Wanting to learn how to take photos of milky way/stars

Started Dec 1, 2013 | Questions
Dootsie20 New Member • Posts: 5
Wanting to learn how to take photos of milky way/stars

Hello, I'm fairly new to photography, I have some experience. However I was wondering, if it is possible for me, with a Fuji-Film FineFix s8200 camera, to take photos of the milky way/stars. I've done some research, but most have exposures of high amount of seconds. However my camera only has a exposure time of 8 seconds, and no bulb feature.  Has anybody achieved good photos, along the lines of my problems/limitations? Also what would be a good photo editing software to help with getting a good shot of the milky way? Preferably low-cost. Thanks.

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Fujifilm FinePix S8200 Pentax K-01
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starman1969
starman1969 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,425
Bigger sensor
1

I'm afraid due to the very small sensor that the Fuji has it is very limited in low light. Whilst it is a fine camera for day use, the limits of the sensor come in when you try to take nightscapes. The 8 second max shutter speed is probably due to the sensor heating up quickly. If you try to image the Milky Way with it you would need to push it to it's limits. Highest ISO and 8 second shutter speed. You may capture something but it would look very noisy, I expect.

You would be better off with a Micro 4/3 camera, or maybe a Sony NEX-5. The latter is a proven astro camera. Failing those, try a dslr like a Nikon D5100 or a Canon 1100d with kit lens. Both superb for astrophotography.

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bidule5 Regular Member • Posts: 115
Re: Wanting to learn how to take photos of milky way/stars

With that camera you can take nice pictures of the moon, but for the milky way you need longer exposures (and a dark spot).

yvan

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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ +1 more
Phoenixblueeyes
Phoenixblueeyes Forum Member • Posts: 55
Re: Wanting to learn how to take photos of milky way/stars

Dootsie20 wrote:

Hello, I'm fairly new to photography, I have some experience. However I was wondering, if it is possible for me, with a Fuji-Film FineFix s8200 camera, to take photos of the milky way/stars. I've done some research, but most have exposures of high amount of seconds. However my camera only has a exposure time of 8 seconds, and no bulb feature. Has anybody achieved good photos, along the lines of my problems/limitations? Also what would be a good photo editing software to help with getting a good shot of the milky way? Preferably low-cost. Thanks.

Your out of luck. I took picture with a large telescope and you need to keep your lens open for a long time. An hour is closer to what you need and something to rotate your camera so not to get blurred.

Clef New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Wanting to learn how to take photos of milky way/stars

Dootsie20 wrote:

Hello, I'm fairly new to photography, I have some experience. However I was wondering, if it is possible for me, with a Fuji-Film FineFix s8200 camera, to take photos of the milky way/stars. I've done some research, but most have exposures of high amount of seconds. However my camera only has a exposure time of 8 seconds, and no bulb feature. Has anybody achieved good photos, along the lines of my problems/limitations? Also what would be a good photo editing software to help with getting a good shot of the milky way? Preferably low-cost. Thanks.

Hello,

I bought this camera and I have some issues when I want to take pictures with people moving, for a soccer game for instance. Could you help me ?

Thanks!

Mark Seibold
Mark Seibold New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Wanting to learn how to take photos of milky way/stars
3

I am concurring with what others already said but also adding some images of probably what you would like to achieve. My gallery has been here in DP Review for several years, as an astronomer since my childhood, but my work is very unconventional. I am doing today with a Sony NEX5 what Van Gogh would be doing if he were alive today with the Sony NEX5. I have adapted my 42 year old Mamiya/Sekor 55mm f/1.4 lens to it for my night sky landscapes. I don't worry about the perfections that others look for, ie; I leave the lens aperture wide open at f/1.4 for maximum light transmission and to keep exposure times as short as possible, say 10 ~ 20 seconds at ISO 400 ~ 800, but not at ISO 1600 as noise builds fast there and above. (With the exception as if you get the newer NEX5N or R or T, or the A 6000, NEX7, or the ultimate Sony A7s, then you can raise the ISO to 12,500 with negligible visible noise), but my 3 year old NEX5 is limited to ISO 800 to keep noise down, unless I am not shooting stars, then other night scenes in the city pictures are OK at maybe ISO 1600 ~ 3200.

Of course the stars at the edge of the field in the outer perimeter of the frames are coma or butterflies. The photos over all with this pairing of the Sony NEX beautiful processors and APSC sensors and the Mamiya 55mm f/1.4 are undeniable. The idea here is to get a realistic sky with all stars photo stitched in porper position, and the end result is a beautiful photo image. *The mountain light was adjusted after tracing and selecting and adjusting in CC Photoshop ACR brighter and controlled light. Others will carry around those huge monster dinosaur Canons and Nikons. Let them eat monster cameras, that I have no regard for! The Sony just looks so much more sexier and can be managed in one hand in heavy social settings too! (;

I also use the Sony NEX to photograph people in night settings. The Sony has excellent low light capabilities. Especially the newer NEX5T, NEX5R, NEX6, A 6000, NEX7, (you can find used bodies of these aforementioned Sony cameras for a couple hundred or so still like new throughout the usual classified sales sites, Amazon, etc. And finally their new ultimate Sony a 7 and the top of the line for low light, the Sony a 7s, but the body only is $2,500 ! THey will all come down in price as the novelty wears off and the other camera companies wise up to Sony's mastery as currently the best, as no other cameras are anything like the Sony's currently. They just have it all and in such a small compact package. Beautiful and Wonderful!

Now lets see if I can attach my images here. Do they have size limitations for the posts? It doesn't say. So I may just have to link my gallery images here. Oh look, the DP Review techs are so wonderful that they allow us to just access our gallery and attach to open here! *See my images below now, but also see my entire gallery. Also, and this is a big hidden secret to get the ultimate effects of the night sky lanscape kind; you will want to learn how to take very large panoramas by 'mapping the whole scene', that is to say, no more quick snapshot world of photography. This one you will see here below or linked is actually almost 100 photos all photo-stitched in Microsoft ICE, few downloadable from MS in a few seconds. Sometimes the stitching has little errors in the seams, so you learn to do a lot of hours of careful patching and blending. It becomes a fine art and helps if you are already an artist, such as my large hand sketched pastels seen in NASA sites over the years. The gallery goes back in chronology so the oldest few image in here are taken with a Sony Cybershot before I purchase the NEX5 in April 2011.

Keep looking up !

*In the wide field panorama of approx 88 photos stitched with Trillium Lake below with Mount Hood and the Timberline Lodge, you'll notice the Andromeda Galaxy M31 in the upper right, and if you know your sky, the Triangulum Galaxy M33 is quite visible here in a 10 second exposure, just below right of Andromeda. Now also see the close-up crop of the Mountain and Lake, select the full 100% image and scroll to the upper left of the frame, again if you have a sky chart or know your night sky in detail, you can pick out the Ursa Major galaxy pair, M81 & M82. Also caught a nice little meteor in the large pano at far upper left just above Draco the Dragon's head.

Hard to believe in a 10 second exposure at only ISO 800? The secret is in the adapted Mamiya 55mm f/1.4 lens on the Sony shot at wide open f/1.4 instead of the cheap kit 18~55mm that only opens at 55mm to f/5.6. And thats the rest of the story!

Mark Seibold, Artist - Astronomer - Photographer, Portland/Sandy Oregon

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art and science are necessary in that order... -M2014

Art and Science are necessary in that order

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,441
Re: Wanting to learn how to take photos of milky way/stars

However I was wondering, if it is possible for me, with a Fuji-Film FineFix s8200 camera, to take photos of the milky way/stars.

Yes it is possible, but with a lot of compromises and You need some good Photo Processing Skills.
With Your Camera, You should set the Exposure Time and the ISO Value to the highest possible Value. (8 Seconds and ISO 12800 if possible)

The biggest Challenge for You is to find the correct Focusing Point with Your Super-Zoom Lens and a very Dark Sky. Here a SnapShot Example, 41 Photos with 1.3 Seconds Exposure Time:

And here a other Photo, 71 Photos x30 Seconds at ISO 6400 guided with a SkyTracker, Stacked together and Processed:

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