“Digiscoper of the Year 2016” 11th SWAROVSKI OPTIK Photo & Video Competition

June 01 2016

Digiscoping – the art of shooting photos and videos through spotting scopes or binoculars – has been capturing the imagination of an ever-growing number of users for many years. High-quality spotting scopes, binoculars, and special adapters from SWAROVSKI OPTIK have turned digiscoping into a fascinating alternative to nature photography. This year, SWAROVSKI OPTIK’s popular “Digiscoper of the Year” competition is taking place for the 11th time. Once again, SWAROVSKI OPTIK is offering an attractive top prize of a complete digiscoping set. A Facebook competition will run at the same time as this competition. The “Digiscoper of the Year 2016” competition begins on June 1, 2016 and the closing date for entries is September 30, 2016.

The beauty of nature is revealed in all its diversity and vibrancy when hidden in small details. The key enabling us to immerse ourselves completely in this secret world and capture it on photograph or film lies in having an eye for those beautiful and hidden details. It’s only when you look very carefully – for example when digiscoping – that you can see the big picture up close. With its “Digiscoper of the Year” competition, which is now being held in 2016 for the 11th time, SWAROVSKI OPTIK is encouraging people to be on the lookout for beauty, in keeping with the company’s philosophy: “The world belongs to those who can see beauty.”

Competition terms and picture categories
Under the terms of this competition, SWAROVSKI OPTIK understands digiscoping pictures and videos to mean digital pictures and videos featuring animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, and amphibians) in their natural habitat, which have been produced using a digital camera or a smartphone through the eyepiece of a spotting scope or binoculars. The pictures submitted must be allocated to one of the four categories: “Movement and action,” “Portrait and macro,” “Mammals,” and “Videos.”

Top prize: a complete set of digiscoping equipment and a trophy
SWAROVSKI OPTIK will publish the best 15 of all the pictures submitted and the best five videos, with the names of the photographers, on One winner will be named per category. From these four category winners, the “Digiscoper of the Year 2016” will be selected. The top prize is a complete set of SWAROVSKI OPTIK digiscoping equipment (ATX or STX eyepiece module, 25-60x85 objective module, digiscoping adapter, spotting scope rail, tripod, and tripod head) – to make your digiscoping even more enjoyable. In addition to the top prize, an engraved trophy will be awarded, which will be made in the SWAROVSKI OPTIK apprentice workshops in Absam. The three other category winners will each receive a pair of EL 32 binoculars from SWAROVSKI OPTIK.

“Digiscoper of the Year” on Facebook – Monthly category theme
SWAROVSKI OPTIK will select 5 pictures or 5 videos from all the photos and videos submitted each month and publish them on Unlike in previous years, this year there will be a category theme each month, from which the pictures will be chosen:

June: Portrait & Macro
July: Mammals
August: Movement & Action
September: Videos

These themes have no influence on the main competition. All entries received in all months will be entered for judging.

The favorite picture / video, judged by the number of Likes at the end of the judging period, wins a high-quality SWAROVSKI OPTIK wristwatch, a SWAROVSKI OPTIK drinking bottle and a SWAROVSKI OPTIK shirt.

What you need to know to take part
The competition allows the use of digital and video cameras, as well as smartphones, and all commercially available spotting scopes, binoculars, and eyepieces. Pictures may only be submitted by uploading the files on Videos should be no more than 120 seconds long and should be supplied in a minimum quality of 720p, only via YouTube/Vimeo. Photos and videos that have been digitally manipulated are not allowed in the competition. However, photos that have been retouched in terms of contrast, brightness, or focus, for instance, are permitted. The original picture or video must be available in unprocessed form.

Each participant may submit a maximum of five photos / videos per category.

Important deadlines
Closing date for submissions: September 30, 2016 (23:59:59 CEST)
Judging phase: October 1, 2016 until October 16, 2016 (23:59:59 CEST)
Announcement of the winners: December 2016

Birdwatch Magazine (UK), the Bavarian Society for the Protection of Birds (Germany), the Dutch Birding Association (Netherlands), natuurfotomagazine (Netherlands), and Bird Watcher’s Digest (USA) are partners of the competition.

Picture material for press release:
You can download last year’s winning pictures in high resolution from (PIN-Code: GYRV1M) and use them free of charge, provided the relevant photographers’ names are included (specified in the file name). The same link also contains sample pictures on the theme of “digiscoping” which can be used free of charge.


SWAROVSKI OPTIK, headquartered in Absam, Tyrol, is part of the Swarovski group of companies. Founded in 1949, the Austrian company specializes in the development and manufacturing of long-range optical instruments of the highest precision in the premium segment of the market. The binoculars, spotting scopes, rifle scopes, and optronic instruments are products of choice for demanding users. The company’s success is based on its innovative strength, the quality and intrinsic value of its products and their functional and esthetic design. The appreciation of nature is an essential part of its company philosophy and is reflected commendably in its environment-friendly production and its long-term commitment to selected nature conservation projects. The turnover in 2015 was 132 million euro (2014: 119 million euro) and the export ratio is 91%. The company has around 800 employees.

Kathrin Puelacher
Manager PR & Internal Communication
Tel. +43/5223/511-6397
Mobile +43/664/625 6858
Press Photos
High Resolution images related to press releases can be downloaded from our image database
Back to Top