GH3 Astro Photography samples

Started Dec 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
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GH3 Astro Photography samples
Dec 14, 2012

So I got the chance to test out my GH3 with my 8 inch 800mm F4.0 Astro Tech Telescope last night. Here is a video showing some of the images.

I do a lot of outreach with kids trying to teach them about the mysteries of space. Therefore, I am not as concerned about getting the perfect Hubble image as I am about getting a short exposure image that looks good immediately on the camera's LCD screen.

I had been using a modified Full Spectrum GF1 at ISO 800-1600 before because my GH2 really has some issues with Read noise and its shutter durations are limited to 2 minutes and 8 seconds in Bulb mode.

Now I have the GH3 I can easily shoot AP at ISO 6400 which is the last real ISO in the GH3. I still have the option to go to ISO 12,800 while centering objects though. That helps a lot.

I bought a wireless controller for my Celestron CG-5 mount so I can completely control the telescope and monitor the GH3 through apps on my phone and iTouch. That helps a lot on those days when it is below freezing and I can observe from the comfort of my living room.

Last night we all went to our semi dark site to observe the meteor shower visually. In addition I also was trying to shoot as many deep space objects with my GH3 as I could. My initial intent was to try to compare the GH3 with the GH2 and GF1.

However, after one shot of Orion I realized that was pointless. The GH3 is so far ahead of the GH2 for this that the effort to switch the cameras out would be pointless. With the GH3 I could easily shoot things at ISO 6400 and with the reduced resolution of the LCD screen the noise was not visible at all.

Also the HDR mode proved to be invaluable with high dynamic range objects like Orion's Nebula. The core of the Nebula is several stops brighter than most of it and probably many stops brighter than the outer edges.

I also was shocked to see that it let in enough light to capture the horse Head Nebula in a single short exposure. I was able to see it in about 25 Seconds at ISO 25,000. Now there was a lot of noise at that ISO. However, that is territory that only a Mallincam could go to before.

Everyone else there was shocked at the images I could get in less than 2 minutes. They all struggled to get their scopes and computers to work right. Most of them gave up after a few hours of trying or when their batteries died.

The battery on the GH3 was showing 2 of 3 bars when I packed up after shooting for 8 hours straight. I even used the wifi to upload the pictures directly to facebook while I shot them and it still could have gone all night long and then some.

It was 29 degrees out when I left and all of the dew that had formed froze on the camera. I guess I realize why weather sealing is a good thing now.

Have a look at these pictures. They are all straight out of the camera jpgs reduced down so that I don't use up all of my upload space. I don't think any of these images took more than 2 minutes to produce. Even the HDR and Stacked ones took less than 2 minutes. Can you tell which ones those are?

I will try to do a video that demonstrates how to reproduce these results. However, I have a lot on my plate right now so I am not sure when that will get done.

GH3 Orion's Nebula

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