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Old Wednesday 6th February 2013, 23:41   #1
Neil
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Nikon Coolpix P310 for Digiscoping

I'm getting back into a digiscoping mindset for the Year of the Snake coming up. Wandering through our local Computer/Camera mall on Tuesday I couldn't pass up the offer of the Nikon Coolpix 310 (minor upgrade on the P300 ) for US$200. I have been recommending this camera to people looking for a low cost entry into Digiscoping for some time as I had enjoyed the previous model (P300) which used the same lens for stills and HD video. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-coolpix-p310/
It takes the same battery as the P300 which I like , so with charged batteries I headed out to the wetland yesterday in the pm. Not expecting too much as weather has been marginal here for a week I was pleasantly surprised when the sun popped out around 4.00 pm and we had a nice sunset around 6.00 pm. Two hours of good light for digiscoping is a luxury here at this time of the year.
The camera was easy to set up on the Swarovski DCB 11 ( was switching back and forwards with the Sony RX 100 ) . Vignetting at the wide end of the lens ( 24 mm ) was as you would expect (see below ) but it had disappeared by 45 mm which is at the end of the Macro Mode ( Green Flower symbol ) .
The P310 is not a camera you would buy if you were looking for the best quality images as it doesn't have a Nikon ED lens and has a small sensor, but with it's fast burst mode of 7 fps ( for 5 frames ), very sharp lcd screen and quick AF it's a good entry-level offering. It's HD video does a good job to. See here https://vimeo.com/59110245 at the long end of the zoom.
These images were taken from a hide at a distance of 35 - 45 meters. The last image of the Eurasian Curlews was at 70x on the Swarovski zoom (approx 3500 mm)
Neil

Nikon P310 and Swarovski STX 95 mm Scope (30-70x zoom eyepiece ) and Swarovski DCB 11 Adapter

Mai Po Nature Reserve
Hong Kong,China
February, 2013
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Old Friday 8th February 2013, 19:42   #2
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You've convinced me!
I think this is the camera I will go for :)
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Old Sunday 10th February 2013, 15:19   #3
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I will use this thread for posting some photos, think its better to use one Thread for expamples (It will be easier to find for people searching for digiscoping examples of the P310)
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Old Sunday 10th February 2013, 16:16   #4
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I recently traded 'up' I feel from the Canon S90-95-100 series of cameras to the NikonP310. I like the Nikon, much easier to use than the S series Canon has out, so I feel almost perfect for digiscoping Neil.

One thing I don't like is that the camera has to be taken off the adapter to download photos as the slot is covered up by the adapter. I wish they would move that to the side...

Nice camera though.,...great shots, especially your last one! jim
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Old Sunday 10th February 2013, 22:13   #5
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Nikon is due to release an update model before April-May. Hopefully it will keep the same shape and button locations so it remains compatible with the FSB8 adapter.
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Old Sunday 10th February 2013, 23:54   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmans66 View Post
I recently traded 'up' I feel from the Canon S90-95-100 series of cameras to the NikonP310. I like the Nikon, much easier to use than the S series Canon has out, so I feel almost perfect for digiscoping Neil.

One thing I don't like is that the camera has to be taken off the adapter to download photos as the slot is covered up by the adapter. I wish they would move that to the side...

Nice camera though.,...great shots, especially your last one! jim
If you use a 16 gig card it should get you through the day.
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2013, 00:29   #7
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If you use a 16 gig card it should get you through the day.
Neil
Neil...I use a 16 gig when digiscoping..one thing I miss about the S series from Canon is being able to take 'timed' shots in multiples of 3. I believe the Nikon only has one shot although it can be from 3 or 10 secs... But I liked the multiple shots when in the time mode as it made for something interesting shots.... jim
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2013, 00:44   #8
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Originally Posted by lmans66 View Post
Neil...I use a 16 gig when digiscoping..one thing I miss about the S series from Canon is being able to take 'timed' shots in multiples of 3. I believe the Nikon only has one shot although it can be from 3 or 10 secs... But I liked the multiple shots when in the time mode as it made for something interesting shots.... jim
Nikon has a "multiple snapshot " mode which takes about 16 frames, although in low rez. I will test it out again on Thursday when I next go out as I haven't used it for a few years.
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2013, 00:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmans66 View Post
Neil...I use a 16 gig when digiscoping..one thing I miss about the S series from Canon is being able to take 'timed' shots in multiples of 3. I believe the Nikon only has one shot although it can be from 3 or 10 secs... But I liked the multiple shots when in the time mode as it made for something interesting shots.... jim
I have 1x 32 gig card which I put in the V1 as it can really blow through the frames at 30/60 fps. I plan to have all cameras with 32gig cards soon as I hate changing cards in the field too.
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Old Thursday 14th February 2013, 15:59   #10
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I have 1x 32 gig card which I put in the V1 as it can really blow through the frames at 30/60 fps. I plan to have all cameras with 32gig cards soon as I hate changing cards in the field too.
Neil
Neil....when I digiscope I perhaps take 300 shots most...as digiscoping just slows me down which is one aspect I enjoy about it.

How many shots do you take a usual digiscoping adventure? When I use my DSLR I take a 1000 or more but not digiscoping.. jim
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Old Thursday 14th February 2013, 22:15   #11
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Neil....when I digiscope I perhaps take 300 shots most...as digiscoping just slows me down which is one aspect I enjoy about it.

How many shots do you take a usual digiscoping adventure? When I use my DSLR I take a 1000 or more but not digiscoping.. jim
Jim,
I'm shooting mostly HD video through the scope these days, much at 50/60 fps. It really chews up the memory.
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Old Thursday 14th February 2013, 23:33   #12
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Jim,
I'm shooting mostly HD video through the scope these days, much at 50/60 fps. It really chews up the memory.
Neil.
Neil ...I haven't done that but do you find it easier to get better images that way since you can (or do you?) take photos from 'frame to frame'....? That way you have 10 seconds lets say of video and you can use software to pull out one frame?

What software do you use if that is the case...I am intrigued for that would certainly allow for more images and perhaps a better way to digiscope...?? jim
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Old Thursday 14th February 2013, 23:38   #13
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Jim, video frame grabs can be good IF the reduced resolution of ~2mp is enough for the end output AND the relatively slow 1/60sec shutter speed does not allow for subject blurring.

BTW Neil, did you manage any good pics from your Niseko trip?

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Old Friday 15th February 2013, 01:50   #14
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Jim, video frame grabs can be good IF the reduced resolution of ~2mp is enough for the end output AND the relatively slow 1/60sec shutter speed does not allow for subject blurring.

BTW Neil, did you manage any good pics from your Niseko trip?
I need to experiment but it sounds as if some serious limitations might occur if not enough light. And digiscoping is 'low light' to begin with, but worth experimenting....
thanks for info...jim
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Old Friday 15th February 2013, 02:08   #15
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Neil ...I haven't done that but do you find it easier to get better images that way since you can (or do you?) take photos from 'frame to frame'....? That way you have 10 seconds lets say of video and you can use software to pull out one frame?

What software do you use if that is the case...I am intrigued for that would certainly allow for more images and perhaps a better way to digiscope...?? jim
Jim,
I used iMovie but have recently switched to Final Cut Pro X which I like a lot.
This is a still from a short video I took yesterday at a distance of about 60 meters in hazy bright light around midday. https://vimeo.com/59696850 The original is only 720 x 1280 and 72 dpi. Maybe ok for record/id purposes but it's not going to win any awards.
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Old Friday 15th February 2013, 22:52   #16
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Neil...on a shot like that with that type of bird....it might almost be sharper to do without video since your subjects are relatively stagnant. I was thinking of using video more with moving objects in the water or on ground and taking a frame from the video....

Either way, worth experimenting, jim
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Old Friday 15th February 2013, 23:16   #17
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Neil...on a shot like that with that type of bird....it might almost be sharper to do without video since your subjects are relatively stagnant. I was thinking of using video more with moving objects in the water or on ground and taking a frame from the video....

Either way, worth experimenting, jim
Jim,
You're right that you wont get similar quality, especially at distance. This is a still taken of a similar group of birds.
Neil
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Old Saturday 16th February 2013, 10:58   #18
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These two photos digiscoped with the P310 in the late afternoon show up more detail than those taken at midday. Distance about 40 meters.
Neil
ps I love the power the STX 95 gives you.
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Old Saturday 16th February 2013, 20:49   #19
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Neil, thanks for your efforts here, and in a previous post. I find it much more understandable when one of the variables ie. the scope is kept constant and we can make good comparisons of the cameras. All too often, the scope changes as many times as the cameras on trial.
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Old Saturday 16th February 2013, 21:01   #20
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Great shots Neil, hope i will also get such good photos with the ATX85mm

P.S. The Flamingo pictures you have taken with NEX7 are quite impressive, saw them in the digiscoping newsgroup, what a stunning result!
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Old Saturday 16th February 2013, 23:21   #21
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Neil, thanks for your efforts here, and in a previous post. I find it much more understandable when one of the variables ie. the scope is kept constant and we can make good comparisons of the cameras. All too often, the scope changes as many times as the cameras on trial.
Of all the cameras there is still not one that has all the functions of a great digiscoping camera. The closest is probably still the Nikon Coolpix 8400 , although the WB can be off a bit and it doesn't have HD video.
The Nikon V1 and Panasonic GF1 could do with a Rotatable Screen, the Canon A640 had a low rez screen and the Sony NEX 7 has a complicated menu system and is a bit noisy.
But I still have fun playing with them all.
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Old Saturday 16th February 2013, 23:23   #22
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Great shots Neil, hope i will also get such good photos with the ATX85mm

P.S. The Flamingo pictures you have taken with NEX7 are quite impressive, saw them in the digiscoping newsgroup, what a stunning result!
I'm sure the 85 mm scope with also give you excellent results from what I've seen so far and you have any advantage that it starts a little wider.
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Old Friday 22nd February 2013, 21:28   #23
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Hey guys, i went to the netherlands the last four days and had a really great trip.
Here are some shots i took during this birding trip
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Old Friday 22nd February 2013, 21:35   #24
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I am not sure if its okay to upload more than 5 Pictures, if not i will delete the second post.
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Old Saturday 23rd February 2013, 05:08   #25
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I am not sure if its okay to upload more than 5 Pictures, if not i will delete the second post.
Some nice images here.
I think 5 is the limit per post but multiple posts is ok. You should post some of these in the Gallery though so more people with see them.
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