Sony’s DEV-50 Second Generation Binoculars: Worthy of the Expensive Price?

Jasmina Lozevska April 25, 2013 0


When I first met the first generation of Sony’s binoculars, I was amazed by their functionality and greatness. Now this company had enough of the old ones and they have made brand new, second generation DEV-50 binoculars. Sony has improved the design, the zoom range, ruggedness, size and its electronic viewfinder. The problem with this gadget is the price. They are little bit more expensive that you expect.

This manufacturing company has been trying hard to bring the digital tech to another market. Today, they have announced the next upgraded version of its digital binoculars, which you can buy for $2,000. This model is expected to start shipping as soon as June. They are more expensive than the other rival binocular models from Nikon and Canon. But there is something that this device can and other binoculars can’t do. These binoculars have a feature which can capture a scene with its image sensor than it can display this picture with some small EVF (electronic viewfinder). In other words, they will remember what you saw through them for you, by taking a photo or video. And if you like a more dramatic view, they can take that photo in 3D, enabled by their stereoscopic nature.

DEV-50 has replaced the previous two binocular products which were launched by the previous effort from Sony to enter this digital binocular market. They were launched last year and the first one was DEV 5 which had cost $2,000 and the other one DEV-3 was priced $1,400.

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Let’s take a look to the improvements which were made to this new upgraded version DEV-50.

  • Sony DEV-50 has been made 30% smaller than the previous model
  • The performance of the zoom lens was upgraded from 0.9X range to 10X and before that it was 0.8X to 12X range. The digital zoom feature which now has a computer-based magnification was upgraded to 25X from the previous 20X.
  • The main upgraded feature and difference has been made in the EVF. This represents a crucial part for people who are trying to see all the details through the work of the binoculars. The DEV-50 is equipped with an OLED display with an improved 1024 x 768 resolution. The previous model had a LCD display with 852 x 480 resolution.
  • Upgraded resistance to water and dust. Sony said that you can now use them in the rain, which is a pretty cool opportunity.
  • Exmor R sensors for the image have been made smaller (4.6mm diagonally). They have a 5.4-mpix resolution each.

It has a built-in GPS feature which means that all the videos and images made from these binoculars are geotagged. This could be very handy on some sites like Google+ and Flickr that have the possibility for supporting location data. Beside this, it can be really useful for other sites like Project Noah or eBird which can feed data into more scientific research. This GPS feature was included only into DEV-5 from the previous models.

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DEV-50 weighs 765g. A still photo made with these binoculars, will come out with a 6016 x 3384 resolution from a maximum 20-mpix resolution. The zoom range is quite impressive. For video, 50-790mm with the digital zoom set to off and 50-1646 with the digital zoom set to on. For making still photos, the range of the zoom is 30-1648mm for aspect ratio set to 16:9 and 36-2001mm for aspect ratio 4:3. The zoom range has been reduced for shooting 3D video.

These binoculars can store video with AVHCD 2.0 format and they can store photos with JPEG format. The headphone jacks, microphone and the HDMI port are placed on the sides. They have optical stabilization which is not quite essential for high magnification. Sony made these binoculars more usable in low-light conditions and they made the sensors to amplify all the available light. This doesn’t mean clear image but it’s good enough.

While using them you can plug them in for charging. The power cord and an AC adapter will be supplied to you.

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