Digiscope w/ phone camera or point and shoot

Aurbanhunter

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Sep 2, 2019
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13
Whats better digiscoping with my phone camera/phone skope or using a point and shoot. I'm sure a DSLR is always the best but I can't lug the extra weight in my pack. Is there a drastic difference in picture quality using a point and shoot over my phone?
 

blkqi

Senior Member
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Aug 21, 2017
Messages
168
It will depend on the phone you have. Most smartphones use a fixed wide-angle lens and afocal imaging tends to work better with a tele lens.

Why not try it both ways decide for yourself?
 

AK Troutbum

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Apr 22, 2012
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Chugiak, Alaska
I feel like I’ve got some very high quality pics through my iPhone and spotter. I also do a fair amount of video that way, then freeze the video and take a screenshot for a still photo. Seems to work out pretty well I think. Here’s a few from video.













Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Stalker69

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Apr 12, 2019
Messages
574
Would like to see some photos ( more so video) from a super zoom point and shoot . I believe they should be better then the phone spotting scope pictures. I know I get some “ wash out” on the fringes of pictures with the phone and spotter, as I see the same in the photos above. That is primarily what I want to eliminate, and wondering if a point and shoot with a very large zoom would be able to do, I can only think it should.
 

Buck Naked

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May 10, 2017
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N.of49
Consider the difficulty of mounting the camera to the scope. Best might be a long alumimum flat bar, fitted between the scope and tripod that extends back to use a threaded post into the camera base? High zoom units have a moving lens, so a slotted mount would be needed to allow varied tele power
I like the idea, waterproof p&s like the Pentax WG-3 have far more modes than a phone, or basic auto mode
 

blkqi

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
168
Would like to see some photos ( more so video) from a super zoom point and shoot . I believe they should be better then the phone spotting scope pictures. I know I get some “ wash out” on the fringes of pictures with the phone and spotter, as I see the same in the photos above. That is primarily what I want to eliminate, and wondering if a point and shoot with a very large zoom would be able to do, I can only think it should.
I have no experience with these cameras, but my intuition suggests that they represent the worst-of-both-worlds, rather than the opposite. These cameras are bulky, basically mini-DSLRs, and the optics on fixed lenses generally tends to be lower in quality.

Consider the difficulty of mounting the camera to the scope. Best might be a long alumimum flat bar, fitted between the scope and tripod that extends back to use a threaded post into the camera base? High zoom units have a moving lens, so a slotted mount would be needed to allow varied tele power
I like the idea, waterproof p&s like the Pentax WG-3 have far more modes than a phone, or basic auto mode
There are plenty of off-the-shelf solutions for this.
Also, you don't want too much tele, just enough to place the camera's FOV inside of the scope's exit pupil.
 

Stalker69

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Apr 12, 2019
Messages
574
I have no experience with these cameras, but my intuition suggests that they represent the worst-of-both-worlds, rather than the opposite. These cameras are bulky, basically mini-DSLRs, and the optics on fixed lenses generally tends to be lower in quality.


There are plenty of off-the-shelf solutions for this.
Also, you don't want too much tele, just enough to place the camera's FOV inside of the scope's exit pupil.
The bulky part don’t worry me to much, as it would eliminate carrying my spotting scope, and actually even the biggest point and shoot would save me slightly over a pound ( I don’t really use the spotting scope other then photos, and there not great any ways, I wear glasses and much prefer binos, as far as glassing) I have a really small point and shoot that takes pretty good pictures, but it don’t have the zoom I want. And checking some reviews on super zoom point and shoot they don’t get great reviews( and most of the poor reviews are by “professional “ photographers that are looking for very high quality stuff as that is how they make a living, and seem to be very critical. The video and photos ( don’t much care about the photo part either) I have seen seems far better then through the spotting scopes I have taken and all the others I have seen through their spotting scope.
 
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Elkangle

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Jun 16, 2016
Messages
334
I would just go phone and spotter....good glass goes a long ways tho and youl really notice that in your photos
 

Phone Skope

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May 15, 2019
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Beaver, Utah
Cell phones and their cameras have come a long ways in the last few years. Low light performance is pretty impressive and the quality of the latest cameras is acceptable for an 8x10 photos. We get this question often and unless you're looking to make prints, we believe a smartphone with a good spotting scope is tough to beat when weight is in the equation. In most cases, you are already packing your phone, Phone Skope only adds a couple ounces to your pack and is covered with a no-fault, warranty. I'll add some images I took last year with a Swarovski ATX & iPhone Xs Max 2x lens. These stills were pulled from video, Larger Buck (150 yards), Smaller Buck (500 yards), Elk (750 yards) Hopefully this helps some.
 

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Jimss

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Mar 6, 2015
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I have a Nikon P950 with an 83x zoom. There is no way an iPhone can get the quality at similar zoom ranges! If you've ever looked at iPhone zoomed video and photos on a big screen television vs a P950 there is no comparison. The frame size of iPhone video is also tiny in comparison. The P950 is fairly bulky and weighs 2.2 lbs. It is 4" x 6" x 5" in size.

Nikon's most recent superzoom is a P1000 which has an extra-ordinary 130x lens. However, the camera is somewhat of a monstrosity tipping the scales at 3.1 lbs and is approximately 7" x 6" x 5" in size.

I also have a Canon SX60 that is around 1/3 the weight and bulk of my P950. It has a 65X superzoom that takes great pics and videos. You could likely pick up a SX60 for relatively cheap.

It's definitely possible to use a superzoom lens to replace a spotting scope, however, it would be tough using for hours at a time. The photos and videos I've taken at 1/2 mile away 880 yards) are actually pretty darn good when there aren't heat waves. I can pick out tines on muledeer and are great for taking home on a big screen to field judge in detail.

One of these days I should take side-by-side comparisons of my superzooms vs Iphone/Swarovski pics and video....they aren't even close. Iphones have come a long ways but when shooting through so much glass and an iPhone lens the size of the end of a pinky will never out perform large lenses. Superzooms have also come a long ways in recent years and it's amazing what they can do! Obviously if size and weight matters a lot to you Iphone works fine...especially if you don't plan on enlarging photos and photo/video quality isn't important.

You know what my preference is though! A superzoom camera is a great addition for pre-season scouting and field judging animals.
 

jspradley

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Joined
Mar 16, 2016
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Location
League City, TX
One thing to keep in mind is a good compact camera will usually get you better quality pics not mounted on the spotter than a phone will.

Gotta keep the grin n grin in mind!!!
 
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