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American COP Jan/Feb 2012 Digital Edition - Page 28
hiGh TECH ROYHUNTINGTON CUTTINGEDGEWIDGETs—ANDOTHERNEWsTUFF. Bino-Camera Sneaky Machine Taken from a tripod at about 60 yards, This 100 yard target gong picture this license is was taken with the Image View easily read. digital camera, tripod-mounted. Same gong (later in the day) but the image is zoomed in using the built-in digital zoom. Bushnell’s Image View T Not too techNIcaL here were times during my patrol days — long before digital cameras — when I wished I could have photographed miscreants in the act as I watched through my binoculars. I remember scoping out a burglar starting to pry a window, oblivious to the fact my beat partner and I were patiently watching him from hiding. Daytime burglars were hitting our residential areas hard, and we had stumbled onto this thug as he cased homes. Sure enough, some hidie-ho on our part led him into our hands after a brief but spirited chase over hill and dale. But how I would have loved to have had a picture of him prying that window! “Um, yes, Your Honor, here’s a picture of Bradley Burglar prying the window of the victim’s home.” Gotcha’! Now you can have that picture, or even movie, for that matter. For around a $200 or so bill at street-level pricing, Bushnell’s “Image View” binocular offers a built-in 5-Megapixel digital camera, SD memory card slot (up to 32 Gig cards), still and movie mode and a decent 8x30 binocular. There’s a handy 1.5" color LCD viewing screen and once you get it set up, basically a 1-button push gets you a picture. t comes with a very basic multi-language manual, but they offer a comprehensive one online. I was able to get things powered-up using two AAA batteries, and with about two minutes spent with the manual, took my first picture. You can use the binocular normally, or fire-up the camera and use an aiming circle in the binocular’s field of view to center the digital image and press the magic button. You can also frame a picture using the LCD screen. There’s a digital zoom mode using a control button panel, but like any digital zoom, quality breaks down. The 3-shot burst mode might be just the ticket for most photos, though. You never know what you might catch, so it’s better to be safe and “over-shoot” than miss something. If you’re familiar with point and shoot digital cameras you can pretty much run the menu by working your way through it. It offers the normal range of selections. If you set it up to shoot video, you can make it do a 1-minute “loop” where it keeps shooting, but when you stop, it “remembers” the past minute and saves it. Might be just the ticket for staking out a bad guy and keeping the video going until something interesting happens, then stopping it, saving the past, criminal-type minute. I In action I The forward portion has the built-in shutter release and shows the digital camera lens. t’s a fairly complete package, and comes with a decent case, strap, small tripod and a remote shutter release. While you can shoot decent pictures by simply holding the binoculars in the classic way and pressing the shutter button, it’s always better to brace it, or better yet use a tripod. That’s when the remote shutter release comes into play. On a tripod, and using the remote shutter, it takes good pictures. It’s not a 12-Megapixel camera, so don’t expect miracles. But it does a good enough job to recognize faces and license plates, and can at least get you some documentation of a scene that’s 100 or more yards away. The complete package comes with basic accessories. This is one of those times when spending a couplehundred of your own hard-earned bucks just might pay dividends in the not-too-distant future. I mean … how fun would it be to show a bad guy his smiling mug on the screen as you hook him up? “Hey, isn’t that you breaking into that car? Imagine me getting a picture of you doing it. Ha!” Double Ha. For info: www.americancopmagazine. com/bushnell * 28 WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • JANUARY/FEBRUARY2012