Celestron vs Bushnell
There is not a significant difference in quality of pics between one brand and make of digital binocular, as long as you are comparing models with similar features. There is no "best" in this regard.
Digital binoculars are more about convenience than performance. If you are concerned with quality in your pics, you should be looking at a good digital camera, not a digital bino. Digital binos are fun instruments, but they have their limitations. For home alblums or emails, they will do a nice job, however.
Here are some good features to look for in a digital bino.
The numbers in a digital binocular such as 8x30 or 8x42, are the binocular numbers. The first binocular number, such as the 8 in 8x30 is the magnification - how many times the image is enlarged over normal. The second binocular number 30 in 8x30, is the size of the binocular front lens in millimeters. The larger this last number, the better the performance, but also the larger the physical size of the binocular. For a discussion of the basics on binocular construction and numbers, see our article How to Understand Binoculars and how to Buy Binoculars? http://www.opticsplanet.com/how- to-buy-binoculars.html
MP stands for mega (million) pixels. A pixel is a tiny square in a digital picture which you can easily see if you enlarge a digital picture enough or look at your computer screen with a magnifier. A 3MP picture has
2, 048 pixels in each horizontal row and 1,536 pixels in each vertical row for a total of 3,145,728 pixels or
simply, 3.1MP .
How important is the MP number? Not as important as most people think. There is no noticeable difference in a pic taken with 2MP, versus one taken with 3MP or even 4MP, even with an8x10 enlargement. Other factors in a digital camera have more impact on picture quality than megapixel count, especially lens quality and processing muscle - color balance, contrast, noise reduction and so on. Since manufacturers constantly keep re-introducing the same camera with more and more MPs, you can often get as good a camera at a better price in an earlier, lower MP model.
An LCD screen on a digital binocular serves the same purpose as it does on a regular digital camera. It allows you to frame and review pics. On a digital binocular, though, a flip up LCD screen is a big plus, since you won't have to drop the binocular down to see the screen, as you must on a flat LCD screen found on inexpensive digital binoculars. Go with a flip up screen when you can.
IMAGE STORAGE - SD, CF slot
All digital binoculars have the ability to store pics via internal memory, but this is only enough memory to store 10-40 pics. When the memory is full, you must either delete pics or download them into your computer. On inexpensive digital binoculars, this is your only option. Better digital binoculars therefore use memory cards, either SD (secure digital) or CF (compact flash) to store more pics. This is an important feature, so check the specs if in doubt. No need to go crazy on memory card capacity, however. For instance, a 256MB card can store almost two-hundred 3MP pics on the average. That is more than enough for most applications.
COMPUTER COMPATABILITY, PC and MAC
All digital binoculars come ready to go with software for a PC, (check to see if your PC program is listed) but, unfortunately, no digital binocular is supplied with Mac compatible software. No problem, though, if you have a Mac. Just select any digital binocular that takes a memory card (SD or CF), add a card reader to your Mac such as the http://www.opticsplanet.com/silicon-pow ... riter.html then feed the memory card into the reader and you can download your pics into your Mac. It's that simple
A digital binocular is like any other camera - if you want sharp pics, you have to hold it steady. This is especially true for a digital binocular, since the magnification is higher than the average digital camera. Therefore, a digital binocular which can be mounted on a camera tripod will have the potential edge over a digital binocular which cannot.
OPTICAL ZOOM AND DIGITAL ZOOM
Optical zoom is enlargement or magnification of the image done with lenses and it is always preferable to digital zoom which is done with software. Remember, a digital binocular has only one optical magnification possible. Do not rely on the digital zoom function if you expect good pics. If you need more magnification, move in closer.
Your personal optics expert
Joanie (Jne) K
Phone: (888) 263-0356
Fax: (847) 574-6820