B&H Photo (opens in new tab) and Amazon (opens in new tab) both offer the Canon 8×20 IS binoculars with a generous $50 discount (opens in new tab) as part of their Black Friday Sales. B&H Photo (opens in new tab) sweetens the deal by throwing in a Vortex Binocular Harness strap worth $21.99 (opens in new tab) to spread the weight of the binoculars across your shoulders for a more comfortable experience.
The Canon 8×20 IS image stabilized binoculars are the smallest and lightest (420g) in the Canon IS range. Canon claims they are the lightest image-stabilized binoculars in the world. Although typically larger when compared to a standard compact binocular (as they have to accommodate a CRA123A lithium-ion battery), they are high-quality binoculars that are suited to everyday use, with an ergonomic design and a rounded grip for added comfort.
The unique selling point of these particular binoculars is the image stabilization to reduce image shake, effectively self-correcting involuntary movements that occur during handheld viewing. They incorporate a continually adjusting vibration gyro mechanism to steady the lens vertically and horizontally. You could be forgiven for thinking this type of technology is reserved for much higher-powered binoculars, but there are reasons Canon has included it in the 8×20 and 10×20 models.
Not everyone is blessed with a rock-steady hand, and those with shaky hands can find the resulting images frustrating, not to mention fatigue-inducing, even at low magnification. This may be especially true for older persons or children.
The image stabilization, activated at the touch of a button, will help users achieve a clear, steady, and sharp view much easier than without, even with this relatively low magnification. It’s also a ‘good to have’ if you don’t want to use a tripod when observing.
Because the minimum focusing distance is just 2m, these would be good to keep out on your windowsill at home for backyard observations, something not possible with all binoculars.
Glasses wearers may be more comfortable removing their glasses and using the diopter correction to focus. The diopter correction of +/5 means you can adjust the optics to suit a broad range of varying visual acuity.
As with the Celestron Nature DX 10×56 deal we posted about yesterday, these aren’t going to be much use for skywatchers. For that you’d need a pair which are much better suited to low light or night conditions, such as The Celestron SkyMaster 15×70 (on sale for…