Friday, July 22, 2011

Astrophotography (revisited)

So I finally gave up on my little point and shoot Canon camera and decided to join the adults. After some reviews, and deciding that a 5D wasn't anywhere near my price range, I picked up a Canon EOS Rebel XS (otherwise known as 1000D).

It was an ebay special with 2 batteries, the charger, the camera body and the 18-55 lens.

Out of the box it will do some long exposure shots, but does not have an intervalometer built in.

So I did play around a bit with 30" and 20" (" means seconds to Canon...I always thought it was minutes when dealing with angles) shots and ISO 800 and 1600. But I wanted to take a series of shots.

After some search/research I found two options...and got both of them. Both devices are sold by StudioHut (but made in China by a two different companies) The first is a Vertical Grip battery holder...with timer, and intervalometer. (StudioHut sells it as a LCD pro vertical grip...however the instructions say Jenis J-C450D-B-P Professional Battery Grip.

This surprisingly well made grip (ok the LCD screen leaves a lot to be desired) can hold 2 batteries or the supplied 5AA battery pack. (holder is included, not the 5 AA batteries). I thought I might need that much battery to shoot all is more than enough for all night, now I am seeing if I can shoot on just one pack.

It has a couple of timer settings, for delay, interval and Bulb duration...but can only do up to 99 shots.

I also picked up the Pixel Timer Remote Control (TC-252). It has a few more timer options...and will take many more than 99 shots...I don't know exactly how many...the display shows 9999...I only took a few hundred.

As for usage the Pixel timer does exactly what i need, I can set any duration of shot, any interval of time between shots, 9999 total shots, and even a delay prior to the first shot.

So if you are in the market, those are two devices that I recommend.

(note, the video was taken in my back yard...quite a bit of city light...and you need to view the HD version for the best quality)

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