Sony DEV-5 Digital Recording Binoculars hands-onSee all photos
The single sample that Sony had on hand certainly isn't ready to take home. They're rather large, with a durable plastic construction, and are a bit too heavy to wear comfortably around your neck. Several other curiosities make it clear that these still have a long way to go before they hit the production line -- the power slider is reversed, for example, so we needed to flip it to off to power the binoculars on. We weren't permitted to snap photos or video since image quality is not yet final, but both the DEV-3 and -5 are theoretically capable of capturing 7.1 megapixel stills and 1080p 3D video. Since you'll be peeping at your subject through a pair of EVFs, the binocs offer a unique "glasses-free" method of 3D viewing, since they deliver a different image directly to each eye -- even slightly different than what the company offers with its HMZ-T1.
Looking through the DEV-5 more closely resembles the experience you'll have looking your camera's EVF than what you'll see with a traditional pair of binoculars. This digital version offers autofocus, and while sharp, subjects don't appear nearly as crisp or realistic as they do with the optical equivalent. So are these digital binoculars a complete failure? No, we wouldn't say that, but it's without question that their target market is likely to be very small -- negligible, even, when compared to that of nearly every other Sony product.