Upgrade the memory of your 2018 Mac mini up to 64GB
Today’s Deal Zone Items... Handpicked deals...
$128 $63
SAVE $65

$1799 $1699
SAVE $100

$2299 $1799
SAVE $500

$899 $899
SAVE $click

$899 $749
SAVE $150

$1798 $1198
SAVE $600

$3199 $3199
SAVE $click

$80 $33
SAVE $46

$199 $149
SAVE $50

$699 $549
SAVE $150

$400 $300
SAVE $100

$2090 $1690
SAVE $400

$1699 $949
SAVE $750

$1199 $1099
SAVE $100

$1199 $1099
SAVE $100

$999 $949
SAVE $50

$400 $300
SAVE $100

$1699 $949
SAVE $750

Canon 18x50 IS WP Image Stabilized

Canon 18x50 IS Image Stabilized Binocular

The about $1000 Canon 18x50 IS Image Stabilized Binocular (price after $500 rebate as this was written) delivers a stabilized image at an extreme magnification that is non-viable withotu stabilization.

The Canon IS line binoculars offer a key advantage over conventional binoculars: image stabilization for shaky hands, use on a moving boat or vehicle, etc.

This review is of the 18X50 IS “all weather” model:

  • “all weather” (not formally waterproof)
  • IS = image stabilization

The 50mm objectives yield a fairly bright image for this magnification, though not as bright as the Canon 10X42L IS model.


The 18X magnification is substantiallly more than 10X, yielding an image more than twice as large (in area), which might be of considerable assistance for smaller subjects (eg birds), or simply things at a distance.

Eye relief

Eye relief is 15mm, less than ideal, and the exit pupil is 3.3mm, both of which mean the eyes need to stay in a precise position to avoid black-out, but the IS feature helps out with that task. I do not wear eyeglasses, the eye relief might be of concern to eyeglass wearers.

Image stabilization — a killer feature

Ordinary AA batteries (two) are used for the image stabilization feature.

At 18X magnification, image stabilization is all but mandatory, unless you plan on mounting these binoculars on a tripod.

Image stabilization works extremely well, but do avoid gross movements, because it can induce a motion effect not unlike being at sea, at least for me.

I was able to zero in on small birds, focus quickly and observe fine details of plumage and behavior because of the rock-steady image offered by Canon’s IS feature. There is no question that image stabilization is a game-changer for this kind of magnification— skip the tripod except perhaps for extended viewing (for comfort).

OWC Area 51

Accessories • batteries • cables, docks • hard drives and SSDs • Mac hardware • new and pre-owned Macs • Thunderbolt
... and more!
Mac or PC, iPhone/iPad accessories, more!

Image stabilization is not perfect

Image stabilization was not perfect: while observing the moon, I noticed a slight “jitter” effect. Disabling image stabilization shows just how effective and useful it is when it’s enabled, but it does not render absolute stillness. Still, in daylight hours I didn’t notice this effect at all.


Optics are very high quality, but not up to the same level as Canon’s 10X42L IS WP model, though contrast, flare, etc were all excellent.

I observed pronounced red/cyan color fringing on a distant bird which I framed off center (but not at the edge); this color fringing could be an issue for recognizing distinctive color features on some birds, or at least make the task more challenging. Centering the subject of course eliminates such color fringing, and presumably one would place the subject of interest dead-center. Yet the color fringing does degrade off-center observations, and so reduces the useful field of view.

Observing the moon, I also observed some color fringing, even near the center.

Protect Your Phone
NuGard KX Case for iPhones and iPads.
Outstanding protection against drops and impact!
Plus, excellent grip for wet hands, cycling, etc.

Ergonomics and design

A stable image is your #1 ergonomic issue. Image stabilization wins big here.

Interpupillary distance must be set just-so, or the view blacks out.

At first I disliked the bulky design, but I found that hand-holding them actually works even better than the narrower roof prism designs such as the Leica 8X42 Geovids.

The rubber eyecups were useless for me. I found it impossible to get anything but a porthole view with them extended, so I kept them flattened. I do not wear eyeglasses.

Side-lighting onto your eyes can be distracting. Presumably the rubber eyecups are supposed to help here, but they did not work for me.

Lens coating and smudges

The lens coatings smudge easily, and there are only a few millimeters between the front of the binocular and the front lens, which is actually protective glass. The threaded front lenses accept 58mm screw-in filters or lens hoods, so take whatever action which seems prudent.

Conclusions and where to buy

At about $1000 after rebate, the Canon 18x50 IS WP Image Stabilized binoculars are an excellent value: they offer high image quality and image stabilization. It’s just so much easier to focus upon and observe a small subject in detail (eg a bird) when the image is rock solid.

Binoculars at B&H Photo:

OWC Envoy Pro Elektron

Ultra-high performance across entire capacity, outperforms the competition.

Tiny, bus-powered, rugged, compact!

√ No more slow and noisy hard drives!

Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

View all handpicked deals...

Apple 27" iMac with Retina 5K Display (Mid 2020)
$1799 $1699
SAVE $100

diglloyd Inc. | FTC Disclosure | PRIVACY POLICY | Trademarks | Terms of Use
Contact | About Lloyd Chambers | Consulting | Photo Tours
RSS Feeds | Twitter
Copyright © 2021 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.