Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

Started Apr 19, 2018 | Discussions
Cam26 New Member • Posts: 11
Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900
1

I followed this helpful vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dICIKYn5w4w and realised I can only lock AE-L on video mode and even then I didn't manage to adjust exposure.

If I tried shooting on manual I just get a black screen or it wouldn't take a picture at all (presumably the camera thinks there's nothing there to capture). So I had to go with Scene>Moon, but I can't adjust exposure from here.

Isn't there a way to override it and force it to take the picture?

Looking through the viewfinder I can see a sharp white disk of Jupiter (due to over exposure) and three of its moons. Can anyone advise how I can capture what I can see?

Nikon Coolpix P900
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
EXX Senior Member • Posts: 1,148
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

Did you try to set focus to infinity by using manual focus?

 EXX's gear list:EXX's gear list
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 Sony SLT-A55 Sony a77 II Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +19 more
csiluk Senior Member • Posts: 1,508
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900
6

Like EXX said, it looks like a focus problem, but also exposure. Here's a shot I got with only 700mm equivalent. Try the settings I used (or close to it) and turn off (at least use a low setting) noise reduction since you can only capture jpeg's. If you haven't already, use the self timer to eliminate any possible shake.

It goes without saying, it needs to be a crystal clear night with extremely low humidity.

Jupiter and 4 moons

Here's Saturn using my Canon SX50HS, which is over 880 million miles away.

Saturn

OP Cam26 New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

I did that EXX. I get a fairly sharp but completely white disk but it's hit and miss whether the camera will take the shot.

Csiluk, Excellent shots, that's exactly what I'm after. I don't see the bands on Jupiter but was hoping adjusting the exposure would show them.

I'm in a shocking neighbourhood for light pollution so that probably doesn't help.

csiluk Senior Member • Posts: 1,508
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

When I took the Saturn shot, it was just a speck on my screen. It wasn't until I zoomed in after taking the shot that I was able to make out the ring

OP Cam26 New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

I'll make a note of your settings. Great help thanks.

OP Cam26 New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

Ok, here's my best effort from last night. Much better, I need to figure out how to adjust exposure. It's not straight forward with the P900 apparently.

The settings are below. Hopefully, these will mean more to you guys.

Edit: sorry, didn't realise settings showed until after I posted.

csiluk Senior Member • Posts: 1,508
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

Good job with the focus. But half a second is way too long for Jupiter. It really makes the moons show up really well, but it still overexposes everything. Well I see the moons and Jupiter have severe blooming around them, so they are all way overexposed. You did try different shutter speeds, right? I used 1/200th of a second at f/7.1 ISO 400. But the moons won't show up as good. You could use 1/100th at F7.1 and ISO 200 to further reduce noise. The moons move pretty quickly too.

I'm glad you showed your settings, because I can't bring them up on my phone.

WryCuda Forum Pro • Posts: 10,498
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

Cam26 wrote:

Ok, here's my best effort from last night. Much better, I need to figure out how to adjust exposure. It's not straight forward with the P900 apparently.

Not bad at all, but f/8 isn't necessary.

Just imagine the problems that the ancient mariners would have experienced when trying to use the disposition of the moons as a navigation aid.

 WryCuda's gear list:WryCuda's gear list
Nikon D7100 Sony a6000 Sony a7
csiluk Senior Member • Posts: 1,508
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

Here's a link to Imaging Resource where they have images of Saturn (I think), it's pretty bad, and of Jupiter using the P900. You will have to scroll down the page to find them. It shows you the settings they used to get them (1/200th @ f6.5 ISO100 at 357mm). They look a little underexposed to me. I still think my suggestion of 1/100th @ f6.5-7.1 ISO100-200 or 1/50th @ f6.5-7.1 ISO100 would be better. You want to try to stay at the lowest ISO possible. They suggest not using the maximum tele setting because the image gets soft at full telephoto. Doesn't hurt to try it though. Bracket your exposures some to see what works best for you.

https://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/nikon-p900/nikon-p900GALLERY.HTM

JM Hoffman
JM Hoffman Regular Member • Posts: 380
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

Cam26 wrote:

Ok, here's my best effort from last night. Much better, I need to figure out how to adjust exposure. It's not straight forward with the P900 apparently.

The settings are below. Hopefully, these will mean more to you guys.

Edit: sorry, didn't realise settings showed until after I posted.

This is way overexposed, and 1/2sec is usually too long to get a good shot.  Try a faster shutter speed.

-- hide signature --

J.M.Hoffman
Editor,
Lux Umbraque --- Light and Shadow
https://luxumbraque.com/

JM Hoffman
JM Hoffman Regular Member • Posts: 380
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

csiluk wrote:

Like EXX said, it looks like a focus problem, but also exposure. Here's a shot I got with only 700mm equivalent. Try the settings I used (or close to it) and turn off (at least use a low setting) noise reduction since you can only capture jpeg's. If you haven't already, use the self timer to eliminate any possible shake.

It goes without saying, it needs to be a crystal clear night with extremely low humidity.

Jupiter and 4 moons

Here's Saturn using my Canon SX50HS, which is over 880 million miles away.

Saturn

That shot of Saturn is pretty cool if you ask me!

-- hide signature --

J.M.Hoffman
Editor,
Lux Umbraque --- Light and Shadow
https://luxumbraque.com/

OP Cam26 New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

Really appreciate the feedback, guys. The main reason I went 1/2 sec was anything less barely showed on my screen. But, I take your point and will have another crack at it.

OP Cam26 New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

Csiluk, this page of settings is so helpful. Can't thank you enough.

csiluk Senior Member • Posts: 1,508
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900
1

JM Hoffman wrote:

csiluk wrote:

Like EXX said, it looks like a focus problem, but also exposure. Here's a shot I got with only 700mm equivalent. Try the settings I used (or close to it) and turn off (at least use a low setting) noise reduction since you can only capture jpeg's. If you haven't already, use the self timer to eliminate any possible shake.

It goes without saying, it needs to be a crystal clear night with extremely low humidity.

Jupiter and 4 moons

Here's Saturn using my Canon SX50HS, which is over 880 million miles away.

Saturn

That shot of Saturn is pretty cool if you ask me!

  • Thanks    I was stunned I was able to see the rings. 
OP Cam26 New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

Managed a shot of Saturn at last. I used Manual settings but I feel there is a focus issue. Shamefully I have to admit I don't know how to get this camera to focus. All I was doing was zooming in, adjusting shutter speed and hoping for the best.

csiluk Senior Member • Posts: 1,508
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

Cam26 wrote:

Managed a shot of Saturn at last. I used Manual settings but I feel there is a focus issue. Shamefully I have to admit I don't know how to get this camera to focus. All I was doing was zooming in, adjusting shutter speed and hoping for the best.

Yeah, you have to use manual settings. Achieving perfect focus is tricky. My SX50 is difficult to manual focus too. You also have to use the self timer to eliminate all camera shake.

The exposure looks ok. The exif data is missing so I don't know what settings you used. But it really doesn't matter, because the exposure is fine. As long as its wasn't a few of seconds.

It's hard to tell if it was focus, slight camera shake or the atmosphere that affected your photo. The higher in the sky, the better. Once it starts to get beyond the 2 o'clock position in the sky, you're starting to shoot through too much of earth's atmosphere.

drk73 Regular Member • Posts: 188
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900
3

It seems like your problem is that you are trying to get an image from a single exposure. The problem is that earth's atmosphere is essentially acting like a fluid - you are in essence trying to take a sharp picture of a penny that is underneath a babbling stream.

Astrophotographers use a technique called "lucky imaging" which means basically taking a video stream of the object, using software to sort through the video frame by frame to find the best images, register those images, and then "stack" them to create, in essence, a composite. You can then sharpen different aspects to create a final, finished image.

Here's an image of Jupiter I did with this technique several years ago with a Cannon 450d and a Celestron C8 (2000mm focal length). The camera was connected to a laptop, the capture program is called "Backyard EOS."

I did better with this Saturn, but not with a DSLR. I used a planetary camera (basically a webcam), and a larger telescope (a Celestron C9.25, 2350mm focal length). The camera was a QHY5L-II monochrome camera but imaged through red, green, and blue filters - grayscale data gets compiled into a full-color image. The imaging technique is basically the same, though - collect a few minutes of video, use software to sort through all the frames and pick the best ones, the register and stack those best ones.

-- hide signature --
 drk73's gear list:drk73's gear list
Nikon D610 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +6 more
EXX Senior Member • Posts: 1,148
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

I must say that i am really impressed by the resulting pictures of Jupiter and specially Saturn. Well done!

 EXX's gear list:EXX's gear list
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 Sony SLT-A55 Sony a77 II Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +19 more
OP Cam26 New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Struggling to snap Jupiter with Nikon P900

drk73, sorry only just spotted your post. Outstanding images.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads