Milky Way/Star camera recommendations

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blackshuk
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Milky Way/Star camera recommendations

Post by blackshuk » Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:30 am

I'm looking for a nice cheap, small camera for backcountry pictures of the stars and milky way!
Any recommendations??








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franklin411
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Re: Milky Way/Star camera recommendations

Post by franklin411 » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:03 pm

blackshuk wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:30 am
I'm looking for a nice cheap, small camera for backcountry pictures of the stars and milky way!
Any recommendations??
I took a star picture using my Canon Powershot G9x, which is a point and shoot. It has a "bulb" setting that keeps the shutter open as long as you want, I bought a tiny tripod (3 inches high), and I just set it on a rock and left it alone. Pictures actually game out well, considering how slipshod the operation was.

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fishmonger
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Re: Milky Way/Star camera recommendations

Post by fishmonger » Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:11 pm

For best results, you will really need a full frame DSLR or mirrorless with fast lens. Unless you are after start "trail" images, the bulb setting is meaningless. Earth rotation limits your exposure time unless you bring a star tracker rig along. So to shoot maximum stars in the available exposure time (about 20 seconds on a very wide lens) you need a sensor that can grab as much light as possible and not get noise due to the high ISO that is unavoidable. Full frame sensors are just way ahead in that respect.

For the lens, look for a sharp wide angle that can be shot wide open, at least f/2.8, but better f/1.8 or f/1.4. There are many web sites that evaluate the lenses best for astro photography. Search for "lonely spec" and astro photography and you will get some good info.

A start tracker with any camera that has a bulb setting is an alternative, but the total weight is going to be about the same, while you only have a very specialized use case for half that weight (the tracker). Those are about $400 and not easy to use - again, look for tutorials on youtube. Those will get you the most amazing milky way shots, but come at a pretty steep learning curve.

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