If you loved our previous story of Swarovski's amazing AI-smart binoculars, then the news of Yashica launching some 4K binoculars with night vision might also tickle your fancy. But can all that glitters be gold, or is this just a smart move from a new company with an old name?
These new binoculars are called the Yashica Vision, and the company claims that they possess revolutionary night vision that redefines low-light observation and combines advanced features and superior technology to bring the night to life in stunning 4K UHD full-color detail.
You might detect a bit of suspicion when reading about these binoculars, and they really do look like a spitting image of the Sigweis Night Vision Binoculars I reviewed a while ago – including the 5x digital and 3x optical zoom, while also being able to capture the night in full-color and IR modes. On closer inspection, though, there are a few differences.
The main difference is that these are fitted with a 4K CMOS image sensor, compared to 1080p sensors I've seen fitted by some of the best night goggles and vision binoculars from other manufacturers
This 4K UHD experience offers high-resolution visuals to be shared with the wildlife or hunting community. This feature enables users to reveal previously unnoticed details in low-light conditions, fostering a deeper connection with the surrounding environment – and because of this 4K tech, you are also able to capture and share 58MP images.
These features sound great, and are certainly a welcome bonus when looking for the night-vision binoculars, but this hunting veteran has a few concerns. Firstly it quotes 4K video, which I'm sure it does, but the 4-inch viewing LCD panel only produces 400x960p resolution – does this matter?
Well, I don't have first-hand experience with the Yashica Vision. But having used the Sigweis Night Vision Binoculars and the NightFox Corsac – which both have 400x960p resolution screens – I found viewing to be a little tricky, and sometimes a little blurry. Not what you want, when stalking a deer or lambing for rabbits.
Could these be copies of already-out-there products bolted together to produce the Yashica Vision? Possibly, and if so that happens all the time, but the next thing that sends a shiver down my spine is the suggested retail price of $252 (about £198 / AU$380). I'm not being a snob here, but for that price I would be very surprised if the 4K video footage and 58MP stills were any good.
I could be proved wrong, and DCW will request them in for review if they come to market, so I will be happy to eat my own words if they are great. But when the next best thing from competitors is priced at around $800 (£629 / AU$1,210), I begin to wonder where the corner-cutting begins and where it ends.
These are currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter if you want to pledge (be aware that you can lose this money if the product does not come to market, and if released the ultimate product may be different to what is depicted at this stage). As of writing, the campaign has made a massive $509,400 / £400,600 / AU$773,600 – absolutely smashing its goal of $20,475 / £16,100 / AU$31,100.
Personally, I think this is a great marketing ploy by a company that has rights to a very old name in the photography industry and is leveraging that heavily. Let's not forget the disastrous Yashica film cameras that also launched on Kickstarter a few years ago…