Sign up for our daily newsletter


Sony DEV-5 3D Recording Binoculars review

Andrew Unsworth
31 Mar 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Great viewfinder, good video quality, but the zoom range is too low to replace high-end binoculars



2x 1/4in CMOS sensor, 1,920x1,080, 10.0x zoom, 1.2kg

The Sony DEV-5 uses two 1/4in Exmor R CMOS sensors to create a set of 3D recording binoculars that let you photograph or video outdoors in environments not suited to a camcorder or camera. The DEV-5 is of obvious interest to those with an interest in wildlife video and photography, but would also suit those wanting to record and enjoy sports events or other outdoor occasions.

Sony DEV-5 3D Recording Binoculars

We used the DEV-5 in a torrential downpour and it suffered no ill effect, although we did have to wipe the lenses every so often. The lenses are partially protected by a plastic surround, but this only protects it from rain and snow so much. A plastic lens cover protects the lenses when the DEV-5’s not in use, but it isn’t detachable. This means you can’t lose the lens cover, but it also means it gets in the way occasionally.

Unsurprisingly, given the amount of technology crammed into it, the DEV-5 is not small, measuring 88x155x219mm (HxWxD). It also weighs 1.2Kg, which is more than twice the weight of the Sony TD20VE 3D camcorder. Surprisingly, the DEV-5 only feels heavy when it’s hanging around your neck, but this is probably due to the unit being very well balanced in use. It felt so heavy when strung around our neck that we held it up to give our spine some relief, but it felt light when held up to our eyes. We expected it to be front heavy and to have to compensate for this, but it wasn’t.

Sony DEV-5 3D Recording Binoculars

You must set up the DEV-5 for your eyes before use, but the DEV-5’s controls and the viewfinder’s menu make this easy. The DEV-5 uses a 3D electronic viewfinder, although it can operate in 2D if you prefer (there’s a button on the DEV-5’s top panel). To set it up for your eyes, you must physically adjust the position of the diopters (the eyepieces) using a wheel located in between and above them. Once adjusted, you must also complete a simple visual alignment test through the viewfinder. Each diopter also has a ring that lets you adjust the viewfinder’s focus to suit your eyes. We had no problem adjusting it to suit our longsighted eyes.

Read more