Noob with new XE-1 with kit lens; tips on night shooting.

Started Dec 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Desertking New Member • Posts: 24
Re: Noob with new XE-1 with kit lens; tips on night shooting.

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

Not many cameras can take a shot like that. My Nikon D800E can. Its one of the XE1's great strengths - it really is super in low light high ISO with very low noise. Up there with the best.

Nighttime shots:

1. Use a tripod.

2. Use the self timer to activate the shot to give time to dampen the vibrations from pushing the take photo button. I set mine to 2 seconds and that was enough time for the vibrations to damp out.

3. Use wide open and widefield - 18mm F2.8. Unless you want to frame a specific scene in which case zoom in, but with the zoom as you zoom in the F number goes up and it loses some light gathering ability.

4. 20 to 30 seconds. Beyond 30 seconds will make stars trail too much and be destructive to the image without a mount that tracks the stars if you are taking a night sky shot.

5. High ISO - ISO6400

6. Long exposure noise reduction set to on - this doubles the exposure time it takes. A good feature of the XE1 is there is a countdown timer on the screen that shows you how long the exposure has left to go.

7. White balance has to be set carefully or shoot in RAW and adjust later in software. A night sky shot requires white balance set to K and temperature of around 3800-4000.

8. Sharpening and other internal processing all off and sharpening set to -2 as it will only accentuate noise.

9. I shot those as jpegs rather than RAWs like I would with my Nikon. Unfortunately RAW has no advantage with XE1 at this stage except if you set the white balance wrong in step 7 you can correct after the fact.

10. If doing mosaics/panoramas, make sure you do at least a 20% overlap between images.

11. I set my film simulation to Provia but that is probably less important.

12. Turn autofocus off and set to manual focus on the switch on the front of the camera. Put camera on a bright star in EVF and then click the command dial and you get 3X magnification. Manually focus until the star is smallest. That isn't at infinity on the zoom. Most lenses infinity is a bit beyond actual infinity focus so don't just set it to infinity and think you are focused - you are not.

There you go, a complete writeup.


Greg, Thanks!  That's exactly the pointers I wanted to know.  atm, I have no interest in shooing RAW and dealing with post processing; I know others might disagree but I don't have time to do it and I am perfectly satisfied with the OOC jpegs from the XE-1.

There is a Christmas market and big tree near where I am that I think that would be an excellent test this weekend.

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