The Best Binoculars in 2023
Binoculars can be a deceptively simple thing to purchase. After all, they all do the same thing. Or do they? In our Binocular Buying Guide, we delved into the technical details of binoculars, giving you the full lowdown on how they work and the different types on the market. In this guide to the best binoculars in 2022, we help you put this technical knowledge to use when buying binoculars.
Why are There so Many Different Types of Binoculars?
Binoculars are used for one thing: magnifying a scene so you can see the contents clearer. So why are there so many different models on the market? Which binocular magnification is better? Is it worth investing in a pricey pair if it will only get periodic use? To answer all these questions, first decide what you’re going to use the binoculars for.
This may seem obvious, but the best binoculars for astronomy are not necessarily also the best small binoculars for travel. Features and capabilities vary significantly between models, so it’s important to choose the best binoculars that suit your intended use.
Curious about how binoculars work? Read on for a brief overview, or check out our Ultimate Binocular Buying Guide for a more in-depth explanation.
Firstly, most binoculars available at Ted’s Cameras fall into two categories: Porro or roof prism binoculars. Binoculars featuring a porro prism generally provide a clearer and more detailed view but are also typically larger and heavier than their roof prism counterparts. Roof prism binoculars are commonly available in a more compact and travel-friendly size, but often have a higher initial cost.
Secondly, every binocular is described using a set of numbers, for example 16X50. The first number refers to the magnification of the binoculars and the second number is related to the objective, or front, lens in millimetres. From this, we can gather that binoculars with a larger first number have higher magnification capabilities and are therefore the best binoculars for long distance viewing. A larger objective lens allows binoculars to let in more light, which is useful for viewing in low-light situations - these are the best binoculars for stargazing and similar purposes.
Which Pair of Binoculars is Right for Me?
Now that you have an idea of how binoculars work, it’s time to put that knowledge to use and find the best binoculars for you.
Travel and Kid's Binoculars
If you’re looking for the best binoculars for kids, we recommend compact binoculars such as those within the 8x20, 8x25, 10x20 or 10x25 range. These smaller models are easier for children to handle, and provide a clear view with minimal adjustments. Due to their portability and light weight, items in this range are often also the best binoculars for safari trips on which space efficiency is essential.
Explore our full range of compact kids’ binoculars here.
Nature Viewing and Wildlife Binoculars
The best binoculars for birdwatching tend to fall in the 8x50 to 12x50 range. Moderate magnification capabilities in this range give you a steady, clear image, while large objective lenses maximise light and allow you to distinguish small details. These qualities make mid-range models the best binoculars for observing many types of wildlife, and not just birds.
If your treks to the wilderness often take you to darkly-lit places or your subjects are fast-moving animals, you may want to consider a pair of image-stabilised binoculars.
Browse our wide range of wildlife binoculars here.
Marine and Hunting Binoculars
If you’re wondering how to choose binoculars for hunting, just think of the skills required to be a successful hunter. You want to be able to see wildlife before it sees you, which will require more magnification - something with a minimum of 10x. You’ll also want something that can withstand all weather conditions, such as a waterproof pair with non-slip rubber armoring. Similar considerations should guide your decision when purchasing the best marine binoculars, although in this case, the magnification will not have to be as long.
The best waterproof binoculars are sealed and nitrogen filled, allowing you to use them freely in inclement weather and near water sources without the fear of water or dust damage.
See our entire selection of waterproof binoculars here.
The best binoculars for stargazing vary depending on what exactly you want to see in the sky. Smaller objective lenses are not particularly helpful when looking at the night sky: A larger lens is necessary.
The best binoculars for astronomy have wide scoping views, strong magnification, and fast and easy focus, in addition to weather- and shock-resistance for stargazing in any conditions.
Get New Perspective with a Good Pair of Binoculars
A pair of good quality binoculars can transform the way you see the world and help you see extraordinary things in everyday environments. Whether your hobby is stargazing, wildlife watching, or travelling, there’s a perfect pair of binoculars out there for you.
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