Selecting a Point and Shoot Digital Camera

White-crowned Sparrow. Photo courtesy of Mike McDowell.

Many of you are buying spotting scopes these days, not only for the dynamic details scopes provide, but for the opportunity to capture pictures (digiscope) through the spotting scope. Digiscoping provides an added value to your scope. But before getting started, do you know which camera to buy for digiscoping?

The Basics

The right camera can be used to take photos through almost any spotting scope. Camera options may be limited by some of the cameras features and can also be influenced by the type of adapter you have to connect your camera to a spotting scope.

A good digiscoping camera will have the following basic features:

  • 4 mega pixels or greater
  • An optical zoom of 3x-4x (cameras with a stronger optical zoom will often show excessive vignetting).
  • 2-inch LCD screen
  • Tripod thread (Digital camera brackets use a tripod thread of 1/4 x 20mm.)

Cameras for Thread-Style DCAs

Cameras with the features listed above and accessory threads will pair nicely with compact DCAs that allow users to switch easily from observing to digiscoping. This type of adapter is made for the Kowa spotting scope (Kowa TSN DA10, Kowa DA-1), and the Swarovski spotting scope (Swarovksi DCA). The camera market has a limited selection of point and shoot digital cameras with accessory threads (or the necessary adapter).

If you have questions about current camera models and their suitability with these thread based adapters, we encourage you to call us. Eagle Optics is a leading source of information on digiscoping and we are always happy to answer questions or research cameras that work with your spotting scope.

Related Article: Digiscoping with a Digital SLR

Photo of White-crowned Sparrow contributed by Mike McDowell, an avid digiscoper, amateur naturalist, and Eagle Optics employee.