Digiscoping: Making Binoculars Great Again

Bigger is better. This seems to be a common way of thinking. For example, hunters seek bigger hunting blinds, calibers, and broadhead cutting diameters, just to name a few. They also often seek bigger magnification with their optics. Why not? Most hunters want to see further distances and, in many cases, more detail in their subjects. 

This has many sportsmen reaching for the best spotting scope they can afford. Considering the importance of optics in the hunting sphere, some will even blow their budget on one. This is likewise true for hardcore birdwatchers and other naturalists.

Whether scouting for elk from a ridge or for deer from the edge of a crop field, a good spotting scope is a righteous piece of gear for sure.

They are not the only choice though.

Before digiscoping kits became a thing, it was common to place your smartphone camera over a set of binos and draw closer to a distant tree line, deer, or another game animal. This was (and still is) a logical thing to do considering the need for magnification for outdoor photography and videography. But it was hard to keep steady. That’s an understatement.

This is why when Phone Skope kits hit the market, they were all the rage. The art of digiscoping had received a shot in the arm and many outdoorsmen were off to the races, seeking to capture and share images of subjects that used to be too far away.

Most hardcore hunters and outdoor photographers leaned heavily on digiscoping with spotting scopes. They still do today. It should come as no surprise, as setting up with a spotting scope has many advantages.

Spotting scopes provide larger magnification than binoculars, helping you to zoom in on distant targets. However, they present a smaller field of view. Also, due to the greater magnification offered by them, a tripod is required for stability, especially at maximum magnification. 

But what about binoculars? 

Hunters and nature lovers in general lean heavily on their optics for success.  

Ask about any hunter and they’ll tell you their optics are second only to their weapon. Hence, many game chasers are quick to reach for their binoculars. This goes for digiscoping too. 

By connecting your smartphone to a set of binoculars with a custom Phone Skope adapter kit, you can not only view a distant subject but record it in the form of images and videos.

Those late-morning hunts that used to have hunters killing time trying to hold their smartphone cameras against their binoculars are almost a thing of the past. Thanks to digiscoping, today, binoculars are an even more important tool to employ in outdoor spaces. 


Binoculars are extremely manageable. Whether slung around the neck with a simple strap or securely held in place with a harness, they’re at the ready. They’re relatively lightweight and are very convenient to carry around. For digiscoping, you can either keep your kit in your pants pocket or the compartments of a chest harness pack. You can even keep your device and binos fully or partially attached. 

Image stabilizing binoculars like this Canon 12×36 set enhance freehand digiscoping results.

Digiscoping with binoculars is a particularly good choice considering the ever-growing mobile hunting craze. Note that there are a lot of binocular models out there today that offer image stabilization, making freehand viewing and digiscoping much more effective.

The Tripod Companion

While not required, tripods also work well with binoculars. It’s nice to be able to view and digiscope freehand, but there’s no doubt that a tripod will increase stability and create crisper images. Most tripods come with a universal threaded piece for mounting binocular plates. They can also pull double duty, as they can of course be used to brace for a rifle shot. While freehand digiscoping with binoculars lightens your load, it’s nice to know that tripods are still an option. 

While freehand digiscoping with binoculars is easy to master, you can still use a tripod to minimize vibration.

More Choices

Compared to spotting scopes, binoculars are simply more attainable. Binos of many price points, magnification, field-of-view, and quality are all over the market. With this comes a greater choice of options. As for digiscoping, Phone Skope offers custom kits for most brands and models.

Options are good. 

For example, not only can you obtain pairs with different features, you can afford to have a knock-around pair for rough conditions and impromptu trips to the field.


Binocular technology has improved to the point that even moderately-priced sets have a lot of attractive features. While it’s never a bad idea to have a high-end pair, you can obtain a very proficient set of binos in the $150-$500 price range. Portability meets value. 

As for digiscoping, the Phone Skope adapter kit doesn’t discriminate. You can capture quality images using binoculars at pretty much all price points.

At the end of the day, binoculars are the most versatile optics on the planet. While spotting scopes have some advantages over binoculars, binoculars will always have their place. 

Bigger isn’t always better. Either way, for digiscoping, binoculars are big on utility. Therefore, don’t sell them short when planning your next hunt, scouting trip, or other outdoor adventure.


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