If you’ve ever wondered why no one has taken the obvious step of combining a digital camera with a pair of binoculars, then you can rest easy — that’s just what the two new digital recording binoculars from Sony deliver.

The Sony DEV-3 and DEV-5 look a little like a prop from a science fiction film, but that’s probably because they pack in so many hi-tech features.

Both models offer up to 10 times magnification with a motorised zoom and have optical image stabilisation to compensate for hand wobble — something that can cause serious problems when viewing a distant object at high magnification.

Still images can be captured at a resolution of 7 megapixels and video at Full HD 1080p. Both the DEV-3 and DEV-5 use two separate electronic viewfinders to provide a 3D view, just as with standard binoculars, but they can also capture HD video in 3D too. An onboard HDMI port also allows 3D video playback to a compatible HDTV.

The DEV-3 and DEV-5 share essentially the same specification, but the DEV-5 adds GPS for geotagging photos and videos, which is useful for anyone who wants a record of where a particular image was taken.

As impressive as both models seem, the catch is the price and neither the DEV-3 nor DEV-5 are particularly cheap at £1,399 and £1,999, respectively.

If that puts them out of your price range, then here’s a hands-on review from a Swiss video site — it’s in German, but with English subtitles.

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