What is better, 7×50 or 10×50 binoculars?

When comparing binoculars, the main consideration is their intended use. To understand which size better suits your needs, you’ll need to understand what the numbers in the binoculars’ description means.

Binocular sizes are conveyed in two numbers. The first number (the 7 in 7×50, for example) indicates the equipment’s magnification power, or how much larger the subject will appear through the binoculars as opposed to the naked eye. The second number (the 50 in the 7×50) identifies the objective lenses’ diameter or aperture, measured in millimeters. Therefore, 7×50 binoculars have a power magnification of 7x, and the objective lens diameter is 50 mm.

7×50 vs. 10×50

• Magnification power

In this case, the 10×50 will obviously make the image appear 10 times larger, rather than 7 times larger. The higher magnification power will offer more precise details of distant objects, but higher magnification means narrower field of view (the width of the area seen through the binoculars).

The increase in magnification also comes with stability issues—in other words, the higher the magnification, the heavier the device. While a 7x binocular is likely comfortable for hand-held use, a 10x model will be harder to keep steady, and a stand or tripod could be required.

• Aperture

When it comes to diameter, both have the same measurement–50 mm–which means they gather the same amount of light. This is useful in low-light settings. However, more significant magnification affects brightness. Therefore, 7×50 would offer a brighter view.

Which is better?

The answer is, it depends. Are you studying something that’s relatively close, but want a greater field of view? Then 7×50 might work better. Conversely, are you out in the field, hunting or tracking something that’s much further in the distance? Then 10×50 might be your preferred choice. Like any other device, each one has several factors to consider, as well as benefits and drawbacks. You’ll also need to consider your budget, any additional accessories you might like to use, weight and feel, and so on. Ultimately, you’ll likely need to try a few to find the perfect fit.