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The Milky Way On Micro-Four Thirds

  • Oct 04, 2015
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  • 5 Photos
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The Milky Way On Micro-Four Thirds

During my time in Colorado, I had the opportunity to capture the Milky Way at night, something I was admittedly sceptical about doing on the m4/3 sensor of my E-M5. I had shot the Milky Way before on a full frame DSLR, and had no trouble raising the ISO to 6400 to make the exposure. But concerns about noise and clarity made me wonder about capturing the night sky effectively on a smaller sensor.The sky in Colorado was often so clear it was possible to see the Milky Way with the naked eye. I used the crescent Moon to lock focus and then set the focusing to Manual to prevent the camera trying to reacquire focus in Auto mode. I could then reposition my camera with the adjustable tripod head to ensure I had the composition I wanted.Using the Olympus 12-40mm F/2.8, I zoomed out to 12mm (24mm FF equivalent) and set the aperture to F/2.8. Rather than set a shutter speed value, I used the LIVE TIME function. This revealed the developing exposure on the rear LCD, allowing me to stop it at any time. I set it to show the development every 2 seconds. While the other photographers with me were able to shoot a 15 second exposure at ISO 6400 or 3200, I limited my maximum ISO value to ISO 1600 and shot for around 30 seconds.The Noise filter on the camera, which affects all images, is always set to OFF, but the Noise Reduction feature, which affects long exposures, was set to ON. This inevitably made the write time to the card a little longer. Not having a remote trigger, I used the Anti-Shock function which started the exposure about half a second after I pressed the shutter.  In some of the images, the trees were painted with a small flashlight during the exposure. Processing the image I reduced the noise a little in Lightroom, and changed the white balance to make it a tad bluer. I also adjusted the contrast to bring out the nebulous areas of the galaxy. Well, the images may not be as spectacular as what is possible with a DSLR, but I am perfectly happy to have captured the Milky Way at all. 

Oct 04, 2015

The Milky Way On Micro-Four Thirds

This post has 5 photos Oct 04, 2015Comments (0)2650 views
During my time in Colorado, I had the opportunity to capture the Milky Way at night, something I was admittedly sceptical about doing on the m4/3 sensor of my E-M5. I had shot the Milky Way before on a full frame DSLR, and had no trouble raising the ISO to 6400 to make the exposure. But concerns about noise and clarity made me wonder about capturing the night sky effectively on a smaller sensor.

The sky in Colorado was often so clear it was possible to see the Milky Way with the naked eye. I used the crescent Moon to lock focus and then set the focusing to Manual to prevent the camera trying to reacquire focus in Auto mode. I could then reposition my camera with the adjustable tripod head to ensure I had the composition I wanted.

Using the Olympus 12-40mm F/2.8, I zoomed out to 12mm (24mm FF equivalent) and set the aperture to F/2.8. Rather than set a shutter speed value, I used the LIVE TIME function. This revealed the developing exposure on the rear LCD, allowing me to stop it at any time. I set it to show the development every 2 seconds. While the other photographers with me were able to shoot a 15 second exposure at ISO 6400 or 3200, I limited my maximum ISO value to ISO 1600 and shot for around 30 seconds.

The Noise filter on the camera, which affects all images, is always set to OFF, but the Noise Reduction feature, which affects long exposures, was set to ON. This inevitably made the write time to the card a little longer. Not having a remote trigger, I used the Anti-Shock function which started the exposure about half a second after I pressed the shutter.  In some of the images, the trees were painted with a small flashlight during the exposure. 

Processing the image I reduced the noise a little in Lightroom, and changed the white balance to make it a tad bluer. I also adjusted the contrast to bring out the nebulous areas of the galaxy. 

Well, the images may not be as spectacular as what is possible with a DSLR, but I am perfectly happy to have captured the Milky Way at all. 

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