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For years birdwatchers have enjoyed studying bird in their natural environment courtesy of a pair of binoculars. While bird watchers appreciated the convenience of the binoculars, they were frustrated by the fact that they were unable to take photographs of their subjects. Some birdwatchers got around stopped using their binoculars and switched to studying birds through long range zoom cameras. While this was great for birdwatchers, what about people who were drawn to the see, whale watchers often worried about taking their expensive digital cameras on board ships because they were afraid of what the water and salt would do to the camera’s delicate mechanisms.

Technology has changed and it is now possible for birdwatchers and whale watchers alike to enjoy a pair of binoculars and take great pictures at the same time. How? Camera and binocular manufactures have discovered how to combine the long range durability of binoculars with the convenience of digital cameras. The end result is a Digital Binocular.

The definition of a digital binocular is a pair of binoculars that has been combined with a small (and normally basic) point and shoot digital camera.

If you are considering purchasing a pair of digital binoculars there are a few things you need to know. The binoculars magnification is what determines the camera’s magnification. For example if the binocular is a 10X30 the binoculars magnification is ten (the first number on a pair of binoculars is always the magnification, the second number is the the size of the binoculars front lens). The average pair of digital binoculars has a magnification of eight.

The next thing you should look at when considering purchasing a pair of digital binoculars is the megapixals (MP). The more megapixals the camera has the clearer the picture quality will be. For the average photographer the number of megapixels won’t make a difference a 4X6 photo, but when the picture is enlarged or cropped the image will start to look a little blurry.

Consider the digital binoculars image storage. Your options are normally a memory card or a compact flash. Lower price digital binoculars might not have a method for image storage and you will be forced to store a limited amount of pictures on the internal memory.

You are probably going to want to purchase a pair of digital binoculars that have an LCD screen. The LCD screen will make it easier to frame your photos when you are taking them. After you are done snapping pictures the LCD screen will make it easy to decide which ones to delete. Most people who have purchased a pair of digital binoculars say that the ones that come with a flip LCD screen are easier to use. Digital binoculars that have a flat LCD screed are cheaper.

When you are taking a picture with a pair of digital binoculars bear in mind that what the camera sees is not always exactly what you are seeing. You will have to use digital editing software and your memory to recreate the exact image.

Don’t expect a pair of digital binoculars to take the place of your personal camera. At the moment quality of the camera’s used with digital binoculars is not as good as the standard household camera, this should start to improve as the market becomes more competitive. One of the easiest ways to improve the quality of photo taken with a pair of digital binoculars is to purchase a tripod, the tripod will help steady the camera, eliminating shaking.

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