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Camera adapters for spotting scopes are old news. With the proper adapter and a digital SLR, you can turn many good spotting scopes into super-long telephoto lenses.
Germany's Minox is looking to change the landscape with the introduction of their "DCM" - digital camera module. The DCM is a compact (2.6 x 2.8 x 2.2") camera module available in mounts for several high-end spotting scopes, such as Swarovski, Leici and Kowa. At less than 8 oz., it not only keeps a lower profile than an SLR, it's a lot easier to lug around, too.
Equipped with a bright 2.5" LCD screen (with built-in shade/cover) the DCM allows more than one person to view the subject at once... a nice plus for those who have to share a scope. The resolution is failry low - only 5 MP (interpolated) - but the photos I've seen so far are tack-sharp.
This is definitely a specialized piece of equipment, since the scopes the DCM fits cost anywhere from about $600 on up... and the DCM adds another $400 - $450 to the price. But for serious birders and wildlife enthusiasts, who already own a matching scope - or plan to upgrade soon - this may be just what you've been waiting for.
I should have a chance to try out the DCM in a couple of weeks or so. When I do, I'll post an update and let you know how it performs.