In my mind there are two distinct sides to the coin when considering phonescoping. One is the striving to get the best picture possible, and the quality of some phonescoped pictures still surprises me. Then, there is getting the record shot in less than ideal conditions. Usually, poor light, a distant subject or a combination of the two being the main obstacles to achieving satisfactory results.
Here are some experimental shots trying to capture a record in less than ideal circumstances.
I tried the scope on full 50x magnification with a little more zoom on the phone.
Then just to explore other possibilities, I took some video with the phone still at 50x on the scope and a zoomed a little on phone. I then grabbed a still from the video.
As record shots go, I can live with these. The video grab impressed me, I will explore this further.
Video grab of some distant Brent Geese again, in the 250-300 yard region.
Now, these will win no awards, but this Marsh Harrier was in flight and a minimum of 300 yards away! This has demonstrated to me that video grabbing using a phone has a use in obtaining record shots.
Also video footage itself is a nice record of your birding. This method is undoubtedly the way to go with small birds that never keep still to allow a sharp focus. The depth of field of the video is greater than a still photo. The "grabbed" still picture is only about 3 mega pixels, but if it captures the desired target It will keep me happy.
Some video footage captured on this trip. Just a quick example of the footage I grabbed some of the above stills from.
Note: Video sometimes won't play in HD via my blog. You can view direct by clicking HERE.
Update... Just adding one more very rough record picture taken again from a video grab. You can't make much out at all from the actual still photographs. The Surf Scoter was way off shore, I wouldn't like to even estimate distance.
I have added a plate to show what it looks like in all its glory.