2014-08-26

Canon 15x50 IS All Weather Image Stabilisation Binoculars

From my experience of selling binoculars over the years, there is one key thing that keeps recurring; everyone’s eyesight is different. This is a market that is very much down to user preference. One of the technologies that does shine though is image stabilisation. Canon’s entire range of IS binoculars sit in an almost unique category where engineers have taken the same tech that is incorporated into both EF/EFS camera lenses and their camcorder range to produce a whole series of shake-defying binoculars.





My personal choice in this series ranging from 8x zoom to 18x is the Canon 15x50 IS All Weather pair. This particular pair is part of the higher end of Canon’s series; they are slightly bigger than the others due to the amount of light they allow in and are one of the All Weather units. This end of the range really does put the Image Stabilisation to the test. Historically I would not really ever recommend a pair of binoculars to a customer more powerful than 12x magnification. 8x and 10x are within the realm of any users, but the minute we start to go higher, binoculars really do become a challenge to hold steady. This sort of distance can easily make looking at a subject rather difficult, the slightest movement we have can be amplified 10x over and send us way off course from our subject matter. 

Magnification:

As mentioned earlier 15x magnification is a very powerful tool and for some that is too much to handle. Smaller pairs such as the 10x30 IS and 8x25 IS are still just as good for quality but are designed to be smaller and lighter. The 15x50 binoculars are ideal for bird and wildlife watchers, as opposed to sporting events of concerts where their power is not needed. The weather proofing makes them ideal for use by the sea and indeed on a boat but remember they are weather-proofed not water proof. The only pair that can withstand submersion is the 10x42L IS WP - these have seals on them that can allow them to be submerged for up to 30 min in shallow waters (up to about 3.3 feet).

Build:
The 15x50s, like all the series, have a good rugged feel to them. The design of the central section where the mechanical parts are, make the system ideal to hold on to. The position of both the focusing wheel and the IS button are both in natural positions for your fingers to hold. The base of the unit also has a tripod mount (not that I feel you’ll need it) but is useful when you want to show groups of people what you are looking at.

If you’re using them out at sea or near reflective surfaces, the front elements are designed to accept 58mm filters. This is Ideal if you wish to put polarisers on the front or even protective filters to avoid sand and water damage.

Image Stabilisation (IS):
If you have ever used any of Canons IS products, then you will know the instant benefits of their Image Stabilisation system. As light travels into the binocular, two sensors linked to a microprocessor analyse movement and adjust two Vari-Angle prisms within the set of optics to adjust the image. This then bounces through the Porro-prism-designed setup to your eyes giving you a sharper and more stable image.

Combine all these elements together with Canons excellent glass quality and you make a superb package. It is difficult to describe the image quality that you can see through the 15x50 without using the word 3D. The images do jump out at you, whether it is to do with the distance you are looking at or the accuracy of the focussing, the optics do seem to give a crisp clear image, defining your subject from its surroundings. Part of this may come from Canon UD Elements that are used. Designed to reduce curvature, it helps reduce image distortion and blurring that normally does occur in high powered binoculars - (ideal for those who wear glasses like me!).

As I mentioned from the beginning, all of our eyes are different. You may find that the others in this range may benefit you more so I offer you all the chance to come to either Burgess Hill or London branch and experience the advantage of IS binoculars so we can find the pair to suit you. If you’re already convinced by the power of the 15x50 then you can order online at www.ParkCameras.com  or call a member of our expert team on 01444 23 70 70.


For the full range of binoculars from Canon, visit parkcameras.com/c/225/Canon-Binoculars.html.


If you've got a question about Canon IS binoculars, post a comment below, and we'll do our best to answer it for you!


Mike
Park Cameras


SPECIFICATIONS
Magnification (x)
15
Objective Diameter (mm)
50
Exit Pupil (mm)
3.3
Real Field of View
4.5°
Apparent Field of View
67° Wide
Field of View at 1000 m
79
Closest Focusing Distance (m)
6
Eye Relief (mm)
15
Eye Width Adjustment
58 -76mm
Prism
Porro Prism II
Image Stabilizer
Yes
Field Flattener Lens
Doublet Field Flattener
UD Lens
Yes
Power Source - Two size AA batteries
Yes
Rubber Coating
Yes
Water Resistance
Yes (JIS grade 4)
Super Spectra Multicoating
Yes
Weight (excl. batteries)
1180 g
Width (mm)
152
Height (mm)
81
Depth (mm)
193


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