharing.
The binoculars feature a “stealth” design that eliminates distracting buttons or external details that could reveal a user’s position to wildlife.
Both binoculars feature an ergonomic grip area that’s coated with an elastomer material for sure handling and stable operation. Top-mounted controls allow easy operation with gloved fingers, while dual buttons are provided to start recording instantly with either hand.
The DEV-5 model includes an on-board GPS receiver that automatically geo-tags video clips and photos. Tagged images can be viewed after shooting in online maps. Both binocular models come with a high-capacity rechargeable battery pack (NP-FV70) that allows up to approximately three hours of 2D recording on a single charge. Remaining battery time (minutes) is displayed in the electronic viewfinder.