Sony Unveils DEV-3 and DEV-5 Digital Binoculars with HD Video Recording, Zoom,...

Sony Unveils DEV-3 and DEV-5 Digital Binoculars with HD Video Recording, Zoom, AF


San Diego, CA—Sony’s new DEV-3 and DEV-5 are the first digital binoculars to record Full HD video in AVCHD 2.0 format with stereo sound at the touch of a button, and they add a 3D mode that records stereoscopic video footage for playback on most 3D HDTVs.

“Now consumers can watch birds, wildlife, sports action and more in steady, sharply focused close-up views, while capturing their subjects in crisp Full HD,” said Andy Bubala, director of the camcorder business at Sony Electronics. “These new models add entirely new levels of flexibility and convenience to viewing, recording and enjoying your favorite images and scenes.”

Users can select the variable zoom on both models to scan a wide area at low magnification before zooming in to pinpoint a subject, such as birds in a field. Turning on the digital zoom at magnification settings over 10x boosts the DEV-5’s total magnification range from 0.9x to 20x digital (image quality is reduced when digital zoom is on and recording 2D video at magnifications higher than 10x). The DEV-3 is designed to pull wildlife, sporting subjects and architectural details closer with a 10x maximum optical magnification. In 3D mode, the binoculars’ maximum magnification is 5.4x optical.

Sony says that the new models’ electronic autofocus “keeps moving subjects sharply in focus at all times. A comfortably positioned dial allows fingertip adjustment of manual focus—ideal for focusing selectively on a subject, rather than overhanging branches or other obstructions in the field of view.” And the electronic AF system is said to focus on subjects less than half an inch away when recording in 2D (32 inches when recording in 3D).

Separate images for left and right eyes are captured by a matched pair of Sony G lens optics with Exmor R CMOS sensors and Bionz processors, while independent electronic viewfinders provide detailed images for left and right eyes, offering a stereoscopic viewing experience.

Both digital binoculars also feature Optical SteadyShot image stabilization (active mode) to help keep images stable even when viewing at high magnifications; this is the same system found on Sony Handycam camcorders and Cyber-shot cameras.

Other shared features include: an elastomer-coated ergonomic grip; top-mounted controls to enable easy operation with gloved fingers; dual buttons to start recording with either hand; a high-capacity rechargeable battery pack for approximately three hours of 2D recording on a single charge (remaining battery time is displayed in the electronic viewfinder); a USB connection for transferring video to a PC for storing and editing; and HDMI output to Sony Bravia HDTVs or any HDTV with HDMI input for viewing images (cable sold separately).

The DEV-5 model also includes an onboard GPS receiver that automatically geotags video clips and photos so they can be viewed after shooting in online maps (requires compatible software).

Sony’s DEV-3 and DEV-5, available in November for about $1,400 and $2,000, respectively, include a battery charger/adapter and A/V and USB cables. The DEV-5 comes with a lens cover, finder cap, large eyecups, a case and neck strap.