Digiscoping vs Superzoom
How do you compare these:
1) Digiscoping with compact point and shot camera + scope
2) Digiscoping with SLR + scope
3) Normal photo with SLR + tele extenders
4) Normal photo with superzoom point and shot
Because, the way I see, for birding, something like this:
http://www.opticsplanet.com/canon-power ... 4b001.html
... looks like the less expensive, more effective and portable of them all.
So, for birding, are the superzoom cameras more effective?
Digiscoping still gets you the greatest potential magnification of all of these, whether you are talking digiscoping with the compact or DSLR, though you'll find digiscoping to be more practical with the compact. However, out in the field, much of your work will be under 35x, anyway, which is what you can get with that Canon. If it's magnification you want, then, go with digiscoping or that Canon.
Pic quality, though, is the other variable. If money is no object, super long and fast ED conventional camera lenses get you better pic quality than digiscoping, but be prepared to mortgage the house and then you still don't get the magnification of digiscoping.
Digiscoping with a high grade and expensive ED, HD, FL spotting scope comes next in image qaulity. Of course, high end spotting scope aren't cheap, either.
As for that Canon and digiscoping with a non ED spotting scope, probably a draw. I've seen nice pics, either way. I have a friend with a similar Nikon and she gets some nice pics at those magnifications. Note that you still need a tripod at 35x even if you choose the Canon.
I'd approach like this: if you are looking for a spotting scope for birding, in addition to taking pics of birds, then go with digiscoping. If you are really more interested in photography and want a full featured camera, then go with the Canon.
Good. The controls are pretty standard. If you know other canon point and shot controls and menu setting you know already 95%.
Full control of aperture/shutter speed. What is great. By the way you don´t even need to set on Manual... if you lock the exposure the camera show you the reasonable balance between the iso-aperture-shutterspeed, so you can select the composition you want.
Bad.What do not work about the control is the manual focus. Forget it. The manual focus simply don´t exist, don´t even try. The main reason why it don´t works is because the wheel is slow and the LCD screen sucks. So, if you can´t see a good image through the LCD how are you supposed to precisely manual focus it, it is impossible to know when it is focused using that LCD(unless you already know that is infinity).
Bad(terrible). As mentioned before the LCD is a problem. The camera can take you to 35x+... but don´t expect to have a good view through the LCD. You need to shot and see in your computer later. Impossible to use the magnification as a scope considering the poor quality of this LCD.
Bad. Another thing to point out, specially for birders is that, since the manual focus don´t work... you will use the AF. And it is slow. So that bird that just dropped by, already flew away... when you got the focus right. Also, forget in-flight shots(unless the bird is doing that against-the-wind static stance). So, for birding I would think twice before recommending this camera, cause its performance at fast moving target is not great.
Good. About the zoom. It is really amazing... far beyond human eyes. The only thing to worry here is that the more you zoom the less aperture option you get... and this affect the shutter speed correction. So... don´t expect to do much things with the zoom in low light. Also the camera can´t handle ISO above 400. The noise correction is not good. This camera performance in full light is great, but it suffers a lot at mid-low light.
Good(Outstanding). IS system. Here is where this camera shines. The IS system is unbelievable. I am taking pictures 35x + x2.1(digital) hand held!!! It is just unbelievable.
Bad. Low battery life! Better buy an extra battery.
So to sum up. I like it. Mainly because of the IS system. You really can use full zoom optical handheld, no tripod... as long as you are in full day light. In mid to low light conditions it is more complicated, forget the zoom, and use it like a standard point and shot.
Great feedback! Thanks. Please post some pics when you can.
Digiscoping - the other moderately priced alternative - is also limited to bright daylight to be practical and same issues with the LCD screen, though being able to focus the spotting scope, visually first, and then hitting the autofocus on the camera solves a lot of problems.
Great feedback! Thanks. Please post some pics when you can.
Sure. I actually took the day to test the camera. All pics were took from 13:00 to 16:00.
I took 300+ pics... I saved only 29.
[I don´t like photo edition. So... I used just a poor program to fix the contrast and crop it. No photoshop. I am an amateur painter. So I can make all photoshoped things with my own hands. And that is why I don´t like photoshop. Compared to my watercolors the Photoshop edition is artificial.]
Most of them were discarded because of focus delay problem(And this LCD).
First. No zoom... just as point and shot camera. It did great:
Next, At 35x zoom static birds:
The camera did great here too. You will notice some CA.
Next, in-flight shots at 35x. Here is where I am fighting against the machine, It is really frustrating(they are so fast!). They are beautiful... but to frame that beauty for ever is... so hard. Most of the pictures discarded were me trying to take in-flight shots. This is what I got:
Notice that I am with this camera for 3 days only, so far. Probably we will get better together with more time...
But anyway. The camera is great. It has problems... of course... but overall it is a great camera.
First, thank-you so much for sharing your beautiful pics on the forum. Wonderful! I am impressed and also a bit jealous, too, that you have such a lovely, warm, location. Still snowing, up here in northern Wisconsin.
You have an excellent eye for composition, no doubt the artist in you, and that is something you cannot buy. Again, beautiful work.
As to the technical stuff, getting good pics of birds in flight is never easy, so I congratulate you those pics. I know what it takes to get that done.
Yes, I am constantly amazed at just how good some of these high zoom full size digital cameras with IS can do. You've got a keeper in that Canon. I use my Panasonic Lumix for much of my bird photography when I don't want to mess with a tripod, just as you have done, here.
Since we here in the bottom of the planet are getting into winter by now... I thought you people up there were supposed to went into summer. Odd that it is still snowing up there...
If you ever feel tired of all the snow, just come by... it never snows here, and I got spare rooms^^(By the way I live in a little island at the very south of Brazil. Florianópolis).
By the way I friend of mine has exactly that Panasonic you mentioned. I played with it a bit. It is amazing... Leica lenses are indeed wonderful. Too bad the tele are so expensive.
You're killing me! Up here in the north woods we can get snow any month of the year. Just that this spring has been especially slow to warm up.
Thank-you for both your pics and that wonderful invitation.