Is it a digital camera or is it an eyepiece? It’s both! That’s Zeiss’s new approach to digiscoping and it looks promising. Just stick the Zeiss DC4 digital camera eyepiece in your Zeiss Diascope spotting scope and start digiscoping.
We haven’t been able to get on hands on one yet, but the DC4 is an interesting concept. The conventional way to digiscope is to mount a standard point and shoot digital camera, via an adapter, over the eyepiece of nearly any spotting scope and start taking pictures. This describes 99% + of digiscoping, today.
As a digiscoping alternative, some manufacturers have tried building a camera into the spotting scope, but sales and consumer response have been limited. The problem with this approach is that it limits the versatility of your system. You don’t get a full blown spotting scope with typical spotting scope magnification and other features and you’re stuck with the camera even when you don’t want one. Then, too, having a camera on board your scope reduces your typical lifetime spotting scope warranty to a year or two because of the electronics. An example of this approach is the now defunct Kowa TD1. No one ever criticized the quality of this unit – it was typical Kowa all the way – but it came up short as a high performance spotting scope.
Zeiss appears to have side-stepped this issue with the DC4. Remove the DC4 and you are back to your standard Zeiss Diascope. Will it work? Will it sell? Only time will tell. If it does, you may see the idea spread. Stay tuned.