I’ve found that cheap binoculars can get the job done on a bright sunny day, but when you are dealing with low light, that’s when the quality of the optics really start to show there differences. Some of the compact high magnification optics really don’t cut it in the early morning or late afternoon. That makes them really bad for something like deer hunting. The large wide objective lenses may not magnify as much but will give you a wider field of view. The biggest problem with them is they are best relegated to bird watching. Not having stability is another major negative of using binoculars.
We sell a lot of binoculars to Law Enforcement that are using them to identify people at a distance usually from a vehicle but when it comes to identifying holes in paper at 400yds, you’re going to need x8 or x10 power, all depends the caliber you are using and how big the holes are. Konus makes some really good Binoculars and Spotting Scopes, but spotting scopes are hard to transport and I’ve found that just keeping a 3-9×40 scoped rifle around voids the need for them in most cases. Vortex makes some good binoculars as well as a very interesting monocular which is very fast and lightweight. The brands you can’t go wrong with are Leupold, Zeiss and Nikon and if you really have the cash, Steiner Binoculars.