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Old Wednesday 8th February 2017, 23:18   #1
OpticalPrime
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Any Recommendations? Video, Wildlife, Low-light dusk, 400m+

Cross posting over here if you do not mind.

Hi,

I am more into wildlife in general, mostly larger animals. I also do more video than I do photos. Applying telescopes to video/photos for super long range without camera lenses that are unaffordable for the same magnification very much appeals to me. Basically, I am looking for a full setup that can record sharp video of a subject at 400 meters or so, in both daylight and the low light of dusk. Understandably lower light will have less image quality, but I just want something that handles it well relative to modern optics.

From what I understand, with some cameras it is possible to record the viewfinder even if they do not have video capability, as long as you have the right accessory equipment, whereas others have both traditional video recording and viewfinder recording capability.

I am also interested in a setup that does not require a great deal of knowledge to begin using effectively. I will learn over time, but if possible, I want a setup I do not have to constantly struggle with manual adjustment while learning to get decent photos/video at that range.

Currently all I own is a Sony a5000. Whether this would be an effective starting component I do not know.

Would anyone have any suggestions on a proper setup to get started?

Last edited by OpticalPrime : Thursday 9th February 2017 at 15:00. Reason: Incorrect Distance
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Old Thursday 9th February 2017, 10:12   #2
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800 m is a lot, and low light very challenging for scopes that do not gather much light, compared to fast camera objectives.

To give you and idea what are the limits, here a video https://youtu.be/LLMek7p4D9A

This was about 200 m distance, on a gloomy morning, through a Swaro 80 mm scope, filmed with a Samsung S5 mini phone.

You can certainly get a bit more (but not dimensions better) out of it by using the biggest scope on the market (Swaro ATX 95) and a better camera (e.g. a mFT camera and Swaros APO TLS adapter).

I don't know how good your Sony cam is for digiscoping. And I'm not sure what you mean with "viewfinder recording capability". I think almost any modern camera allows video recording.

Last edited by dalat : Thursday 9th February 2017 at 10:17.
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Old Thursday 9th February 2017, 15:14   #3
OpticalPrime
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Thanks for the reply. I actually incorrectly converted from miles to meters. I meant 400 meters. After watching that video, thanks by the way, I think you are right about a spotting scope not working well at that distance, which is why I am leaning more towards an astro telescope.
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Old Thursday 9th February 2017, 15:44   #4
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Well if you have 400 m and bigger animals, then you have similar conditions like in my video. You can also use higher magnifications as in my set-up. E.g. my scope has 50x max, while a Swaro 95 has 70x (you can go even higher with some scopes and special eypieces). You can also use a camera lens with more focal lenght than the one I used. So I think it's not unrealistic what you want. However, low light at dawn/dusk and heat haze will still be big limitations for getting good quality videos.

I have no experience myself on how useful astro telescopes may be for your purpose. Perhaps you can get bigger magnifications and collect more light, but I think they may also have serious disadvantages such as glare and flare (as they are designed for use at night).

Last edited by dalat : Thursday 9th February 2017 at 15:48.
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