Nikon Sportstar Zoom 8-24x25

Space-age looking binoculars with built-in 3x zoom allowing us to start wide on the pitch and then zoom in to scrutinize ball-play

Nikon Sportstar Zoom 8-24x25
(Image: © Gavin Stoker / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Whether you’re a big kid or an actual child, the Nikon Sportstar Zoom 8-24x25 binoculars hold obvious appeal. As the name suggests this differs from fixed magnification binoculars in featuring a 25mm objective lens wedded to what’s essentially a 3x zoom, allowing for greater flexibility when watching sports. For example using the same device we can be looking at the entire pitch one minute and zooming in on a particular player the next. Yes, at maximum magnification it’s tricky to hold the device steady enough to avoid image shake – less of an issue at the lower settings – but overall we feel this compromise is worth it, given the flexibility the Sportstar provides.

Pros

  • +

    More viewing flexibility than non-zoom binoculars

  • +

    Lightweight and portable

  • +

    Plenty of visual punch from a fairly compact device

Cons

  • -

    More expensive than non-zoom binoculars

  • -

    Image judder becomes an issue at higher magnification

  • -

    Plastic-y looks and feel, though reassuringly solid overall

  • -

    Cannot adjust inter-pupillary distance

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It’s happened to all of us at some point while using binoculars. Namely wishing we had a bit more power at our disposal and were able to zoom in just that little bit further to check a particular detail. Nikon thinks it has solved this frustration with its Sportstar Zoom. The zoom binocular places a menu of magnification settings literally at our fingertips, so we can start out wide and then zoom in closer.

The only downside to having this flexibility of view at our disposal is that we’ll pay a premium for the privilege, compared with what a basic 8x25 binocular from this brand or competitor would normally cost us. 

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Gavin Stoker

Gavin has over 30 years’ experience of writing about photography and television. He is currently the editor of British Photographic Industry News, and previously served as editor of Which Digital Camera and deputy editor of Total Digital Photography


He has also written for a wide range of publications including T3, BBC Focus, Empire, NME, Radio Times, MacWorld, Computer Active, What Digital Camera and the Rough Guide books.


With his wealth of knowledge, Gavin is well placed to recognize great camera deals and recommend the best products in Digital Camera World’s buying guides. He also writes on a number of specialist subjects including binoculars and monoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes, trail cameras, action cameras, body cameras, filters and cameras straps.