Sunday, 22 April 2012

How to image the moon with sony cybershot and other digital cameras

I just thought that I would post a quick guide explaining how to image the moon with a digital camera, this guide is specifically for Sony cybershot w210, but can be used on most other point and shoot cameras.
Step 1:  Set your telescope up outside and let it cool e.t.c
Step 2: Put in the eyepiece you are planning on using ,making sure the whole moon ( or the part of it you want to image) is in the eyepiece. If you are planning on doing a lunar mosaic I would advice using a webcam instead as this is particularly difficult to do using a point and shoot camera.
Step 3: Set up your camera, the settings I use on my sony cybershot w210 are ev 1.3 ( for the exposure you want to make sure you get the correct balance between showing lots of detail but not being over exposed) set the camera to video at its highest frame rate (for the cybershot this is 30fps). The last thing I do is set the camera to infinite focus as I find this works best.
Step 4: Attach the camera to your scope and focus, if you want to attach it to the scope you could use a camera adapter like this one: http://www.sherwoods-photo.com/meade_scopes/digital_mounts_fs.htm this will help improve your image compared to if you just hold up the camera to the eyepiece like I do.
Step 5: Zoom in on your camera so that the moon fills almost the whole field of view.
Step 6: Record between 1000 and 3000 frames using your camera, I normally use about 1500 while filming you may have to adjust the telescope slightly to keep the moon in the cameras view.
Step 7: Pack away your equipment and go inside
Step 8: open up registax on your computer and process your image, if you don't have registax you can download it here http://www.astronomie.be/registax/
Step 9: Save the final image onto your computer, at this stage I look to open my image up in photoshop or gimp and adjust the levels of brightness slightly.
Step 10: Admire you final image.
If you need any help or advice feel free to contact me.

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