Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beginning Digiscoper Setup

Eagle Optics,

I am looking to get a digiscoping setup for my mother. What should I purchase to get the most bang for my buck?

I have never used a spotting scope or field scope so I don't know what specs I should be looking for. I would like to be able to zoom in close and take crisp pictures of birds.

Are there options that you offer for a digiscoping package?

I would like to be able to use the setup with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8S. Any advice? I really enjoy the eagle optics videos.



Thanks for your interest in Eagle Optics.

It makes sense to get a scope of good quality glass since that will be the single most important factor in image quality. You could start around the price range of something like the Vortex Viper scopes. If you can afford the HD glass on those or any other scopes, it’s worth it for digiscoping.

I have bad news for the camera, unfortunately. You will not be able to use your Panasonic because its optical zoom is over 4x. Its 12x optical zoom will mean that no matter what you do, you’ll never be able to get a full frame image and everything will be a small image surrounded by black shadowing (called vignetting).

If you buy an inexpensive point and shoot with a small body and below a 4x optical zoom, you should be good to go with a wide variety of setups. The option we would recommend for use with the Vortex Viper would be the Point-and-shoot Adapter Kit.

We would be happy to walk you through any setups, price ranges, questions you have, etc, but you will need to get a different camera. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. The good news is that digiscoping appropriate cameras need not be expensive in the scheme of things.

Eagle Optics

1 comment:

  1. I don't believe your statement is accurate that her Panasonic Lumix won't work for digiscoping because of the wide zoom range. We have a similar spotting scope (a Swarovski with 20-60X eyepiece) and a similar camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8. The camera has a 16X zoom range, and it works fine for digiscoping. You simply have to zoom it to the proper setting to fill the frame, somewhere in the middle between wide angle and telephoto. There is a sweet spot in the zoom range of probably any point & shoot that will cover the entire frame.


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