Camera for Northern Lights

Travel Forums Travel Photography Camera for Northern Lights

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11. Posted by neurotraveler (Budding Member 18 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

As with most things in life, it is a compromise. If you use a low ISO, like 100, you will not have noise but with a long exposure of many seconds, you run the risk of the star points becoming lines because of the rotation of the earth. For Northern lights you probably want a longish exposure so that doesn't really matter. Also if you use a high ISO, like 3200 because you want something dim in the foreground to be seen, you can use software programs (Lightroom, Photoshop) to do noise reduction at the expense of sharpness. The main takeaway is to try a bunch of different settings and see what you like. And use a good tripod.

12. Posted by LeeXee0819 (Budding Member 37 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

Hi,

I'll take note of this.

Thank you.

13. Posted by Jgarciabar (Budding Member 5 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

Like LeeXee0819, I'm also looking to purchase a camera, of course the Northern Lights are one of many
(I Hope) opportunities to photograph nature, i'd like opinions from the group on what camera brand and lens(s)would be best suited, rugged would be best since we'll also be visiting Southern Africa. Thank you all for your previous inputs, I've learned plenty.

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15. Posted by Skandinavisk (Full Member 40 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Jgarciabar

Like LeeXee0819, I'm also looking to purchase a camera, of course the Northern Lights are one of many
(I Hope) opportunities to photograph nature, i'd like opinions from the group on what camera brand and lens(s)would be best suited, rugged would be best since we'll also be visiting Southern Africa. Thank you all for your previous inputs, I've learned plenty.

That is a big discussion, and loads of people have very strong beliefs in their own brand. I've been photographing for years using my DSLR, and I've come to the conclusion that you've just got to choose between the brands, and than stick to it. Reason being that you cannot comfortably set a Nikon lens on a Canon camera or vice versa.

There are several camera manufacturers out there, but those two have had the market cornered for the longest, and thus have the widest collection of lenses and cameras. When buying lenses, be sure to know if you are buing full-frame or APS-C (crop sensor).

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18. Posted by neurotraveler (Budding Member 18 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Jgarciabar

Like LeeXee0819, I'm also looking to purchase a camera, of course the Northern Lights are one of many
(I Hope) opportunities to photograph nature, i'd like opinions from the group on what camera brand and lens(s)would be best suited, rugged would be best since we'll also be visiting Southern Africa. Thank you all for your previous inputs, I've learned plenty.

This is a complicated and difficult topic to address without knowing much more about your interests (what kind of photos do you like to take?, and where? and of whom?). My take is against the grain of most serious photographers. Several years ago I abandoned my DSLR camera with several lenses and opted for a mirrorless, 'super zoom' camera, the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 because it had a wide range of zoom, out to 600 mm, and no extra lenses needed. Because I like to take pictures of wildlife, you need as long a zoom as possible. I eventually switched to the FZ1000 because it has a larger sensor than the FZ200 though its zoom is only 400 mm. The main reason for switching out of SLR is the weight. Long lenses are heavy. Wildlife move and are often seen at dusk in low light so you need fast shutters. Tripods are heavy. My aging back didn't appreciate carting heavy cameras and lenses backpacking into the wilderness for miles. You can get a sense of the wildlife and photos on my blog here Patagonia fauna

19. Posted by Keep Smiling (Respected Member 24 posts) 31w Star this if you like it!

I agree with Tom Yin (neurotraveller) - who, coincidentally, is of the same vintage as me! I've been a Panasonic Lumix user for around 10 years - the MFT (micro-four-thirds) system provides me with the quality, light weight and ease of use I need, particularly when travelling.

The bridge camera mentioned by Tom certainly meets most needs. I tried switching to one of the FZ-series because my shoulders aren't getting any younger either, but found the lens didn't give me quite the depth and sharp focus that I wanted at the extreme end. I love Tom's Patagonia photos but I find the focus in some of the long shots a bit on the soft side, for example.

I take a lot of street and wildlife images, and have moved back to separate camera bodies and lenses. I currently use the Panasonic Lumix G80 (G85 in USA) with a Lumix G 14-140mm zoom lens and a 100-400mm Leica zoom lens. Remember that the MFT sensor results in double the 35mm equivalent - so I have everything covered from 28mm right up to 800mm. My camera has in-body stabilisation and the lenses are stabilised too - this dual stabilisation means I can use wider apertures in low light and hand-hold with excellent results, even at 800mm!

Admitedly, however, this kit is on the heavy side - I'll need to take another look at bridge cameras!

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