Canon IS II 10x30 & IS III 12x30

Price: £480 and 3700

Review by Matt Merritt

This Canon binocular review was first published in Bird Watching's December 2015 issue

canonbinocular

IMAGE-STABILISED binoculars have been around a long time, and there are birders who swear by them.

Canon have updated their range, and I put the IS II 10x30s and the IS III 12x30s to the test on a couple of inland stretches of water, as well as from the passenger seat of a friend’s car. That’s when they come into their own – the image-stabiliser button on top of the bins is easily accessible, and does its job well, eliminating much of the pitching and swaying that you’d expect when birding in such situations.

The image is sharp and pretty bright, too, right up close to the edges, contrast is good, colour natural, and the field of view far from claustrophobic.

But, and it’s quite a big but, there are downsides. It’s hard to adjust the bins to suit your eyes, for example, with the eyepieces offering less flexibility than a typical pair of birding bins. And, although both are reasonably compact, and not heavy (600g and 660g), they’re not as well balanced as many bins, meaning that some of the time the IS is merely cancelling out movement you wouldn’t get with other bins anyway.

Still, if you do a lot of birding by boat, in particular, these are an invaluable addition to the rucksack – try them and you might well be converted.

This Canon binocular review was first published in Bird Watching's December 2015 issue