"A more mainstream waterproof 8x or 10x30 version is surely in the pipeline." Exactly! Glad you like them. I have acquired several IS binoculars besides the Nikon 10x25 IS. The Canon 8x20 IS, Canon 12x36 IS III and the Canon 18x50 IS. The IS binoculars are the only thing that will give me something my NL 8x42 doesn't. More detail without a tripod. I tried a Kowa Genesis Prominar 8x33 and a Nikon HG 8x42 and although they are good for their price point they don't compete with the NL. No way no how!Well, the Nikons arrived early, kudos to the Ebay seller (https://www.ebay.com/usr/skmt01?_trksid=p2047675.l2559)
Just a couple of walks with them, am pleased by their light weight and solid performance.
Some initial impressions:
Decent packaging, agree the carrying pouch is useless, maybe good for a pint of gin but not for a binocular. Against that, the very petite carrying strap actually works well, because the glass is light enough that suspending it from the neck is OK, unlike the situation with my Canon 10x42.
The package includes a cute little battery holder to clip on the strap, along with the rainguard. Clearly Nikon is aware that this glass really works only with the IS powered up.
The IS is very effective and is easily engaged by a button conveniently located under the middle finger, with the focus wheel under the index.
I think the IS should be engaged when lifting the glass and then turned off when dropping it back. That maximizes battery life with no impact on the user experience, as the IS kicks in immediately.
The dual hinge design is much like that of other 8x20s, with a center body and two moving tubes for the objectives. It may take some getting used to for those accustomed to single hinge binoculars, particularly as this is a 10x25, where exact eye placement is really critical for the best view.
FoV is a smidge less than my big Canon, while close focus is perhaps a foot better, under two meters by my estimate.
Optically, the glass is very good, beautifully sharp and easily focused exactly.
The focus is nice and smooth, much faster than on the Canon, less than one full turn lock to lock versus almost three.
Overall, I think this is a very successful new design. It looks good and performs well. I think it resets the bar for everyday binoculars. A more mainstream waterproof 8x or 10x30 version is surely in the pipeline.