Whoa. That's the first word that comes to mind when taking a peek at these: Sony's new Digital Recording Binoculars. They honestly look more like something out of a sci-fi film (or a Call of Duty video game) than a consumer offering, but they'll soon be on sale for average citizens nonetheless. These new specs (DEV-50V) will cost a whopping $2,000, but they certainly pack a punch. This is the second-generation version, offering up image stabilization, flexible zoom, and the ability to record AVCHD 2.0 video with stereo sound -- even after sundown with low-light capabilities.
These are also 30% lighter than the original version, and boast a splash and dust-resistant casing. Users can select the variable zoom to sweep their surroundings at low magnification before zooming in seamlessly to pinpoint a subject, such as deer in a field. Digital zoom on the DEV-50V model allows a total magnification range from 0.8x up to 25x, rivaling traditional high-powered binoculars.
Unlike conventional binoculars, electronic autofocus keeps moving subjects sharply in focus at all times, eliminating the need to focus manually as your scene changes. Electronic autofocus allows the new binoculars to focus quickly and cleanly on subjects far away in high magnification and on subjects less than half an inch away when recording in 2D (minimum of 32 inches when recording in 3D). Additionally, the DEV-50V model includes a built-in GPS receiver that automatically geo-tags video clips and photos.
The new binoculars come with a high-capacity rechargeable battery pack (NP-FV70) that allows up to approximately three hours of 2D recording on a single charge. It also includes a battery charger/adaptor, A/V connecting cable and USB cable for PC connection, as well as a lens cover, finder cap, carrying case, neck strap and large eye cups. Look for it to go on sale in June. Sadly, it looks like you can only afford the vacation or these -- too bad it's too pricey for both!