I wanted to thank Steve C and FrankD, and for their reviews of the Eagle Optics 6.5x32 porro, but those threads are 10 years old and won't let me comment, so I'm starting a new one and adding my own two cents.
I'm on a very (very!) tight budget, in South America, and upgrading from cheap $32 BK7 "not even FMC" Celestron UpClose G2 binos. I compared the specs of 25 binos, and read countless reviews, and decided to get my wife the Eagle Optics Kingbird 6.5x32, which seems to be the successor to the Raven, for $59 (even less than the Yosemites)
My wife is loving them! While birding today, she stated several times how much she likes them and how much better these binos are than the old ones, specially regarding:
Originally Posted by Steve C
"what sort of quality is there in the image that you do see". Not necessarily quality in the sense of magnified detail, but color representation, contrast, image shake, image brightness, and so forth.
In theory, by being porro, and not needing dielectric / phase coatings, light transmission could be good without deviating budget from the rest of the optics, and being 6.5x in theory makes them easier to manufacture to a higher quality (and would show less CA than higher powers, lessening the need for ED glass).
But in practice, what impressed me the most was the quadruple synergy between the 6.5x "low power" affording a great depth of field, the reduced focuser fiddling, the elimination of the shakes (big deal for me) and the strong "3D" effect of the porro. These four things combined generate a very big "volume of view", full of helpful depth information. This makes finding/chasing tiny restless tanagers/warblers among the bushes/trees so much easier.
I wish I had gotten another pair for myself. I didn't only because the specs said their max IPD was 70mm and mine is 72mm, but I've measured them to open up to ~72mm, and indeed I could use them fine (and also finally keep my glasses on while observing!). I'm definitely getting a second pair for myself. Maybe two, just in case.
They have two big cons though:
* The focuser is quite stiff. I've read this is the trademark of waterproof porros. The short travel (under 1 revolution) compensates this though.
* The close focus is quite large: the specs say 4.6m, and while I can still focus down to just 2.7m, when I do so, I get some parallax "MasterCard" effect (which I think is inherent to porro close focus). I can live with it, but it's not ideal.
My wife observed through a professional guide's Swarovski's once. We know these Kingbirds are not alphas ... nor betas. Maybe not even gammas, but d*mn they're good. They are worth every penny.