|There are no set rules to camera set up when digiscoping, but certain settings are recognised by a large number of digiscopers to produce better results.
The GX100 offers very flexible shooting modes including Fully manual, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and Program mode.
It also offers exposure compensation, ISO control, focus and metering options.
Your own personal settings can be saved to the camera and accessed on the shooting mode dial, this feature is extremely useful as you can save all the functions that you prefer for digiscoping and access them easily.
GX100 digital camera digiscope settings
The following information is based on my own personal preferences. You may find that other settings work better for you.
1. I set the camera to Aperture Priority, keeping the F number as low as possible (largest aperture), the camera then sets the appropriate shutter speed for the available light.
2. I set the image quality to fine, jpeg mode. The Ricoh GX100 will process RAW files, but the waiting time in between shots is to long for digiscoping especially if you like working with the continuous shooting mode.
3. I set the focusing to SPOT AF. This means I can then locate the bird in the frame and ensure that the camera focuses accurately on the bird.
4. I set the metering to SPOT as this ties in nicely with the SPOT AF setting above and takes the reading from the bird.
In terms of settings, that's pretty much all I need to get successful shots from the camera. Although I would recommend playing around with different settings to find a mode that suits you.
Taking the shot
After setting the camera up to the settings above, you can then move on to taking the shot. When you first switch on the GX100 whilst connected to your scope you will notice some vignetting (see opposite example). The GX100 has a wide angle zoom lens, so at the widest setting the lens is capturing the edges of the adapter and the black circle around the eyepiece image of your scope. To avoid vignetting, simply apply optical zoom on the camera until the vignetting disappears. This also gives you extra telephoto power, as you are combining the magnification of your scope and the optical lens of the camera.
I use the LCD screen of the camera to locate my subject, I then focus the scope by adjusting the scope's focus wheel, using the view from the LCD screen to guide me when the scope is in focus. Once I am happy that the scope is focussed on the subject, I half press the shutter button on the electronic shutter release cable to gain focus lock on the camera, this then allows any fine focus adjustment of your scope if required. It also displays the shot information including F number and shutter speed, I then fully press the shutter release and take the shot.
If the shutter speed readout is to slow to capture a moving subject like a bird, try upping the ISO settings (Sensitivity) as this will give you a faster shutter speed.
For more information on digiscoping camera settings visit the my technique page on digiscopediary.co.uk