UK Safari Home Page
   A Website for Anyone Interested in the
   Wildlife and Countryside of Britain

Nature Photo

 Home | Animals + Nature | Nature Shop | Photography | Members Area | Latest News | Advertise | E-Cards


Free Newsletter

NewsletterSent to you
by e-mail

Simply enter your details and hit the send button
more info

Your name

e-mail address  


First Visit?
Click Here

Explore More

Terms of Use
About Us
Contact Us


Go back Go Back  |  Bookmark Add to Favourites  |  Print Page Print Page  | E-Mail Us Tell us what you think of this page

Camers Digital Bird Photography

by Steve Botham

Snow Bunting - Photo © Copyright 2003 Steve Botham Photo: Steve Botham

UK Safari Tip:
You can get great discounts on digital cameras and accessories at - click here


I've been using a 'Nikon 995' for two years now without the need for extra lenses, and have acquired some very good results in the field

'Digi photography', or 'digiscoping as its now known has taken the Birding world by storm. Almost all birders are now carrying some make of Digital camera with them on their days out. The fixed lens versions are the best, as there is no lens zooming in and out. It's all done internally. Prices start from about £200.

The scope I use is a Swarovski AT80 HD, with a 20-60 Zoom. I never use the zoom facility on the eye piece for taking pictures, I always keep it on 20x. A fixed 20x lens gives crisper pictures and they afford a better field of view than Zoom lenses.

When buying a Scope the main things to look for are a large objective lens, ideally 70mm or above (for brighter images) and a fixed eye piece of around 20x. Most importantly, the Scope needs to be angled. The straight through scopes are to difficult to use for Digital photography. You need the scope set up around chest level, as this is the most comfortable position for using the camera. Before you buy a scope try it out. Most decent shops will expect you to do this.

You can buy adaptors which physically link the camera to the eye piece of the scope.  I've tried these on my Coolpix, but found them very fiddly, and I was forever taking it on and off to locate the Bird. I now hand hold the Camera to the eye piece. This takes a little practice but is much faster and allows you to quickly look through the scope and re-adjust the focus if necessary.

Most makes of Digital camera can be switched to wide angle or just zoomed down. They then come into their own, as there’s no need to change lenses. The Nikon will do Macro shots down to 2cm, or wide angle shots to 32mm, which is ideal for plants and flowers.

Of course the big advantage of digital photography over film photography is that you can view your pictures immediately on the monitor and delete any unwanted shots. How many times have you had a film processed only to find they are virtually all out of focus or not quite how you wanted them framed? With Digital this is no longer a problem. Loading them onto a computer is a breeze and you can view them full screen size, or send out to your friends via e-mail.

Most digital cameras take some form of 'memory stick' or 'Flashcard'. These come in various sizes from 8Mb up to 2GB. I use 256Mb flashcards which cost about £30 off the Web. These hold around 160-240 pictures, on the best setting on the camera, depending on how complicated the picture is.

When the birding is slow I turn to other forms of wildlife photography. In a single day’s outing I have taken several shots of birds, then switched to Butterflies and Dragonflies, Plants, Fungi then finished off in the evening with a few Moth shots in my garden, I've collected more quality pictures of wildlife in the past two years with my Nikon than I ever got in 10 with my old 35mm camera.

Track Down More Info

UK Safari Photography Section

 © 2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved