If you’re a digiscoper, you'll eventually discover the enjoyment of shooting video through your rig. Even if you're not a digiscoper, the ability to shoot video footage might be one more reason to take up this fun and exciting hobby. Though I’ve been digiscoping for nearly 8 years, I only dabbled with videoscoping on occasion. My old Nikon Coolpix 995 was limited by its poor video quality. Though my current Nikon Coolpix 8400 has a high resolution of 640 x 480 @ 30 fps, it’s still limited to 60-second clips. While this is plenty of time to capture a bird doing something interesting, many newer digital point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras are capable of longer clips. Some even record in High Definition.
Though I can record cool videos with my digiscoping rig, I still try to capture digital stills first. If a bird is perched and being a cooperative subject, it only takes a quick turn of a dial on my camera to take video. Besides capturing gorgeous and amazing sequences of nature, a video clip may also help solve a species identification puzzle. I once shot video of a rare hummingbird at a friend’s nectar feeder. Fortunately, one frame clearly showed the hummingbird’s rectrices when the bird flitted its tail feathers. It turned out to be enough of a field mark to identify it as a Rufous Hummingbird.
This video clip of a preening tanager was shot using a High Definition Swarovski spotting scope and Swarovski's user-friendly DCA camera adapter. This scope and adapter combination easily lends itself to digital imaging. The optics on the High Definition Swarovski leave nothing behind in terms of quality and performance. Swarovski's DCA adapter is compact, quick to set up, and easy to use. Currently discounted pricing on the ATM 80 HD makes this a particularly compelling time to start digiscoping and bring your birding experiences home with you.
Below is a video demonstrating how easy it is to digiscope using the Swarovski DCA camera adapter.
With the advent of Internet social networks like Facebook and MySpace and video sharing websites such as YouTube, it’s a snap to share your video achievements with friends. You can also use media software publishing programs to make short movies of the nature and wildlife you encounter. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?
Article and Scarlet Tanager video contributed by Mike McDowell, an avid digiscoper, amateur naturalist, and Eagle Optics employee. Visit Mike's Birding and Digiscping Blog.