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.


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.


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.