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Digiscoping issues with 7D and ATX Scope (1 Viewer)


Hi All:

I've been digiscoping for over year with no issues using my old Canon Rebel with a Swarovski ATX 95mm spotting scope and APO adapter. I recently upgraded to a 7D and I cannot capture any good images so far..most are blurry. As with the Rebel, I've been shooting in Aperture Priority mode and adjusting the ISO where need be. Here's what I think is causing some issues:

1. The optical viewfinder in the 7D becomes grainy with a long focal length due to some film applied in the camera housing. This makes using the viewfinder with manual focus of the scope very difficult. I can't tell whether I'm getting a crisp image until I review the shots later. As a result, I've been the live mode LCD scree to review and focus, but this doesn't allow burst mode shooting..just one shot at a time. This stinks!

2. After reviewing my images the shutter speeds generated in aperture priority are far too slow in my opinion. Normally 1/200 and even lower. I'm not sure if this is because I'm in manual focus and the auto-focus isn't working which doesn't allow the camera to judge fast movement or bird flight to generate higher shutter.

Hopefully someone has gone through this process before or can offer some helpful tips....would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Josh,

I have digiscoped with a Canon 350D (Rebel?) and 7D on my Swarovski ATS80HD scope with 20-60x eyepiece. With both cameras I shot in Aperture Priority mode through a 50mm lens and DCA adaptor.

The 350D did not have Live View so I had to use the viewfinder. As you have mentioned the image is not all that bright which causes focusing problems in low light. However, I have taken some good shots with this setup, even birds in flight. The camera is lighter than the 7D and has a different mirror arrangement which, in my opinion, causes less mirror-slap than the 7D.

The 7D does benefit from Live View which does help with accurate manual focusing when using the magnifier. The extra weight of the camera compared to the 350D does cause balancing problems unless you use a long plate on the tripod head. From my experience the 7D suffers from vibration (mirror-slap) when the shutter is pressed. When shooting in Live View mode there is less vibration but the problem is still noticable. I resorted to using a wired remote to alleviate as much vibration as possible. The only way to counteract this vibration is to shoot at a faster shutter speed in continuous mode which gives you a chance of getting at least one shot that is sharp enough to use.

I assume you have checked the dioptre setting on your 7D. If it is not set correctly it makes it difficult to manually focus successfully. The ATX 95 gives you a brighter image for viewing and focusing than my 80HD which would be an advantage on dull days.

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