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Old Feb 22, 2003, 7:25 PM   #1
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Default Coolpix best digiscoping camera, are you sure?

I realize that the coolpix camera has a fixed lens so attaching it to a scope is easier than say a telescoping lens, but is this the only advantage to the coolpix line besides having a small lens, surely there are other cameras out there with small lenses that take better pictures or are there? Just want to make sure i'm not overlooking something, i have a fuji s602 which i intend to keep so i'm going to buy a camera just for digiscoping, my fuji doesn't seem to produce any CA even under the worst conditions, are there no small lens cameras that produces less CA than the nikon?
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Old Feb 23, 2003, 1:42 PM   #2
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Hi Pauly,
If there are better digicams for digiscoping than the Nikon CP series, I have not seen them.

I keep pretty well informed about digital camera advancements (I have over 20 digital cameras representing Fuji, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Minolta, Sony and Epson) and the only ones I could recommend for serious terrestrial digiscoping are the Nikons.....

Perhaps you may want to look at the following links and see what other digiscoping enthusiasts are using - but I think you will find that there are few, if any, serious photographers doing terrestrial digiscoping who are not using Nikon digicams.


http://www.digiscoping.ca/
http://www.md.ucl.ac.be/peca/test/a.html
http://www.digiscoping.co.uk/
http://digimages.multimania.com/
http://www.birdingamerica.com/digiscoping.htm
http://www.areaman.co.uk/swarovski/d.../digiscope.htm
http://www.babelbird.de/mix/digicam_e.htm
http://www.surfbirds.com/Features/digiscoping.html
http://www.pbase.com/cfagyal/galleries
http://digiscopingukbirds.homestead.com/
http://www.mts.net/~acook/


Best regards,

Lin
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Old Feb 23, 2003, 5:52 PM   #3
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I totally agree with Lin... it would be wonderful if other cameras were suitable for digiscoping, but in terms of consistant results and ease of use for getting shots of birds it has to be the Nikons (cp950/990/995/4500).
I don't have access to a large range of digicams, but I know a digiscoper who manages a camera shop and has access to everything... he insists the Nikons are the only serious choice.
CA is pretty minor and fixed in a few seconds in Photoshop, you're more likely to get CA from the spotting scope... very few are true APO.
Andy B
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Old Feb 23, 2003, 6:06 PM   #4
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Well i have other issues with the nikons other than the CA, i've read posts that state it can take up to 7 seconds to save a pic with the nikon 9## cameras, is this an exaggeration? Also how fast does the camera autofocus when digiscoping? I have a fuji 602 and it save a 3mp file instantly and well focusing is second to none, the 601 seems to have a small lens and i'm wondering if it would be suitable for digiscoping, besides the extending lens barrel( which really isn't an issue because of adapter tubes) i don't see why it wouldn't work, maybe my wife will let me buy several cameras at bestbuy on the credit card and i can just return all but one.
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Old Feb 23, 2003, 6:39 PM   #5
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Hi Pauly,

I have the S602Z myself - as well as the CP950, 990 and 4500 Nikons.

The autofocus on the Nikons is excellent, plus they have focus confirmation which lets you see precisely what the camera is using as a focus point. When shooting where there are leaves or branches between the subject and lens, that can be a big plus.

Unless you are shooting in tiff mode, there is no significant delay on file save. I don't really know how long it takes to save a file because it varies by media, but there is no delay with taking a second shot.

I can't comment on the suitability of the 601 for digiscoping, so trying it may be the best way for you to find out. I can say that with the number of people doing digiscoping today, there are few who are using anything except Nikons - most probably there is a good reason for this. My guess is that after you have done a significant amount of testing of other brands, you will likely arrive at the same conclusions that others have. If you check the quality of the images from using the various Nikon cameras for this purpose, I'm pretty certain that you will not find any significant improvement with other brands, but all I can do is tell you what my experience and that of others who have been doing this for a number of years is. Who knows, maybe you will discover something better in the process?

Lin
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Old Feb 23, 2003, 7:16 PM   #6
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If the time to write a single file took that long, I think I would have sold my 995 after the first day. I often shoot through the scope in continuous mode, and could roughly write 3 files to the card in just over 7 seconds (that's on a 256MB Lexar 12x). And yes, that is completely write to the card, and not just store in the buffer. Similar to the 602 I had, you can fill up the buffer and then focus on the next image while you wait for space to write to. Of course, you can take this picture after a second or two and add it to the buffer, or you could wait a few seconds and fill up the entire buffer again with several shots. What I mean is, you can wait for some space to free up in the buffer (if you filled it in continuous mode) and add another picture to it before it completely unloads the buffer, like the 602.

As Lin said, just check some digiscoping links and see what everyone is using. Those with the CoolPix series seem to be working more on their technique, while those with the other brands or models seem to be struggling to reduce vignetting or find the perfect digiscoping adapter to work with their extending lens tube. If you absolutely can not cope with purchacing a CP series camera, I've seen some good results with a Canon A40, and I saw someone report on successfully using a Pentax Optio (A40 looked great for a 2MP, and I haven't seen the Optio results). The main point is, when using scopes in excess of $1200, you can rest assured that people are choosing the CP series because it works, not because they're on a limited budget or lack of trying.
Not to mention, the CP series would give you macro capabilities your 602 or most other digicams couldn't touch!
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Old Feb 25, 2003, 8:08 PM   #7
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Default Coolpix for digiscoping

Is it likely that the new Coolpix SQ will be a good candidate for digiscoping?
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Old Feb 27, 2003, 11:24 PM   #8
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Hi Stan,
It's really too soon to tell yet - once a review has been done so we can get a feel for things like chromatic aberration, etc., it will be much easier to "guesstimate" how it might perform.

Best regards,

Lin
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 3:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Coolpix for digiscoping

Quote:
Originally Posted by StanV
Is it likely that the new Coolpix SQ will be a good candidate for digiscoping?
someone said they didn't think the lens was threaded, so you couldn't attach it to the scope, this wouldn't rule out digiscope, but would make it more difficult to get a sharp pic without high shutter speeds. When is the sq supposed to be available?????????
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Old Mar 2, 2003, 10:13 AM   #10
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"someone said they didn't think the lens was threaded"

Wow! I hope that turns out to be wrong. I'm not yet a Nikon person, but I was under the impression that there were a lot of lens accessories available for the Coolpixes. I wonder why they would want to exclude this camera from using them?
I glued a 77/72 step ring on to the front of my B-300 to make it threaded for filters and a rubber hood, but that's not quite the same thing. I'm not in a financial position to buy a camera exclusively for digiscoping, but the SQ looked like it had good possibilities for both digiscoping and a carry anywhere general use type thing.
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