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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Viking Scout 12x30 Image Stabilised Binoculars (1 Viewer)

I bumped into a birding colleague who has connections with Viking and he has tried both the prototype and a production model. He's going to get one and is obviously impressed with the image stabilisation and other qualities. I think he can wangle a discount on the price which he thought would be about £590. I think it's being pitched about the price of the Canon 10x/12x 30/36 models. I think the price if right is a bit steep...
I had a chance to see these at Minsmere today where I volunteer as an optics adviser.

They are indeed priced at £599 and a prominent sticker says Made in China. They are rather weird to hold with the focus way down at the objective end. The apparent field of view was good and the optics overall seemed very good though I only tried them inside the shop. They have a rather fast focus, (anti-clockwise to infinity) which accentuates the feeling of a shallow depth of field.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to unpack the two AAA batteries supplied so the most important feature, namely the Image Stabilisation I was unable to test. They appeared well built. I think they would take some getting used to for birding purposes due to the fast focus and 12x power. The ergonomics one could probably get used to.

Before I realized there were no batteries in it I switched the IS on and tried them and had the weird sensation of the image swaying horizontally way beyond my natural hand shake. Presumably the lens/prisms were released and "floating" on their pivots.

For all their quirks I'd be interested to see these developed in a 10x30 format and with a reduced price. Next time I'm at Minsmere I must remember to bring some AAA batteries to test them further.
Read a thread on social media by a person using these for bird ringing and recording purposes.....twite. Hope they work as expected. Specifications say 5 year warranty, battery life of up to 12 hours. I think there could be a mistake regarding the weight, only 420 gs without batteries. Are they reverse porro prisms?
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