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Camera for very long distances. (1 Viewer)

pluton

Well-known member
Hi.
I am a lover of long distances, now I have a 60ED spotting scope, with which I reach maximum 45X zoom, a friend has an 80mm spotting scope with 60X max. zoom, with which I observe from time to time ... but it also seems to me little magnification for certain situations ...
I am thinking that maybe one of the new Coolpix P900 or P1000 cameras could solve my concerns, I have to say that I do not understand anything about photography, maybe it would not be a bad time to start.
And there goes the million dollar question, could one of these coolpix cameras with their powerful zoom be a good substitute for a hypothetical spotting scope with high magnification?
That is, could I use the screen of the coolpix P900 or P1000 cameras as if I were looking through the eyepiece of a spotting scope? Although I am aware that both images would be different in some way, a digital image in the camera and an optical image in the spotting .., I don't know if I have explained myself well ..
Kind regards and I will be happy to hear your opinions.
Pluto.
 

poledark

Well-known member
Hi Pluto. having owned an 80mm scope to which I attached a 20x eyepiece and a 10x video camera with good results. I then switched to a 10x bridge and added a 1.7 convertor lens. I then moved up to a P900 and loved it, never felt I was losing any image quality.

My next move was to a P1000 and it was a real step up. really good EVF (set it on level 5) and you will see anything you want. Where it really scores is at distances over 150mtrs.
May not be quite as "macho" as a DSLR and big scope, but a far better option for long range spotting and pictures.

Good luck,

Den
 

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
I have used my bridge camera for exactly that - taking long range pictures to help identify birds:

I found that image quality wasn’t brilliant but was good enough. The frustrating thing for me was focusing on flying birds which I struggled with.

There is re some great pictures, better examples than mine; but really take your time to choose a camera to do what you want...
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
If you are talking about standing and just watching through the camera, then no I do not think you get the same pleasure using any camera. But using a camera to solve that extremely long off id question? absolutely! The way to go is to take the shot, go to review mode and zoom in on the bird while still in the camera. If that is not enough, do the same on the computer once you are at home.

Niels
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
There is another option......use your phone and an adapter on your scope. I've got a Samsung S9 12 mega pixel phone on a Zeiss 85 mm scope with 20 - 75 zoom. The 6.2 inch ( 15cm ) screen at high magnification enables really sharp viewing at long distance and the resulting photos, with automatic phocusing are very good.
 

pluton

Well-known member
Really, in addition to taking some interesting photography I would use it to look through the screen at any object or animal that was within reach, I usually go to observe birds in swamps and lakes, I live in a place where quite a few birds of prey fly in the sky, also I like to observe planes at high altitude, and also the Moon, ISS, satellites, etc., in short, all of this objects and animals at a very long distance, where binoculars and spotting scopes fall short, that's why I was asking if I really these cameras, P900 / P1000, could be "somehow" a substitute for spotting scope ... knowing that they really are photographic cameras ... but that maybe put in a good photographic tripod could identify this type of objects and birds, or other animals, thanks to those 2000mm / 3000mm focal length of the Nikon ..
a greeting
Pluto.
 
Hi Pluto

1
I am not a photographer
2
but I have been using a Coolpix P900 for a couple of weeks now


and it is great within certain parameters

that is
I can take pictures good enough for ID if the bird is stationary as the auto focus is just too slow for birds in flight

It is also very light and I find I can carry it in a bag on my belt

and i sufficiently encouraged after these first few weeks to spend some time to learn how to use better






hope this helps
B

ps we bought it second hand here in France fr 300€ as a present for my wife
She got frustrated with it quite soon -slow AF...
 
taken with the P900 this morning

here is an example
two busards were fighting over a rabbit carcass
after the fight this one "posed" nicely maybe 25m away

and I had no luck with the photos I took of the fight itself

cheers
BM
 

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seaspirit

Well-known member
To estimate the magnification power of a certain focal length on a camera one can divide the effective focal length by 50.
For the P900 that would result in approx. 40x @ 2000mm.
Holding the subject in the viewfinder without a steady support and focusing will become the challenge, even more so when further zooming into the image.
 

pluton

Well-known member
How long could the battery last using the screen as a spotting scope?

Seaspirit, So why do they say that the P900 camera has 83X optical zoom?

Truly the images that I have seen on the Internet that these coolpix P cameras provide, have nothing to do with what is seen by a spotting scope at 40X or even at
 

poledark

Well-known member
I am sure that Nikon claim the 900 as 83x and the 1000 at 123x. Perhaps they work it out differently?
you can get quite good at handholding either of them at full zoom, but in a hide I use a clamp, focus on the subject and watch it on the monitor.......... very relaxing. even better connected to my ipad |:d|

Pluton, batteries are cheap for either of them, check out Amazon. I always have a spare in my pocket but rarely need to change it if I start the day with a fully charged one, and only one of the 6 I have for my 1000 are Nikons, the rest are compatible and so far have served me well for almost 2 years.

Den
 
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delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Pluton said:
How long could the battery last using the screen as a spotting scope?

Not very long I guess. I don't do it that way, I look through the viewfinder. Zoom in on the bird, take a picture, then blow it up on the screen to see what it was. If of interest I keep it, otherwise I bin it.

I use my binoculars for general viewing.
 

normjackson

Well-known member
that's why I was asking if I really these cameras, P900 / P1000, could be "somehow" a substitute for spotting scope

I think that question has been answered here as regards a tool for id purposes. As regards the question of how the image in the EVF compares to a monocular or scope as regards magnification, that will depend to a large extent on how magnifying the eyepiece in the camera is. Don't know what the viewfinder is like on those particular Nikon zoom cameras, but the test Jon Isaacs did here towards the end of the thread suggest that trying to use the camera's EVF as if it were a monocular/scope, the image size in the P1000 might achieve the equivalent of perhaps 30x?
https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/719097-how-10x50-binoculars-compare-to-30x-zoom-camera/page-2
That figure is based on Jon's cameras yielding approximately 7x magnification in the viewfinder from a 700mm lens equivalence. For comparison, testing an old bridge camera with its small (and low resolution) viewfinder I found that 420mm corresponded to more like 2.5x magnification in the viewfinder; a fair bit less pro rata.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
How long could the battery last using the screen as a spotting scope?

Seaspirit, So why do they say that the P900 camera has 83X optical zoom?

Truly the images that I have seen on the Internet that these coolpix P cameras provide, have nothing to do with what is seen by a spotting scope at 40X or even at

83x is a measure of how much closer a view at full zoom is compared to widest view. Widest view does not compare to 1x in a scope, it is frequently a lot wider. Where the camera shines is if you take a photo and then zoom in on the image afterwards.

Niels
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
I am sure that Nikon claim the 900 as 83x and the 1000 at 123x. Perhaps they work it out differently?
you can get quite good at handholding either of them at full zoom, but in a hide I use a clamp, focus on the subject and watch it on the monitor.......... very relaxing. even better connected to my ipad |:d|

Pluton, batteries are cheap for either of them, check out Amazon. I always have a spare in my pocket but rarely need to change it if I start the day with a fully charged one, and only one of the 6 I have for my 1000 are Nikons, the rest are compatible and so far have served me well for almost 2 years.

Den

The 83x is from the widest angle the camera offers, about 24mm equivalent.
As 50mm is about a 1x image, the max of 2000mm equivalent is about 40x.

Frankly, although I've yet to succumb, the idea of replacing the scope with a long lens bridge camera is growing on me. Apart from sea watching, birding rarely involves hour long scope sessions, so the battery issue is largely moot.
Meanwhile, getting a record of the bird automatically is a real plus. The main objection is that weather proofing is still limited to the 600mm equivalent Sony RX10 IV, but not available on the Nikon P1000.
 
Hi

this thread is full of sensible thought through ideas :)

the only things I can think to add are that (from practical experience with the P900)

you can NOT use the screen in full sun but is very cool when you can -needs a tripod

You will use the battery up quickly using it as as a scope but as Den says you will be carrying spares


and a big problem (cf Etudiant) is the non weather proofing


Cheers

ps I really do not regret buying my Kowa 883 :)
 
here is another example
I was looking down these two birds which were at more than a 1000 m away

handheld

I think you can see the gray face ; so are they Kites ?

the second image is one of the birds flying off
I had focused on the edge of the trees and waited for him to come into view

is it a Black Kite (Milvus migrans)?

have fun

BM
 

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pluton

Well-known member
Thanks for all your contributions.
It is not clear to me the following:
- Suppose we have the two instruments mounted on a tripod, a spotting scope with which we can reach 60X, and on the other hand a P900. We have a long distance bird, in a lake a water bird, this is any example, I want to be quite graphic in this case.
I want to see the bird with the same magnifications with both instruments, if I put 60X in the spotting scope, which focal point do I have to put in the camera to see it anyway? Because really, and I say it again, the images that I have seen on different sites on the Internet through the P900 and its zoom power capacity have nothing to do with what we can see through a spotting scope with 60X, now here near.
And the images of airplanes in the sky at high altitude (between 8 and 10 km) are truly amazing, it shows a number of details that no spotting scope with 60X can provide ...
What I do not have is whether that amount of detail can be seen on the camera screen by zooming to the maximum, or instead you have to take the photo first and then zoom the photo ???
I have seen on the Internet images (I think in video mode) of the Moon in the night sky and it is zoomed in and all the moon craters are seen with a lot of resolution ...

best regards
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Thanks for all your contributions.
It is not clear to me the following:
- Suppose we have the two instruments mounted on a tripod, a spotting scope with which we can reach 60X, and on the other hand a P900. We have a long distance bird, in a lake a water bird, this is any example, I want to be quite graphic in this case.
I want to see the bird with the same magnifications with both instruments, if I put 60X in the spotting scope, which focal point do I have to put in the camera to see it anyway? Because really, and I say it again, the images that I have seen on different sites on the Internet through the P900 and its zoom power capacity have nothing to do with what we can see through a spotting scope with 60X, now here near.
And the images of airplanes in the sky at high altitude (between 8 and 10 km) are truly amazing, it shows a number of details that no spotting scope with 60X can provide ...
What I do not have is whether that amount of detail can be seen on the camera screen by zooming to the maximum, or instead you have to take the photo first and then zoom the photo ???
I have seen on the Internet images (I think in video mode) of the Moon in the night sky and it is zoomed in and all the moon craters are seen with a lot of resolution ...

best regards

The scope view is generally a lot better than one perceives with the naked eye, as can be demonstrated by digiscoping with a decent camera.
The advantage of the big zoom camera is that one gets a magnified image right off the bat, so one can appreciate the extra detail more readily than while squinting through an eyepiece.
The now discontinued Zeiss Photoscope combined an 85mm scope with a sensor and a smart phone like display, making it easy to record and assess images in detail at leisure. It was a stunning performer, just too expensive.
 

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