Walking here is not always easy.
and dragging a telescope and digiscoping setup with wherever I go is not always an option
(or at least not a preferred option ;-)
Particularly now in winter, I am finding very few good digiscoping moments and so I am tending to take advantage of the snowy winter wonderland that is Tirol to go walking, back-country snowshoe hiking, and skiing and most of the time my great big telescope (a beautiful Swaro ATS80) gets left at home.
But I invariably have a pair of binoculars with me when I go out hiking (well, you never know when you are going to come across a feeding/breeding flock of energetically brightly coloured crossbills). Then, if I do come across something interesting, I can always snap off a few photos through my binoculars.
Taking photos through binoculars (digibinning) can be a lot of fun, but is not always easy and I do a fair amount of digibinning with varying success. Sometimes the pictures are gems. Othertimes, not so much. The most important factors are:
- the amount, direction and quality of the light, and
- the distance the bird/subject is away
The second point - the distance to the subject/bird - is related to the first. If your subject is relatively distant then you may need to use more of your camera's zoom, which reduces your maximum shutter speed quickly. The other consideration is that our little point and shoot digital cameras often have rather poor optical zoom quality and digibinning photos suffer noticeably (and quickly) when you crank up the zoom. Always use as little camera zoom as possible.
In terms of camera and binocular setup, there are three key considerations:
- binocular quality
- camera quality
- joining or adapting device (snapshot adaptor)
Obviously, the quality of your camera will make a difference to your photos. This effect is minimized by keeping the ISO rating as low as possible, and by avoiding using the zoom (optical or digital) as much as possible.
Swarovski Optik have produced a lovely little adaptor that makes taking photos through binoculars incredibly easy - the snapshot adaptor. Below is a video of Clay Taylor (Swarovski Optik North America's resident digiscoping and optics expert) explaining how to use swarovski's snapshot adaptor.
p.s. if this post interested you, you might also want to see this older post.