Digiscoping with Micro Four-thirds Cameras

From the Best of Mark Toal

I love it when I learn something new about photography that I didn’t know existed. That was the case with Digiscoping

Rob Knight 1

I had no idea what Digiscoping was until I went to the NANPA (North American Nature Photographer Association) annual convention in San Diego. Rob Knight, who is a Panasonic Lumix Luminary, brought along a Swarovski STX85 spotting scope that was connected to a Panasonic Lumix GH4. Swarvoski Optik makes beautiful scopes and binoculars.

Swarovski

One method for using Digiscoping techniques involves uses a standalone spotting scope that is attached to the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 II ASPH lens mounted on a Micro Four-thirds camera, like Rob’s Lumix GH4. He showed me two different mounts, the Swarvoski model and one made by Digidapapter. The Swarvoski TLS APO adapter turns the digiscope set-up into a 1500mm -3600mm zoom lens. The Digidapapter approach turns the digiscope into a 1000mm-2000mm lens. You can choose which adapter to use according to what kind of subject matter you are photographing.

4k-photo-6

The reason for using the Lumix GH4 is the ability to shoot in the 4K video mode and extract an 8-megapixel frame of a bird in flight. Rob Knight has a great article on his website about how he uses the Swarvoski combined with 4K video. The example photos here are frame grabs from 4K video.

If you’re a bird or wildlife photographer you need to check this out and try it with 4K video.