Monday, 8 February 2016

Eclipse Camera musing

While my Sony NEX5N is fine for many things, I find it will not do the trick for eclipse photography. There are a number of reasons.

First is the lack of a remote control device. I don't have one. There is one that will work available someplace. When I bought the camera it was not something they had at the store. Maybe mail order. Not an easy solution from Jamaica.

Next is the lens. The lens supplied is great for normal shots, just not so great for the types of pictures I take. Maybe it is the resolution. I have an attachment that allows me to use my Canon lens set (at the loss of all lens automatic abilities like stabilizing) and that satisfies my needs. However without the remote I must use the 10-second delay timer to settle the camera and lens on the tripod for the types of exposures I use.

When we purchased the camera we also bought a 2x and 0.58 adapter. The 2x is okay but not of very good quality. The 0.58 on the other hand does a nice job except for distorting the field at the edges.

The next item is how tedious it is to transfer images to the computer and then up to the web. I'd like something with WiFi or better.

So how can such a camera be used? Video perhaps? I will bring it along. It is, after all, what I have to use presently.

But in Singapore, the days before we board the ship. Or maybe in Florida on the way there.

I will go shopping for a new camera.

Thus far, all my shopping has been on line. I have looked at the Canon digitals and do want to eventually get a full frame DSLR to go with the lens set. I am thinking that will be a good upgrade prior to the 2017 eclipse where I can bring back the Quester with a full frame. The current 2/3 frame DSLR family crops too much of the eclipse.

My good friend Wolfgang Schindler, an accomplished photographer, suggested I take a look at the Canon Powershot and similar cameras. These are quite interesting in that they start with a basic description saying they can shoot pictures of the lunar craters. I have often told those that ask about lenses and so on that if they can see craters in an image taken with the camera setup, they can expect to obtain excellent solar eclipse images.

I am leaning towards the purchase of such a camera to use on the trip and for the eclipse. We will be not only seeing a total solar eclipse (yes, I am always an optimist). We will also be seeing plenty of interesting sights along the way in Indonesia. I will be posting them as I can.

By the way, Larry Stevens recently added a new issue of Totality! to the online collection. Go to www.eclipse-chasers.com/totality to read up on TSE2016 and reports from TSE2013.

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