This is one of those rare small-frame binoculars that doesn’t feel small. The Swarovski’s configuration (8×30) is just right for those glassing tasks–bowhunting, turkey hunting, traveling–when a full-size binocular might be too bulky. The Companion’s open, single-hinge frame, mid-point balance, and surprisingly light weight (17.8 ounces) makes one-hand operation a cinch. While the BAK4 glass in the “entry level” Companion is a step below the HD glass found in high-end EL and SLC Swaros, this was easily the clearest and brightest entry in our mid-size category.
Our sample handily won the low-light test and earned praise from the panel for its optical contrast, edge definition, and depth of field. We dinged the Companion for slight color aberration, concern over the fragility of the single-hinge design, and (probably unfairly) comparison to its optically stunning big brother. Still, this is a marvelous utilitarian binocular that offers big-optic performance in a trim package.
Score: ? ? ? ?
Perceived Image: A