Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Total Eclipse Camera Selection

I have been using a Sony NEX5N for the past two years and have reached the conclusion that while useful, it does not do what I want in terms of total solar eclipse photography.

Screen display: In summary, it is not useful outside during the day. An eyepiece type arrangement would be preferred. Trying to use it at night is also a problem unless the target is very bright. My initial thought was that it would flip up for sky photography and would be useful in that regard. The problem is that it does not flip up far enough and getting a good focus can be very difficult. I had to set the display on the dimmest setting too. During a total solar one does not have such luxury time. An eyepiece display is preferred, especially one that can work at a right angle from the imager plane.

ISO/ASA results: Trying to do higher ISO settings has not been successful. The resulting images are grainy. Newer technology will be nice in that regard. A friend of mine showed results of images at 12800 ISO which were quite good in terms of grain.

Resolution: My camera is a couple years old. This technology is evolving quickly. Newer camera chips have better resolution and can work with lower light conditions.

Lens set: My lenses are all Canon, even my T-adapter has a Canon type mount (as well as an old-school screw, originally I bought it to use with a Honeywell Pentax). Canon lenses using autofocus are nice for bright objects but don't work well in dim light. Manual focus is still best, especially for solar eclipses.

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