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The Binocular Advisor


Which camera?

A digiscoping question

A reader writes: I want to get into digiscoping. My problem is that I don't know which camera to get to go with a particular scope and digital camera adapter.

So far, most manufacturer don't make a point-and-shoot camera especially to go with their scope and digital camera adapter. (It's odd, because it's small digital cameras that offer the greatest potential for digiscoping.)

Furthermore, new cameras come on the market all the time, and perfectly nice ones are discontinued. Makes it hard to make a recommendation that will not go out of date. There are many cameras that will work with each scope, but the manufacturers do not publish lists of which ones do (probably because cameras change so fast).

Here are some combinations that work.

These are certainly not the only cameras that will work with each scope/adapter combination. But they are cameras we know will work with some of our favorite scopes.

Note that for all digiscoping cameras, a camera with not more than 5x optical zoom is preferred, as it minimizes vignetting. Preferred is 3x to 4x.

Swarovski scope

Swarovski ATX HD Scopes

The Swarovski ATX HD scopes are revered for their clarity.

Swarovski offers several digiscoping solutions that work well with point-and-shoot cameras.

Coming Soon Swarovski
Digital Camera Adapters

Swarovski Digital Camera Adapter

Watch this space. It's the page Diane is working right now.


Cameras to use with
Swarovski ATX HD Scopes

The cameras listed below will work with the Digital Camera Adapter, which requires threads in the lens housing. For each cameras you need an "accessory adapter" (sold by the camera manufacturer); listed below each camera.

Canon A540

Fuji E900

Sony DSC-W50
Sony DSC-W70

(For both Sonys, get a VAD-WB and a 30-37mm stepring.)

Alpen 788

Alpen 788

The most economical good quality scope we've found in our extensive tests, the Alpen 788 offers an optional digital camera adapter. See right.

Alpen Digital Camera
Adapter 706

Alpen Digital Camera Adapter

The Alpen Digital Camera Adapter 706 holds your point-and-shoot digital camera in the correct position so that you can take photos through your Alpen 788 scope.

The adapter is a frame made of two major pieces, which support the camera and the scope.

Works only with the 788 model scope.


Cameras for
Alpen 788 scopes

The Alpen digital camera adapter 706 works with almost any normal-looking compact digital camera. That is, a camera that is essentially shaped like a deck of cards, with the widest dimension being left-to-right. If the camera has an optical zoom, it should be 4x or lower power.

The camera does not have to have threaded lens housing, because the camera is held in place with the adapter by its external rod.


Vortex Razor 20-60x85 HD

The Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85 Angled Spotting Scope amazed us when we compared all the top scopes for our review in Bird Watcher's Digest.

This is a beautifully designed, bright, sharp, rugged scope, with angled eyepiece design. We recommend it highly. It's the only scope with truly high-end optical quality at such a moderate price, which includes the 20-60 power zoom eyepiece.

It's available in angled (recommended) and straight-through styles.


Digital Camera Adapter

Vortex Razor Digital Camera Adapter

Convert the Razor HD spotting scope into a high-powered telephoto lens. Requires threaded lens housing in the camera OR the Vortex Point-n-Shoot Attachment. (See below.)


Vortex Point-n-Shoot Attachmentl

Lets you pair your digital camera adapter to a camera that does not have a threaded lens housing.

Cameras to use with
Vortex Razor Scope

As with all digiscoping outfits, it's recommended to use a point-and-shoot digital camera with a 3 to 4 power optical zoom.

If you get a camera with higher power digital zoom, you'll get vignetting on your pictures.

Zeiss DiaScope

Zeiss DiaScope 85mm

The almost supernaturally sharp, bright Zeiss Diascope with its 20-75x zoom eyepiece provides the highest absolute resolution of any contemporary spotting scope.

Zeiss Digital Camera Adapter

Zeiss Digital Camera Adapter

The Zeiss DCA lets you swing the camera out of the way to sight through the scope. Then you swing the camera into place in front of the scope to take the picture. (It's a slick solution, with great engineering.)


Cameras for
Zeiss Diascope

The following digital cameras will work with the Zeiss outfit. There are probably others that will also work.

Canon sd4000is

Nikon p300


—Michael and Diane Porter

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