[Tweeters] results of digiscoping camera question (long)

Hill hill at smwireless.net
Fri Dec 2 21:29:00 PST 2005

Thanks to all of you that responded to my inquiry of favorite/compatible cameras to use with my Swarovski scope. I'll include clips of several responses below. Nikon coolpix 4500 had the most votes. Internal focus, articulating body/lens and lower max optical zoom seemed to be consistent desired features. There were two types though, those using an adapter and those who point and shoot directly into the eyepiece. Both of my Olympus cameras have lenses that extend when when powered up, and both have a threaded area outside the lens for an extension tube, which could work as an adapter as Hugh Jennings mentioned in his post. The focal distance has to be compatible with eye relief of the scope too. I need to zoom all the way up to 10X and still have some vignette problem. It sounds like 3X optical zoom is as much as is wanted. I haven't decided what to buy yet, will keep monitoring eBay for some of the cameras mentioned, and check a few out this weekend with my scope in hand.

Randy Hill
These are the best cameras according to the Swarovski rep.
Cannon A95, Sony DSC-W1, Sony DSC P150, Nikon 8400, Olympos C-5060 prices vary with pixels and features, I liked the large viewing screen on the one I bought. It was about $350. I believe all these cameras have threads for filters and adapters but I'm not positive.
The way the focus works on Olympus cameras makes it impossible to get good results through a scope. I've tried numerous times with an Olympus C2100 with lousy results. It seems the camera most people use is a Nikon Coolpix.
This link has the "digiscoping wizard" that helps with finding the connections you need between your camera and scope. I think you had wanted this again?


Cannon powershots seem to work pretty well. I have an A-? that works pretty well w/ my Nikon scope.
The Nikon Coolpix/Swarovski scope combo seems to work well. Although I don't own that combo, my brother does, and has had success. Also, many accomplished digiscopers use that combo, including two who have excellent photos, tips, etc., on the web at:
I bought a Nikon Coolpix 4500 a couple of months ago and have been really happy with the results so far.
Try the Kontax U4R.
I have had fairly good success digiscoping with a Kowa TSN-2 scope with 20-60x zoom and a Nikon Coolpix 2100 (2mp) and 4600 (4mp). I made an adapter to fit between the two. It is a piece of plastic that is 1-1/2" diameter and 3/8" thick with a 7/8" hole in the middle. The outer diameter, 1-1/2", fits in the rubber eye cup of the scope and the extended lens of the camera fits in the 7/8" hole. The adapter keeps the camera in the center of scope eyepiece and steadies it. I find that I have to zoom the camera to the max of 3x to avoid vignetteing. I usually have the scope at 20x, but sometimes go to 30x. If anyone is interested I could send them photos of the adapter and what I used to make it.
I have had excellent digiscoping results with 5.1 MP Fujifilm Finepix Z1.
This is a new model from Fujifilm and I have had mine for about 6 mo. I
am particularly pleased with the 3x optical zoom that works inside the
camera body...no moving lenses on the outside. The camera's very small
size is also a good feature...I just hold it to the scope's lens and shoot.
I would recommend a Nikon Coolpix 990, 995, or 4500. Each of these cameras works very well. They have internal focus and zoom. They have 28mm threads for filters and can attach to several of the adapters readily. I have an adapter that works with these cameras and a Swarovski 20-60 eyepiece on the the 80 HD scope.
I have the Swarovski ATS 65. I went to a class about a year put on by Seattle Audubon. They had a Swarovski rep there talking about digiscoping. I bought one of the cameras that he suggested. I bought the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1- 5.1 Mega Pixels, Zeiss lens, large viewing screen which is great for seeing your subjects. The camera is threaded to accept filters. This feature allows me to screw in the Swarovski adapter. I know a lot of people who simply hold the camera up to the eyepiece. The rep said no one can hold the camera perfectly still and I agree. I did find that I had to buy a step ring adapter at a camera store for a few bucks to get the right fit for the adapter. I like the camera. It probably can do more than I can.
We have a friend that uses a Canon S-80. He uses it with a Televid 77 APO and a pair of binoculars. He uses the camera freehand with no brackets or mounts. The people use the cameras you mentioned because they have an internal zoom which allows them to be fastened to the scope.
If you can find a used one, Nikon Coolpix 4500 works well. Internal focus (a must for digiscoping) and you can zoom until vignette is gone. 990 Coolpix is even better, but they are older and harder to find.
You might look at used Coolpix 995 and 4500 cameras. They can be found a pretty good prices. They both have the fixed lens with internal adjustments and the split body that allows you to tilt the image screen portion for ease in viewing.

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