The Canon 12×36 Image Stabilization III Binoculars are the third set of image stabilizing binoculars released by Canon. Canon are not new to the binocular game, they are one of the premier companies when it comes to making optical and imaging products, whether they be cameras, binoculars, camcorders, etc.
They began releasing their image stabilization series of binoculars close to ten years ago. And for close to ten years Canon’s image stabilizing binoculars have been some of the best binoculars on the market for long distance viewing. If you want to go bird watching, watch a baseball game from the nosebleed seats, or look at the stars, then Canon’s image stabilizing binoculars should be one of your go to choices for binoculars.
How exactly does the image stabilization work? Well it is not a very complicated process. All image stabilization binoculars are powered by batteries. So you simply pop up in batteries and press the image stabilization buttons on the top, and the binoculars will do the rest. Now every set of binoculars has a different process for stabilizing images.
The Canon 12×36 IS III works by using a motion sensor and a special prism to stabilize images. When the image stabilizing button is pressed, the motion sensor goes into action. If the motion sensor picks up even the slightest bit of movement, the special prism (known as a “variable angle prism” or VAPs for short) redirects the light so that the image stays still. The process works so fast that the person holding the binoculars will never know the image moved. If you want to use your binoculars to look at moving objects, or things that are very far away, then it is absolutely essential that you get a pair of image stabilizing binoculars.
What are the features of this binocular?
- Maximum magnification of 12x
- Compact, easy to hold, and very portable.
- Binoculars make use of Canon’s unique image stabilization technology
- 36mm objective lens
- 5mm eye relief
- Long battery life and efficient power consumption
- The glass used for the lenses is lead free and environmentally friendly
What’s new about this version of Canon binoculars?
As you can tell from the name, the Canon 12×36 Image Stabilization III Binoculars are an upgraded version of the Canon image stabilization binoculars. So what is new about this version compared to the Canon IS II binoculars? Well the main improvement is in the improved battery life. The Canon 12×36 IS II would get approximately 4-6 hours of use before you needed to replace the batteries (this is assuming that you use the image stabilization feature regularly); with the Canon 12×36 IS III you can get approximately 9 hours of use before the batteries need to be replaced. That does not sound like much of an improvement, but the extra couple hours are a decent improvement, and if you do not use the image stabilization feature constantly, then you will get a lot more than 9 hours out of the batteries. Canon uses a very powerful and advanced microcomputer in the binoculars to more efficiently start the image stabilization mechanic, which in turn saves battery life.
The lenses are also lightly improved on the Canon 12×36 IS III, giving you a sharper and clearer image. It is not a huge improvement, but in the right conditions (such as in really sunny environments) it is a somewhat noticeable.
What’s to like
The optics on these binoculars are very good, and they work especially well in outdoor, sunny locations. The 36mm objective lenses with the 12x magnification making outdoor activities, like bird watching or wildlife watching, more enjoyable, because you do not have to worry about the sun running your view. This is because the Canon 12×36 IS III use a Porro II Prism Design. Porro prism designs were once more popular, but were overtaken by roof prism designs, because roof prism binoculars are more compact, and thus cheaper to manufacture.
But Porro prism designs are generally considered better by binocular enthusiasts. The Porro II prisms in the Canon 12×36 Image Stabilization III Binoculars result in images being clearer and sharper; all while working perfectly in even the sunniest conditions. The lenses are Canon’s unique field flattening lenses, which reduced fuzziness and in general make images much clearer.
The image stabilization is great and works exactly as advertised. Even the slightest horizontal or vertical movement is picked up and the image will instantly stabilize. It eliminates the need for a tripod or stand, which can save you a bit of money.
The binoculars are very compact and comfortable to use. They are great to use outdoors because of just how compact and lightweight they are. They are a full pound lighter than earlier Canon IS models. The binoculars come with a nylon carrying case and neck strap, but honestly, you will not mind carrying the binoculars around in your hand or pocket.
What’s not to like
Although the binoculars are great overall, anyone reading this Canon 12×36 Image Stabilization III Binoculars review should know that there are some negatives to these binoculars.
First off, the button that controls the image stabilization mechanism can get jammed or broken very easily. It works fine at first, and for a decent amount of time afterwards, but in some cases you will begin to notice that the button takes more and more effort before it registers that you are pushing it.
The binoculars also missing the locking feature that is available on some other Canon IS models. The locking feature allows you to press the image stabilization button once, and have it work for 5 minutes before you have to press it again. This makes it so you do not have to walk around with your finger held down on the button.
And finally, the binoculars are not waterproof or weather resistant. This is a bit annoying, because the binoculars are otherwise perfectly suited for outdoor environments. So if you are taking the binoculars outside, make sure you take the carrying case or a cover of some sort.
Overall, the binoculars provide good, clear images, are compact, comfortable, and easy to use. Really, what else can you ask for in a pair of binoculars? These are a great purchase for outdoors-men, hunters, and wildlife enthusiasts.