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Daniel | 16/03/2020
For the most serious users, image stabilised binoculars are an essential piece of kit. As the name suggests, these models use a special mechanism to keep the image you see as steady as possible. This is necessary when using binoculars above 10x magnification, since the smallest movement of your hand can send the image flying.
Since they use more advanced technology, image stabilised binoculars tend to be considerably more expensive than standard models. If you're thinking about investing in a pair, then you'll want to think carefully before you buy. Luckily, the liGo experts are here to help. We've tested countless pairs of binoculars, and used that experience to put together the following list of our top picks!
First up, we have the Viking Scout, available in either 12x30 or 16x30. The main reason why we have chosen this particular model for our number one pick is that it offers excellent value for money. Many image stabilised binoculars are far beyond the price point of the average birder. At under £600, though, the Viking Scout is considerably more affordable, while still performing on a par with pricier pairs of binoculars.
With multicoated lenses and phase corrected prisms, the Viking Scout offers excellent optical clarity. The image stabiliser mode can be turned on and off with the press of a button, and provides up to 12 hours' use from a single pair of batteries. And if you're planning on using the Scout for long periods of time, you'll be glad to know that it is relatively lightweight for a pair of high-magnification binoculars. They even come with a 5-year warranty, to give you a little extra peace of mind about your purchase.
Next, we have the Canon 15x50 All Weather IS binoculars. As the name suggests, these offer a slightly larger objective lens size than the Viking Scout, as well as a little more magnification. That means they may be a better bet for expert birders. Higher magnification gives a clearer image, and it's also ideal for looking at smaller birds. What's more, the Canon 15x50 binoculars are fully weatherproof with a rugged design, making them perfect for use in all weathers.
If there's a downside to these binoculars, it's that their size makes them rather uncomfortable to use for long periods of time. If you have a tripod, then this won't be a problem. However, if you are using them hand-held, then they may not be the best choice for a full day of birding.
Some people take their birdwatching very seriously indeed- to the extent that they are willing to spend thousands on a pair of binoculars. If you're investing such a large amount of money, then naturally you'll want to be sure you're getting the best. The Canon IS 12x32 may be out of many people's budget, but if you have the money to spare, they are well worth considering.
Canon's image stabilised binoculars come with special EF lenses. Using a dedicated motor built into the lens itself, they will automatically focus on whatever you are looking at. Of course, this technology makes Canon IS binoculars a bit more expensive than other brands, but it delivers outstanding performance. This model is slightly smaller than the 15x50 model, which makes it more comfortable to use for long periods of time. It also means it's easier to take out and about, as it won't weigh you down so much.
If money is no object, then the Canon IS 12x32 provides advanced image stabilising technology. The Canon 15x50 is another solid choice, offering even greater zoom capabilities, although it isn't quite as portable. If you're looking for the ery best image stabilised binoculars, though, then we wholeheartedly recommend the Viking Scout. Not only does it offer excellent image clarity and an extremely steady image, but it also costs considerably less than other IS models from big-name brands. That makes the Scout incredible value for money- perfect for both veteran users and those who are new to the world of image stabilised binoculars.
Related: Top 10 Best Binoculars for Birdwatching
This entry was posted in Binoculars & Birding on 16/03/2020 by Daniel.