Best Image Stabilized Binoculars Reviews 2018 (Comparison & Guide)

best image stabilized binoculars reviews

Binoculars are optical devices used for making an image bigger for better observation. There are instances where vibrations and tremor limit the use of other optical devices.

Fortunately, this is not observed with the best image stabilized binoculars. These binoculars can be used to observe both fixed and moving objects without having to worry about any form of tremors or vibrations even at higher magnification.

These binoculars improve clarity and sharpness with more astonishing optics. They also reduce every unwanted movement. Hence, deliver better and highly stable images.

Top 10 Best Image Stabilized Binoculars 2018

Model NameSize[email protected]Weight 
Canon IS III12x36mm262.5 ft1.46 lbs
Carl Zeiss IS20x60mm156 ft10 lbs
Canon IS AW
(Editor's Choice)
18x50mm194 ft2.6 lbs
Canon IS Ultra Compact 10x30mm314 ft1.38 lbs
Nikon StabilEyes VR IS12x32mm262 ft2.49 lbs
Canon L IS10x42mm341.2 ft2.45 lbs
Canon IS Compact8x25mm346.5 ft1 lb
Canon IS II
(Editor's Choice)
10x30mm315 ft1.32 lbs
Fujinon Techno Stabi IS14x40mm210 ft4 lbs
Fujinon Techno Stabi JR IS12x32mm262.5 ft3.55 lbs

What are the Image Stabilizer Binoculars?

Image stabilized binoculars are those binoculars which are equipped with image stabilizers.

These image stabilizers are electric sensors that eliminate all form of unwanted movement which then makes these binoculars to deliver stable images. The best-rated image stabilized binoculars deliver sharp and clear images even at higher magnification.

They are recommended to be used for viewing unsteady platforms like moving boat, plane or yacht, also to those with shaky hands and eyeglass wearers.

Types of Image Stabilized Binoculars

Basically, there are only two types of image stabilized binoculars:- The passive system and the active system.

1. Active System

In active system, the picture is adjusted automatically by an electronic sensor that detects changes in the binoculars altitude. This restore image view by altering some parts of the system e.g changes the prism’s angle or the lens.

2. Passive system

A passive system is not equipped with an electronic sensor. The adjustment of the picture is manually using a gyroscope or simply by separating the prism from the casing, this ensures that any form of movement does not affect the focus. The passive system differs from the active system in the sense that the latter uses an electronic sensor.

The mechanism of image stabilization is more useful and extremely important, especially for high magnification binoculars. These image stabilizers can also be used in camera and video lenses. The image stabilized binoculars are more importantly used for viewing moving objects such as boat and plane.


Advantages of using the Image Stabilizing Binoculars

Binoculars are handheld devices used for larger and better image view. If used for a long period especially while observing stars or other shaky images, the result is sometimes not satisfactory, but the image stabilized binoculars are able to overcome this shortcoming.

The two major advantages of using image stabilized binoculars are the larger field of view and stable image view.

The image stabilized binoculars offer clearer, sharper and more contrasting images than other conventional binoculars. Image stabilized binoculars also offer higher image quality even in low-cost models.

The higher magnification and larger field of view of this image stabilize binoculars makes it feasible to track moving objects for longer periods even when they are in constant motion at great speeds. Therefore, it is important to point that, if you are to use binoculars for a very long time, then it will be a nice idea to get yourself a pair of image stabilized binoculars.


Disadvantages of Image Stabilized Binoculars

As we all know everything that has an advantage most have its disadvantage, this is also true in the case of image stabilized binoculars.

One Disadvantage of image stabilized binoculars is their extra weight and size. This makes them less comfortable to be used and may not be easily carried along.

Another thing of concern is their higher price. These improved models of binoculars have a higher price than the regular conventional binoculars.

The reason for their higher price is the additional features and technology inbuilt in them.

Another shortcoming is the use of batteries, this is so because the image stabilizers require electrical energy in order to function properly.

You can still make use of your binocular even if there are no batteries inside, only that the image stabilizer will not function.

Recommended Image Stabilized Binocular Reviews

1. Canon 12×36 IS Image Stabilized III –

canon 12x36 is iii binoculars review
For clearer, sharper and image stabilized operation, the 12×36 canon IS III binocular has no match.

Whether for hunting, stargazing, bird watching or watching sporting events, these binoculars offer excellent image quality, speedy and elegant Compact design.

The Canon 12×36 IS III feature image stabilizer technology which helps to deliver smooth, steady image and extended viewing even on shaky platforms without having to use a tripod. The canon optics helps provide sharp, colorful, bright and vibrations free viewing.

This binocular is also friendly to eyeglass wearers as it features long eye-relief for comfortable use. The high magnification multicoated optics extra bright and wide field of view.

An image stabilizer ensures that you have a stable picture in every situation. With the Canon Super Spectra coating, high-resolution images are achieved with this binoculars.

Its doublet field Flattener helps give sharp image from edge to edge. The optional AA lithium batteries coupled with an enhanced power saving technology provides about 12 hours of continuous optimum performance.

Things we liked
  • Compact and highly portable binoculars that are great for hunting, birdwatching, and lots more
  • Excellent Image Stabilization using improved optics technology
  • High magnification power.
  • The 36mm objective lens diameter helps provide bright, clear and high resolution
  • The Porro II roof Prisms minimize loss of light and this helps provide superb image resolution.
  • Has Doublet field-flattener for clear, and distortion-free images.
Things we disliked
  • The inbuilt image stabilizer requires the use of batteries for proper function.
  • No lens cap


2. Carl Zeiss 20×60 Image Stabilization – best high-end IS binoculars.

As the second on the list, the Zeis optical 20×60 IS Binocular feature a superb design and super solid exterior construction. Carl Zeiss 20×60 IS one of the best high end and high performing binoculars available in the market now.

Having 6.3x 6.3x 1.8 inches dimension, this binocular is compatible and relatively small. With 20X magnification, 60mm objective lens diameter couple with a mechanical stabilizing system using a gyroscope, this device allow you to LOCK an image in a place with just a press of a button.

On the other hand, the high-performance optical lenses and multicoated optics offer amazing, brilliant and sharp images. A classic waterproof housing and rubber amour mean you can use this binocular in all form of weather conditions.

The chassis of this binocular is tough and built to withstand rough and heavy usage. The image stabilization gyroscope allows this device to produce a stable and distortion-free image.

Finally the water-resistant feature mean u can use this device even in extreme weather conditions.

Things we liked
  • 20x magnification coupled with image stabilizing gyroscope provides vibration-free and long distance viewing.
  • Long eye-relief helps give comfort and friendliness to eyeglass wearers.
  • Lead-free glass.
  • Outstanding low light
  • Premium lens-coatings and high-performance optical glass for bright and razor-sharp image quality.
  • Comes with rugged carrying case to allow easy transport.
Things we disliked
  • No cap to protect the lens from dust and scratches.
  • Only black colors are available for sale in the Market.


3. Canon 18×50 IS AW – best image stabilized binoculars for astronomy.

canon 18x50 is binoculars review
With any high magnification conventional binoculars, most people experience frustrating image shake unless if fixed to a tripod.

But the Canon Image stabilized technology effectively eliminate this problem. The canon 18×50 is a large high-power binocular Ideal for stargazing, birdwatching, and other outdoor uses.

The 18×50 IS Binocular is incorporated with an optical image stabilizer, this system employs dual transparent plates, Vari-Angle prism and independent horizontal and vertical sensors and a highly sensitive microprocessor to give an excellent vibration-free viewing.

With its high magnification and wide 50-mm objective lenses, this excellent optical device gives high image quality with outstanding brightness, clarity and a true natural color. There are many optical factors which affect image brightness, including the amount of incident light reflected by the lens.

Thanks to Canon’s precision optics, the binoculars also feature a UD lens, which stands for ultra-low dispersion and reduces any aberrations in the images produced.

Also, the Canon 18×50 image stabilized binocular feature water-resistant and shock resistant rubber coating for non-slip grip as well as durability.

This binocular provides long eye-relief for extra comfort.

Things we liked
  • Comes with a carrying strap.
  • Built-in optical image stabilization.
  • Impressive field of view.
  • Lenses are multi-coated for clarity, contrast, and color fidelity.
  • Shock and water-resistant.
Things we disliked
  • Requires the use of 2AA batteries for the image stabilizer to function.
  • Little too advance for basic uses.


4. Fujinon Techno Stabi 14×40 Image Stabilization Binocular

The Stabi TS1440 14×40 image stabilized binocular is an ideal binocular for eagle watching, stargazing or deer observation.

It combines durability, incredible lightness and true to life image quality. It is well equipped with a waterproof housing, nitrogen filling and rugged rubber armor to provide shock resistance. This feature also enables it to be used even in rainy weather.

It is handy and the long eye-relief makes it friendly to eyeglass wearers. The dust protection caps, waterproof housing, carrying strap and high-quality case offer more value to this excellent compact binocular.

Other features include the fully multilayer-coating, this enhances light transmission, meaning that image contrast, brilliance and brightness are significantly increased. The Phase correction and the roof-prism correct the phase-shift of the light rays.

This means that the image resolution, contrast and brilliance are optimized by preventing over-exposure in the prism set. This binocular is exceptionally Compact and lightweight, this means they are ideal for all form of outdoor use.

Things we liked
  • Incredible image stabilization.
  • BAK-4 phase corrected prism and fully multicoated optics.
  • Exceptionally robust.
  • Long lasting battery.
  • Waterproof and fog proof.
  • Provide crisp and clear images.
Things we disliked
  • Quite heavy.
  • Comes in one color all through.


5. Canon 10×30 IS Image Stabilized II Binoculars – best IS binoculars for birding.


canon 10x30 is ii binoculars review

If you are looking for quality images stabilized binocular, I think the Canon 10×30 IS exactly what you need.

This binocular provides a well-balanced image with amazing image clarity and sharpness. This light-weight and portable binocular is ideal for travel, sports, birdwatching and much more.

With the 10x magnification and the superb 30-mm objective lenses, this pair of binocular can perform wonderfully. Featuring the improved image stabilization technology for extended and smooth viewing, fully multicoated optics and phase corrective technology for colorful, bright, sharp and virtually distortion-free views.

The 10×30 Canon IS binocular is uniquely designed to be comfortably used even while wearing eyeglasses. It is light-weight and compact, hence, perfect to carry along for different activities: concerts, hiking, hunting, stargazing and more.

Besides that, it is incorporated with highly sophisticated Image Stabilization system for efficient and effective performance.

Things we liked
  • Compact, highly portable binocular which is ideal for birdwatching, sport, travel, and more.
  • Superb Image Stabilization using newly improved optics technology.
  • The high magnification, 30mm objective lens with the Porro II Prisms help minimize loss of light and provide outstanding image resolution.
  • Has Doublet field flattener for sharp, clear and distortion-free images.
  • Friendliness to eyeglass wearers.
  • Refined design with a low-reflective exterior.
Things we disliked
  • A few complaints that the neck strap is poor.
  • The stabilizer button is kind of unfavorable.


6. Fujinon 12×32 Techno-Stabi JR Image Stabilized Binocular

The Techno-Stabi 12×32 image stabilized binocular is a pair of an optical device with an inbuilt image stabilizer that belongs to the first class group of the best  image stabilized binoculars.

Its strong optical performance is the evidence why it is grouped into such category. The Techno-Stabi 12×32 has gained the reputation of being an ‘all weather’ binocular.

This Image Stabilizing binocular lock-in on the image to create a short large field of view even at higher magnification. This model employs the EBC coating which gives an exceptional light transmission. The 3 Degree Stabilization freedom allows one to get a solid-image of every object focused.

This binocular is also lightweight and compact. The rubber coated handle makes it easy and comfortable to hold. The Techno-Stabi 12×32 JR IS Binocular comes with a carrying strap.

This bag protects the device from scratches, moisture and dust. The body material is made of a blend of metal and plastic that protects this device from shocks and weather fluctuations.

Things we liked
  • Friendliness to eyeglass wearers.
  • Improved power efficiency and battery consumption
  • Center Focus.
  • Fogproof and Waterproof.
  • 3 Degree of stabilization freedom.
Things we disliked
  • The stabilizer is solely powered by two AA batteries.
  • Quite heavy.


7. Canon 10×42 L Image Stabilization Waterproof Binoculars

This awesome device produce by Canon is among the advanced binoculars in the optics industry. If you a marine enthusiast, wildlife watcher or any form of outdoor enthusiasts, this pair of binocular with inbuilt image stabilization system is what you need to have.

This gadget comes filled with amazing features that make it the best option for most serious-minded out-door lovers. This binocular is incorporated with an astonishing image stabilization system for shake-free and steady image viewing.

High quality L-series optics featuring two Ultra-low dispatched lens elements which deliver extraordinary correction for chromatic aberration. With the 4.2-mm exit pupil diameter and large lens diameter, this binocular offers an exceptionally bright view even under lowlight conditions.

The Canon 10×42 image stabilized waterproof binocular offers both waterproof capabilities and the desired brightness, making it the best option for various outdoor use.

This robust optical device also features doublet field -flattener lenses for sharp and distortion-free images.

Read Also: Canon 10x42L IS WP Binoculars Review

Things we liked
  • comes with Padded Case for easy transport.
  • Eyepiece rain guard protects the lens from dust and moisture.
  • Large exit pupil.
  • Anti-fogging systems.
  • Lead-free glass.
Things we disliked
  • Quite expensive.
  • The stabilizer button is quite unfavorable.


8. Nikon StabilEyes 12×32 VR Image Stabilization Marine Binocular – best IS binoculars for boating.

Generally, with all conventional binoculars, the higher the magnifications, the more the images are affected by a handshake and the closer one gets to a target the more blurred it appears, hence it becomes difficult to observe especially moving objects.

But Nikon StabilEyes 12×32 IS Binocular is able to overcome all these challenges. This binocular is highly compact and lightweight it also employs the “VR” function with extraordinary response and stability.

The VR pause button functions to put the reduction-function on pause, thereby eliminating image shake as you chase the target subject while looking through the binocular. Furthermore, all its lenses are fully multicoated and its newly improved prism offers phase correction coating.

This pair of bino is fully waterproof as the body is filled with nitrogen gas then sealed with O-rings.

The Nikon StabilEyes 12×32 binos are ideal choice especially when you require a clear, brilliant and stable view for sporting events, bird watching and countless other applications.

Things we liked
  • It is fully Waterproof and fogproof with phase correction coated prism.
  • The 12x magnification and 32-millimeter objective lens produce a wide field of view.
  • Quick, central focusing
  • The Slide and lock eyecups and long eye-relief make it friendly to eyeglass wearers.
  • The Exclusive “VR” pause feature allows easy and comfortable viewing of fast-moving objects.
Things we disliked
  • Quite expensive.
  • There is no lens cap.


9. Canon 10×30 IS Ultra – best Compact IS Binoculars

best image stabilized binoculars

Canon 10×30 IS ultra-compact binos offers exceptional optical performance and has image stabilization capabilities.

Whether you are on the upper deck of a stadium or upon the water edge you will get a closer view of all that happens within the area of focus with this model of Nikon optics.

The Nikon 10×30 feature Porro prism which provides superior resolution and helps maximize all the light entering through the objectives in order to produce the brightest view possible. The rugged rubber coating provides a sure-grip and as well protection.

It is light-weight, powerful and compact, the Canon 10×30 Ultra-Compact Binoculars are incorporated with an active Image Stabilization system. It also features the doublet field Flattener for sharp, clear and distortion-free viewing.

The super multicoated optics offer superior contrast and the water-resistant rubber coating makes this pair of binos little handier.

Things we liked
  • Has Built-in active image stabilization system.
  • Doublet field flattener for brighter, clearer, and distortion-free
  • Long eye-relief for easy viewing.
  • Water-resistant rubber coating.
  • Lead-free glass lenses.
Things we disliked
  • Quite heavy
  • The image stabilizer requires the use of 2AA batteries to function.


10. Canon 8×25 IS Binoculars – best IS binoculars for safari

canon 8x25 is image stabilized binoculars review

The canon 8×25 Image Stabilized Binoculars are the most recent model of the canon image stabilizer series, these latest high-tech optical devices deliver exceptional optical performance and outstanding image stabilization capabilities.

The mechanism of action of Image Stabilization system is by tilting the right and left lens barrels to counteract vibrations and shake. This all-purpose pair of binocular is 25 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter than similar Canon models.

Combining the high-tech Tilt-System IS technology with the rounded architectural design for comfortable and non-slip holding, the Canon 8×25 Image Stabilized Binoculars are excellent for any setting.

The active IS system eliminates shake and minimizes curvature of field. The focus dial is mounted at the center and the IS control can easily be manipulated by either hand. The objective lenses are fully coated with Super-spectra multi-coating that enhances image quality by minimizing color smear and maximizing contrast.

Things we liked
  • 8x magnification with wide field-of-view.
  • Optical image stabilization system.
  • Fully Multi-coated optics for brightness, clarity, contrast, and color fidelity.
  • Doublet field flattener lens and rounded design for holding comfort.
  • Super Spectra Coating.
  • Closest focusing distance of 11.5 feet.
Things we disliked
  • The stabilizer button is unfavorable.
  • Little too advanced for basic uses.

Things to consider before buying Best Image Stabilization Binoculars

Image stabilized binoculars are particularly useful for observing moving objects and/or shaky platforms like moving car, yacht, boat or while on safari tour. It is also comfortable to observe moving objects using binoculars with inbuilt image stabilizers. Some of the factors one need to consider before buying image stabilized binoculars are:-

The close-up zoom feature.

With other conventional binoculars, the closer one is to an object, the more blurred it appears, but image stabilized binoculars overcome this effect. Therefore, image stabilizers can be used to observe birds, stars, and wild animals.

The size of the objective lens.

The size of the objective lens is very important as it contributes to the light gathering capacity and transmittance of the binocular. This is why most people prefer binoculars with large lenses. The best image stabilized binoculars should have an objective diameter between 30mm to 100mm.

Body Material.

The image stabilized binoculars are usually made of high-quality materials most preferably aluminum (aircraft grade) which is lightweight and durable.

Glass quality and coating.

High-quality glasses are more preferred as sharp and clear images allow the user to view images clearly from different locations at all magnification levels. Generally, bak-4 prism functions better than BAK-7 prisms. Also, the best image stabilizing binoculars has fully multicoated optics.

Other quality features of image stabilized binoculars that are to be taken into consideration include lightweight, compactness, rugged rubber armor, waterproof and easy handling.


Why should you Buy High-End Image Stabilized Binoculars?

One can observe the vastness of nature with a pair of binoculars at a very close range. Then why will one need a pair of high-end image stabilized binoculars and how are these different from other binoculars?

If you are one of those serious-minded outdoor activities enthusiast, I’m very sure you have some experience using binoculars and you know how unsteady and blurred images can be especially as you get closer to the object you are observing.

As most people prefer to use free hands, other passionate observers prefer to use tripod stand to control this device.

Prolonged use of binoculars which produces shaky images can easily affect your eyes and this can cause a headache.  But this can be avoided using high-end image stabilized binoculars.

Final Verdict

If you are looking for the best high-end binoculars then you can choose Zeis optical 20×60 IS Binocular. But if you have a shortage of budget you can check this cheap one Canon 10×30 IS II Binoculars.

Binoculars with high magnifications are great companions for various activities including wildlife observation, bird watching, hiking, nature observation and for professional uses like surveillance, and astronomical applications etc.

Therefore, whatever you may need a binocular for, the device you acquire should completely satisfy your needs.

Hence, binocular brands with inbuilt image stabilizers are the best option for you. Finally, we hope this review on the best image stabilized binoculars should guide you whenever you decide to purchase one of those image stabilized binoculars.

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