Nikon released the Prostaff 7s, which is the advanced version of the Prostaff 7. The 3 series was released about two years later after the 7s. The models released for the 7s were 8×30, 10×30, 8×42, and 10×42, while the versions for the 3s were 8×42 and 10×42.
The 7s and 3s are similar in some ways and also differ in some ways. So let us look at their similarities and differences.
Nikon Prostaff 7s
As mentioned, the Nikon Prostaff 7s series has four different models, that is 8×30, 10×30, 8×42, and 10×42 models. All these models are suitable for birdwatching, wildlife watching, and hunting.
The 10x models are slightly more expensive than the 8x models because of the higher magnification. All the models utilize fully multicoated Eco-glass lenses for sharp, bright, and clear images. They also use phase correction coated roof prisms for improved image quality in both bright and low light conditions.
All models feature rubber armoring to help protect them from shock damage and for a firm grip. They use turn and slide eyecups that turn smoothly when adjusting for eye relief. The eye relief differs for each model as well as the field of view.
The 8×42 has an eye relief of 19.5 mm, while the 10×42 has 15.5mm. If you wear glasses, the recommended eye relief is 16mm or more, so the 8×42 are a great choice for people with poor eyesight.
That said, all the Prostaff 7s models are built for fog-proof and waterproof performance. They have a compact and lightweight construction. However, none of the models come with a tripod mount.
The Prostaff 3s series has only two models: the 8×42 and the 10×42. Both models are roof prism binos that utilize multicoated Eco-glass lenses and turn and slide eyecups. They both have rubber armoring to provide a firm grip in wet conditions and protect the binos from shock and impact damage.
What is surprising, though, about the 3s is that they don’t use phase-correction coated roof prisms. Instead, they use silver-alloy mirror-coated prisms. This means they have fewer layer coatings than the 3s, which means that the 7s models provide brighter and clearer images than the 3s models.
The 8×42 has a wider field of view than the 10×42 and longer eye relief. The 10×42 has the advantage of having higher magnification which is ideal for bright and low light conditions.
Other than that, both models feature a compact and lightweight construction. The 3s models are lighter in weight than the 7s models, which makes them easier to carry and use for an extended period.
Also, the 3s models are cheaper than the 7s models. Since they are entry-level binos, they are suitable for people on a budget looking to buy their first pair of binos for birdwatching, wildlife watching, and sightseeing.
- Both have the 8×42 and 10×42 models
- Both are roof prism binoculars
- Both utilize multicoated Eco-glass lenses
- Both have rubber armoring for a firm grip in wet conditions and to dampen shock impacts
- Both use turn and slide eyecups
- All the versions come with warranties
- Both models are sturdy, compact, and lightweight
- Both are designed for fog proof and waterproof performance
- The 3s have a wider field of view than the 7s models, which means it is easier to keep track of moving objects with the 3s versions.
- Both 8×42 and 10×42 3s models have a longer eye relief than those of the 7s series.
- The 7s roof prisms have a phase-correction coating, while the 3s models have only a silver-alloy mirror coating. This is where the 7s have a significant advantage because the 3s models have fewer layer coatings, which means that the 7s provide brighter, clearer, and sharper images.
- Both versions have compact and lightweight models, but the 3s series models are slightly lighter in weight than the 7s.
- The 3s are cheaper than the 7s models.
Which is Better?
Having reviewed the Nikon Prostaff 3s and the 7s models, the 7s models are better because they provided better image quality. The point of buying binos is to be able to view objects that are far away clearly. However, if the binos cannot deliver clear images, they are pretty much useless.
This is not to say that the 3s models don’t provide sharp and clear images; it’s just that their image quality is not as good as that of the 7s models.
In regards to body quality, you can choose a model from either version as they all have sturdy and rugged construction. And a rubber coating that is water-resistant and shock-resistant. Also, Both versions are waterproof and fog proof, and they are compact and lightweight.
Although the 3s are much lighter than the 7s, this does not mean the 7s versions are too heavy to carry around.
When it comes to price, the 3s is hands down the better option. They are the cheapest of all the Nikon binos; although they may lack in some areas, they are pretty decent for entry-level binos compared to similar products.
Now that you know a bit about the Nikon 7s series and 3s series models, you can decide which model to buy. Both versions are ideal for birdwatching, sightseeing, and wildlife watching. They are both compact and lightweight, and they come with warranties.
If you are on a tight budget and have never bought a pair of binos before, we recommend purchasing a 3s model. Test it out to see how it performs and upgrade later when you are ready to spend a little extra on an advanced model.
If budget is not an issue, consider getting a 7s model for brighter and clearer images.