camera advice please.

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camera advice please.

Post  cheersm8 on Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:13 am

Hello all. I'm totally new to digiscoping and haven't splashed out on any extra equipment as yet. If you can take the time to read, here's the deal:
I've used scopes for birding for years, I've used cameras for years (digital, slr's and dslr's), but never bothe combined for digiscoping.
So far, I've practised in the garden with scope/camera combinations, just to see if i think, 'yes, it's woth having a go at' or 'nah, i won't bother'. I have no adapters or brackets as yet, as I'm still not satisfied in what direction to go. What I have done so far is use two types of digital camera, just by holding to the scope eyepiece and seeing the results. Obviously the images taken were absolute rubbish, but i did see that digiscoping is possible, and that acceptable images could be obtained with more finesse, adapters, etc.
I used two different cameras, 1. a bog standard cheapo kodak 3x optical zoom compact, and 2. a panasonic fz8 and I shot a couple of hundred pics with each. With the cheapo compact, setting and aligning scope and camera was eazy peazy, and composition and zooming out the vignette was an easy operation to. The image quality was OK, but not good, only due to the inadequacy of the cheapo camera.
The panasonic fz8 was an absolute nightmare to try to align by hand, due to the camera lens being so much bigger in diameter than the scope eye piece, and focusing was very very difficult. That's it, I thought, forget the fz8 and treat yourself to better quality compact, buy the adapter, and take the easy route. As with most things though, there is a but! I fiddled around with the settings on the fz8, and, out of the 200 pics, I found one that was a big 'yes! thats the quality I want'. That was by using the fz8's 'converter' settings and setting to 'macro converter', using a 7mp resolution, AP at f2.8, and leaving the vignette. The high res image meant that cropping the vignette and resizing the image retained the quality.
Obviously, just 'digiscoping' by holding camera to scope did not give satisfactory results with either camera, but i did see that the theory of digiscoping works.
Sorry to ramble on a bit, I suppose the question is, do I buy a 30 quid F-Adapter and use the panasonic fz8, or do I buy an 'ebay special' high quality compact for around a hundred quid and an adapter bracket? I suppose the answer is swings and roundabouts, but any comments and/or advice would be very much appreciated.
Cheers

cheersm8

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