Welcome to digiscoping.co.uk
Digiscoping has been with us for a number of years already and is no doubt here to stay in bird watching circles. This page is aimed at trying to explain how you can get the best out of a digital still camera when used with a telescope and which one to choose.
With such a large range of cameras available from just as many suppliers all producing excellent quality images it is difficult to know where to start. Some manufacturers are producing universal digiscope mounts that will allow a camera without a thread on its lens to be attached. .
When choosing a camera there are a number of things that you should bear in mind:
· Image quality: Digital cameras use pixels to make up a picture and quite simply, the more there are the better quality the image will be. A digital camera with 4 million pixels is the minimum resolution to look at, for better results and more cropping options five or six million plus should be used.
· Optical Zoom: Most digital cameras have a built in zoom, choose a camera with a good optical zoom, this is essential when digiscoping, the zoom must be used to eradicate vignetting. Digital zooms are not recommended, it is easy to be impressed by boasts of a large magnification, but a digital zoom enlarges the pixels sacrificing image quality. A 3x zoom on a digital camera gives an equivalent 35mm range of 38mm to 114mm and 4x would be equivalent to 38mm to 152mm. When used in conjunction with a 30x eyepiece on a telescope this gives a magnification approximately 60x or 90x, far more than can be achieved with any 35mm camera set up. This zoom range will vary depending on the set up of the cameras' lens,
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· Some digital cameras with a long optical zoom are NOT suitable for Digiscoping and it would be wise to check before purchase
· Lens design: Sometimes a camera will receive an excellent review in the photographic press but when it is used for digiscoping gives very poor results. It is important to ensure that the camera you want will do the right job, as a general rule it is worth getting a camera that has a front lens element that is smaller than the eyepiece lens on your telescope. With some cameras it is impossible to get rid of the vignetting, even when on the maximum telephoto, avoid these cameras as this means that you will have to crop every image hence compromising quality.
1. Digital cameras use loads of battery power so one or two spares are essential. Check on the type of batteries required and ensure that sufficient power will be available for long trips abroad.
2. Your images are stored on memory cards the better resolution the more memory they will take up,
3. A remote control is a very useful addition to your kit because of the high risk of camera shake, make sure that there is one available for your camera. Although you may not use it all the time a remote is an essential piece of kit to help you take those pin sharp pictures
Taking pictures with a digital camera can be as easy or as technical as you want it to be, the image can be viewed using the LCD screen on the back of the camera. Once the picture has been taken it is immediately viewable with the built in screen, if its no good delete it and take another. When taking pictures through the scope I usually take several shots then delete the ones that are no good, remember trial and error will cost you nothing.
IS THIS THE PERFECT SYSTEM FOR DIGISCOPING ?

IS THIS THE PERFECT SYSTEM FOR DIGISCOPING ?

Superb enthusiast's compact system camera with tilting ultra high resolution electronic viewfinder.

High end mirrorless camera from Pansonic kitted with 14-42 lens.

Key Specifications

16 megapixel LIVE MOS sensor
2.3m dot tilting EVF
3" LCD tilting screen
In body image stabilisation
Magnesium alloy frame
Focus peaking
Built-in WFI and NFC connectivity
Built-in pop-up flash
HD video
ADAPTERS FOR 4/3rds CAMERAS

ADAPTERS FOR 4/3rds CAMERAS







Griturn SRB make a range of adapters for these cameras to take most makes of lens.
See under griturn in Links for full range.
COMPACT OR  DSLR

COMPACT OR DSLR

The pictures show the difference between using a compact camera and the telescope eyepiece or a DSLR camera fitted with a photo adapter

In this example a 20x eyepiece was used and the compact had a zoom of 3X

The SLR photo adapter gave the equivalent of a 1200mm lens (35mm equivalent)

Both pictures were taken from the same position, and as can be seen the compact combination will bring the object much closer. Higher magnification eyepieces will of course bring the object closer still.

Both pictures are as taken (no croping)
COMPACT AND DSLR CAMERAS

COMPACT AND DSLR CAMERAS






The above will give you an idea of the ideal specification your camera will need to give good results when Digiscoping.
The number of cameras on the market at the present time is huge and constantly changing, with the advance of adapters that will fit most cameras, and the choice of camera has got easier, it is no longer necessary to have a camera with a filter thread.

Full specifications of major manufacturer’s camera ranges will be found under LINKS.
BAADA BRACKET

BAADA BRACKET

 SRB  GRITURN CABLE RELEASE BRACKET

SRB GRITURN CABLE RELEASE BRACKET



For film and digital compact cameras. Reduces the risk of cameras shake when digiscoping or in other critical applications. Fits to the tripod socket of the camera. All metal construction. Easy to set up. The base screw features another tripod socket to mount the assembly on a tripod or other bracket. The base plate is made from black anodised aluminium. The bars are stainless steel for rigidity. The unit features sockets for both 3mm and 4mm cable release threads.
DSLR CAMERA  ADAPTERS

DSLR CAMERA ADAPTERS







These adapters replace the eyepiece on the telescope and the lens on the camera to give a long telephoto lens.
Most telescope makers have one in the range.
 TRIPODS

TRIPODS






A Tripod is Essential for a telescope and useful if you have a camera.
For telescopes, a tripod provides stability and ease of use.
A smooth panning head makes looking for birds easier.
Before buying, try one out with your own scope.
Balance, weight and smoothness all add to a steadier image.
A good tripod should be not too heavy and not too light.
Carbon fibre legs are lightweight but come at a price.
Dark and dull coloured is better than bright and shiny
ARENA PRO TRIPOD

ARENA PRO TRIPOD






The award winning tripod exclusively available from LCE. Thick, sturdy, insulated legs topped off with an easy to operate "one handed head" make this a very stable and attractive tripod. Closed length: 61cm Leg sections: 3 Height (fully extended): 159cm Weight: 2.5kg
MANFROTO TRIPODS

MANFROTO TRIPODS

A quality range of tripods designed with the birdwatcher in mind
Available in alluminium and carbon fibre with a range of different fluid heads
HOODMAN 3 and 4 inch LOUPE

HOODMAN 3 and 4 inch LOUPE

For Glare Free LCD screen viewing

Checking your histogram, focus and composition outdoors is easy with Hoodman's HoodLoupe.

HoodLoupe is worn around your neck just like a normal loupe. When you wish to review your shot, simply place the Hoodloupe™ on the image on your LCD and place your eye up to the rubber eye cup for comfortable glare free viewing.

Hoodloupe™ has a +/-3 diopter compensation and focusses just like a binocular eyepiece - the eyepiece turns left or right to adjust for your eyesight.


Each Hoodloupe ™ has protective rubber in key areas for both comfort and protection from general wear and tear. The Hoodloupe has a diameter of 3" so will fit completely over most 3" D-SLR and camcorder screens.

HAHNEL REMOTE CONTROL

HAHNEL REMOTE CONTROL

An innovative UHF Wireless remote control for digital SLRs, with interchangeable camera connectors for all digital SLRs of one camera brand.

433MHz Frequency is licence free in Europe.

Transmission through obstacles such as walls is possible.


4 digit code selector switch built into the transmitter and receiver, to allow for individual codes to be set, protecting against interference from other sources.

The hähnel Pro Remote Control provides for auto-focusing before shutter release and a lock in function for continuous shutter release and bulb exposure function.