Customer Review

207 of 212 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These will be much used because they are uniquely useable, August 17, 2004
This review is from: Canon 10x30 IS Ultra-Compact Binoculars (Black) (Electronics)
A grad student tried a pair of these Canon image stabilized binoculars at an observatory's star party and while he thought the binocs were very fine, he didn't agree with all the other astronomers around him that they were that much better than normal binocs..........

As for myself, I read every review I could find before deciding to purchase these 10x30 IS Canon binocs. I've had them for nearly a week now and have done some careful observing and decided to share my thoughts to help others who may be "sitting on the fence" and worried about the occasional bad review seen here or elsewhere.

I will be using these binocs for many kinds of observing , but

mostly for astronomy, nature observing and for the fun of using them -- they are very enjoyable to just plain use 'em.

Astronomy use puts optics to a severe test, but these performed far better than expected, and I expected rather much. First, I didn't expect the brightness to be so good. For a 10x30, they are clearly letting through almost all of the light entering the objective lenses, even with all those elements and prisms. I own a wonderful set of french APX 10x60 military naval binocs, and these little Canons were actually brighter on daylight objects and offered truer colors, too. Color fringing is very minimal, but visible on very bright objects in the night sky and at the edges of light-colored objects in daylight, but only if you are really trying to see it. On bright stars, there is some flaring, but lesser stars are tiny and tinier dots of light, just as they should be -- not as fine as you'd see in the finest apochromatic refractors, but about as fine as you'll see in any 10x30 binocular. Image sharpness is excellent all the way to the edge of the field of view and the image "snaps" into focus just like a good refractor telescope. For some reason, I find that the image is at its most superb about halfway to the edge and I most enjoy seeing the stars just below dead center for a relaxing and most crispy view. At 60 degrees apparent field of view, this is wide enough that you don't feel like you're looking down a tunnel, as on some binocs where this specification is only about 45 degrees or so. The 3mm exit pupil on these is a bit small and does make your adjustment of the binocs rotating eyepiece turrets more critical and does add a bit of fatigue keeping the eyepieces centered on your eyes. By comparison, my french 10x60s with their huge 2" oculars offer a much more relaxed view -- assuming you have them mounted on a stable platform though. On the plus side, a 3mm exit pupil is better for those with eye astigmatism who prefer not to wear glasses while observing. The binocs will accomodate your near or far sightedness naturally and as the light will only be using 3mm of your eye opening, astigmatism is usually not a problem. So take off your eyeglasses and you'll enjoy using these even more.

As others have said, the image stabilization is the breakthrough feature of these 10x30s and the other Canons in their IS line-up. When I HOLD down (not just click on) the IS button, in about six seconds the image goes from terribly shaky and rather unpleasant to view to moderately stabilized to locked-in full stabilization. If you let go of the button, the image immediately reverts back to "shakey as ever". And if you press the button again without much delay, you don't have to wait the six seconds for full stabilization, but only a fraction of a second in practical use. Some have written that the IS feature causes a lessening of resolution or sharpness in the image, but not in these 10x30s -- the image is tack sharp.

The image stabilization works perfectly for most practical uses. If you shake like Mohammed Ali, these binocs will not help you, but if you have a reasonably stable set of arms, these will do the rest to give you a virtually motionless view -- even while someone (else!) drives the car on your next trip.

A few minor nits, or how Canon can make these even better!

The focus is so wonderfully sharp and precise that Canon needs to put a finer thread screw on the focusser as it is a bit hard to obtain precise focus without constantly overshooting. This will cost Canon about nothing to improve. Oh, and I DO like the fact that the objectives move when you focus and not the eyepieces. In most binocs, pressing against the eyepieces will cause defocussing. And for a few pennies, Canon could integrate a flip-down-and-under objective lens cover which would certainly be nice. Or maybe even a simpler two-piece combination objective and eyepiece cover set that connect to each other with stretchcord on each side -- simply pull off and use -- stretch back-on and protect. Finally, as even alkaline batteries will last 4 hours continuously using the IS, why not change the IS "press and hold" button to and on-off switch with 5-minute auto-off. Gets to be a bit of a bother holding the button down all the time you are looking through them. Canon, are you listening?

So, what's my bottom line? Well, if you were to lay a pair of $1200. Zeiss binocs of similar power on the table along with a pair of these Canons I would still choose the Zeiss. Surprized? Allow me to explain: I sell the Zeiss on eBay and use that $1200. to buy FOUR pairs of these Canons which offer far higher practical resolution and fun over all the other binocs out there. Christmas is coming and these Canons have more WOW factor than anything I can think of for the money.

Oh, as for that grad student at the observatory who didn't think much of these binocs on first use -- when informed the next night that he had to HOLD the IS button and not just click it, he changed his mind somewhat .......... LOL
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 21, 2012 9:37:22 PM PST
P. Colen says:
great concluding notes. I need a pair.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2012 10:27:06 AM PST
chartel says:
I've owned these Canon binocs for about 7 years since first posting my review -- they work just as well today as the day I bought them and still look nearly new, too. I've gotten my money's worth from them and they keep on ticking. I even use them at the range to check my shooting targets with ease. I wonder if Canon ever incorporated any of my suggested improvements?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2012 9:48:57 PM PDT
Mister Bones says:
Thanks for your update...very persuasive.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2013 4:33:33 PM PDT
Themis says:
ive heard that canon modified this models over the years, for example now it lasts longer before you have to recharge the eneloops etc.. But do you know if its still 6 sec. to let the IS work? This would be not so good when looking on planes. How much did you paid 7 years ago?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2014 7:19:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2014 7:25:59 AM PDT
Before anyone buys these binoculars or anything else with Canon's name on it, read the reviews throughout Amazon and the Internet about the binocular body melting and turning into a gooey mess. It has nothing to do with hairspray, suntan lotion or body oils (besides the fact that I don't use any such lotions or sprays, my Nikon camera hasn't melted, and I handle it a lot more than the binoculars). And for those of you who it hasn't happened to yet, it's just a matter of time. And time for Canon to step up and do the right thing. DON'T BUY CANON.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2014 2:58:08 PM PDT
FWD52 says:
I must disagree. I've talked with several binocular specialists who are familiar with your problem. They all said the same thing. Any type of chemicals on the hands will cause the rubber surface on most binoculars to "melt" and become sticky. Perhaps someone else used your Canon bino and caused the problem.
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