Camera dot sight vs budget one

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 22,439
Re: Camera dot sight vs budget one

The dot sight needs to be aligned both vertically and horizontally.  The horizontal alignment is fairly straightforward but, with my EE-1, I need to do it every time I mount the RDS on my camera because it is not really tight in the hot shoe and can skew a bit when you push it in.

Vertical is more complicated because it has to be aligned for a specific distance, the focus distance.  Fortunately, for more distant targets like birds, if you set it for about 30m it will be OK for targets from about 15m to 60m.  It is much more difficult for close targets like insects where the distance has to be fairly accurate.

All of the photographic dot sights that I have seen have wheels to adjust the alignments.  With these you can, with practice, do the alignment very quickly with 3-4 shots which only takes a couple of minutes, even hand held.  If you are using a tripod it is even faster.

The problem with the RDS in the video is that you appear to need a screwdriver to adjust the alignments.  That might be OK if the sight is rigidly attached to a rifle or crossbow so you only rarely have to change it, but would be unacceptable to me on a camera when it is not rigidly attached to the hot shoe and you have to adjust it relatively frequently.

Note that, in photography, an RDS is inherently less accurate for focusing than using the viewfinder. So, IMHO, it is only worth using one for targets that are really difficult to pick up and/or track in the viewfinder.  Examples would be whale breaches, jumping dolphins and birds that either fly very erratically or appear suddenly out of nowhere.  I found that my hit rate for jumping dolphins, the hardest targets that I have ever tried to shoot, went from less than 5% using the viewfinder to about 25% using an RDS.

On the M4/3 forum where there are a lot of photographers shooting really difficult flying birds like swallows and bee eaters, most have now acquired the skills to track them in the view finder and no longer use an RDS.  I still use one for fun when shooting BIF at some locations because it gives you the chance to take a snap shot of any bird that appears very suddenly - but with quite a low hit, though. 

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Chris R

 Chris R-UK's gear list:Chris R-UK's gear list
OM-1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +4 more
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