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Shoot Mode

Apart from allowing photographers to set all the parameters manually, most cameras also offer them the chance to choose from a variety of shooting modes, thus letting the camera configure certain settings. Some of these predefined settings are particularly well-suited to digiscoping and can provide the right help in shooting good pictures quickly.



Manual setting

This setting is used to select all the parameters manually. The highest possible ISO value should be used that does not generate any image noise, in order to achieve a short exposure time. This should be 1/125 second or even shorter for digiscoping shots.

Aperture priority: A/Av

One important use of the aperture priority function is for digiscoping combinations including the DCB II digital camera base (compact or system cameras with a pancake lens). The main benefit of this is that the shortest exposure time of the camera is used at the highest ISO value and maximum aperture. In addition, the aperture priority function is also helpful for those cameras where, in spite of having no objective lens (TLS APO), an f-number can be input manually via the menu. This value must be as realistic as possible (between 10 and 20, depending on the magnification selected), so that the camera can calculate the shutter speed accordingly.

Scene modes

The scene modes (SCN) that many cameras have lend themselves well to achieving good results quickly from digiscoping. They adjust the default settings when required. Modes with a short shutter speed and a correspondingly high ISO number are particularly suitable for digiscoping, e.g. “sport” or “playing children” mode for moving subjects and “portrait” or “landscape” mode for stationary subjects.

Video modes

When conditions are difficult and the light is poor, you can use the camera’s video mode to help you. Due to the movements and audio transmission, a video that is out of focus is not considered as annoying as a photograph that has been taken out of focus.

The use of the remote timer feature is also recommended as, due to the large focal lengths and the related leverage effect, touching the camera at all during digiscoping may put the image out of focus. Cable or wireless remote timers are available for the vast majority of system and SLR cameras. Some manufacturers supply cameras with an integrated Wi-fi module (e.g. the Panasonic GH3). This facility allows you also to use the camera remotely and reliably via a smartphone or tablet. You should check with your retailer to see whether the camera and mobile device, as well as their individual features, are compatible. One point worth noting in this regard is that both object tracking and rough focusing still need to be carried out with the spotting scope. Among the compact cameras suitable for digiscoping, there are currently no models that have a remote timer facility. This is where a self timer can help.