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Welcome Sony ZV-1 II | Best Vlog Camera of 2023?

Sony VZ-1 II vlog shots
Enjoy the wide angle every content creator deserves with Sony's VZ-1 II.

Let’s talk the Sony ZV-1 II, Is it living up to the hype or what?

Traveling with tons of gear and lenses as a vlogger and content creator is not tons of fun- take it from us. And although we, of course, love our gear, the days of on-the-go creation are so much smoother when you can slip your camera in a small pocket. In this society of remarkable and endless creators who travel, and vlog, and take us everywhere they go, having the proper gear is essential. If you’ve considered keeping it light, efficient, and sharp or adding some versatility to your kit, it may very well be that time to take a look at the Sony ZV-1 mark II.

Just yesterday, Sony has announced the new Sony ZV- 1 II. This point-and-shoot camera that’s been optimized for any and every vlogger at any stage in their vlog journey. And this we absolutely love! The thoughtfulness behind its features is the thing that makes this video-focused camera really special and unique against the lineup of other vlog cameras we’ve seen. It seems to really be engineered for truly any style.

Equipped with the similarities of the Mark I, we find the soft natural skin effect and face-prioritizing Auto Focus still present in this update. We think that’s a great choice! For those bloggers who don’t specialize in editing, this is a great feature that makes rolling with this update super beginner friendly. One of the most important upgrades from its predecessor is the wide-angle frame, truly exhibiting and showing off its superiority in comparison. As a vlogger, you can find comfort in that we are experiencing your thoughts and day along with you.

The Mark II comes equipped with very new Cinematic Vlog settings, containing five looks and four moods, to set the tone. With 4k photo and video expression, this camera is the perfect item to not only create but share your multimedia content. Amongst the jammed-packed features, a very cool addition to the Sony ZV-1 II

is the streaming function purely accessible through the USB-c port. Accompanied with a 3-capsule mic (which comes in-box) that automatically switches it’s direction in auto mode, this function is a game-changer taking streaming to clearer heights with the option to connect directly to your phone. Check out this Blog the live stream about how it’s revolutionizing our world.

A truly compact giant, Sony is yet again setting the bar with this one. But I wonder, do you think you’ll make the switch? Especially you Mark I users?

Needless to say, if you don’t have a team or are looking for something versatile, lightweight, and compact the Sony ZV-1 II is a great unit to add to your collection. The accessories accompanying this gem in its collection include a Sony GP-VPT2BT Wireless Bluetooth Shooting Grip and Tripod (shown above and sold separately) is tagged here, so you can set that notification once back in stock!

Sony Lens Comparison | The Best of 2023 Sony Lenses

Best lenses for Sony a7R V - Sony Alpha FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Wide-Angle Zoom Lens
Sony Alpha FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Wide-Angle Zoom Lens

Sony has released new lenses with advanced firmware updates and with their current line up they are definitely leading the competition in overall makeup.

With features like advanced autofocus to coining the world’s smallest ultra-wide f4 lens, Sony is revolutionizing the game in imaging. The newest of lenses prioritize a light build, master zoom, depth, and a compact frame for mobility.

One of the standout features of these lenses is the advanced autofocus system. With significant improvements to the AF, Sont lenses are faster and more accurate than ever before. This means that you can capture sharp and clear images with ease, even in challenging lighting conditions. 

Sony has also prioritized practicality and ease. Some of our favorite features are the iris lock, manual switches, and aperture rings placed on the side of the body optimizing comfort, mobility, and control for your shot.

Perhaps most impressive of all, Sony has managed to present all seven of these lenses at once, giving photographers an incredible range of macro to medium to wide options to choose from. Whether you’re a landscape photographer, a portrait photographer, or something in between, there’s a lens in this collection that’s perfect for your needs.


Take a peek at some more features below!


FE 24mm F2.8 G – A small-size full frame lens, this e-mount gadget prioritizes high build quality and wide enough range to snag the perfect composition in travel, landscape, and architecture. Pleasant and Business friendly, the click/de-click option allows for a smoother transition option, if necessary. This is overall a feel-good and well-built lens.

FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G – Only 353 grams, this G-series lens comes with tons of manual functions. This compact lens has re-imagined the 16-35mm family. Both versatile and well-controlled, this lens is great for video users as this power zoom agrees super well and offers that it has never had a relationship to breathing.


FE 24–70mm F2.8 GM II – Hello G-Master! This long-awaited lens is definitely a landscaper’s friend, this linear AF is smooth and perfect when shooting architecture as well. With a click/de-click option, control is prioritized.


FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II – This lens optimizes versatility, it is long and lightweight- it is beautiful and function packed. With three custom function buttons, this lens is responsive and fantastic. The tripod mount makes this lens super usable in or outdoors along with its many other capabilities.


E 11mm F1.8 – Incredibly Sharp, Incredibly Fast, and Wide. We are a large fan of this revitalized APS-C lens. The linear AF motor makes this lens quick and power packed. Currently, marked down to $498 on focuscamera.com, there’s no better time to snag this deal than now.


E 15mm F1.4 G – This graph speaks for itself. Sony sets the standard yet again, with beauty and depth is surely prioritized. Astrophotography isn’t even a feat for with this one.


E PZ 10-20mm F4 G – This brilliant power zoom lens is compact, thoughtful, light, and portable. This lens is truly versatile and unique, Sony has made it quite impossible to not be a fan of this one.

Overall, Sony’s new lenses are a game-changer for the world of photography. With their advanced autofocus, improved optical performance, and compact size, they’re sure to be a hit with photographers of all skill levels. Whether you’re just starting out in photography or you’re a seasoned pro, these lenses are definitely worth checking out.


If you’re in the market for new gear and are needing to swap out some old ones, be sure to check out Sony’s ‘Upgrade Your Gear’ special. From now til June 2nd, fill out our form or pop in store for the chance to upgrade with added bonus of up to $500 in store credit. Get a quote here.

Everything to Consider | An Ongoing Binoculars Buying Guide Just for You

Truthfully, the answer to “which binocular is best in 2023?” is subjective. So here’s a continued segment to helping you find the perfect binoculars for you. This guide is for your practical application and practical questions, let us know if this was helpful in the comments below.

If you’re someone who often finds themselves in the search bar for 2023’s best binoculars, you’re not alone. With so many different specifications, styles, and price points available, we’re sure that finding the perfect pair of binoculars can be overwhelming. So we’ve created a list of things to consider when purchasing your next or very first pair.  In this blog post, we’ve put together the ultimate buying guide to help make your next binocular purchase a breeze.

But first, if you find yourself asking ‘what do the numbers on a binoculars mean?’ feel free to refer to this buyers guide for an in-depth terminology breakdown.

The first thing to consider when starting your search is what you’ll be using them for. If you are a hunter, a birdwatcher, or someone who loves stargazing some specs will hold very different importance to you. Perhaps you’ll need a pair that can be used for various and versatile activities, like sporting events or sightseeing outdoors? Highlighting the specifics of your intended use will help narrow down your options and find binoculars that meet your specific needs. So, what do you use your binoculars for?

Focus in on the Subject: 

When it comes to choosing the perfect binoculars, the subject you’ll be observing is a crucial factor. Things like size, speed, and movement all matter here. Consider the size of the objects or animals and ultimately, how close you need to get to them. When amplified, if you’re optics tend to be super far away, the magnification number identifies just how much the view will be pulled closer to you; this key detail will help you thoughtfully determine the magnification size you need.  

Sharpness and whether the binoculars have extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, which generally provide better image quality, can be quite a useful thing to think about here also. How clearly you want to see the details of your image can help you decide the importance of the emphasized clarity. When the details matter, prioritize lens that emphasize crisp imagining, ED glass, and decide between things porro vs. roof prisms. For example when it comes to ED glass, The Monarch M5 and M7 series are a great example of what precision looks like. With the Nikon M7 being the latest and greatest release in the renowned monarch line, it truly is upholding the NIKON standard in precision optics. With both 8 and 10 magnification options, high resolution, noticeable brightness, and further field view, the M7 provides lowlight capabilities and a friendly scope in more than many arenas. Check out more specs on this beautiful trendsetter and how it stands up to competition.

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(As a fun tip, mentioned by Tom Mason, an avid binocular user, for those photographers using 300-400mm lenses can find comfort easily with an 8x, as it gives a natural and similar view to lens of this capacity while 600mm aligns closer to 10x) 

If you are birdwatching, you’ll likely want binoculars with a magnification capability tight enough to keep a close eye on small birds with a wide enough view to easily track their travel. When we think about tracking travel and covering a set range, it’s time to focus on the objective lens size and the field of view. The field of view refers to how much of your subject’s environment you’ll be able to see through the binoculars while the objective lens is a fixed diameter lens that we seem to see the image through, it uniquely pulls in the brightness and captures the clarity of the image. With a larger objective lens the spectacles allow room for more light resulting in a brighter image, with a larger field of view we can ideally see fast-moving subjects and beautiful panoramic views. These two work together under the same lens to give each pair of binoculars unique experiences. With this note, we keep in mind that larger objective lenses also mean heavier and bulkier binoculars, naturally navigating us to thinking about size. I mean bulky binoculars are fun and as long as you aren’t crawling with them, they can serve as a HUGE statement- just like these really funky binoculars by bushnell.

Style and Build:  

The style and build of your binoculars will play a large role in your overall experience. If you find yourself walking tons, it may be best to think more compact (typically referring to 18-25mm lenses) while if you’re crawling or climbing where it be best to think durable! Internally, roof prism binoculars tend to be far less fragile than porro prisms due to their overall composition. However, porro prisms might be the supreme pair if you are considering prioritizing stationary options or don’t plan to bang to much of your buck. For reference, Vortex is a popular and highly reviewed binocular brand that carries optics in both, the porro 8.5×32 and the prism 8×42 are great examples to compare side by side.

Check out some of the other porro models we have on hand below: 


Overall, the terrain where you’ll be using your binoculars should be a defining factor in really deciding a great fit. If you plan for a rugged experience, search for binoculars with durable construction and prioritize coatings that can withstand the elements. Look for fun features that express ease in areas you might need, like textured grip or comfortable eye relief. If you wear glasses, this may be an easier feat, but generally look for binoculars with longer eye relief to ensure comfortable viewing across the board. And, consider how the use of accompanying accessories that may come with your binoculars, such as a tripod, carrying bag, or neck/chest straps, may aid and enhance your overall user experience. This particular Vortex binocular kit listed below comes with a floating strap, hat, and bag. Aesthetically, a binocular chest pack and harness will always land itself at the top of my list. 


Price Point and Budget:

With all these mentioned it is important to note that binoculars sell at a wide range of prices. In that regard determine your budget before making a purchase and align in that it’s okay to work your way up, especially after getting to know your binoculars a bit more. Keep in mind that higher-priced binoculars often come with more features and higher quality optics but they may not always be necessary for your specific needs and that durability may not always be the focus of their design. Consider what features are essential for your intended use and find a balance between budget and performance that suits your niche. 


In conclusion, finding the perfect pair of binoculars doesn’t have to be overwhelming, especially when you have access to a vast catalog like ours! Whether the NIKON Monarch M5 8×42 or the Zeiss 8×42 Conquest HD, trust we’ll give you the scoop on what make each piece unique: 

FocusProAudio Official Announcement at NAMM

The ultimate hub for musicians, audio producers, studio recorders, and more has finally arrived – presenting FocusProAudio (FPA). One of the most anticipated online music shops is making a giant splash in the music and audio community with a vast selection of musical instruments, audio equipment, live sound, and production gear for all types of creatives. FPA is thrilled to share that we will be unveiling our official launch at the upcoming NAMM 2023 Showcase.  

What is NAMM?  

NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) is the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products industry and has been held in Anaheim, California, for many years. NAMM helps support the music industry by reinvesting the show’s proceeds back into the industry and is ascending the way we utilize music within our daily lives. This is a pivotal event and will mark a momentous occasion for FPA in creating a better experience for all musicians, creatives, and audio producers alike within the music industry.

What is FocusProAudio? 

FPA is passionate about empowering musicians, production specialists, vocalists, podcasters, DJs, and other creators to bring their music and audio projects to life. Whether you’re just beginning to learn a musical instrument, in a band, a professional podcaster, or somewhere in between; FPA offers an unmatched selection of the best instruments, production gear, SFX plugins, mixers, and more. We strive to provide the best customer service possible, and our exclusive bundles make us the go-to source for your creative demands worldwide.

What Does FocusProAudio Offer?

Categories Subcategories
Guitar Electric GuitarsAccoustic GuitarsBass GuitarsGuitar AmplifiersGuitar Pedals & Effects Guitar Accessories
Drums & Percussion Acoustic Drums Electronic Drums World Percussion Cymbals Drum Accessories Drum Pedals Drum Hardware
Keyboards & Synthesizers Arranger KeyboardsDigital PianosSynthesizers & Modules Keyboard Workstations Portable Keyboards MIDI Controller & Interfaces Accordions Keyboard Amplifiers Keyboard Accessories
Studio & Recording MicrophonesStudio MonitorsStudio Mixers & Surfaces SoftwareAudio Recorders Audio Interfaces Headphones Podcasting Equipment
Live Sound PA & Speakers & Systems Mixers Live Sound Accessories Power Amplifiers Signal Processing
DJ & Production Turntables DJ Controllers DJ Mixers DJ Headphones DJ Lighting DJ Accessories
Cables Instrument Cables Speaker Cables Microphone Cables Audio Cables Audio Snakes Digital Cables MIDI Cables Video DJ Cables Adapters Cable Management
Used Instruments/Gear Used Guitars Used Bass Guitars Used Pianos & Keyboards Used Drums Used Band Instruments Used Orchestral Equipment Used DJ & Production Used Lighting Cables Used Live Sound & Lighting Used Recording

So, if you’re looking for the best musical gear, events, insights, and more, be sure to visit us at NAMM 2023 Showcase for the full FocusProAudio experience, and check out our site today. Let us know what you need, and we’ll cover the rest. We look forward to seeing you at NAMM 2023 Showcase.

Viewing Optics Buying Guide | Binoculars vs Spotting Scope vs Telescope vs Rangefinder

Guide to viewing optics. Everything you should know binoculars vs spotting scopes vs telescopes vs rangefinders

When picking the best viewing optics for you, it pays to be meticulous about certain specs and functions of each choice. If you’re just getting into recreational activities that require long-range optical gear, you’ll soon find out that there is a wide variety of them, and they all have many uses. There are rangefindersspotting scopesbinoculars, and telescopes, and within those categories, you’ll find subcategories of different shapes, sizes, and functions of each. For example, there are rangefinders for golf and rangefinders for hunting, infrared binoculars and night vision binoculars, angled and straight spotting scopes, and so on. Consequently, it’s no wonder why so many questions surface regarding the differences between these optics and which to purchase.  

Related Post: Binoculars Buying Guide? 

As hobbies that use viewing optics become more popular – like golfing, stargazing, wildlife observation, and birdwatching – the pool of optical gear will only become more saturated. Therefore, in response to the growing demand, we’ve compiled an easy-to-follow guide that explains the differences between each sight, its usage, and the different subcategories within a viewing optic. By the end of this post, you’ll know all about sight basics and essentials – giving you much more confidence in the field of optics.   

Binoculars vs Spotting Scope vs Telescope vs Rangefinder  

how do optics work
what binocular numbers mean
Rangefinder vs Spotting Scope vs Telescope vs Binoculars

What Do Binocular Numbers Mean?  

First, let’s discuss what the numbers mean when understanding how different optical devices are labeled. While searching for suitable viewing optics, you may notice that some of the names will typically have numbers within them; this can include binoculars, monoculars, spotting scopes, eyepieces, etc.

Here are some examples:   

These numbers are very important to know when you’re deciding which sight to buy. They refer to two key specifications: magnification and objective lens size. It’s written out as “magnification x objective lens size.” For instance, in the Zeiss example above (10×25), the “10” represents the magnification, and the “25” represents the objective lens size. If you see two magnification numbers, such as the Vortex “11-30x,” this just means the magnification has a range of 11x to 33x.

The Magnification – indicates how much closer the object being observed appears to the naked eye. So (using the same example) the 10x magnification means that the object appears 10 times closer than it would to the naked eye. 

The Objective Lens Size – indicates the size of the objective lens or, simply put, the lens at the front of the optic that collects light. The objective lens size is measured in millimeters and determines how much light the viewing optics can gather. Therefore, the larger the objective lens size (or number), the brighter and more detailed the image is. 

Knowing this is an excellent start to understanding the performance of your sight. It is also important to realize that each feature has pros and cons, so knowing what you need most will determine the ideal sight you want. For example, is a higher magnification better than a low one? Well, if you want more detail and a closer look at long-range subjects, yes; however, this also means your sight will have a narrower field of view and will be harder to stabilize without a tripod (the more you zoom in). As for the objective lens, a wide lens will make the image much brighter, but it can also come at the cost of a heavier, more cumbersome optical gear. These are just a few things to keep in mind when considering which lens you should get.  

Universal Terms for Viewing Optics

Before looking at the different features and types of viewing optics available, here are a few essential terms you should know. These terms apply to most (if not all) optical instruments and refer to everything from their build features to important functions. Knowing these terms will help you navigate the world of sights more seamlessly and give you a better-established understanding of specs and observation terminology.

Optical Term Definition
MagnificationThe degree to which the object being viewed appears larger than its actual size
Objective lensThe lens on the front of an optical instrument that gathers and focuses light
EyepieceThe lens or group of lenses at the end of an optical instrument that is viewed through by the observer
Field of viewThe extent of the observable world that can be seen through an optical instrument
Exit pupilThe diameter of the beam of light leaving the eyepiece
Diopter adjustmentA mechanism that allows the user to adjust the focus of the eyepiece to their individual vision
Focal lengthThe distance from the objective lens to the point where the light is focused
Coatings Layers applied to lenses to reduce reflection, increase contrast, or improve light transmission
ZoomA feature that allows the user to change the magnification of an optical instrument
TripodA three-legged stand used to support an optical instrument for stable viewing
PrismA piece of glass or other transparent material used to reflect and refract light to produce a brighter, clearer, or corrected image
ApertureThe opening in the objective lens that allows light to enter
FocusThe ability of the optical instrument to produce a clear image at a specific distance or depth
ResolutionThe ability of the optical instrument to distinguish between fine details in an image
Image stabilizationA feature that reduces image blur caused by hand-held shaking
Eye reliefThe distance from the eyepiece to the observer’s eye
Twilight factorA calculation that estimates the optical instrument’s ability to gather and transmit light in low-light conditions
ParallaxThe apparent shift in the position of an object when viewed from different angles
ReticleA crosshair or other marking inside the eyepiece used for aiming or measuring

What are Spotting Scopes Best For? 

Spotting scopes are designed for observing expansive landscapes at various distances when locating objects or subjects. Spotting scopes are often great for bird watchers, hunting, wildlife experts or scientist, and other outdoor enthusiasts looking to survey surroundings. 

Angled Spotting Scope vs Straight Spotting Scope: Curved spotting scopes are more comfortable to use when looking upward or downward due to their 45º-90º angled eyepiece attachment. Curved spotting scopes are typically more compact and designed to help scan the sky during birdwatching; they pair nicely with tripods. Straight spotting scopes are more suitable for wildlife observation and quick acquisition of eye-level subjects.

Spotting scope vs telescope: Both these viewing optics share similar designs; however, most spotting scopes are much smaller, compact, and portable. They often have a wider field of view than telescopes, making them well-suited for observing large areas. Spotting scopes usually have a magnification level between 20x and 60x and are relatively versatile. As for telescopes, magnification can range from 30x on the low end to 500x or even greater. In short, spotting scopes are portable and designed for terrestrial observations, while telescopes are larger and designed for astronomical observations

Spotting Scope vs Binoculars: Spotting scopes are larger, heavier, and more specialized optics used for longer-range observation than binoculars. They’re usually mounted on a tripod for birdwatching, hunting, wildlife observation, and target shooting. Spotting scopes have a higher magnification range than binoculars, giving you greater detail and clarity when observing distant objects. Lastly, spotting scopes have a narrower field of view, making them better suited for stationary or slow-moving objects, and may have interchangeable eyepieces, allowing for more versatility in magnification.

Different Types of Spotting Scopes? 

When understanding which spotting scope to buy, it first helps to know the different types of spotting scopes and each main purpose. Some spotting scopes are designed specifically for birdwatching, with features such as a close focus distance, a wide field of view, and a durable, waterproof design. Other spotting scopes are designed for hunting, with features like camouflage patterns, low-light performance, and durable builds. Here’s a list of a few different types of spotting scopes and functions:  

Spotting scope for birdwatching: These spotting scopes are specifically designed for bird watchers and birding enthusiasts. They usually have a relatively low magnification level, between 15x to 30x, and a large objective lens size of around 60mm to 80mm to provide a wide field of view. They may also have features such as close focus capability, weather resistance, and image stabilization to allow for precise and steady viewing of birds in their natural habitats. 

Spotting scope for hunting: Hunting spotting scopes are made for hunters and outdoors enthusiasts who need to observe wildlife from a distance. They may have higher magnification levels, up to 60x or more, to allow for clear viewing at long distances. They may also have camouflage coatings, shock resistance, and waterproofing to withstand rugged outdoor conditions. 

Spotting scopes for astronomy: These spotting scopes are for stargazing and celestial objects. They usually have a high magnification level, up to 100x or more, and a large objective lens size of around 80mm to 100mm to gather as much light as possible. They may also have features like motorized tracking systems to follow celestial objects and specialized filters for viewing the sun. 

Tactical spotting scopes: Tactical spotting scopes are designed for military, law enforcement, or other tactical use. They may have features such as rangefinders, reticle systems, and illuminated optics to aid in targeting and ranging objects at a distance. They may also have durable construction and shock resistance to withstand harsh environments. 

Marine spotting scopes: These are designed for use on boats or in other aquatic environments. They may have waterproofing, corrosion-resistant coatings, and anti-fogging properties to withstand exposure to saltwater and other elements. 

Spotting scope types 
Rangefinder vs Spotting Scope vs Telescope vs Binoculars, viewing optics

What are Binoculars Best For? 

Binoculars are the most common viewing optics on this list and are exceptional for a variety of users, from beginner to advanced. Binoculars are essentially two miniature telescopes mounted side-by-side that allow you to view distant objects with both eyes instead of one, unlike spotting scopes or monoculars. They’re great for different hobbies and activities like birdwatching, spectating sporting events, boating, observing astronomy, sightseeing, and traveling. 

They have a vast range of magnification levels and objective lens sizes, which determine their overall size and weight. They are typically compact and portable and have a wider field of view than spotting scopes, which makes them ideal for scanning large areas or following moving objects.

Binoculars vs Monoculars: Binoculars use a double telescope, while monoculars only use one. Binoculars have a wider field of view and are easier to use than monoculars, and are considered a more comfortable and stable viewing experience. Binoculars also offer greater depth perception, making them ideal for birdwatching, hiking, and wildlife observation activities. Monoculars are smaller and more compact than binoculars, making them better for concerts, theater performances, or similar indoor events. Monoculars are more difficult to operate than binoculars because of the fact you hold them steady with one hand while focusing with the other. Not to mention, their lack of depth perceptions compared to binoculars, takes away from detail and accuracy.

Binoculars vs Spotting Scopes: Binoculars and spotting scopes can often overlap for activities like birdwatching, astronomy, and wildlife observation. However, you might find binoculars a better viewing experience for mobile ventures like camping, hiking, sporting events, and concerts due to their smaller and more portable size. Binoculars have a wider field of view, making them ideal for observing objects in motion or moving quickly. Spotting scopes often have higher magnification ranges, a narrower field of view, and provide more detail at longer distances. They’re usually paired with tripods more often and are great for long-range target shooting, hunting, and far observations.  

binoculars for birding, safari, sports, viewing optics, guide for sights and optics

How are Binoculars Classified or Grouped?  

There are many different types of binoculars and endless ways to group them. The most common methods of classifying binoculars are by their intended uses/designs, optical specifications, or prism type. “Intended use” means looking at what practices a binocular is designed for, such as birdwatching binoculars, hunting binoculars, marine binoculars, astronomy binoculars, and compact binoculars, often implied by its manufacturer.

As discussed at the beginning of this post, it’s common to identify optics based on their (magnification and objective lens) specs or, put simply, the numbers within their names. As a refresher on what the binocular numbers mean: the “magnification” is the first number and refers to how much closer the object will appear when viewed through the binoculars. The bigger the magnification number, the farther out you can see your subjects. As for the “objective lens,” it’s the front lens of the binocular that collects light; the wider the lens (or bigger the number), the more light it can intake, giving you a higher resolution and a brighter image.

Lastly, you can group binoculars by “prism types,” such as roof prism vs Porro prism. The prisms are located within the binoculars and reflect the magnified image right side up between the glasses, so you’re not looking at an upside-down picture. All you really need to know is that “roof prism” binoculars are more compact, durable, usually higher priced, and tend to lose light and clarity due to their straightforward interior design. While “Porro prism” binoculars have a zig-zag interior glass design that helps to produce a higher quality image because of less drop-off in light, they are less durable and are usually bulkier. 

binoculars for birding, safari, sports, viewing optics, guide for sights and optics

Different Types of Binoculars?  

Birdwatching binoculars: These binoculars are designed for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. They typically have a high magnification level (between 8x to 10x) and a large objective lens diameter (32mm – 42mm) to provide a bright and clear image of birds in their natural habitats. They may also have a close focus capability and a wide field of view to help track birds in flight. 

Hunting binoculars: Hunting binoculars are designed for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. They usually have a high magnification level as well and a large objective lens diameter (40mm – 50mm) to provide detailed images of game from a distance. They may also be waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-resistant to withstand rugged outdoor conditions. 

Marine binoculars: Marine binoculars are mainly designed for boaters and sailors. They’re primarily waterproof and may have a handy built-in compass for navigation. They typically have a magnification level between 7x – 10x and a large objective lens diameter (25mm – 50mm) to provide a clear view of distant objects on the water. 

Astronomy binoculars: Binoculars for stargazing make for enjoyable celestial observation sessions. They typically have a high magnification level (10x – 25x) and a large objective lens diameter (50mm – 70mm) to gather large as much light as possible during the night. They may also have a tripod adapter for steady and more comfortable viewing. 

Compact binoculars: Compact binoculars keep portability and ease of use at the forefront of design. They typically have a small objective lens diameter (20mm – 25mm) and a magnification level of 8x or less. They are ideal for hiking, travel, and other outdoor activities where packing space is limited. 

Image-stabilized binoculars: Binoculars with image-stabilizing features have built-in mechanisms that reduces image shake and provide a steady view even at high magnification levels. They are ideal for birdwatching, hunting, and other activities where a stable image is essential. 

Binocular types 
how do optics work
what binocular numbers mean
Rangefinder vs Spotting Scope vs Telescope vs Binoculars

What are Rangefinders Best For? 

Rangefinders are viewing optics used to measure the distance between the observer and their specific target. To accurately determine that distance, rangefinders magnify what you are looking at and use either lasers or sound wave technology that emits toward the target to tell you the space between. Rangefinders are commonly used for hunting, golfing, and other outdoor activities where precise distance measurement is essential. Some rangefinders also have additional features, such as angle compensation or ballistics calculators, which helps the user make more accurate shots. Angle compensation, as it sounds, helps account for the angle of your target and the distance, which is very beneficial as the measuring space gets further. Ballistics calculators help to consider more in-depth environmental factors that can also affect your shot, increasing your chance of success.

Hunting Rangefinder vs Golf Rangefinder: Hunters use rangefinders to determine the distance to their target for a more accurate shot. Golfers use rangefinders to measure the distance to the green or other hazards on the course, which is crucial for excellent ball placement.

Rangefinder vs Binocular: It’s interesting to note that some binoculars may have built-in rangefinders. However, the primary function of binoculars is not distance measurement, and therefore they may not provide as accurate readings as a dedicated rangefinder. 

rangefinder with laser, rangefinder hunting vs golf, viewing optics, guide for sights and optics

Different Types of Rangefinders 

Laser rangefinders: These are the most common type of rangefinders. They work by emitting a laser beam that bounces off the target and back to the rangefinder, allowing it to calculate the distance. 

Golf rangefinders: These rangefinders are specialized for golf courses and often have unique features such as slope compensation, which adjusts the distance based on the angle of the slope. 

Hunting rangefinders: These rangefinders are built for hunters and often have features such as a “scan” mode that allows them to continually update the distance to a moving target. 

Archery rangefinders: These rangefinders are specifically designed for archers and typically have features like angle compensation, which, as mentioned can account for the angle of the shot. 

Ballistic rangefinders: These rangefinders are designed for use by long-range shooters and can calculate features such as bullet drop compensation and windage adjustment. 

Optical rangefinders: These are a type of rangefinder that uses an optical system to measure distance rather than a laser. They are less common than laser rangefinders but are still used for things like surveying. 

What are Telescopes Best For? 

Last but not least, there are the famous and astronomy-friendly telescopes. Telescopes are long-range optics mainly used to observe objects in the night sky, such as stars, planets, comets, and more. They come in various sizes and designs, from small, portable models to large, permanent observatories. Some telescopes are designed for simple visual observation, while others are intended for astrophotography or other types of imaging.  

In addition to classic telescopes, there are also smart telescopes with extended capabilities to give you an enhanced observation experience. Smart telescopes possess features like self-alignment, which uses GPS and built-in sensors, so beginners don’t have to do it manually. They can also map out the stars, adjust settings using a smartphone or tablet, capture images, and offer augmented reality features; making them much more advanced than binoculars, spotting scopes, or rangefinders.  

The magnification of a telescope depends on both the focal length of the telescope and the eyepiece being used. The magnification range of commercial telescopes can vary greatly depending on the type and size of the telescope and the eyepieces used. Generally, the magnification range can be anywhere from 20x to 500x and beyond. However, it’s also important to note that higher magnifications do not necessarily equate to better views of the night sky. In fact, a magnification too high can result in a dim and blurry image.

Telescope vs. Spotting Scope: Telescopes have a longer focal length and a more narrow field of view than spotting scopes, allowing telescopes to magnify distant objects in the sky easily. Telescopes also have a much larger objective lens due to their need to capture high amounts of light to produce detailed images in low light. Both observation instruments are commonly used with tripods; spotting scopes are much more compact and portable, often with a straight or angled body, while telescopes are larger and heavier.

Different Types of Telescopes 

Refracting telescopes: Refracting telescopes use lenses to gather and focus light. They are the classic telescopes that most people are familiar with, with a long, narrow tube and a lens at one end. They are typically suitable for viewing objects in the solar system such as the moon, planets, and stars. 

Reflecting telescopes: Reflecting telescopes use mirrors to gather and focus light. They are usually more compact than refracting telescopes and are better suited for viewing deep-sky objects such as galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters. 

Catadioptric telescopes: Catadioptric telescopes combine lenses and mirrors to gather and focus light. They are a hybrid between reflecting and refracting telescopes and can be more expensive than either type. They’re very compact and portable and are well-suited for astrophotography. 

Radio telescopes: Radio telescopes use radio waves to detect and study celestial objects. They’re normally enormous and expensive, and are used for research and scientific study rather than casual observation. 

X-ray telescopes: X-ray telescopes use mirrors and detectors to capture X-rays emitted by celestial objects. They are typically used for research and scientific study, as X-rays are not visible to the naked eye and require specialized equipment to detect. 

Solar telescopes: Solar telescopes are made for observing the sun. They use special filters and lenses to protect the observer’s eyes from the sun’s intense brightness and are used for studying solar flares, sunspots, and other solar phenomena. 


That concludes our general overview and guide to viewing optics basics and essentials. Though each optic has its own unique purpose, they can often overlap with one another when it comes to functions, features, and usage. It’s important to know which features you’ll need the most to select the most suitable optics, from the physical build and visual quality to the field of view, magnification, and even stability. Hopefully, this guide will help you to understand not only the different features between each viewing optic but also their subcategories and specific capabilities. Test your new knowledge by exploring thousands of optics and scopes today designed by popular optics brands.

What type of viewing optics do you prefer, and for what activities?

Sony’s Lens & Camera Trade ins | March Deals

Sony Lens & Camera Trade in
If you’re looking to trade in a camera or lens and save big on your next upgrade, right now is the best time. From March 3 – 31st, you’ll have the opportunity to save up to $500 with Sony’s popular lens and camera Trade-In, Trade-Up offer. It’s super easy to qualify, and the form only takes a few minutes to complete. You can save hundreds on exceptional Sony Alpha cameras and G/GM lenses (for full-frame and APS-C) if approved for Sony’s instant rebates. We’ll cover how it all works and what cameras and lenses are available so you can kick off spring with your dream camera or lens at an affordable price.
Sony lenses and camera deals/ camera and lens trade-in
Photo courtesy of Skye Studios 
Sony’s “Trade-In, Trade Up” offer is a limited-time deal that grants you bonus credit on Sony gear purchases when you trade in an eligible camera or lens. For each approved lens or camera you trade in, you’ll have a chance to earn up to $500 in bonus credit on Sony’s Alpha series cameras. As for Sony’s top-of-the-line G/GM lenses, you can earn up to $200 in bonus credit with an approved trade-in.

Available Cameras and Lenses 

Form with Cameras & Lenses - Trade in a camera or lens
Cameras and lenses you can buy with Sony offer
There’s a camera and lens for every type of photographer and videographer (check out the list shown above). You’ll find precisely what you need from E Mount to FE Mount and G/GM lenses. You can get wide-aperture night photography lenses, fast precision telephotos, ultra-wide angle lenses for interior photography, and ideal lenses for portrait and landscape. As for the Sony Alpha cameras, you can save on everything from the award-winning Sony a7 IV to the versatile Sony a7R V. 

How Can You Save Even More?

If you want to save even more money on top of the instant rebates, go to focuscamera.com to see if the Sony camera or lens you want already has a deal already taking place. Then cross-check the trade-in list (above) to see if it’s one of the available Sony products. If it is, and your gear is approved for the Trade-In Trade-Up instant rebates, you’ll be able to stack on savings to an already great offer. 

For example: the Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS Wide-Angle Zoom Lens is already $300 off (for a short time), and that’s without the instant rebate trade-in offer. Meaning, if you qualify for full trade-in credit, you’ll save over $400 on this lens, which equals out to a whopping 50% off. 

Can You Only Trade-in Sony Gear to Qualify?

Sony is letting creators trade in a wide variety of cameras and lenses from any brand. Whether you own a digital or film camera, as long as it’s in a good enough condition to be accepted, you’ll earn bonus credit. 
Sony camera and lens trade in for a limited time
Photo courtesy of James Feaver

How Does the Trade-In Process Work?

The trade-in process is an easy and painless procedure. You can follow the steps below to find out if your eligible for any instant rebates:
  1. To receive a quote, complete the trade-in form. You can select the brand and model from the dropdown menu or just type in your information.
  2. After, we will email you a free US shipping label so that you can send us your equipment. We will contact you once we’ve received it.
  3. After you submit it, we will evaluate the equipment and contact you with a final offer via check, Paypal, or store credit toward the new Sony gear. If you decide not to proceed with the trade, no worries! We send your equipment right back at no cost.
That about covers everything for the Sony rebates cashback offer breakdown. If you still have question’s regarding the Sony offer or want to know more about the process, visit our FAQ page. Visit our dedicated Sony page for all things Sony, or explore all the available cameras and lenses you can trade-in and trade up for today.  Which camera or lens will you save on?

Instax Mini 12 vs 11 | Full Camera Comparison

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 vs 11 - Instax Camera Newest Model, Features and Spec

The new Instax Mini 12 is putting Fujifilm’s instant cameras back on the map with added features and returning favorites. Fujifilm users are excited to capture more great memories with the bubbly film camera that has a uniquely fun feel and funky design. Like the Instax cameras before, the new Instax Mini 12 has a wide array of available colors (mint green, pastel blue, blossom pink, lilac purple, and clay white) and produces good-quality images in seconds. We’ll cover what new and improved capabilities have been added and what old features were carried over from the Instax Mini 11.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 - Instax Camera Newest Model
Fujifilm Instax Mini 12

Specs Instax Mini 12 Instax Mini 11
Price $79.95$89.99
Film Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant FilmFujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film
Photo Size 62mm x 46mm62mm x 46mm
Lens2 components, 2 elements, f = 60 mm, 1:12.72 components, 2 elements, f = 60 mm, 1:12.7
ViewfinderReal image finder, 0.37×, with target spot, features parallax correction for Close-Up ModeReal image finder, 0.37x, with target spot
Shooting Range 0.3m and beyond0.3m and beyond
Selfie Mode Yes (Use for 0.3 to 0.5m range)Yes (Use for 0.3 to 0.5m range)
ShutterProgrammed electronic shutter 1/2 to 1/250 sec. Slow synchro for low lightProgrammed electronic shutter 1/2 to 1/250 sec. Slow synchro for low light
Exposure Control Automatic, Lv 5.0 to 14.5 (ISO 800)Automatic, Lv 5.0 to 14.5 (ISO 800)
Film Ejection AutomaticAutomatic
Film Development Approx. 90 secondsApprox. 90 seconds
FlashConstant firing flash (automatic light adjustment), recycle time: 7 seconds or less (when using new batteries), effective flash range: 0.3 to 2.2 mConstant firing flash (automatic light adjustment), recycle time: 6.5 seconds or less (when using new batteries),effective flash range: 0.3 to 2.7m
Power/Batteries 2 AA alkaline batteries (LR6), capacity: approx. 10 Instax Mini film packs of 10 exposures each 2 AA alkaline batteries (LR6),capacity: approx. 10 Instax Mini film packs of 10 exposures each
Dimension104 mm×66.6 mm×122 mm107.6mm × 121.2mm × 67.3mm
Weight 306 g 293 g

Camera Build 

Like its predecessors, the Instax Mini 12 has a stylish retro design that brings a fun appeal to every photo shoot. Although they look identical at first glance, when comparing the Instax Mini 11 vs 12, the Mini 12 is slightly boxier, whereas the 11 leans into a more curvy look and feel. Interestingly, both cameras give off a thicker bugling aesthetic than a traditional point-and-shoot, yet, they aren’t too cumbersome. Fujifilm Instax Minis are designed ideally to be great for travel and capturing on the go. Regarding size and dimensions, the Mini 12 weighs about 306g and is 104mm x 66.6mm x 122mm. While the Mini 11 isn’t too far behind at 293g and 107.6mm × 121.2mm × 67.3mm (LxWxH).

The Fujifilm Instax Mini cameras take a pair of commonly found AA batteries and are hassle-free to change. In addition to this, they each contain a 0.37x real image viewfinder for an improved framing and capture experience. However, the Mini 12 also has a parallax correction component to improve centering frames on close-up shots.

Film for Instax Mini Cameras (Film Size)

Unsurprisingly, like the Instax Mini 11, the 12 is also compatible with Fujifilm Instax Mini film, delivering an excellent blend of color tones and clear pictures. Each camera requires around 90 seconds for the film to develop and produce 62mm x 46mm photos. Film photos are a great way to have fun personalizing your bedroom, decorating the fridge, or crafting a photo album filled with exciting memories.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 front look - Instax Newest camera Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 back look - Instax Newest camera Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

Camera Modes & Performance

One of the more prominent changes with the Instax Mini 12 is the built-in twist lens function. Unlike the Mini 11, which requires you to push a button to access the lenses, the Mini 12 functions similarly to a digital camera by requiring users to twist the lens. This improved capability allows you to easily turn the camera on and off and access the close-up mode when you rotate it again. Close-up mode is a popular feature for subjects within 30-60cm of the lens for better-quality personal shots. Besides that, both camera lenses contain two components and two elements, with an impressive 60mm lens (1:12.7) and a focusing distance of .03 meters.

Another popular feature Fujifilm brought back is the well-liked selfie mode. Each camera also has a programmed electronic shutter for well-exposed shots at 1/2 to 1/250 seconds. Additionally, they share the slow synchro flash feature to capture more dynamic and well-exposed photos in low-light conditions. Regarding flash, the Mini 11 uses a constant firing flash (automatic light adjustment) with a recycle time of 6.5 seconds or less. The Mini 12 also has a constant firing flash, and a recycle time of 7 seconds or less.

Fujifilml Instax Mini 12 vs 11 camera comparison
photo courtesy of Fujifilm

Another exciting new feature is the INSTAX UP app, designed to scan and store your photos all in one digitally. This app will also allow you to share your photo memories, building upon the already significant social element Instax Minis provide. Ironically, the pull for instant cameras is the practice of creating tangible film photos you can hold on to and share. However, this added feature gives users a better experience accessing film and digital tools when saving memorable moments.


Although the Fujifilm Instax Mini camera features come nowhere close to that of a digital camera, they are addictingly fun cameras to use and appreciate. Straying away from the standard by using film in a digitally saturated world is a refreshing way to enjoy photography. In conclusion, when comparing the Mini 12 vs 11, the successor camera has more than enough noticeable improvements that make it the better choice of the two film cameras and at a great price range too. Both Fujifilm Instax cameras are great for capturing social gatherings, brunches, a day out with friends, and travel photos on vacation.

What do you like most about the Instax Mini 12, and what colors are your favorite?


8 Long Range Vortex Scopes for Every Budget | 2023

If you’re looking for a superior long-range Vortex scope at a great price, this post is worth scoping out. You’ll find optics that provide versatile magnification options, excellent durability, precision, and fast accuracy (featuring Diamondback, Crossfire, and Strike Eagle). Right now, until 3/15/2023, you can catch fantastic offers on an assortment of Vortex optics, including deals on binoculars, spotting scopes, and more. From low-priced optics to more high-end scopes, here are eight Vortex riflescopes you should consider for optimal performance and a fantastic shooting experience.

Use the CODE: VortexDeal123 to receive these exclusive deals. 

Long range vortex scope - Strike Eagle, Crossfire II, Diamondback

Vortex Scopes Under $300

1) Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×50 Straight-Wall BDC Riflescope

Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x50 Straight-Wall BDC Riflescope
Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×50 Straight-Wall BDC Riflescope

The Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×50 Straight-Wall BDC Riflescope is one of the shorter-range scopes on this list but is designed to help you get the most out of classic cartridges. The Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) reticle is optimized for straight-wall hunting, allowing for accurate holdovers and rapid target acquisition. The 1-inch tube provides an ideal combination of adjustment, size, and weight for various hunting scenarios, while the workhorse value of the Crossfire II line ensures you’ll be filling those tags for years to come. Overall, this long-range Vortex scope bundle is an excellent option for hunters that want a great price on reliable and convenient optics. 

2) Vortex Crossfire II 4-12×44 Riflescope V-Plex MOA Reticle

Long Range Vortex Scope - Vortex Crossfire II 4-12x44 Riflescope V-Plex MOA Reticle
Vortex Crossfire II 4-12×44 Riflescope V-Plex MOA Reticle

The Vortex Crossfire II 4-12×44 Riflescope has a multipurposed magnification range designed to provide reliable performance in various hunting conditions. This scope contains a V-Plex MOA Reticle, giving you a more comprehensive crosshair that grows narrower toward the center for a clear view of your target and precise holdovers for better accuracy. It also features a fully multi-coated lens with an anti-reflection coating that transmits maximum light and minimizes glare on all air-to-glass surfaces.

The internal mechanisms of the Crossfire II 4-12×44 Riflescope has a capped tactical turrets that give you extreme control for fast and accurate elevation and wind adjustments. The integrated locking mechanism also prevents accidental adjustments and the fast-focus eyepiece is excellent for quick and easy reticle focusing.  

3) Vortex Crossfire II 4-16×50 AO Riflescope

Long Rnage Vortex Scope - Vortex Crossfire II 4-16x50 AO Riflescope
Vortex Crossfire II 4-16×50 AO Riflescope

The Crossfire II 4-16×50 AO riflescope with dead-hold BDC MOA Reticle is a highly durable and precise optical solution for long-range applications. The fully multi-coated lens with anti-reflection coating has superior light transmission, higher color contrast, and sharper images. The glass-etched dead-hold BDC reticle in the second focal plane offers highly functional, intuitive, and detailed hold points for precise aiming, even at the most extended range and poorly lit settings. The BDC reticle is hash-marked using MOA-based subtension. 

This scope is designed with a tough hard-coat anodized exterior and coating to help protect your scope against bumps, bruises, scratches, oil, and dirt. O-ring seals and Nitrogen gas purging create a waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof body. The adjustable objective lens offers excellent image focus and parallax removal. The Crossfire II 4-16×50 AO Riflescope is suitable for high-powered rifles, rimfire rifles, black powder rifles, and slug shotguns, making it a versatile optical solution for hunters and long-range shooters. 

4) Vortex Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO Riflescope

Vortex Crossfire II 6-24x50 AO Riflescope
Vortex Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO Riflescope

The Vortex Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO riflescope has one of the higher magnification options on this list, giving long-range tactical shooters exceptional image quality and precision. The scope combines superior optics, extreme durability, and high mechanical precision, making it ideal for hunters, marksmen, and tactical professionals. 

One of the standout features of this rifle scope is its dead-hold BDC MOA Reticle, helping to eliminate guesswork on holdover and windage corrections. The BDC reticle is constructed in the second focal plane, with hash-marked MOA-based subtension lines referencing bullet drop and drift in windy conditions. The glass-etched reticle is kept to the tightest tolerances possible, ensuring ultra-precision aiming even at the most extended range and lowest light conditions. 

5) Vortex Crossfire II 3-12×56 AO Hog Hunter Riflescope

Vortex Crossfire II 3-12x56 AO Hog Hunter Riflescope
Vortex Crossfire II 3-12×56 AO Hog Hunter Riflescope

The Vortex Crossfire II 3-12×56 AO Hog Hunter riflescope uses an exceptionally oversized objective lens, giving you brighter and better view of your target. It features superior high-definition optics with fully multi-coated lenses and anti-reflection coatings. On top of this, the V-Brite MOA reticle does a fantastic job of eliminating the guesswork on holdover and windage corrections and the hash-marked subtension lines. The aircraft-grade aluminum construction with a 30mm single-piece tube and tough hard-coat anodized exterior make this scope highly durable, plus, the capped tactical turrets give you extreme control. 

High-End Vortex Scopes

6) Vortex Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 Riflescope/EBR-2C MOA Reticle

Vortex Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50 Riflescope/EBR-2C MOA Reticle
Vortex Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50 Riflescope/EBR-2C MOA Reticle

The Diamondback tactical 6-24×50 riflescope/EBR-2C MOA reticle provides excellent resolution and high-definition imaging. This scope gives you access to a high selection of range options (6-24x), a 50mm object lens and a 4x optical system for a step in clarity and sharpness. Its extra-low dispersion optical glass provides optimal resolution and color fidelity.   

The Diamondback tactical 6-24×50 riflescope uses an EBR-2C MOA reticle constructed in the first focal plane for superior long-range shooting. Its crosshair does an exceptional job of intertwining precision with light visibility. Moreover, the EBR-2C has a max windage adjustment level and a max elevation adjustment level of 65 MOA. Its turrets have a Zero-Reset, and the Precision-Glide Erector System allows for smooth magnification adjustments throughout the entire range and even in harsh conditions.

7) Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18×44 FFP EBR-7C MRAD Scope 




Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP EBR-7C MRAD Scope
Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18×44 FFP EBR-7C MRAD Scope

Another great long range Vortex scope is the newer Strike Eagle 3-18×44 FFP EBR-7C MRAD scope. This scope embraces versatility with excellent mid to long-range functioning and gives you the option of an MRAD or MOA reticle. The scope features a first focal plane and illuminated reticle, making it perfect for fast targeting at just about any magnification and lighting condition. The RevStop Zero system ensures a reliable return to zero, and the locking turrets allow for quick and easy adjustments.

The 34mm tube provides massive elevation and windage travel, and with the throw lever, you can access rapid magnification changes. In addition to its performance, the build of the Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18×44 is extremely lightweight and durable. It is made from high-quality materials, including a rugged aluminum construction, and is O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged for water, fog, and shock-proof performance.

8) Vortex Razor Gen III 1-10×24 Riflescope EBR-9 BDC MOA Reticle

High-End Long Range Vortex Scope - Vortex Razor Gen III 1-10x24 Riflescope with EBR-9 BDC MOA Reticle
Vortex Razor Gen III 1-10×24 Riflescope EBR-9 BDC MOA Reticle

The Razor HD Gen III 1-10×24 riflescope with EBR-9 BDC MOA reticle is another tremendous mid to long range Vortex scope. This riflescope features an HD optical system with Apochromatic (APO) lenses, providing superior light transmission, higher color contrast, and sharper image quality across the entire visual spectrum. The EBR-9 BDC MOA reticle is illuminated and located in the first focal plane. The reticle combines pre-calculated wind holds with the rapid target acquisition of a red dot. 

Although this post covers long-range vortex scopes, one of the standout features of the Razor HD Gen III 1-10×24 riflescope is its true 1x power on the low end. It’s an ideal scope for quick target acquisition and optimal close-quarters sessions. This riflescope also features bright illumination for reliable performance in various lighting conditions. Despite all these features, the Razor HD Gen III 1-10×24 Riflescope weighs the same as Vortex’s 1-6x model without sacrificing durability. Whether you’re a professional, competition shooter, or leisure, this scope offers unmatched versatility and performance. 

That concludes our list of great long range Vortex optics, which scope do you prefer? 

The 5 Best Lenses for the Sony a7R V Mirrorless Camera

The Sony a7R V was announced in December last year and is leading the charge as one of Sony’s many great Alpha series cameras. It has a 61MP sensor, outstanding high-resolution, and is built with precision and power at the forefront. To get the most out of the a7R V, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best lenses to pair with this high-performing full-frame mirrorless camera. From fantastic ultra-wide lenses to versatile telephoto lenses, this list has a lens for just about every form of photography and hopefully one that fits your photo and video needs. Here are the five best lenses for the a7R V.

1) Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II Lens

best lenses for a7R V - Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens

Starting off the list is the multipurpose and high-end Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II lens. This is an excellent lens with a more compact design than its predecessor delivering optimal still and video performance. Its versatility can be attributed to its 24-70mm zoom range, making it suitable for capturing vast landscapes, sharp portraits, and lively street photography.

This lens boasts a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture for stunningly sharp and bright images, even in low light conditions. Moreover, the constant aperture gives creators greater control over the depth of field by allowing them to easily achieve a more shallow aesthetic and create beautiful bokeh.

The advanced optics, including Extra Low Dispersion and Super ED elements, work together to minimize chromatic aberrations and provide clear, vibrant images with minimal distortion. The lens also features a fast, precise autofocus system with Nano AR coating to reduce reflections and ghosting. Whether you’re shooting stills or capturing moving subjects, the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM is a reliable and high-performance that won’t disappoint you.


  • Constant f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • Advanced optics: Extra Low Dispersion and Super ED elements.
  • Fast, precise autofocus system with Nano AR coating


  • No dedicated image stabilizer.
  • Higher price compared to Sigma’s 24-70mm F2.8.

2) Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens

Best lens for a7R V - Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Full-Frame
Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II

The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens is a great tool for professional photographers who need powerful lens capabilities for wildlife, portrait, and sports photography. This full-frame, telephoto zoom lens combines the best of both worlds, using razor-sharpness and smooth bokeh to create images that pop with crystal-clear detail from all ranges. The FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II takes a step up from its predecessor by reducing focus breathing, focus shift, and axis shift when zooming, giving it a boost in video performance.

Four of its linear motors deliver efficient, quiet, and fast AF perfect both stills and video. In terms of physical buttons, users can control the focus, zoom, and iris; each has independent buttons and can easily be turned off with the click of the switch button. In addition, this multipurpose telephoto lens also keeps a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture.

The lens features optical image stabilization for blur-free shots, even with moving subjects. The XA and ED glass elements work in tandem to eliminate chromatic aberrations and provide vivid colors. The 11-blade circular aperture creates smooth, natural-looking bokeh, and the fast AF system, driven by separate actuators, ensures you won’t miss a shot. The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS is one of the best lenses for the Sony a7R V.


  • Wide-angle zoom with constant f/2.8 aperture
  • Excellent image quality with sharpness and contrast
  • Built-in image stabilization for steady shots
  • Dust and moisture-resistant for durability


  • 1.32 ft minimum focus distance limits macro and close-up photography capabilities
  • Larger size and weight
  • May see vignetting at wider aperture settings

3) Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens

Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens
Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens

The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art lens is an ultra-wide masterpiece that compliments the 50MP-plus camera very well. This ultra-wide-angle zoom lens is designed to produce the highest quality images for creators who demand near-perfection photos. Similar to most of the lenses on this list, it has an outstanding aperture at all zooms. It is especially great for astrophotography due to its wide-angle coverage and low-light attributes. The Sigma 14-24mm is also ideal for architecture, real estate, landscape, and other outdoor photography due to its weather-sealed and sturdy build.

The lens is crafted with 3 FLD and 3 SLD glass elements, three aspherical lens elements, and one large-diameter aspherical element, which reduces chromatic aberration and produces extremely sharp images. It has a manual focus ring, zoom ring, and cover connection, and front conversion service available for multi-camera VR videography is an added advantage.

This lens is part of Sigma’s Art line, offering the crème de la crème of high-end optical performance and expressive power for photographers. With its superior image quality and fast and accurate AF, this lens is an exceptional choice with the Sony a7R V.


  • Exceptional image quality
  • Fast aperture throughout the zoom
  • Great zoom wide angle range for expansive scenery
  • Weather-sealed build


  • Limited filter options – The lens has a large and curved front element, which makes it difficult to attach standard filters.
  • Potential for distortion when shooting close to your subject.

4) Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens

Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens
Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens

The Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM lens is an excellent lens for the a7R V and a good choice for professional portrait photographers. This lens represents a significant step forward in the G Master series of Sony lenses, combining refined G Lens bokeh with new levels of resolution. The result is a portrait lens that fully utilizes the performance potential of current and future high-resolution camera bodies.

One of the key features of this lens is its constant f/1.4 aperture combined with its fairly far focal length. This allows for outstanding resolution at maximum aperture and gorgeous, gradual bokeh that dissolves the background into an artistic backdrop with natural coloration and highlights. This combination is due, in part, to XA element technology, which opens up new opportunities for visual expression.

The Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens is also equipped with a sublime 2-sensor autofocus accuracy that achieves the high focus precision necessary to make the most of the high-resolution potential of advanced camera bodies. With 11 blades for luscious bokeh, advanced nano-coating technology for outstanding clarity and contrast, and versatile fingertip focus control, this lens offers professional portrait photographers exceptional image quality and flexibility in various shooting environments.


  • Exceptional optical performance and resolution for professional portraits.
  • Constant f/1.4 aperture.
  • Advanced Nano Anti-Reflective Coating.
  • Dual sensor system with Ring Drive Super Sonic wave Motor
  • Versatile fingertip focus control (MF/AFmode switch and focus hold button)


  • High price
  • Large and heavy
  • A fixed focal length of 85mm makes it less versatile
  • No image stabilization

5) Sony Alpha FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens

Best lenses for Sony a7R V - Sony Alpha FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Wide-Angle Zoom Lens
Sony Alpha FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Wide-Angle Zoom Lens

The Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens is a wide-angle zoom lens can produce exceptional landscape, architectural, and event photography images. With a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8, it gives an excellent low-light performance and shallow depth of field. This aperture is maintained throughout all focal lengths allowing for less low-light hindrance and more opportunities for great photoshoot potential.

Not only is the aperture max throughout all ranges, but this Sony G Master lens also provides great-looking high-resolution images at all focal lengt. Add the aspherical elements, and photographers get increased surface precision while decreasing distortion, field curvature, and astigmatism. This lens also features Sony’s Nano AR to reduce reducing lens flare and ghosting. Locking down precise shots is a sinch with its fast AF system.

The Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM is a robust and well-constructed lens that is dust and moisture-resistant, made for the toughest and most demanding shooting situations. It’s also relatively compact and lightweight compared to other lenses in its class, making it a great option for travel photography and photographers who like to travel light.


  • Wide-angle zoom with constant f/2.8 aperture
  • Excellent image quality with sharpness and contrast
  • Built-in image stabilization for steady shots
  • Dust and moisture-resistant for rugged use


  • High cost compared to other lenses in its class
  • No built-in manual focus ring

Sony a7 IV Named Best Full-Frame Camera of 2022

The Sony a7 IV has been named the alpha dog (or rather, camera) when it comes to high-quality capturing capabilities and performance. The EISA TIPA World Awards proudly acknowledge the Sony a7 IV’s impressive feats by naming it as the “best full-frame camera of 2022”, and for a good reason. The 33MP camera has garnered a reputation of excellence by covering just about all the bases for photography and videography demands. 

From the build to its performance, we take a look at what makes this full-frame Sony camera worth the buy. In addition, this post will also compare it to the latest Sony Alpha— the a7R V mirrorless camera, and see if it has the potential to crop out the a7 IV for next year’s best full-frame camera award.

Watch as our team takes the Sony a 7 IV on test through the rainy street of New York.

Related Post: Sony a7 IV vs. Sony a7 III.

Key Features 

  • 33MP full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • BIONZ XR image processor
  • ISO range: 100-51200 (expanded 50-204800)
  • 15 stops of dynamic range
  • JPEG & HEIF 10-bit (4:2:2 or 4:2:0) + RAW
  • 828 RAW+JPEG buffer depth
  • 5.5-stop In-body Image Stabilization
  • 759-point phase-detect hybrid AF system (with 94% frame coverage)
  • Real-time Eye AF & tracking for Human, Animals & Birds
  • 4K 60p video in Super35
  • 4K 30p video with 7K oversampling
  • 10-bit S-Log3 support, 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording
  • Digital Audio Interface in hotshoe
  • Custom controls for Stills/Movie/S&Q modes
  • Improved ergonomics
  • 3.68M-dot OLED EVF
  • Vari-Angle LCD touchscreen
  • CFexpress Type A + SD slots (UHS-II)


The Sony a7 IV camera has a 33MP full-frame CMOS sensor and uses a BIONZ XR image processor that offers up to an 8x increase in processing speed. These insane speeds are adapted to handle real-time AF processing, image recognition, image quality adjustment, as well as user interface, network, and file management processing. Essentially, this camera can juggle a lot without dropping the ball, making it much easier for photographers to keep up with challenging scenarios and capture their ideal image. 

Regarding durability, the award-winning full-frame Sony camera is built from lightweight, tough magnesium alloy for excellent durability. It has essential heat dissipation properties for a positive experience using the extended continuous recording. On top of this, the mounting is constructed from graphite material with excellent thermal conduction elements. This design allows the image sensor (which accounts for a good amount of heat) to move more freely during image stabilization and help dissipate heat better.  

Sony Alpha a7 IV
Photo courtesy of Sony

Drop all of these features into one camera, and you get the efficient a7 IV. A camera that can seamlessly adapt to high-demand environments and allow creators to worry more about getting the right shot rather than a malfunctioning camera. This camera is especially great for nature and wildlife photographers, travel, sports, street photography, and similar settings that demand more from the camera.  

Viewfinder & LCD Monitor 

The Sony a7 IV features a 3.68-megapixel Quad-VGA OLED viewfinder with a 37.3-degree field of view and a 23mm high eyepoint, efficient for those with glasses or any potential viewfinder obstructions. It provides roughly 1.6x the resolution compared to the Sony a7 III and is designed for precise and comfortable viewing in a wide range of shooting environments. The camera is powered by a high-capacity Z battery and can also be connected to USB power supplies and AC adapters.

In addition, users have plenty of flexibility with the vari-angle 3.0-type 1.03-megadot touch panel that’s easy to see even in bright settings. The a7 IV may be an advanced full-frame mirrorless camera; but, it has an easy-to-use menu screen with simple display navigation that seperates still and movie features, and also allows users to enjoy its customizable rear “R” dial. 

Sony a7 IV Video Features 

Photo courtesy of Andrea de Santis

Video is really where 2022’s “best full-frame mirrorless camera” starts to distinguish itself from the heavily saturated camera world. The Sony a7 IV offers an impressive range of video recording options with 4K 60p2 recording and 4:2:2 10-bit recording capabilities. With full pixel readout without binning, you can record 4K 60p2 videos while maintaining high resolution and detail. The camera can oversample 7K when recording full-frame 4K movies at up to 30p, and 10-bit 4:2:2 video can be recorded internally, allowing for natural gradations and greater editing flexibility.

The a7 IV also supports S-Cinetone, a feature inspired and derived from the VENICE CineAlta professional cinema camera line. Essentially, this provides natural mid-tones for healthy-looking skin tones, soft colors, and beautiful highlights, allowing you to create an expressive look for your movie imagery without post-editing, thanks to in-camera processing.


This versatile camera does not shy away from low light or get hindered by bright outdoor settings. It offers an ISO range of 100-51200, which can be expanded to a whopping ISO 50-204800 for stills and ISO 100-102400 for movies. Merge this with a powerful processor and 33MP sensor synergy, and you can create beautifully detailed images in a variety of scenes. 

Whether you’re shooting portraits, landscapes, or action scenes, you can rely on this camera to produce high-quality images with significantly reduced noise. Producing accurate colors on high-res images with soft and natural-looking skin textures as well as landscapes that pop with vivid scenery. 

Sony Alpha a7 IV
Photo courtesy of Harold Jonker


When it comes to stabilization, the Sony a7 IV can attain up to 5.5 steps of built-in shutter speed compensation, allowing you to capture sharper images in less ideal shooting scenarios. The in-body stabilization system is versatile and works with a wide range of lenses, even those without built-in stabilization features. In addition, users can also use a live monitor view that shows the stabilized still image while the shutter button is half-pressed. This is especially useful when using telephoto or macro lenses, as it allows you to see the effects of stabilization in real-time and make adjustments as needed. This is all topped off with MF Assist, and Focus Magnifier features to further ensure precise focus and sharpness in each image.

AF Features 

Using a combination of phase-detection and contrast-detection, AF the Sony a 7 IV can achieve accurate images, especially significant for small or fast-moving subjects. The system covers roughly 94% of the image area, with 75918 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection points. The real-time processing by the BIONZ XR engine enables impressive Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking with 30% better eye-detection accuracy and higher accuracy when the subject is moving. Using this in tandem with the right lens can exponentially enhance video and photos for sports photography, wildlife photography, and similar niches that allow a small window to find “the perfect shot.”

In addition, its bird mode is now available for Real-time Eye AF, allowing the system to detect and track the eyes of birds in both stills and movies. Touch Tracking allows for intuitive AF control by selecting a subject to track via the LCD screen or while using the viewfinder. Lastly, the AF Assist helps enable seamless transitions to and from manual focus during movie shoots with a simple rotation of the focus ring. 

Photo courtesy of Sony

Is the Sony a7 IV Worth Buying?

All-in-all creates are given outstanding control when using this camera. However, Sony rarely fails to impress when it comes to constantly producing well-performing cameras (especially for the Alpha line). That being said, Sony’s a7R V (released in December of 2022), is still gaining a lot of popularity in the camera world and although a bit pricier, is another camera to watch out for regarding its high-resolution and robust imaging capabilities. 

Related post: Sony a7R V | AI Capabilities.

Sony a7 IV vs. Sony a7R V | Worth the Upgrade 

Although both cameras are respective in their own right, there are still a few minor features that separate them. While they both are full-frame mirrorless cameras, there is a significant contrast regarding sensor size; as the Sony a7 IV boasts a 33MP sensor, the a7R V almost doubles this with an astonishing 61MP sensor. No, a bigger MP size does not always mean a better camera; however, this is something to consider when looking at how far this year’s camera capabilities will go, even when looking outside of Sony. This is important to note, understanding that competitors such as Nikon, Canon, and Fujifilm continue to raise the bar for the camera world moving forward. 

Despite the fantastic AF features of the a7 IV, Sony has yet again the ascended camera capabilities on the a7R V by implementing new AI processing technology. Utilizing this advanced technology with a 61MP sensor in tandem produces outstanding high-resolution with thoroughly detailed images. Furthermore, the Sony a 7R IV has improved animal and bird tracking by 40% and human focus tracking by 60% compared to the a7 IV. 

Sony alpha a7 IV vs a7R V


The fact that the Sony a7 IV has been named “best full-frame camera of 2022” shows just how impressive the Alpha series is. Photographers and videographers have relied on these Sony cameras for years and have been thoroughly impressed with the results. The a7 IV and a7R V are both exceptional quality mirrorless full-frame cameras with their own, highlighting features that set them apart. While the a7 IV is more budget-friendly, there is also a good reason why the a7R V comes at a higher cost; depending on your photography and videography demands will determine which camera is right for you.