The best binoculars with cameras don't just bring the faraway closer; they let you capture it too. Imagine you've spotted a rare bird and want to take a photograph as a register of the sighting. Spotting scopes may offer special attachments for attaching cameras (a pursuit known as ‘digiscoping’), but binoculars typically don’t.
The solution, other than awkwardly trying to hold both your phone and binoculars steady enough to take an image that way, is to use the best binoculars with an inbuilt camera. As you might imagine, these devices are relatively rare and somewhat niche, but a handful do exist, and we've tested several, putting them through their paces in the field. (we've also included one more compact alternative of a monocular with a built-in camera, the Canon PowerShot Zoom.)
To make our choices, we evaluated the resolution offered by the camera in each device as well as the magnification provided by the binoculars and the size of the objective lens, and of course how well they work in practice. You might also want to see our pick of the best binoculars in general.
The quick list
We'll begin with brief overviews of our top three picks as the best binoculars with cameras. Click 'read more' to jump to fuller evaluations, or scroll down for our full guide.
We love the versatility of these digital camera binoculars. They provide infrared-powered night vision with the ability to record greyscale images and video at night as well as colour during the day. Highly recommended for wildlife watchers.
These more compact binoculars might look a bit plastic-y, but they're light, affordable and well suited to everything from watching wildlife to concerts, sports or more general surveillance.
The best binoculars with cameras in 2024
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The best binoculars with camera
Our favourite thing about these bulky digital binoculars was their infrared-powered night vision. That alone makes them a boon for wildlife watchers. But they also offer video recording, delivering grey, night vision-type footage when it’s dark and regular colour footage during the day. And there's also a handy photo mode.
Though the CMOS sensor boasts a 1920x1080 resolution, we found the actual recorded footage to be a slightly less impressive HD quality 1280x960. Suffice it to say, you won't be winning any photography awards with the images that result. However, in our tests, we got good, relatively clean results at up to 150 metres, and even at up to 180 metres the results were fair.
The fast f/1.4 aperture lens automatically adjusts for day or night. The wrap-around viewfinder/eyepiece was of good enough quality for us to accurately pinpoint our subjects, recording to removable SD cards of up to 32GB capacity. A Micro USB port is another handy extra. There’s also the option to tripod mount the binoculars, which can help keep them steady.
On the downside, a 3x optical, 2x digital magnification isn’t any great shakes in terms of pulling the faraway closer. You'll need to buy 6x AA batteries separately, which provide around three hours of continuous use.
Read our full Nightfox Corsac review for further details.
The best binocular with camera for portabilty
This relatively compact pair of binoculars is more plactic-y looking and don't have night vision, but they're cheap and portable, weighing just 450g. The design is somewhat unusual in that they have a flip up 2-inch LCD display screen on its top plate rather than incorporating the camera viewfinder into the binoculars themselves. The camera itself sits between the lenses at the front and the shutter button is between the eyepieces, designed to fall under the forefinger of the right hand.
The core features here are a maximum 12x magnification married to a 32mm objective lens. Once again, 5MP stills and 1080P video are recorded to a removable microSD card, with up to 32GB capacity supported. The slot is between the eyepieces. The operational range is claimed to be approximately 500 metres, but we found that images at this distance are not a lot to look at. At closer distances, we found image quality to be acceptable and comparable to many phones.
Note that this pair of binoculars is sold under a variety of brand names, depending on where you shop, including Camonity, Dreamy, Ansee and Acuvar. This may be the reason for some apparent variations in what exactly ships – some customers have reported being surprised to find a memory card included. That may not inspire confidence, but we think that at this price, these provide good value for watching wildlife, concerts, sports or more general surveillance situations where you simply want to capture a register of something far away.
The best binoculars with camera for image quality
OK, so this isn't a pair of binoculars, but it actually beat the binoculars on our list for image quality. Since it's made by the camera manufacturer Canon, you would hope image quality to be good, but we were still pleasantly surprised. The built-in image stabilization plays a role here, and we also loved the inclusion of autofocus, which can make using the device much easier.
Weighing just 145g and available in either black or white, it's conveniently portable and can easily be slipped into a jacket pocket. It also fits snugly in the grip of the palm while resting against the eye socket in use, further helping to ensure a steadier view. The optical zoom is relatively modest compared to other options on our list, at just 3x, but it can be expanded from its maximum 400mm optical setting via 2x digital zoom to provide a maximum focal length equivalent to 800m.
Video capture resolution is a respectable Full HD 1080P at 30fps, while 12MP stills are provided via a 12.1MP 1/3-inch CMOS sensor. The closest focusing distance is one metre. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity means that images (saved on a microSD, not supplied) can be shared with a smartphone via the Canon Connect App, which we find a convenient option.
We were less impressed with the mere one-hour battery life, or around 150 images. The positive here is that the lithium-ion battery can be recharged via USB. There's no infrared night vision facility, so this is an option for daytime use.
Read our full Canon PowerShot Zoom review for more details.
The best night vision binoculars with camera
These night vision binoculars with a camera proved to be a bit bulky to handle, and they're the heaviest on our list. However, we found that this gives them a reassuring solidity. The highlight is that they record in Full HD, both day and night. They provide a seven-stage sensitivity range and claim to have an operational distance of around 900ft. We think that's vastly overstated, but we found them good for up to 300ft.
We liked the placement of the buttons on the top, which provide access to 4x digital-only magnification, video recording and the ability to capture 3 megapixel stills. Videos and photos are written to the microSD card, and we were happy to find that a 32GB card could hold up to 2 hours and 38 minutes of video footage or up to 9999 3-megapixel images.
We thought the 2.31" electronic viewfinder did a good job under heavy contrast conditions at night, but we found it less ideal during the day since highlights would blow out in bright sunlight. A Micro-USB cable is included, both for charging and or fdownloading images, which increases the practicality of the device. Overall, we think this is a very solid product for the price, with the biggest drawback being the size and weight.
Read more: Sigweis Night Vision Binoculars review
The best night-vision binoculars with camera for battery life
Here's another option for nature lovers seeking the ability to capture what they see during the night and daytime. These can capture low 1MP resolution still photos and HD 1280x960P video at up to 30fps. They're a little more expensive than the Nightfox and SigWeis options that we've mentioned already but they do offer some extra reach, with a viewing range of up to 300m (984ft) courtesy of the built-in infrared sensor and a 10x optical, 4x digital zoom combo a bright f/1.2 aperture lens.
Seven Infrared modes allow users to fine-tune visibility as desired, while the device can be tripod mounted if our arms get tired. But what we most liked with this option is that battery life (6x AA) can as much as double that of the other devices we tested, providing up to six hours of continuous video recording, or 17 hours of constant daytime operation if not using infrared.
Connectivity comes courtesy of USB 2.0, while there’s the ability to insert an optional microSD card for image capture. We found the ‘Mode’ button a quick way to switch between video and stills capture. Extra peace of mind comes via a 18-month warranty. Note that Rexing also makes a night vision monocular, which, a little confusingly, is also called B1. We reviewed the binoculars, but the monocular does also have some good customer reviews.
How to choose the best binoculars with camera
To choose the best binoculars with cameras for you, we recommend first deciding if you want to be able to use them at night or only during the day. After this, like with any binoculars, you'll need to think about size and magnification.
As any scholar knows, 10x42 denotes a 10x magnification and a lens measuring 42mm in diameter. That’s a constant. Higher numbers may suggest better performance, but it’s about finding that sweet spot that suits you. After all, a large objective lens and a generous magnification can also mean a large and weighty pair of binoculars, and those with more magnification can also be harder to keep steady.
Other factors to consider when choosing the best digital camera binoculars is battery life (some have inbuilt rechargeable batteries) and storage space (some take memory cards while others have inbuilt storage, which limits how many images you can store).
How we tested the best binoculars with cameras
We compiled this guide to the best binoculars with cameras based on a combination of experience from our own hands-on reviews and a thorough comparison of specs and features and customer reviews.
At Digital Camera World, we have many years of experience of reviewing both cameras and binoculars, so it made sense to add this product area to our field of expertise. For our reviews, we tested each device in a range of different conditions during the day and, in the case of the night vision binoculars with cameras, at night.
We evaluated the comfort and practicality of each device and compared image resolution, the magnification provided by the binoculars, the size of the objective lens, storage space and battery life, any additional features and value for money. Our aim was to choose the best binocular cameras for different needs and budgets.
Are there binoculars that can take pictures?
Yes, if you've already read our guide above, you'll have seen that binoculars that can take pictures do exist. These binoculars, or monoculars in one case in our guide, have built-in digital cameras that allow you to capture images or video of what you see through them. It's a much more convenient option than trying to hold your cameraphone to your binoculars and keep the two devices steady enough to take a shot.
How do digital camera binoculars work?
Digital camera binoculars work in a comparable way to a digital camera. They take photographs or video of the magnified image that you see when you look through the binoculars by using an inbuilt digital camera. The quality of the images captured will depend on the quality of the camera.
Some binocular cameras use a memory card, like a camera, while others have internal storage, which has a limited capacity. In both cases, the images can then be downloaded onto a computer as with a digital camera.
Can you take a photo through binoculars?
Yes, it is possible, and it's a method that's free if you already have a pair of binoculars and a camera. Due to the size of the devices and the size of the eyepieces in binoculars, it's is usually most practical when using a cameraphone. Try to hold the binoculars firmly pressed against the back of your phone. The difficulty is holding both devices steady enough to be able to get a decent picture.