Adapting the IS system from their line of EF lenses, the Canon 12x32 IS Image Stabilized Binocular employs a lens-shift system that uses a combination of a vibration gyro-mechanism and microprocessors that detect and counter the appearance of hand-shake by moving the internal lens assembly to make the image appear steady. As a general rule, optics of this magnification and higher are extremely prone to the appearance of visible hand-shake, which interferes with clear and immersive views. Through the use of image stabilization, users can enjoy high-power observations without the distracting shake or the need for tripods or other support systems normally required to achieve steady images.
Two IS modes allow the performance to be tailored to the situation: Normal IS is ideal for moving or multiple subjects, while Powered IS improves the stabilization when observing a single stationary subject. An intuitive two-button user interface makes choosing the mode simple and easy. The IS runs on two included AA batteries, and when not using the image stabilization, the optic will operate as a conventional pair of binoculars.
Optically, the binoculars are built with traditional Porro prisms and an integrated field-flattener lens that corrects spherical aberration for distortion-free views, especially at the edges. Canon's proprietary Super Spectra Coating is used to limit color bias, lens flare, and ghosting; while maximizing light transmission, color rendition, clarity, and contrast across the entire visible spectrum. With this new IS system, the close focus distance has been drastically reduced versus earlier models that use a different IS mechanism.
32mm objective lens
Porro prism light path
Fully multi-coated optics using Canon's proprietary Super Spectra Coating to limit color bias, lens flare, and ghosting; while improving light transmission, color rendition, clarity, and contrast across the entire visible spectrum
Doublet field-flattener lens corrects spherical aberration for distortion-free views, especially at the edges
7-element/6-group objective lens configuration
5-element/4-group eyepiece lens configuration
262-foot field of view at 1000 yards
6.6' close focus distance is an improvement over earlier IS models
Lens-Shift image stabilization system uses a vibration gyro-mechanism, in conjunction with microprocessors, that detect and counter the appearance of hand-shake by moving the internal lens assembly horizontally and vertically, to make the image appear steady
Powered Image Stabilization is a secondary IS a system that improves the image stabilization when focused on a single subject
±1.0° correction angle
Runs on two AA batteries
Use and Handling
Simple 2-button interface: Normal IS and Powered IS
Large center focus wheel
±3 right-eye dioptric correction
55-76mm interpupillary adjustment range
Fold-down rubber eyecups for comfortable use with or without eyewear
14.5mm eye relief
2.7mm exit pupil
Redesigned chassis is more ergonomic to fit more comfortably in the hand
Slip-resistant rubber armoring provides a sure grip
Weight: 27.5 ounces
Objective Lens Diameter
Angle of View
Field of View
262.5' @ 1000 yd / 87.5 m @ 1000 m
Minimum Focus Distance
6.6' / 2 m
Exit Pupil Diameter
55 to 76 mm / 2.2 to 3"
-3 to +3
2 x AA
6.7 x 5.6 x 3" / 17 x 14.2 x 7.6 cm
27.5 oz / 780 g
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)
11 x 8.95 x 6.4"
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Based on 2 reviews
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I had a pair of the Cannon IS 12 x 36 in the past, and for several years have used the 10 x 30 IS. I purchased these to gain the 12x magnification with good close focus, and so my wife and I would have another pair to share. I have not been disappointed in these at all. They are noticeably brighter than our 10 x 30s, which I had not expected since we were going only from 30 to 32. They also seem crisper on the image, though technically the glass is the same spec. Perhaps the 12x with the increased brightness gives the impression of greater clarity. The other feature I love is the fine focus which makes it easier to really dial in birds or other objects. Of course, having the image stabilization stay on for several minutes without needing to hold the button down Is a great benefit, and the power IS mode does reduce small movements from hand shake.I understood prior to purchasing them that many users are unhappy with the eye cups, but I have not found that to be a big issue. With most binoculars I find it difficult to merge the image, and these are easier than most for me. I use them with the eye cups rolled back and am happy with that, given the advantage I find in the other features.I purchased these in the mid eight-hundred-dollar range and found that to be a more appropriate price than Canon’s full retail of $1200.
This is my 4th IS model from Canon, the others being 10x30IS II, 10x42IS WP, 15x50IS. The IS on this model is very good at dampening large movements but seems to struggle a bit more than the other models when it comes to higher frequency vibrations, including the kind that comes from normal handshake. The design and ergonomics are all very good except for the eye cups. They're too large in diameter so if you have a narrower interpupillary distance, say 62mm or less, the eyecups may pinch your nose. I've resorted to folding up the eyecups permanently but this really isn't ideal. Canon should offer or provide a second, smaller eye cup option for those who struggle with this feature. Overall, this is an excellent binocular at the current $600-700 street price, if you can get past the eye cups. Ideally, it should have a slim, multi-position design, not unlike some of the $100-300, non-IS models that we're seeing on the market from other manufacturers.