Sony RMT-P1BT Wireless Remote - 11 Jan 2023

This evening I spotted our Eastern Screech Owl poking its head out of the owl box at the back of the Quinlan Prairie here at Brownton Abbey. The light was bright enough that I ran to the car to grab the scope and digiscoping camera and try to take some images from the back deck. Knowing that I'd be needing some high magnification I broke out the Sony RMT-P1BT Wireless Remote so that I'd be able to take advantage of slower shutter speeds. 

The wireless remote is a joy to use. With buttons for selecting STILLS or MOVIE I can trigger the Sony a9 without touching it. Even though the scope is on a tripod, the rig is on the deck and subject to vibration just from the slightest touch. Using focus-peaking on the camera I could obtain precise focusing of the owl 150' away then stand still until the vibrations subsided. I could then trigger the camera to capture 20 fps with all images tack-sharp. At 25X magnification on the scope the Sony 40mm f/2.5 G lens produces an effective focal length (EFL) of 1000 mm. So, a shutter speed of 1/30 second at ISO 1600 requires a stable solution. 

The RMT-P1BT Wireless Remote came in even more handy when I zoomed the scope to 60X for an EFL of ~2400mm! At ISO 1600 I needed a shutter speed of 1/13 second to get the image.

I wanted to get closer so I took the scope down to the edge of the field. Unfortunately, the owl saw me and ducked back into its hole. I then decided to test the ability of the remote by focusing the digiscoping rig on the owl box and triggering it from inside the house. I'd have to wait until dark before the owl reappeared, but the remote worked. From inside the house! 

The above image was taken at EFL ~2400 mm at ⅛ second! The image was severely underexposed so I had to adjust +5.0 stops to bring out the exposure. Since the color image was intensely grainy and blue in hue I converted it to Black-and-White. Despite the grain the image is sharp.

I took a couple of videos, as well, but they were also dark and extremely grainy, so I didn't process them. But, the Sony RMT-P1BT Wireless Remote worked flawlessly.

Connecting to the camera is as easy as enabling Bluetooth in the camera and taking the camera off of Airplane mode.

I have tethered to my birding vest so its easily accessible when the digiscoping bug hits. Having the remote in my right hand allows me to trigger the camera while also panning/tilting the tripod head. This frees my left hand to focus the scope or enable focus-peaking on the camera. 

The Sony RMT-P1BT Wireless is the perfect digiscoping accessory!


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