Let's face it, you can get all the great photos of your family outings and kid's soccer games with a good compact zoom camera or entry-level DSLR. And these days, every decent camera shoots hi-def video.
No, the $2000 Sony DEV-50V digital recording binoculars have a very narrow customer profile: those who are taking pictures and video of distant subjects they don't want aware of their presence. I speak, of course, of bird watchers.
These new binoculars are a huge upgrade from the preview DEV-3. Zoom depth has been greatly enhanced from a paltry 10x on the old model to a deep 25x, enough to zoom right right up close on an unsuspecting pair of Peruvian Boobies.
Of course, you'll be glad for Sony's 3-axis image stabilization when you're zoomed in that far. Being that these are digital binoculars, you're actually looking at a pair of tiny OLED screens when you peer through the viewfinder. The improved resolution of 2.36 million pixels on the viewfinder screens will make sure you don't miss even the tiniest detail of that Imperial Shag.
While you may want to capture all the intricate sounds of the Black-necked Screamer, you'll probably have to record your own audio if you're 100 yards away, using the build-in stereo microphones.
The real star of Sony's spec sheet is the 3D video-recording capability, though. The DEV-50V can record dual 1080p video streams, giving you a fantastic hi-def 3D video of those American Bushtits.
The "Hyper Gain" feature lets you view better in low light, because everyone goes bird-watching at night, right? It looks like the GPS function of the preview DEV-5V (no longer available) is gone now, because nobody wants any evidence of where they were when they snooped on a Dickcissel.
There are other improvements over the previous model, beyond longers zoom, improved image stabilization, and sharper viewfinders. The DEV-50V are 30% smaller and lighter, as well as dust and splashproof.
Just the thing for a long evening out recording, you know, birds and stuff. Because you would never abuse the long-zoom 3D HD video capabilities of a pair of binoculars like this to spy on your neighbors.