10 of the best sports spectator gadgets

With Euro 2012 about to kick off and the Olympics looming, pack these gadgets if you plan on being in glimpsing range of the action

Nikon Coolpix P510


Nikon's new 16.1MP bridge camera comes with a 42x optical lens that'll pick out Usain Bolt's nostril hairs if you need it to. The P510 zooms from a respectable 24mm to a frankly incredible 1,000mm; perfect for grabbing a screen-filling close-up from the back seat of a stadium. Picture quality is excellent with rich colour tones and impeccable sharpness throughout the frame. As a do-it-all workhorse, with HD video on board, the P510 should tick all your summer spectator boxes.

Pure Move 2500


Tune into sport commentaries with this pocket-sized DAB/FM radio. The 2500 provides up to 14 hours of portable listening and comes with a decent pair of in-ear noise-cancelling headphones. If you're used to iPods, you'll like the mirrored steel back and front click-wheel and even though DAB radios tend to produce alien noises when the signal's weak, this one's better than most. Besides, you always have hissy FM to fall back on.

Sony PJ200E Handycam


Sony's titchy touchscreen PJ200 is an impressive piece of kit for the money making it the ideal accessory for any cash-strapped spectators. Its smooth, variable 25x optical zoom takes you to the heart of the action and when you're back home, you can import the 1080p video to a Mac or PC, plug the Handycam into a telly via the HDMI port or – get this – project the footage direct from the camera to a blank wall. Perfect bragging gear.

Leica Monovid 8x20 monocular


This single-eye 8x20 monocular might not provide the three-dimensional image you'd get from binoculars, but it's so small and portable and provides such a crisp magnified view we reckon you'll grow attached to it pretty quickly. The additional screw-in close-up lens transforms the Monovid into a crystal-clear magnifying glass. Mind you, this level of class doesn't come cheap.

Fastime 14 stopwatch


If you're a motor-sport fan, a basic sub-£10 stopwatch just won't cut it – you'll need one that does more than just record a single lap. The Fastime 14 will not only time your favourite driver at an F1 race, it's also perfectly suited to multi-lap timing at the athletics come summer. Despite a scary amount of buttons, the Fastime 14 is actually quite easy to get your head around. No, really.

Canon 600D

£570 (body only)

Canon's award-winning 600D is not quite as robustly built as its 550D predecessor but the new 18MP CMOS sensor and vari-angle 3in LCD screen are great improvements. For that elusive long-shot, lose the 18-135mm and splash out on Canon's 70mm-300mm USM lens and you'll zoom right in on the action. The lens's excellent two-mode image stabiliser keeps blur to a minimum, its AF is near-instantaneous and the picture quality is commendably sharp. Of course, it shoots HD video, too.

Toshiba Camileo B10


The shiny, phone-sized Toshiba Camileo B10 doesn't have many bells and whistles, but as a budget pocket camcorder it performs well enough at capturing 1080p video – if you avoid taking its jerky 16x digital zoom to its extremity. As an alternative to draining your smartphone's battery, the Camileo B10 does what it says on the box, and at a nice price too. Pretty handy once your beach volleyball ticket payments have gone through.

PostureLite self-inflating seat pad


You wouldn't catch us picking up one of these seat-pads in a bricks and mortar store but it could be the one item your body thanks you for – especially if you're perched watching a long, drawn-out cricket match or a 67-lap F1 race. The PostureLite's built-in vacuum valve lets you choose the amount of padding to suit your posterior and you can unscrew the valve while sitting on it to deflate the pad again. A genuine spectator essential.

Panasonic Lumix GF5

GF5 £660, 100mm-300mm lens £560

Ditch the 14-42mm kit lens that comes with Panny's latest 12MP Micro Four Thirds cam and pair the GF5 with a Lumix 100mm-300mm lens for some diminutive, SLR-grade sports snapping. The combination may look (and feel) ridiculous but you should end up with some stunning close-up shots. Instantaneous focussing, full HD video and a brilliant 3in touchscreen complete a cool but pricey package.

Nikon Sportstar binoculars


Not one to miss a trick, Nikon has just launched a pair of binoculars emblazoned with the London 2012 Olympic logo. The Sportstars could never compete against the more expensive Swarovskis and Leicas of this world but for size, practicality and price they're pretty good value. The Sportstars offer 10x magnification and a decent field-of-view for getting up close, whether it's tracking Jessica Ennis' javelin from the other side of the stadium or following your favourite horse round Aintree.

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