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Are Image Stabilized Binoculars Worth it?

If you are having a difficult time trying to keep your binoculars stable and your hands less shaky, then it’s time you invested in a pair of image-stabilized binoculars. These binoculars are largely beneficial for astronomy, marine life, and other outdoor applications that require the use of high-stability and strength binoculars. They are available in different models with different price tags to suit the needs of different users out there.

Binoculars are great investments that people make and are more important when it comes to an image-stabilized model. Unlike the standard binoculars, image-stabilized binoculars are costlier and ideal for specific tasks. You don’t need an IS pair for normal casual birding and wildlife viewing. But you’ll need one for astronomy and marine uses or if you are looking for a pair with above 15x magnification.

What Activities Require the Use of Image Stabilized Binoculars?


Image stabilized binoculars are in no doubt beneficial for astronomy. Since astronomy requires higher optical power to get the best views of the sky at night, the higher the magnification you use, the more stability you’ll need. A stable viewing point is key if you want to have the best astronomy experience.

In this day and age, image-stabilized binoculars are replacing telescopes for astronomy. Majority of telescopes are large, bulky, and less portable. On the other hand, IS binoculars are compact, lightweight, and more flexible.

Bird Watching.

This is the other outdoor pursuit where image-stabilized binoculars are handy. They are particularly important when you are viewing flying birds which require you to get the focus quickly. While you can still enjoy bird watching with the normal binoculars, getting an image-stabilized pair will make your expedition more fun and rewarding.


Hunting is the other hobby that requires the use of image-stabilized binoculars. To have a successful hunting experience, you must be quick and dynamic. You can spot your target at a distance and in no time have it disappear. Having a pair of stabilized binoculars will help you focus the target quickly and clearly especially if you are hunting at long distances.


You can also use image-stabilized binoculars while on a boat. These binoculars come in handy particularly in times of high winds and choppy water. You’ll enjoy steady images and a wide field of view even when the waves are unbearable.

Before you invest in any image-stabilized binoculars, ask yourself what you intend to use the binoculars for, where and how you’ll be using them.

Let’s now take a look at image-stabilized binoculars in detail.

What are Image Stabilized Binoculars?

Image stabilized binoculars justify their names, exactly as they sound. They are designed to stabilize your images in the same way as DSLR cameras. Since an increase in magnification makes the images shaky and unclear, an image-stabilized binocular will stabilize the images, remove the blur and help you focus.

Typically, if you are looking to use a high magnification power of about 15x or more, you are highly recommended to use an image-stabilized pair of binoculars or a tripod at the very least.

How do Image Stabilized Binoculars Work?

Image stabilized binoculars have a built-in electronic sensor designed to counteract any motion that can make the images blur and shaky. Whenever binoculars move or get a little shaky, the images you are viewing will start to blur. This can be extremely frustrating especially if you are viewing moving objects. You’ll not only be unable to enjoy fine target details but also lose them.

So, the integrated electronic sensor makes automatic adjustments immediately the binoculars become unstable. It can either adjust the binocular’s lens group or shift the binocular’s prism, especially for roof prism binoculars.

Why Do You Need Image Stabilized Binoculars?

As earlier stated, image-stabilized binoculars help stabilize image views to give you clear and quality images possible. In case you are using a 20x pair of binoculars, it becomes very difficult to keep your images stable with such a high magnification power. This is where image-stabilized binoculars come in handy.

Regardless of the activity, you are engaged in, an image-stabilized binocular will give you the steadiest images possible. They also provide a wide field of view which allows for snug viewing even during long viewing sessions. This makes your excursion more fulfilling and enjoyable as well.

Are Image Stabilized Binoculars Worth the Price?

The fact is image-stabilized binoculars are costlier than normal binoculars. However, this trickles down to what your needs are. If you are on the market for an expensive pair, you should get an image-stabilized model that’s within that budget. It will not only be worth every penny you spend, but also offer multiple benefits with a guarantee of many years of field use.

On the other hand, if you don’t have the finances, you don’t have to break the bank to get a pair of image-stabilized binoculars. You can get an inexpensive pair along with a tripod and still have your images steady and blur-free.

Who are the Best Image Stabilized Manufacturers?

The best manufacturers for image-stabilized binoculars are Canon, Nikon, Zeiss, and Fujinon. There are other companies that make IS binoculars, but they don’t have a great reputation in terms of quality, design, and reliability.

If you have decided that you want to invest in image-stabilized binoculars set, you should get a model from any of these four manufacturers. While some of the models will cost a fortune, they are certainly worth it. They are built to last and are highly reliable and versatile too.


Are Image Stabilized Binoculars Worth it? Definitely Yes.

Whether you should get image-stabilized binoculars or not largely depends on what your needs are. If you can afford it, then getting an image-stabilized binocular is way better than getting a normal binocular at the same price tag. But if you can’t afford one, there is no problem with getting a quality pair of standard binoculars along with a tripod.

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