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Help for an Imaging Newb

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Hey all, not sure if this is should be in the imaging section or here but hey ho.

So after a long time away from my scope, I decided to go out last night to do a spot of observing again, only this time I took my camera. After seeing the Brian Cox Stargazing programme a few days ago, and seeing one of the experts make imaging with a simple digital camera look easy, I decided to have a go. Unfortunately, whereas Jupiter looked crisp and clear through the EP, on the camera it was reduced to a very bright squiggle. There was a slight wind so perhaps that was a factor, but I found it was pressing the shutter button that really created the turbulence. I tried for around an hour, trying the Moon which was absolutely crystal clear as well but to no avail, and headed indoors before I froze.

So has anyone got any tips for me? My camera is a Ricoh CX2 (which I've nicknamed Marmite because it either takes great pics or dreadul ones) so does anyone have the same camera and know the best setting for imaging space objects? What's the best EP generally for imaging like this? I've got access to a better camera if I want it, I don't know its make but it's like one you see the paparazzi with - minus the big flash on the top - would this be better for the job?

Bear with me, I'm pretty much a complete newb at this.


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hi, if you're getting vibrations from pressing the shutter button, then you can try using the delay timer so it takes the shot a few seconds after you press the button.

the CX2 has an 8 second exposure which is loads so you should try setting it to maximum exposure time and see what results you get.

My camera only has a 4s exposure, so I take a load of photos and then stack them together with deep sky stacker. this helps to remove the noise.

take a few at different ISO's and then see how much noise the camera can tolerate. Mine goes to 1600, but it's just too noisy so I reel it back down to ISO800 and I get some good results.

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Thanks prbaxter I think I need to set my camera to the right settings before I go outside so I'm not fumbling about in the dark. I've had it for over a year and I still haven't really figured out how it works.

What EP do you use when imaging? I tried all 3 of mine (25, 10 and 6mm) and found that the 10mm was probably the best as the CX2's zoom is pretty good.

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I just use the camera as it is on a tripod. As at the moment, I'm a binocular astronomer.

I'm having success with 4s exposures, 800 ISO and the lowest number aperture setting. I also set the camera to manual focus and then focus it out to infinity so it doesn't have to worry about autofocusing. I tend not to use the zoom as much, well not full zoom as this seems to give me very bloated looking stars. half zoom is ok for some shots. My camera is a Fuji s5800.

Upload some photos. Be happy to see what you're getting from the CX2. You should also get your other camera out and see what you get with that... it may make your like loads easier. :)

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