BUSHNELL IMAGEVIEW BINOCULAR
BY MIKE WILKIE
May 06, 2007
Davenport, New York (USA)
5' 8" (1.73 m)
148 lb (67.10 kg)
Hiking for me started early as I was always an avid camper, and belonged to the BSA. Now living in the Catskill region backpacking has become serious for me over the past two years. I backpack nearly every weekend. I'm a heavyweight packer as I like to be prepared and use tent for overnighters, but want to lighten my pack. My trail adoption will keep me busy doing maintenance in the Catskill Park. I am now an aspirant of the Catskill 3500 club, and plan to become an Adirondack 46er, doing some winter hiking and snowshoeing and complete major thru hikes.
Year of Manufacture: 2003
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.bushnell.com
MSRP: not available
Listed Weight: 10 oz (419 g)
Measured Weight: 9 oz (255 g) without batteries
11.2 oz (318 g) with batteries and carry case
Other details: The Bushnell ImageView binocular takes the technology of digital photography and combines it with a high-quality compact binocular.
Binocular/digital camera combo
10x magnification, 25mm objective lenses
640 x 480 digital image resolution
8 MB of built-in memory stores nearly 150 pictures
Fold down rubber eyecups
Objective lens: 25 millimeters
Size class: Compact
Focus system: Center
Prism system: Roof
Prism glass: BK-7
Lens coating: Fully coated
Field of view (at 1000 yards): 300 feet (91 m)
Close focus: 8 feet (2.44 m)
Exit pupil: 2.5 millimeters
Eye relief: 10
Eyecups: Fold down
Included in box: Carrying case, neck strap, CD-ROM and instruction manual
Warranty: Limited lifetime
The Bushnell ImageView Binoculars were given to me as a gift on 12/25/2005. The ImageView came in a clear hard plastic packaging. It included the binoculars, soft neoprene carrying case, a thin neck strap, instruction manual, USB cable for uploading images and a CD-ROM for PhotoSuite 4 software from Roxio and drivers for editing and uploading images.
My first impression was how small and light these binoculars are. They can fit right in my front pants pocket. Looking at the binoculars for the first time I thought how great they will be for backpacking, small, convenient and very light.
On the top there is the normal binocular finger dial for focusing. Above that there are two small buttons labeled mode and snap. Then just above the two buttons is the small LCD display. The mode button has three functions: power on, power off and mode change. The snap button has two functions: take the picture and select (for mode change). Operation is simple and easy. On the bottom of the binoculars is a plastic slide door for installing the two AAA batteries that are NOT included.
The eye cups are made of rubber and fold down for anyone who wears glasses. My wife loves this option being she can't see too well without glasses. The rubber protects when the eye glasses when putting them up to the eyes and adds comfort to the eyes without glasses. In between the two eye cups, at the back of the camera, is the USB plug connecter. Now on the opposite side of that, the front of the camera, there is the shutter eye (lens) in between the binocular lenses. The sides are made of rubber that give them protection and make good hand grips. The color is silver and black. The carrying case is a soft lightweight black neoprene. It has an added belt loop for convenience. The neck strap is a thin 1/4 in (0.01 m) wide adjustable nylon. The binoculars are only 4 in (0.10 m) wide, 4.5 in (0.11 m) long and 2 in (0.05 m) thick.
Carrying these binoculars for over two years has really put them to the test. They have been in my pack and have been used in all types of weather. From hot sunny days on North Mountain at 90 degrees F (32.22 C) and an elevation of 3180 ft (969 m) to snowy single digit days on a 2000 ft (610 m) hill behind my house with temperatures of 9 degrees F (-12.77 C) the ImageView binoculars always performed well. Being they are not waterproof I did not attempt to get them wet, but I did have them out during light snow fall. I am very pleased with the quality, build and construction of the binoculars.
Since the Bushnell binoculars are a precision piece of equipment it allows me to adjust the interpupillary distance (distance between the eyes) and has a diopter setting feature (adjust binocular to personal vision). The rubber sides make for good hand grips and the fold down eyecups are a plus when wearing glasses. I found the binocular to have a crisp view that can go a good distance for their size. They are not fog proof but I never had a problem with the binocular lenses. The camera lens on the other hand did fog up on me on cold days.
The camera quality cannot be compared to the binocular quality. First problem was not being able to see my image taken on a preview display screen. The quality of the images taken looked very grainy and had a low resolution. The color was not bright and brilliant like expected from a digital camera. Please find below a picture taken with the ImageView from North Mountain in the Catskills. It seemed like some of the pictures I took were not in focus. Stated in the operation guide "the camera is set at infinity and will not be focused on an object closer than 20 ft "(6.15 m).
The camera does have some great pluses like the lightweight and size, the easiness of operation, mode changing and picture snapping. For such a small camera it does contain a lot of storage. I have been able to take and store over 100 pictures at a time on it. The LCD display is a great feature as it tells how many photos have been snapped, battery life and any mode that has been selected.
The Bushnell software and driver CD-ROM was an easy install and I found the software very user friendly. Just in three clicks after opening the software all images were upload right to "My Pictures" folder in my documents. I did find when the camera is plugged in to my USB it drains the batteries. I would recommend unplugging it immediately after uploading images. The battery life in the field seems to last as I only changed the batteries twice in the past two years. Twice is pretty good being they have had plenty of use and the second time was due to leaving the camera plugged into my pc overnight.
Unfortunately there is no sound off feature. One day out in the field I had a great view of 10 to 15 deer coming down a hillside right towards me. I pulled out the ImageView and when I turned the power on it made a sequence of beeps as it always does. Out in the silent wilderness this unfamiliar sound spooked even me. By this time all I can see are the last few white tails disappearing back over the hill. The snap button also makes a light single beep when pushed, but I don't think it's loud enough to spook any thing or anyone.
The carrying case is lightweight and made out of neoprene. The construction and stitching of it seems to be built pretty well as it still looks like it did when I first received it. There isn't even one thread pull on it. It also has an added belt loop stitched on the back of it. I personally like this feature because I loop my waist strap from my backpack through it and always have it in an easily accessible place. The neck strap is really nothing special. It is a thin adjustable piece of nylon that would give me rope burn if I kept it around my bare neck.
Overall the idea of having a small lightweight binocular-camera is a great two in one package. These high quality binoculars alone are really worth their price. The low resolution images were really upsetting when my first images were uploaded. If the digital camera was in high quality as the binoculars this would be a fine piece of equipment.
THINGS I LIKE
1. High quality and well constructed binocular.
2. Lightweight, small and compact.
3. The software is user friendly and camera is very easy to use.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
1. Images are taken in low resolution and are low quality
2. Not being able to preview images on a display screen
3. No sound on/off feature
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
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