Buyer's Guides

The Best Binoculars for Bird Watching, Hunting & Sight-seeing

Magnify far-away objects and make them easier to view with the best binoculars in Australia. 👀
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The best binoculars can come in handy in different situations. You can use them when birding, hiking, hunting, etc. Some models feature powerful lenses that will allow you to observe the night sky in great detail. As if that is not enough, these optical devices can be used in theatres and during sports events.

However, finding the right binocular for your needs can be somewhat daunting since there are countless options to choose from. Additionally, not all binoculars are built equal, meaning they differ in terms of performance. Also, some types of binoculars are better suited for certain tasks, thus making the selection process even more difficult.

TL; DR: The #1 Binoculars for Most People 👇
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Bushnell H2O Compact Roof Prism Binocular
1,921 Reviews
Bushnell H2O Compact Roof Prism Binocular

Equipped with multi-coated ‎BAK-4 prisms and high-quality lenses, the Bushnell BN130105 will provide you with bright, sharp images when viewing distant objects.

It has a magnification of 10X and other great features that can greatly assist you. The fact that it is waterproof makes it ideal for outdoor use. This pair of binoculars is definitely worth buying!

To help you find the best pair of binoculars, we’ve created a list of some of the top-rated binoculars in Australia. The products listed below have been selected with your needs in mind, so feel free to pick any of the six binoculars in this guide. Plus, we have included a list of factors that can guide you in your quest for the best binoculars in Australia.

The Best Binoculars to Buy Today in Australia

1. Best Overall: Vortex DB-215 Optics Diamondback HD 10×42 Binoculars

1,895 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • Fully multi-coated optics for optimum light transmittance
  • Adjustable eye cups for customised viewing
  • The lenses are made from high-quality glass elements for excellent colour fidelity
  • Rubber armoured body for maximum durability
What customers say:

“Simply the best value for money binoculars on the market. Fantastic optics especially in low light conditions. Optics and quality better than other brands that cost over double the price of these gems. Worth every cent.”–Cameron Duncan

We chose the Vortex DB-215 Optics Diamondback HD 10x42 Binoculars as our top pick because it has great specs, making it ideal for a wide range of viewing applications. This pair of binoculars has a magnification of 10X and 42mm objective lenses that allow for maximum light transmission. In addition to this, the optical system is made up of fully multi-coated lenses to prevent light loss through reflection.

Vortex has used two types of coatings on these binoculars—armortek and dielectric coatings. The former safeguards the objective and eyepiece lenses against scratches, dust, and other destructive elements, while the latter ensures you get accurate colours. As a result, the binoculars will always deliver crisp images if the lighting conditions are favourable.

Furthermore, the manufacturer has optimised these binoculars with every user’s needs in mind to ensure you get high definition images every time. You can customise the optical system depending on the distance of the object being viewed. By using the focus wheel at the centre, you can customise the lenses in both barrels simultaneously to get a clear field of view.

To add to this, you can adjust the eye relief by twisting the eyecups downward or upward. This makes the binoculars an ideal choice for people who wear eyeglasses. If you are familiar with how the human eye works, then you must be aware the eyeballs are not precisely matched, and neither do they see the same. And it is for this reason that the Vortex DB-215 has a dioptre that can help you compensate for this difference.

As such, you will get well-balanced images that are easy to view. Both the dioptre and central focus wheel are ridged along the edges to prevent slippage when making adjustments. In terms of durability, the binoculars are made of high-quality aluminium to give you long-lasting service. This also makes it lightweight, so you can hold the binoculars for an extended period without experiencing fatigue.

To top it all up, the exterior is rubber armoured to maximise shock absorption. This will protect the lenses when the binoculars fall. The grip area is textured to increase traction between your fingers and the binoculars.

Pros
  • Comfortable viewing
  • Anti-reflective lenses
  • Excellent build quality
Cons
  • Not waterproof

2. Best Binoculars for Birding: Nikon Prostaff 7S 10×42 CF Binoculars

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1,974 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • Phase-correction roof prisms for precise colour production
  • Nitrogen-filled optical system for fog-free performance
  • Customisable eye relief for comfortable viewing
  • User-friendly design for easy operation
What customers say:

“…Small and compact, good level of magnification without needing to rest your arms on anything to get a steady view, the glass is sublime and everything looks crisp and colourful through them.”–Callum S

If you are an avid bird watcher, the Nikon Prostaff 7S 10x42 CF Binoculars may just be the right equipment for you. It has a wide apparent field of view of 56.9°, meaning you will get clear images even when viewing distant objects at high magnification.

Besides, the wide field of view enables you to see a larger area, so you won’t have to move your head from time to time. This makes it ideal for scoping moving subjects. The Nikon Prostaff 7S has the same objective lens diameter and magnification power as the Vortex DB-215. However, this particular model is nitrogen filled and also has reliable O-rings for enhanced water resistance.

You won’t have to worry about fog forming inside the binoculars, thanks to its innovative design. Also, the barrels are tightly sealed to prevent the ingress of dust, so rest assured the lenses will stay clean throughout the period that you will have these binoculars. Since it has a straightforward design, you won’t have a difficult time optimising the optical system.

Besides, the binoculars have well-designed knobs that allow for quick and easy adjustment. The phase-correction prisms on these binos will provide you with accurate colours in different lighting conditions, while the multi-layered coatings limit reflections. Through this, more light will enter the binoculars, thereby producing high-resolution images.

The eyecups are made of soft rubber for maximum user comfort. Also, they are adjustable and feature a convenient turn-and-slide design for quick eye relief adjustment. And since it has a tough rubber coating, this pair of binoculars can withstand harsh environments, so you can use it just about anywhere.

Moreover, the barrels are ergonomically designed to give you a comfortable grip that is equally non-slip. The binoculars feels good in the hands and are also lightweight, weighing approximately 646 grams. It won’t weigh you down when outdoors, making this a great pick for everyone who is looking for compact binoculars for travel.

Pros
  • Fog and waterproof construction
  • Precision engineered optics
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • The objective lens cups need improvement

3. Best for Stargazing: Nikon Aculon A211 10×50 Binoculars

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3,926 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • BAK-4 prisms for next level light transmittance
  • Large-diameter objective lenses for a wide field of view
  • Strategically placed central focus wheel for easy adjustment
  • Aspheric eyepiece lenses for flatter visuals
What customers say:

“These are great binoculars crystal clear and suitable for people with glasses. I can see 4 of Jupiter’s moons which is pretty good. Recommended product.”–Tim T.

If you are a loyal fan of Nikon, this must be your lucky day because the brand presents you with yet another high-performance binoculars that you can consider buying. Unlike the Nikon Prostaff 7S 10×42, which has roof prisms, the Nikon Aculon A211 10x50 Binoculars is of the Porro prism type, meaning the eyepiece lenses are offset from the objective lenses.

The unique placement of the optics greatly improves light transmittance even in poorly lit conditions, thus making the Nikon Aculon A211 an excellent choice for stargazers. And being one of the binoculars that we tested, this equipment amazed us with its high-quality images. It provided us with a clear view of the night sky and produced decent images of the moon and stars.

One thing that we liked most about this pair of binoculars is that it has a wide objective diameter. As a matter of fact, it has the largest objective lenses on the list, so you can buy this device knowing it will deliver crisp images. Aside from the aforementioned celestial bodies, we also scoped terrestrial objects to see how the binoculars perform in both aspects.

Its 10X magnification blends well with the 50mm objective lenses, so we were able to see distant objects in high definition. To make them even more reliable, these binoculars are equipped with barium crown glass prisms, a.k.a BAK-4 prisms, which are known for high light transmission.

Additionally, the prism material has less dispersion, meaning the light that passes through the objective lenses won’t be lost during the production of the image. The range focus is centrally placed to give you quick access when customising the field of view. Like the Nikon Prostaff 7S, these binoculars will allow you to position the eyecups at the most ideal level, enabling you to view through the binos with or without eyeglasses.

The fact that they are rubberised means you can place them close to your eyes without hurting yourself. With a 5mm exit pupil, you can comfortably use these binoculars in a range of lighting conditions. Not to forget it has aspheric eyepiece lenses that will flatten your field of view for better image quality.

On the downside, the Aculon A211 is not as compact compared to the roof prism binoculars on the list. All factors considered, this pair of binos has great features and is worth giving a try.

Pros
  • Multi-coated lenses improve image quality
  • Superior resolution
  • Durably built
Cons
  • Not the most lightweight

4. Best for Most People: Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular

Price reduction
1,921 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • Precision optics for crisp viewing
  • Twist-up eyecups for comfortable eye relief
  • Rubber armoured for durability purposes
  • O-ring sealed for waterproof performance
What customers say:

“Great that these are waterproof and dustproof (found out the hard way that my previous binoculars were neither of these). Easy to use with a good quality strap and pouch included.”–Grahame G

Featuring a rugged design, the Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular is one of the most durable pairs of binoculars on the list. Like the Nikon Prostaff 7S, these binoculars are O-ring sealed for maximum waterproofing.

Additionally, both barrels are nitrogen purged to prevent the formation of fog even when used in humid conditions. The Bushnell H2O is similar to the binoculars just before it in that both use BAK-4 prisms.

They also have the same magnification, but the main difference is that the objective lenses of the Bushnell H2O are half the size of those on the Nikon Aculon A211 10×50. The objective and eyepiece lenses on this pair of binoculars are multi-coated to allow for smooth transmission of light.

As such, the binos will deliver bright images, allowing you to observe distant subjects without hurting your eyes. Although the objective lenses only have a diameter of 25mm, they capture enough light, hence providing you with great views.

Plus, the binoculars have easy-to-use dioptre and central focusing wheels that will allow you to make the needed adjustments within the shortest time possible. This is the second pair of binoculars that we tested.

During the testing process, we noticed that the Bushnell H2O is not ideal for stargazing, the images were rather blurry due to the small objective diameter. On the bright side, the binoculars provided us with good quality images when we scoped landscapes and terrestrial objects.

You will be happy to know that they are exceptionally lightweight and affordable. When you buy these binoculars, you will get a neck strap, lens cloth, and carrying case for added convenience.

Pros
  • Textured body prevents slippage
  • Adjustable eye relief
  • Compact design
Cons
  • Small objective diameter 

5. Best Value: Celestron UpClose G2 8×40 Porro Binocular 71252

3,182 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • 40mm objective lenses for optimum light transmission
  • Rubberised body for enhanced shock absorption
  • Coated optics for a brighter field of view
  • Tripod adaptable for hands-free performance
What customers say:

“Very clear, bright optics. Lovely design, eyepieces are on a spring arrangement so they don’t bump against your eyes, shape with small thumb indentations makes holding the binoculars properly easy, very smooth focusing…”–Peter Webb

The Celestron UpClose G2 8x40 Porro Binocular 71252 is reasonably priced and can be a great pick for those who are after value for money. It boasts an impressive 40mm objective diameter and a magnification of 8X.

That being said, the objective lenses will capture more light for crisp and bright images. You can use these binoculars for bird watching, sightseeing, tracking wildlife, just to mention but a few. This is a Porro prism binoculars, so rest assured it will deliver viewable images in different light settings.

The eyepiece caps are conveniently rubberised for user comfort. Most importantly, they are adjustable, so you can twist them according to your preference. The components making up the optical system are treated with high-quality coatings to prevent the loss of light during transmission.

Unlike most binoculars on this list, the Celestron UpClose G2 8×40 uses BK-7 prisms. Also, the smooth gliding focus wheel allows for effortless adjustments when customising the optics. And since the knobs are ridged, your fingers won’t slip while you turn the focus wheel.

To add to this, you can attach the binoculars to a tripod for hands-free operation. This feature will allow you to use the UpClose G2 8×40 for long hours without straining your arms. The kit is inclusive of both eyepiece and objective lens covers for enhanced security during storage.

But that is not all; the body is rubber-armoured to increase durability. The chassis is also reinforced to prevent breakage when adjusting the barrels. What’s more, the binoculars are water-resistant, making them even more durable.

Pros
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • Ergonomic design
  • Made of high-quality aluminium
Cons
  • A bit bulky

6. Best Budget Buy: Apexel 8×21 Binoculars 

100 Reviews

Why we like it:
  • High-quality BK-7 prisms for clear images
  • Multi-layered lens coating for increased light transmittance
  • Exceptionally lightweight for extended use
  • Ultra-compact for easy portability
What customers say:

“Such a great binoculars for wildlife watching. Bought this for taking kids to Wildlife Park today, They managed to see all the animals clearly without going out of the car…”–Bob

Closing our list is the Apexel 8x21 Binoculars.This pair of binoculars is both lightweight and compact, making it the best option for those who like to travel. We highly recommend this pair of binoculars to kids because it is easy to hold. Nevertheless, it can also be used by adults.

Despite their size, these binoculars have the same magnification power as the Celestron UpClose G2 8×40. Nonetheless, the Apexel 8×21 has small objective lenses, so the images may not be as bright, especially when scoping in low light conditions. All the lenses are multi-coated to ensure you get images that are bright and clear.

It will also provide you with accurate colours, so all the images will appear exactly as they are when viewed with the naked eye. To get maximum results, you should only use these binoculars for terrestrial observations. They can particularly prove helpful when sightseeing, hiking, and birding.

These binoculars can also be used during sports events. Like all the binos that we have picked for you, you can carry the Apexel 8×21 to concerts and theatres. Based on our research findings, these binoculars are ideal for viewing objects that are no more than 1000 metres away.

More to this, the hinges feature a swivel design and allow for swift adjustments. On top of that, the binoculars are so compact that you can even fit them inside your pocket. Alternatively, you can hang them around your neck using the included strap. The rubber coating covering the exterior not only protects the body of the binoculars but also safeguards the optical system.

The centre focusing wheel and the dioptre knob are notched at multiple points to increase grip. When it comes to ergonomics, the grip area is designed in such a way that your fingers won’t when handling the binoculars. And since it weighs approximately 172 grams, it won’t slow you down in any way. To make them even better, these are the most affordable binoculars on the list.

Pros
  • Easy focusing
  • Foldable design
  • Exceptionally compact
Cons
  • May be too small for some users

How We Researched the Best Binoculars

To create a list of the best binoculars in Australia, we picked products based on independent customer reviews on Amazon Australia. Also, we did in-depth research on the different types of binoculars that are out there and also made comparisons to see how they differ. We chose both Roof prism and Porro prism binoculars to increase your chances of finding the most ideal pair of binoculars for your needs.

Additionally, we compared binoculars from multiple brands to identify the models that are frequently bought by customers in Australia and other parts of the world. Our team only picked binoculars from reputable brands like Bushnell, Vortex, Nikon, Apexel, and Celestron, taking into account the Magnification, Type, Objective diameter, Eye relief, Lens coating, Field of view, Exit pupil diameter, Prism type, Waterproofing, and Build quality.

But we didn’t stop there; we considered the ratings of each pair of binoculars and compared them with the reviews. We also tested the Nikon Aculon A211 10x50 Binoculars and Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular.The Aculon A211 is a Porro prism binoculars, so we were able to do head-to-head comparisons before picking the 6 best binoculars Australia has to offer.

Binoculars: Buying Guide

Choosing the best binoculars from all the different options available on the market can be difficult. With the help of this buying guide, you will learn how to compare binoculars based on their features and overall performance.

We have covered a wide range of factors that are worth considering when shopping for binoculars, so all you have to do is read and pick the product that matches your needs.

What to Consider When Buying Binoculars

If you are looking to get your money’s worth, you should consider buying a pair of binoculars with the right specifications. The specs may vary depending on how far you want to see and the amount that you are willing to spend. Below are some of the factors that you need to take into consideration when selecting binoculars:

Type

There are two main types of binoculars that you can buy—Roof prism binoculars and Porro prism binoculars. These optical devices are often categorised based on the placement of the prisms. In roof prism binoculars, the prisms and the lenses are perfectly aligned, meaning the objective lens and the eyepiece work in a straight line. Roof prism binoculars are known to be compact, durable, and equally lightweight.

Porro prism binoculars, on the other hand, have purposefully misaligned prisms that create a bent optical path. This unique design allows them to deliver bright and sharp images. However, they are wider than roof prism binoculars. Additionally, they are more susceptible to dust ingress.

The other thing that you should keep in mind is that roof prism binoculars are more expensive than Porro prism binoculars. As you can see, each type of binoculars has its pros and cons, so the final choice is yours to make.

Magnification

The main reason why people use binoculars is to make distant objects appear closer and larger. These devices can achieve this function with the help of powerful magnification lenses. The magnification power of lenses varies from one model of binoculars to another and is followed by the letter ‘X’.

For example, if the pair of binoculars that you want to buy is tagged 8X, it means the lenses will magnify the object being viewed eight times. To elaborate, when you view an object that is 40 metres away through an 8X binoculars, it will seem like it’s only 5 meters away as when observed with the naked eye.

The pairs of binoculars on this list have a magnification of 8X to 10X, making them ideal for most of your observation needs.

Objective diameter

The diameter of the objective lenses has a direct impact on the overall performance of the binoculars. To get brighter and clear images, you should pick a pair of binoculars with large-diameter objective lenses. This will allow more light to pass through the optical system, resulting in high-resolution images.

Nonetheless, large objective lenses translate to bulkier binoculars. If the pair of binoculars in question is labelled 8X40, the 40 represents the diameter of the objective lenses. The objective diameter is often expressed in millimetres.

Eye relief

This refers to the distance between the outer surface of each eyepiece lens and the eyes at which you can comfortably see the field of view. If you wear glasses, it is recommended that you go for a pair of binoculars with long eye relief that is no less than 16mm.

Lens coating

The other factor that you should consider when buying a pair of binoculars is the lens coating. Lenses with anti-reflective coating increase light transmittance by reducing the amount of light reflected in each transmission. This will, in turn, deliver brighter images that are easier to view.

Depending on your budget and needs, you can buy a pair of binoculars with multi-coated or mono-coated optics. The former will provide you with brighter images in different lighting conditions.

Waterproof level

You should pick binoculars based on the conditions in which you intend to use them. And because they are mostly used outdoors, it would be wise to choose a unit with waterproofing.

High-end binoculars are fitted with O-rings to prevent the entry of water when exposed to wet conditions. Some models are nitrogen purged to keep the optical system fog-free and in good condition. The Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular is one of the best waterproof binoculars on the list.

Exit pupil

The size of the exit pupil is often overlooked by most people. However, it is just as important as the other factors that we have listed. A wide exit pupil will result in brighter images even when viewing objects in low light conditions. You can calculate the size of the exit pupil by dividing the diameter of the objective lens by the magnification power.

For example, a 10X50 binoculars will have an exit pupil diameter of 50mm ÷10X = 5mm. The human pupil has a maximum diameter of 7mm, so you should consider choosing a pair of binoculars with an exit pupil with a diameter that is close to 7mm if you are looking to get a bright and clear field of view.

Prism material

Prisms play an essential role in binoculars, so you should see to it that you select a unit that will deliver the results that you need. Generally, there are two main types of binocular prisms; the BAK-4 (Barium Crown glass) and BK-7 (Borosilicate Glass).

BAK-4 prisms are highly preferred due to their high refractive index. This not only improves light transmittance but also reduces internal reflections. BK-7 prisms will also provide you with high-quality images but not as good as that of the BAK-4 prism. On the plus side, a pair of binoculars with BK-7 prisms are more affordable.

Field of view

As the name implies, the field of view is the total observable area that you can see through the lenses of your binoculars. A pair of binoculars with a wide field of view can prove useful when birding or tracking moving objects. As such, you will be able to see a wider area without moving much.

Build quality

Aside from the optical system, you also need to consider the type of material from which the body of the binoculars is made. Most binoculars are constructed from aluminium because it is lightweight and equally durable.

Also, some models feature a protective layer of rubber armour, which acts as a shock absorber. This way, the lenses and prisms are less likely to break if the binoculars falls on a hard surface.


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Last update on 2022-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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