Spotting scope query

To: 'Ben Lawson' <>, "" <>
Subject: Spotting scope query
From: Paul Dodd <>
Date: Wed, 11 May 2016 05:42:27 +0000
HI Ben,

Much as I'd like to push you down the technology path, could you not
simply use a straight spotting scope (rather than an angled one) with a
tall tripod. No bending, no neck-craning involved. Most spotting-scope
manufacturers have straight versions of their scopes, and tall tripods are
relatively easily obtained (although might be a little more expensive).

If that approach doesn't fit the bill, what about just using a digital
camera with a good zoom. Nikon has the P900 (83x zoom), Canon has the SX60
(65x zoom), I'm sure Panasonic and other manufacturers have similar
cameras. They all have an electronic viewfinder (effectively an eyepiece)
and a screen. Couple that with a tall tripod and you'll come in well under
budget. Be warned though, any electronic solution is going to have two
drawbacks - the electronic viewfinders are not as "high resolution" as
your eyes through an optical telescope (and they suffer from a little
"lag" - in other words, they're not precisely real-time viewers), AND the
screens on the backs of the cameras can be difficult to see in bright
daylight - you may need to come up with some way of shielding the screen
from the ambient light (some black cardboard, or black cloth, perhaps).

Paul Dodd
Docklands, Victoria

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
Ben Lawson
Sent: Wednesday, 11 May 2016 9:41 AM
Subject: Spotting scope query


I am seeking advice from tech inclined birders.

I have previously used a spotting scope for birdwatching as I'm unable to
use binoculars. However as a result a recent medical issue I'm no longer
able to crane my head to look through the eyepiece of the scope. To allow me
to continue birdwatching, I'm looking for a device with the zoom and clarity
of a spotting scope but where the 'view' can be seen on a screen without
craning my neck.

My web searches so far have not turned up much. I have looked into the Minox
Digital Camera Module -
  - however the reviews are mixed and it seems to have been discontinued.
Another option would seem to be some form of video camera with a flip out
screen, however I'm unsure if this would have the clarity and zoom of a
scope?. My budget would be $1500 max.

My interest is in birdwatching rather than photography or videography ie the
idea of a viewing screen is simply so I can birdwatch, not record them.
I would prefer an 'off the shelf' type solution if possible but could
probably muster some technical 'build' assistance if absolutely necessary.

I would be most appreciative of any advice anyone can offer so I can get
back birdwatching soon. Please email me directly as I'm not sure the topic
will be of great interest to most birding-aus folk.

Many thanks for your time.

Regards, Ben, Brisbane
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