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Old May 30th, 2012, 02:48 PM   #1
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Is it possible to find a cam to shoot starry sky?

Are there any relatively inexpensive camcorders out there (less than $2000) that would be able to capture a bright starry night sky?

Thanks.
Mike
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Old May 30th, 2012, 04:51 PM   #2
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Re: Is it possible to find a cam to shoot starry sky?

In that price range you are fighting against very small imagers. Small imagers are not light sensitive. Your budget will have to go up at least 3x to get into the ballpark. The most cost effective low light video camera is the Sony FS100.

If this is a one time thing save yourself the capital cost and rent one a few days.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 05:17 PM   #3
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Re: Is it possible to find a cam to shoot starry sky?

Roto....scope....... :)

One high resolution still from a DSLR is all you need, then get busy! This worked for me when I needed a starry sky with live action in the foreground. Painstaking, but I would have never got it to work trying to capture it with a video camera.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 05:36 PM   #4
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Re: Is it possible to find a cam to shoot starry sky?

If you're after just the stars in the night sky, a long exposure with a DSLR is the way to go. If you want movement in the sky, a series of these stills at timed intervals.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 06:23 AM   #5
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Re: Is it possible to find a cam to shoot starry sky?

Thanks, guys. I sorta expected the DSLR still camera shots direction of some of your answers. But I was sorta hoping for an easier solution that wasn't going to bankrupt me. As for the FS100, I will have to take a look at that. don't know anything about it.
I know my old digital camcorder would get a really bright planet on an especially clear night, and I was hoping there would be a similar offering from the HD cam crowd. If there was someplace around me that rented good quality camcorders, I could try them. But I know of nothing in my area.
Again, thanks for your replies.

Mike
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Old May 31st, 2012, 11:38 AM   #6
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Re: Is it possible to find a cam to shoot starry sky?

Here is the camera for you.

Canon EOS 60Da: Digital Photography Review


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Old June 2nd, 2012, 07:32 AM   #7
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Re: Is it possible to find a cam to shoot starry sky?

Thanks Stelios. It lloks like a great camera, but I need something that is primarily a video camera, as opposed to a "still" camera. I wish to shoot a starry night shot out west in the mountains, scanning the night sky, with the natural nighttime sounds. Can't do that by superimposing a still picture of the night sky in a video clip. Yes, I know, I could dub in the night sounds. Guess it will be awhile for technology and lower costs to get where I can afford such things.

Thanks for your response Chris. A bit beyond my price range, but I will take a look anyway.

Thanks also to Brian and Nate. Could do that, but I don't think it would look as good, mainly due to my lack of real talent. Due to that lack of talent, the resulting video would look less than acceptable to me. Again, I guess I will just have to wait for lesser prices and/or better consumer/prosumer camcorders.

Mike
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 10:54 AM   #8
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Re: Is it possible to find a cam to shoot starry sky?

Mike, take a look at this or anything by Randy Halverson: Amazing time-lapse video captures the night sky | The Upshot - Yahoo! News

Still camera with intervalometer function, add audio to taste....
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 06:45 PM   #9
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Re: Is it possible to find a cam to shoot starry sky?

Wow! That is pretty cool. While that is more than I was envisioning, I am impressed. Don't know if I even would have the talent and patience to do that.
Thanks for posting that.

Mike
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Old June 4th, 2012, 03:14 AM   #10
 
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Re: Is it possible to find a cam to shoot starry sky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Burgess View Post
Wow! That is pretty cool. While that is more than I was envisioning, I am impressed. Don't know if I even would have the talent and patience to do that.
Thanks for posting that.

Mike
Its not hard. Get a Canon 600D and install MAGIC LANTERN then set the intervalometer in its own menu to an image every 5 seconds say and it was take a still based on what settings in MANUAL mode, then in After Effects, import as Jpeg sequence and AE will create a video of the sky moving.

Manual settings I use on my camera:

Aperture: f4
ISO: Auto
A wide angle lens
Shutter set to 5"
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Old June 4th, 2012, 06:13 AM   #11
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Re: Is it possible to find a cam to shoot starry sky?

I guess it is easier than what I thought. Thanks, Jalan, for the explanation.

Mike
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Old June 4th, 2012, 03:07 PM   #12
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Re: Is it possible to find a cam to shoot starry sky?

You can also make sequences into movies using Quicktime....
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