Pentax DigiBino DB100 Review
The Pentax DigBino 100 is the first digital camera built into a set of 7x binoculars. For the sport enthusiast or outdoorsman, a pair of 7x17 binoculars are a pocket sized accessory that many would buy. Incorporating a digi-cam into those binoc's should make it a must have. Once in a lifetime viewing of anything is a memory kept forever, now you can make that memory a digital image that can be shared - forever.
The DigiBino has a separate 7x lens (no zoom - only 7x) mounted in the center between the binocular's optics. It has its own AutoFocus system that has nothing to do with the binoc's manual focus wheel. The pictures it captures sometimes aren't focused on the center of the frame, the Auto White Balance isn't what it could be, image size is too small to make any more than 4x6 prints but it is an image most would not get otherwise. And that is this digicam's claim-to-fame.
It does require a tripod to get the best of image quality due to the extreme image magnification. The ISO can not be manually set so when you get into lower light the camera increases the ISO which decreases image quality. The images are stored internally and there is no removable media so downloading is the only way to free up more image space. Sixteen megabytes of built-in memory will store about eighty images shot at 1024 x 768-Low compression setting like the sample images were. Another source of annoyance was the shutter release could be barely touched and it would fire unintentionally wasting precious storage space. To delete an image was a two or three step process per image. But to restate the obvious; they are images you probably wouldn't get otherwise.
Do keep in mind that all Sample Photos are taken with and this conclusion is based on a pre-production unit. The final production version may have improvements and the $392 MSRP that Pentax lists may be more palatable by the time a street price comes out.
The DigiBino 100 is a specific use camera with a pair of binoculars that are quite useable. The outdoorsman will find it a nice added feature to capture some of those glimpses of nature and the concert goer will come away with images no one else will. If capturing these moments and making that memory a digital image that can be shared - forever, is what you are looking for then this is a "catch" for you.
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