Recommended binoculars

Last reviewed: January 2009
Olympus 8x21 RCI

Although technically not an electronics item, binoculars could be considered the gadgets that bird-watchers and sports enthusiasts would love to get as gifts this year. Among the models that have passed through our labs this year, consider:

  • Olympus 8x21 RC I, $50, CR Best Buy

At 7 ounces, this compact 8x model is among the lightest and least expensive we've tested. It has very good image quality, and is easy to use and very durable. It also provides a wide field of view with the ability to focus close-up.

  • Pentax DCF HR II 10x42, $300

This full-sized, 10x model has very good image quality, a wide field of view, and better images than most in dim light. Weighs 30 ounces.

Posted: December 2008 — Consumer Reports Magazine issue: January 2009