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Celestron Outland X 10x50 Review

Poor clarity, particularly when viewing more distant objects, will likely be a deal breaker for most
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Price:  $120 List | $99.79 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, bright
Cons:  Poor clarity, heavy
Manufacturer:   Celestron
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Sep 24, 2019
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55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 16
  • Clarity - 25% 4
  • Brightness - 20% 8
  • Ease of Adjustment - 15% 5
  • Construction Quality - 15% 6
  • Comfort - 10% 6
  • Close Focus Range - 7.5% 4
  • Field of View - 7.5% 5

Our Verdict

We've generally been impressed by Celestron's budget binoculars, but the Outland X 10x50 ended up being a bit of a disappointment. Though the large lenses do make for a relatively bright image, the clarity is so lacking and the image so flat that the overall effect is decidedly lackluster. Overall these binos sit in an odd midrange, they're not quite large enough to gather all the light needed for stargazing, and also aren't crisp enough to allow for enjoyable wildlife viewing. About the only attractive thing about these binoculars is the price, but there are many options out there (such as Celestron's Nature line) that offer much better optical quality and cost just a bit more.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award  Editors' Choice Award  
Price $99.79 at Amazon$2,659.00 at Amazon$2,400 List$489.00 at Amazon$496.94 at Amazon
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Pros Inexpensive, brightIncredible clarity, brightness, comfort, and construction qualityExcellent clarity and brightness, great construction quality, quite comfortableVery clear and bright, easy to adjust, comfortable and qualityHigh quality construction, very comfortable to use, great clarity
Cons Poor clarity, heavyProhibitively expensiveVery expensiveOn the expensive sideHeavy for backpacking or carrying long distances
Bottom Line Poor clarity, particularly when viewing more distant objects, will likely be a deal breaker for mostThe best all around bins that we tested, but they also carry a high price tagHigh-end bins that are nearly as good as the Swarovskis, but not quiteJust about the best clarity/brightness you can get without a quadruple digit price tagGood optical quality, but not the best in the price range
Rating Categories Celestron Outland X 10x50 Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Zeiss Victory HT 10x42 Vortex Viper HD 8x42 Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 10x42
Clarity (25%)
10
0
4
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
Brightness (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
Ease Of Adjustment (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
Construction Quality (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
10
Comfort (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
10
Close Focus Range (7.5%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Field Of View (7.5%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
Specs Celestron Outland... Swarovski EL 8.5x42 Zeiss Victory HT... Vortex Viper HD 8x42 Nikon Monarch 7...
Glass type ED HD HD HD ED
Multi - Coating MC FMC FMC FMC FMC
Magnification 10 8.5 10 8 10
Field of View ft/yards 289/1000 399/1000 330/1000 409/1000 351/1000
Close Focus 13.1ft 4.9ft 6.2ft 6.5ft 8.2ft
Eye Relief 10mm 20mm 16mm 18mm 16.4mm
Prism Roof Roof Roof Roof Roof
Waterproof/Fogproof? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Size (length x width) 6.2 x 5.4 in 6.3 x 4.8 in 6.3 x 5 in 5.8 x 5.3 in 5.6 x 5.1 in
Weight 27.1 oz 29.5 oz 28.4 oz 24.2 oz 26.3 oz

Our Analysis and Test Results

Unfortunately, the Celestron Outland X 10x50 failed to impress us in any way that mattered. While these binoculars are impressively inexpensive, the image they present is blurry enough that it will likely frustrate new and experienced wildlife observers alike. The fact that Celestron, our favorite budget-conscious binocular manufacturer, can't make a good pair of bins while keeping the price tag close to the triple digit mark means it may be an impossible task.

Performance Comparison



Clarity


In our tests the Outland X 10x50 provided decent clarity in a very narrow range: essentially from 13 feet away (the minimum focus distance) to about 50 feet away. In this range it was fairly easy to get things into a crisp focus, and the image looked fairly clear. However, even in this ideal range some of the details faded away. For example, in one test were were easily able to make out drops of sap on tree bark with most binoculars. However, while Outland X 10x50 made the bark look relatively crisp and clear, those drops of sap were not nearly as apparent.


Beyond that ideal range of 13-50 feet, the Outland X 10x50's clarity dropped off precipitously in our tests. When focusing in on more distant objects the image became very flat, with seemingly only a very thin layer of leaves on a distant tree in focus, while most remained blurry. At distance there also tended to be a lot of blurring around the edges of the image, again making everything look dull and somewhat distorted. For example, when looking at a Great Blue Heron at about 200 feet we were able to make out its head plumes with most of our 8x magnification binoculars, but even with the 10x magnification of the Outland X 10x50 the bird was barely recognizable.

These bins offer decent clarity under ideal circumstances  but that quality drops off quickly in almost any other situation.
These bins offer decent clarity under ideal circumstances, but that quality drops off quickly in almost any other situation.

Brightness


The larger than average 50mm objective lenses of the Outland X 10x50 do their job here. Images stayed looking bright well into dusk and in poor lighting conditions in our tests. However, that extra brightness did little to compensate for the binoculars' lack of clarity. Also, though these bins produce a very bright image, the lack of quality glass did become apparent in this test, as many of the smaller 42mm models with better glass were able to produce equal or brighter images.

The large  50mm objective lenses let in a fiar amount of light.
The large, 50mm objective lenses let in a fiar amount of light.

Ease of Adjustment


For the most part, the Outland X 10x50 is fairly easy to adjust. The eyecups have 4 different depth settings and easily click into each one. The middle hinge is a bit stiff, but not so much so that's it's hard to adjust the distance between the barrels. The diopter is also stiff, but once you get it moving it's not too hard to adjust. The focus knob is also surprisingly supple for bins of this price, but that comes with one big caveat.


The smooth action of the focus knob makes it easy to get things into focus in that idea 13-50 foot range. However, once you get beyond that range and the image starts to flatten, it is incredibly hard to get things to look focused. When looking at far away objects we found ourselves constantly tinkering with the focus knob because it just didn't seem like the image was as clear as it should have been. The root of this problem lies in the bins' lack of clarity, but it largely manifests itself as an ease of adjustment issue as well.

We generally found all of the adjustable parts of the Outland X to be a bit stickier and more finicky than most.
We generally found all of the adjustable parts of the Outland X to be a bit stickier and more finicky than most.

Close Focus Range and Field of View


The Outland X 10x50's close focus range of 13.1 feet isn't terrible, but it's right at that point where it can start to feel a bit limiting. For example, we had a butterfly land on a branch about 10 feet away in our testing, just begging to be looked at, but we couldn't get the binoculars to focus.


The field of view of 289 feet at 1000 yards is also below average. However, with the lack of clarity these bins present when viewing things at a distance, the slightly narrower field of view never even crossed our minds.

Comfort


The large barrels and rubber coating of the Outland X 10x50 give ample opportunity to find a comfortable hand position, but the heavy weight of 27.1 ounces can start nagging at your arms quite quickly. The included neck strap has no padding whatsoever, so your skin is going to be very aware of the fact that these relatively heavy bins are dangling about your neck.


Value


The Celestron Outland X 10x50 sit in the bargain basement price range when it comes to binoculars. Unfortunately, their image quality occupies a similarly low standard. If you can afford it, we think you can get a much better value by spending just a bit more.


Conclusion


It's quite hard to make a good pair of binoculars without reaching well into triple-digit price tag territory, so we can't really blame the Celestron Outland X 10x50 for failing to achieve this feat. While we don't think these are absolutely terrible binoculars, their shortcomings are limiting enough that we would strongly suggest spending just a bit more on what will likely be a much better pair of bins.


Max Mutter and Michelle Powell