Bird ID: The Next Generation
The body of the dG has 2 lenses: one for the optical channel and one for the camera channel. As mentioned above, the monocular is 8x25 and is the center lens system in the body. The camera lens is to the left of the monocular lens. Its controls are not seen through the monocular. The body is waterproof to IP 67 standards, which means it can take a 30-minute dunking to a depth of 3.28 feet. There is one button on the dG that controls all the functions. It is both the power button and the shutter button. Just forward of the button is the charge level indicator and an LED status indicator.
The optical channel has a diopter ring at the eyepiece that is used to focus the channel for the user's eye. Figure 1 shows the location of the diopter control and who the optical channel looks when unfocused or focused. The camera's coarse focus accesses the diopter setting as a starting point for the autofocus. Don't focus using one of the apps as the autofocus is only engaged when the shutter button is pushed.
The camera has a CMOS sensor with an effective resolution of 13MP (4192x3104 px). Its magnification is 8x, which is equivalent to a 400mm lens on a full frame camera. You can also select HD video at 1280x720 or VGA video at 640x480. The camera image is stabilized by the sensor whether it is in image or video mode.
The Swarovski Optik dG app
connects mobile devices to the dG and is required for activating it.
The app has the following functions
- Controlling the camera settings
- Taking photos and videos from your phone or tablet
- Installing the live streaming function on up to 5 phones or tablets
- Transfers photos from the dG to connected devices
- Connecting to Merlin Bird ID and other apps as they become available
The dG can store up to ten images when there is an active Wi-Fi connection between the dG and the smartphone or tablet. If the connection to the dG app or another dG-compatible app is interrupted, for example, because the app has been closed, up to ten images will be stored temporarily. As soon as the app is opened again, the images will be transferred there.
The Merlin Bird ID app uses your photos to help you identify the bird. Merlin covers more than half of the approximately 10,000 currently known throughout the world. To get started, download the app from the App Store or Google Play. Then use Merlin to browse available map regions and download the areas you want resident in Merlin. For North America, there is a map that covers the entire US and Canada, and maps that cover smaller sections. Live streaming is not available through the Merlin app. Photos sent to the app go directly to identification function.
If you live in Europe or are planning a trip there, download the Swarovski Optik dG Mammals app. This app can identify almost 100 species of mammals common to Europe. It functions similarly to the Merlin app.
If you would like to see apps for insects, reptiles, fish, other mammals, trees, flowers, minerals, or anything else you'd like to identify, and are an app developer or know one, there is a website for developers at https://developers.swarovskioptik.com/. It offers instructions on how to start developing your app.