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Digis-scoping VS Camera Lens Side by Side (1 Viewer)

April 10th 2020

Now...an experiment today on some pretty static objects since the day was very blustery and there were no birds to be had. So a quick tour of the neighborhood across the street was in order. The test involved the following gear: a 80mm Swarovski Scope with a NikonP310 Point and Shoot Camera with 'no eyepiece adapter' vs Canon 7D plus 400mm L lens.

The idea was to compare the camera + lens to a scope + point and shoot. The results are in the images that follow but since I cannot enlarge them here, they are difficult to discern the differences. The scope plus the Nikon P310 beat the Canon + 400mm lens in both the meter and the Verizon tag while the two were equal in the green pot. The first photo of each is the scope, the second photo being the Canon. All photos were photoshopped to add sharpness, contrast and color.

Overall sharpness went clearly to the scope with clarity determination being an objective in this experiment. I tried to make the comparison equal by handholding both cameras. The digiscoping was done w/o any adapter to stabilize the placement of the camera or the movement of my hands. The same with the Canon camera+lens, although I did use the top of the scope as added support. This would somewhat equal the tri-pod of the scope as in the field I would use a tri-pod for the scope but would handhold the camera but brace up against a fence post or squat down to support better focus etc.

The value of a spotting scope adapter for the camera was the first thing that hit me. It is very difficult to place the camera into/near the eye-piece and be perfectly level. If you are 'off' , the image is blurred more-so. So the value of an adapter for your digital-scoping setup is critical. While easy to do in the field w/o an adapter and many people do this, the results are strictly 'ID only'

Between the two, I was surprised at the results. The closest object was the verizon sign which was about 30 yards away, followed by the meter which was 40 yards followed by the green pail which was 75 yards in the distance.

The images of the scope are "NOT CROPPED" while the camera images ARE CROPPED. I wanted to compare views side-by-side and if I didn't crop the camera images, the images would have been more distant in viewing. The objective of this experiment was to compare the two given equal close-up view so a cropping of the camera was needed.

This only compares a camera plus a 400mm lens, which is affordable and what I have. I am not comparing a 500, 600, 800 lens which both Canon and Nikon have. Others such as Sigma and Tamron are making inroads in their lens line-up too. The results using an increased lens focal length would most likely be vastly different. But the cost of the Canon and Nikon is rather steep, thus,....what are the differences between two somewhat affordable options? My views on why I do not like the larger lens (500, 600 and 800) are in previous blogs. If you link to my blog site on my signature, you shall find. If the distance is not far, the camera-lens combo (distance depending on your lens) will always have a much better image.

Additional Digiscoping blog at:


  • Meter Digiscoping.jpg
    Meter Digiscoping.jpg
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  • Meter 400.jpg
    Meter 400.jpg
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  • Verizon Digoscoping.jpg
    Verizon Digoscoping.jpg
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  • Verizon.jpg
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  • Green Pail Digiscoping.jpg
    Green Pail Digiscoping.jpg
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