Digiscoping w/ the Sony a1 - 09 Nov 2021

I spent a short time with the Sony Alpha a1 camera and Digidapter™ DLM attached to the Sony 40mm f2.5 lens and Swarovski STX85 and 25-60X eyepiece. All exposures were at ISO 3200 and the camera focus was set to DMF (direct manual focus); that is, focus w/ the camera then perform critical focus with the lens using a magnified view of the subject. Images are cropped but no adjustments to noise, color or sharpening was performed. 

Dark-eyed Junco. 1/2000 sec. f/2.5, ISO 3200, 40mm

Fox Squirrel, ISO 3200, 1/3200 sec., f/2.5

White-throated Sparrow, ISO 3200, 1/2500 sec., f/2.5

A couple of observations: 

1. It is possible to autofocus with the camera, but focus is unreliable. You might get a green box on a bird's eye but it may be out of focus if the scope and/or lens is out of focus. Thus, DMF or MF modes are more reliable for getting sharp images. 

2. 30 fps is insane. For best performance it is good practice to roll focus with the scope to guarantee sharp images while shooting continuous. 

3. Image quality at ISO 3200 is very good and provides fast enough shutter speeds (esp. at 30fps) to capture most perched and ground birds. Noise is acceptable as-is and cleans up easily with noise reduction software. 

Here is the Fox Squirrel w/ 40% Luminance Noise reduction and minor sharpening.

More to come...


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