Digiscope Basics 101

Learning how to digiscope is actually not too hard. Basically, with digiscoping, you will use a digital camera and a fieldscope to capture shots of distance images. Many people like to use digiscoping for capturing pictures of birds or other animals that they are unable to closely approach. Digiscoping gear does not have much weight, which makes it easy to go into the field. This guideline will go over a few basics of digiscoping, such as what equipment you need, how to get used to using the equipment and shooting advice.

Required Digiscope Equipment

Equipment that is required for digiscoping includes a digital camera, a fieldscope, eyepieces and a bracket. Unless you have really stable hands, you might want to look into a lightweight mount, as well. You can use any digital camera for digiscoping, but the better the optical zoom, the better your shots will be. When you are purchasing a fieldscope for digiscoping, you should look for a fieldscope that features extra low dispersion lenses because those lenses produce better chromatic aberration. As a general rule, you should purchase the eyepiece that has the highest wide angle zoom that you can afford. The bracket that you purchase will depend on the brand and model of your digital camera.

Getting used to the Equipment

Before you head out into the field, you need to get used to using your digiscoping equipment. For example, you need to know how to focus your digital camera and fieldscope. To focus your digital camera, remove the fieldscope and use the viewfinder or LCD screen on your digital camera to focus in on a subject. Once you have found your subject, replace the fieldscope and adjust the focus ring on your fieldscope while you are using the focus function on your digital camera to focus in on the subject. If you are a beginner to digiscoping, begin by taking pictures of stationary objects so that you can learn the best way to focus your digital camera and fieldscope.

Shooting Advice

Digiscoping can produce beautiful photos, but it will take you a bit to learn the tricks of the trade. The below digiscope shooting advice should help make your life a bit easier.

  • If you are shooting under front lighting, you should always shoot with the sun to your back.
  • When you first start digiscoping, use a low magnification eyepiece. You will get better results with high magnification eyepieces, but there is more room for error with those eyepieces.
  • To get the perfect digiscope photos, you should consider not centering your subject in the frame. For example, if you are taking a picture of a bird, leave some space ahead of the bird to show the scenery.
  • When you are out digiscoping, take advantage of the continous capture mode if your camera has it. You can take the time to review your photos at a later time.
  • Until you have mastered how to use your digital camera, eyepiece and fieldscope for digiscoping, keep the user manuals with you when you are out in the field. There is nothing worse than not knowing how to use a feature when you are out in the field.