Marcus O'Dean reviews the Activoptics Fusion 14x30 binoculars:
If you love combining bushwalking with birdwatching or other observation of animals and geographic features which need closer examination, these ruggedly-constructed binoculars may just be the ticket for you. Normally, any binocular that you hand hold over 8-times magnification will reveal the shakiness of your hold being distractingly magnified and this is at cross purposes to using a binocular; in short, it is counterproductive to the point of potential eye strain, while not gaining the visual information you seek.
Enter the Activoptics Fusion 14x30 Image Stabilising binocular, which has an internal additional system of gimbal-mounted prisms coupled to a vibration sensor. When activated by simply flicking a switch, any shake is quickly corrected to reveal an easily observable, much steadier image than would be possible, particularly when you consider the 14-times magnification spec of this unit.
The Fusion has a very solid, black polycarbonate body with a right ocular diopter adjustment to focus for your eye prior to using the forward centre focussing wheel to adjust for subject distance, like many conventional binoculars. The shape is unusual insofar as the lens barrels taper in from the eyepieces to the front end – the reverse of a conventional porro prism bino' with the classic outward ‘dogleg’ configuration.
Different width between eyes (interpupillary distance) is catered for by moving the eyepieces through about a 45° arc, requiring a small effort through the smooth range of motion. Powered by two AAA batteries, which have a 12hr endurance, the system shuts off automatically if the sensor detects no movement after 10 minutes.
Now steady, high-powered magnified viewing is attainable without the prohibitive price tag. There is a small trade-off in pure optical performance, but the advantages of steady, high-powered viewing compensate well, allowing the user to effectively get in really close and steady.