As the imaging landscape merges closer together, Sony has announced the launch of the world's first digital binoculars that can record both video and still images.
Both the DEV-5 and DEV-3 digital binoculars allow you to capture HD video (1920 x 1080) at 50fps (frames per second), as well as capturing still images at a resolution of 7.1MP.
The binoculars feature dual Alpha-derived G-series lenses, two Exmor R CMOS sensors and two BIONZ image-processing engines. Because of this, and the dual electronic viewfinders for each eye, 3D HD capture and playback is also possible.
The lenses on both models offers a x0.9-x10 optical zoom coverage for 2D viewing, and x0.5-x5.4 for 3D viewing, while the DEV-5 also offers a digital zoom of x20. To combat shake at this magnification, the lenses feature Optical SteadyShot stabilisation technology to reduce this, while the aperture range is from f/1.8-3.4.
Electronic AF is automatic, and can focus as close as 1cm when shooting in 2D, while the pair of electronic viewfinders (EVFs) on each model has an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a resolution of 1,226,880 dots.
Rather than ISO control, both the DEV-5 and DEV-3 use a gain-up function similar to video cameras to manage low-light conditions, while exposure is controlled via an Intelligent Auto mode, though there's a manual adjustment button to adjust settings such as White Balance and Iris adjust.
Weighing around 1.3kg, they feature what Sony call a ‘stealth design' that removes any unnecessary decoration on the exterior of the camera, while an elastomer material is applied to the grip, and record buttons are positioned on both the left and right hand side of the body.
HDMI connection means both models can be hooked up to a compatible TV to view footage - video is captured in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 AVCHD and still images in JPEG. There's no internal memory, but there are slots for either SD/SDHC/SDXC or Memory Stick PRO cards.
Battery life from the NP-FV70 is just over 3 hours fully charged with 2D capture, but reduces when 3D is used. An optional NP-FV100 doubles this capacity.
No prices have been confirmed, but a price of around £2300 for the DEV-5 has been earmarked, with the DEV-3 costing under £2000.
For more information head to www.sony.co.uk