Entries tagged as Canon SX50 HS

Orion Nebula - Canon 450D vs. SX50 HS

Orion Nebula as seen by Canon EOS 450D & Tamron 18-270mm lens (100%)

I wanted to revisit my thought that the DSLR (Canon EOS 450D) would take better deep-sky photos than a P&S (Canon PowerShot SX50 HS). The latter has a much more powerful zoom lens, so maybe it could help overcome the limitations of the small sensor. 450D's APS-C sensor has 13.3 times the area of the 1/2.3" sensor used in the SX50 HS.

After some trial & error, I found that my iOptron SkyTracker, once properly calibrated, could be usable even at a focal length of 1200mm (35mm equivalent) if the exposure time is 30 seconds or less. So I decided to take photos of the beautiful Orion Nebula at the maximum zoom of both cameras.

The 450D was able to take a low-noise photo of the nebula with nice-looking colours. But the limit of the zoom was apparent. Also, under the below-freezing temperatures (it was around -2C) the infinity focus of the lens shifted further out after about an hour.

Orion Nebula as seen by Canon PowerShot SX50 HS (40%)

With the SX50 HS, the resulting photos were expectedly more grainy in general at full resolution. I felt that the ISO 100 setting on SX50 HS would still yield a grainier photo than 450D's ISO 400 setting. But the super-zoom lens and stacking were able to make up for this. After taking the photos at the maximum zoom and reducing the size, the photos still had more details than that of the 450D.

Judge for yourself with the two photos above. I should note that even when stacked, 450D couldn't get much more details out.

I guess the SX50 HS is still quite alright after all. Oh, and the focus was more or less stable during the similar long session under below-freezing temperatures. I think 450D needs a better zoom lens... or a real telescope to make it fulfill its potential.

[#1]
Device: Canon EOS 450D + Tamron 18-270mm Di II VC PZD
Settings: 432mm - ISO 200 - 120s - f/6.3
Filters: None
Time: 2015-02-01 21:46 KST
Location: Naju, Korea

[#2]
Device: Canon SX50 HS
Settings: 1200mm - ISO 400 - 30s - f/6.5
Filters: None
Time: 2015-01-31 23:12 KST (23:12-23:49)
Location: Naju, Korea
10 photos stacked with RegiStax 6.1.0.8

ISS flyover at Naju Bitgaram City

Looks as if ISS is turning around as it makes the pass

The roof of the new KPX headquarters at Bitgaram City in Naju is dubbed "Sky Park", so I thought it might be an interesting spot to photograph celestial objects. It is surrounded by small windows, obscuring low altitudes, but a good place otherwise. On the evening of the day after Christmas, a flyover of the International Space Station was expected on a clear sky, so I brought my Canon SX50 HS camera to the roof.

ISS approach animated
It was very windy and cold, and my bare hands holding the shutter button began to feel numb almost immediately. Luckily, the ISS began to appear on the western sky, so I pointed the camera towards it, helped by the iPhone 6 Plus mounted on the hot-shoe. In the span of about 3 minutes, I was able to take roughly 400 photos of the space station, of which 40% was in good state.

The 25 best shots can be seen here, starting at 18:37:00 and ending at 18:39:44, at about 7-second intervals. During most of the visible flyover time, ISS was turned on its "back", and then "rotated around" around 18:39:00, only to disappear about a minute after. The turnaround point was when it was closest to the observer, about 560km away. The animated version with each frame 5 seconds apart should illustrate this quite nicely.

What I like about this observation is that the ISS was captured on camera more clearly than most of the attempts made in Suwon, except for the direct overhead pass last year. The morning flyover photographed last March shows the opposite turnaround, but was much blurrier. The difference is quite noticeable. Looks like I'll be able to enjoy doing astrophotography even more at this new location.

Device: Canon SX50 HS
Settings: 1200mm (2x enlarged) - ISO 80 - 1/320s - f/6.5
Filters: None
Time: 2014-12-26 18:37 - 18:40 KST
Location: Naju, Korea
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October 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse

Lunar eclipse progress in 8-minute intervals

Lunar eclipses happen every year, so it's not particularly rare. But they're not always total eclipses. In fact, the last total lunar eclipse in Korea happened in 2011. So this time around, I got myself fully ready to take some nice photos of the event with my superzoom camera, Canon SX50 HS.

On October 8, the Moon was to rise from due east on 17:59 and the eclipse was to start right after at 18:14, but the building next to my workplace was blocking the view. So after the work hours were over, I headed to a nearby overpass and set up my tripod near the center. I was able to start seeing the Moon getting behind the Earth's shadow, but just as I started taking the photos, heavy clouds started to block the view. It was frustrating, but I waited out.
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Today's "The Toon-Box"

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Stargazing in Naju

Taking star trail photos got a bit easier

With my company's relocation, I've moved from Suwon to Naju. This city is about 300km south of Seoul, and has less than 100 thousand inhabitants. So the night sky is somewhat more favourable to stargazing. It isn't a dramatic improvement, but I'm happy to be able to continue doing astrophotography. To celebrate the arrival, I did a 10-minute exposure just outside the apartment window. The star trails came out nicely.

Andromeda Galaxy gets better, too

The following night, I tried taking a photo of the Andromeda Galaxy. It was to be expected, but the background had less light, in spite of the Moon shining brightly nearby. The resulting photo came out looking better than anything I've tried in Suwon. I have some high hopes for taking some good photos during the new Moon phase. But for now, I'm hoping to get some good view of the lunar eclipse happening in two days.

Device: Canon SX50 HS
Settings #1: 24mm (17% size) - ISO 80 - 600s - f/3.4
Settings #2: 263mm (26% size) - ISO 160 - 300s - f/5.6
Filters: None
Time #1: 2014-10-05 01:25 KST
Time #2: 2014-10-05 23:35 KST
Location: Naju, Korea
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