High-scale live broadcasting equipment, while powerful, is often too expensive for many smaller broadcasting productions’ budgets. Blackmagic, a company that prides itself on developing affordable broadcasting equipment for smaller productions, recently announced two new live broadcasting cameras: the new Blackmagic Studio Camera Pro and Plus models.
The new Pro and Plus models look to take all of the advantages you’d get from a high-scale broadcast camera and fit them in compact, affordable bodies in order to be much more accessible to smaller productions.
Here are some of the key highlights of the two models:
The Blackmagic Studio Camera has impressive low light performance
Both Blackmagic Studio Cameras Pro and Plus models have an impressive ISO (the measurement of the sensor’s sensitivity to light). Higher ISO adds more gain, allowing you to shoot in darker situations. The Blackmagic Studio Camera features gain from -12dB (100 ISO) up to +36dB (25,600 ISO). One downfall to shooting at a higher ISO is a higher noise count. However, Blackmagic Design says the two models reduce the noise at full dynamic range of the sensor.
Built-in color correction on the Blackmagic Studio Camera
With their 4K sensor, the cameras feature Blackmagic Design’s generation 5 color science. Each model has a built-in color corrector (which can be controlled from the switcher as well). You have access to 13 stops of dynamic range and can apply 3D LUTs. Considering the cameras’ sensors feature a resolution of 4096 x 2160 (with support from 23.98 fps up to 60 fps), you should have a lot of flexibility in post.
The Pro model features strong audio recording
According to Blackmagic Design, the Pro model reimagines what we can expect from on-camera audio. The Pro model has 2-channel balanced XLR inputs supporting +24 dBu line level and has a low noise microphone preamplifier with P48 phantom power.
Both models use photographic lenses
This might come as a surprise to broadcasters. Typically, high-end broadcasting cameras use B4 lenses. When developing the Blackmagic Studio Camera, Blackmagic Design decided B4 lenses aren’t as good of a choice of camera — noting their heavy weight and high price tags. So, they chose to use MFT lens mount photographic lenses instead, keeping the overall payload lighter.
Additionally, to make the experience feel closer to using a B4 lens, Blackmagic Design offers optional Zoom and Focus Demands. You attach the Zoom and Focus Demands to the tripod’s handles and can adjust the focus and zoom without needing to reach around the camera and adjust manually.
The Pro model supports talkback
The Pro model features SDI connections that include talkback. So, if you have a switcher operator on set, they can communicate with the camera throughout the entire live broadcast. The camera’s talkback connection supports standard 5-pin XLR broadcast headsets and uses audio channels 15 and 16 in the SDI connection between the camera and the switcher.
Shared specs between Pro & Plus models
- Up to 25,600 ISO
- Native 4K sensor with 13 stops of dynamic range
- Compatible with MFT lenses
- 7-inch high brightness viewfinder
- Features parameters, histogram, focus peaking indicators, levels and frame guides
- HDMI support
- USB-C port allows recording directly to external disks
- Blackmagic RAW recording
- Built-in stereo microphones with wide separation
- Mini XLR inputs with 48 volt phantom power
- Tripod mount
- 12V DC
- USB-C expansion
Specs unique to the Pro model
- 12G-SDI in / out
- 10G Ethernet support
- 5 pin talkback
- XLR audio inputs
- Built-in speakers
- HDR displat
Pricing and availability
Both models are available right now. The base Blackmagic Studio Cameras Plus model costs $1,295, while the Pro model costs $1,795. The Plus and Pro models both look pretty capable. The Plus model offers many of the same core features but lacks a few features, such as the Pro’s audio specs and its higher quality viewfinder.
Still, if you want to save $500, the Plus looks like a great option. If you want to get the whole experience but still want an affordable broadcast camera, the Pro seems like the best choice on paper.
This week, AJA unveiled the new SDK v16.1 update for KONA, Io, and T-TAP Pro. On paper, the update looks like a big one, adding new enhancements across the board for broadcast, production and post workflows.
Let’s break down everything in this update:
AJA launches native Apple M1
The SDK v16.1 update brings native Apple M1 support to AJA KONA, Io, and T-TAP Pro users and AJA’s Developer Partners. Now, users can benefit from the massive performance and speed boost they get from the Apple M1 chip when performing video I/O tasks.
AJA Control Panel enhancements
AJA also refreshed its Control Room’s interface, removing a lot of clutter and replacing it with a more simplified design. According to the company, the interface’s controls are more easily recognizable. On top of this, you can customize the layout of the Control Room to your liking. You can also save user presets as well.
Plus, you can get additional GUI feedback in the Control Panel when “Auto” has resulted in single modification. So, it’s now easier to understand the results you get.
More support with Telestream Wirecast
Additionally, AJA added more support for Telestream Wirecast. Desktop Software v16.1 opens up more options in MultiChannel Config. The update adds 12G-/6G-SDI input support and extends audio input support for KONA, Io, and T-TAP Pro products with Telestream Wirecast.
- Native Apple M1 support for AJA’s macOS drivers and application plug-ins, Control Room, Control Panel, and System Test and NMOS software
- Improves Telestream Wirecast support (K via 12G-/6G-SDI, Digital AES Audio Input, and Analog (Line Level Audio Input)
- Enhancement to the AJA Control Panel (new customizable interface, saveable user presets, etc.)
- V4L2 updates for KONA HDMI
- 64-channel audio support for NTV2 SDK
AJA Desktop Software v16.1 is available now. So, if you want to download it, you can do so for free on the copmany’s support page.
Around these parts, it’s universally accepted as fact that drones are just awesome. However, there are certain situations where drones may not be ideal, or simply not the best tool for the job. Infact, there is a current trend of making fake drone shots with DIY solutions. In this article we’ll discuss how to get drone-like shots without the hassle of a drone and why the Manfrotto Gimbal and GimBoom system is a great solution.
Situations where drones are not the right tool or not allowed
Let’s set the scene. Say you find yourself shooting a wedding and need to capture a shot that would typically require you launching your drone into the air to get. However, the buzzing of a drone is most likely too distracting for an event like a wedding, not to mention the potential safety concerns that come with operating a machine over a crowd of hundreds of people. Instead of getting your drone airborne, Manfrotto’s Gimboom can help you get that same shot faster without even taking your camera off the gimbal.
Weddings are just one example, of course. The GimBoom is a solid option for any time you want a quick shot with a different perspective, but don’t have the ability to break out your drone to get it. Maybe you’re in an area where drones aren’t allowed, or maybe the production you’re working on can’t afford the additional production time.
Additionally, if you don’t yet own a drone, the GimBoom means you won’t necessarily need to set aside the budget to invest in both it and the liability insurance you’ll need to fly it. Essentially, the GimBoom is an effective way to offer drone-esque shots without having to navigate a drone-esque price tag.
Drone shots without the hassle
Connecting to the bottom of a one-handed gimbal like the Manfrotto MVG220 or MVG460, the GimBoom extends the reach of your camera. Let’s go over all the shots where drones could certainly be used, but where the Gimboom might be a better choice.
The establishing shot is found at the front of a scene to, as the name suggests, establish the location. This creates the setting for the viewer to gain spatial perspective. First and foremost, an establishing shot is a wide shot that establishes the setting of the scene.
A follow is as it sounds – you follow a subject. This incorporates a different perspective compared to how we see the world. An example of this kind of shot could be following a bride down the aisle during a wedding, or chronicling a character as they walk through a scene in a film production.
Low to high (high to low)
Low to high or high to low is a typical boom/jib shot. The camera goes from very high to very low, or vice versa. A great way to pull off this kind of shot is to put something in front of the starting point of the shot to reveal the setting.
Over the top
This is a shot over the top of a subject, but looking straight down on it. An instance where you’re hoping to showcase a delicious plate of food, for example, would be a great scenario to implement an over-the-top shot.
A fly-through is where the camera goes through an object. This is a forward or backward movement going through some kind of frame. A simple example of when this kind of shot is typically used would be when following a subject as they move from inside to outside through a door frame.
In a nutshell, the pedestal shot is a rise or fall of the camera from a static position. The up and down movement gives the shot dynamics without getting closer to the subject by changing the focal point.
A high pan is just a pan in the air for a higher perspective, either turning from left to right, or right to left.
The Manfrotto Fast Gimboom and Gimbal series were chosen as the TIPA’s pick for best gimbal system.
The Manfrotto Fast GimBoom Carbon Fiber (MVGBF-CF) extends the reach of a gimbal so that the camera can reach a higher and different perspective. It allows for stable shots because of the attached gimbal. It is designed for Manfrottos 220 and 460 Manfrotto Gimbals, but also adaptable to most gimbals on the market that are equipped with either a 3/8” or a 1/4” thread at the base of their handle. Plus, it has a payload of up to 14.3 pounds and uses Manfrotto’s FAST twisting lock technology to extend length with a single hand for quick use. The GimBoom fully extends to 42.27 inches, weighs just 1.76 pounds and is built from carbon fiber.
All Manfrotto gimbals are independent locking: each axis is equipped with a lock. They have a quick installation system without levelling. They also have different modes that include: TikTok Portrait, Selfie, Inception or Time-lapse.
The MVG220 is a professional 3-axis gimbal that can hold up to 4.85 pounds. It is a good fit for small-to-medium sized mirrorless cameras, and comes with a detachable handle that is handy for switching to a different shooting option.
In addition to the standard Manfrotto gimbal features, the MVG460 is a professional 3-axis gimbal with a weight capacity of up to 10.1 pounds. It’s a good fit for heavier setups.
It might be easier to get that shot than to break out the drone
The next time you need a shot that a drone can get, ask yourself: do you really need to use a drone, or could it be easier if you could do it without the hassle? That’s where Manfrotto’s Gimbal & Gimboom system comes in.
Learn more at: www.manfrotto
Today after watching this video, the images you capture with your drone are going to be a lot better. By applying these six tips, you will be ready to shoot anything that comes your way. You’ll know your rights and your local laws, know where the sun will be when you shoot and have a plan for prolonged flying. Through lowering the contrast on your drone, your shots won’t be plagued with overly dynamic shots. With proper composition and a commitment to your shot, the shots you take will look better and be long enough for you to use them.
Make sure to try all five shots, so you’ll have them mastered the next time you need to use them. Use the horizon flyover, 45 degrees down flyover and straight down flyover over a shopping area and see what you like best. Next try a simple leading lines shot, find a straight road you can fly over and try using the rule of thirds to place the rode in the frame. Lastly, try to master the orbit manually. Through flight time, your shots will continue to get better and better every time you go out.
Adobe is one of the largest and most widely used creative software companies in the world. From novices to Hollywood professionals, video editors from around the globe use the Adobe Creative Cloud to complete the work they do. Two of the collection’s most popular applications amongst video creators are Adobe Premiere Pro and Premiere Rush.
While both applications are video editing software, they work best in different situations. If you’re just starting in Adobe Creative Cloud, it can be a little confusing to know which application is best for your needs. Here, we’ll go over each application, the differences between Premiere Rush vs. Pro and help you decide which application you should use and when.
What is Adobe Premiere Pro?
Premiere Pro is Adobe’s heavy-hitting, flagship editing software for many professional video editors. The software, the follow-up to Adobe Premiere (released back in 2003), is a timeline-based video editing application. Essentially, that means all your media (video clips, audio, graphics, etc.) are layered onto Premiere Pro’s interface linearly and progresses horizontally as you move later in the timeline.
Many professional-level productions (in commercials, film and television) use Premiere Pro to create pro-level edits. For example, Tim Miller and his crew edited the R-rated superhero movie Deadpool entirely in Premiere Pro. It was also used to edit Terminator: Dark Fate, Hail, Caesar! and Mindhunter.
Premiere Pro comes with everything you’d need to make a professional edit. It comes with a dozen customizable effects, presets and an interface that you’d be hard-pressed to find something similar video editing software.
Some of the key features of Premiere Pro
Keyframes are one of the most essential features of Premiere Pro, and they’re something that sets the software apart from most editing applications. They allow you to make many edits to clips and graphics on the timeline. For instance, if you want a graphic to fade in at an exact frame and move at precisely four seconds after appearing in frame, you can do that in Premiere Pro with exact accuracy. Every single clip and effect you create in Premiere, you can keyframe them, giving you immense control.
Comprehensive color editing tools
While Premiere Pro offers a few color presets, you can dive deep into color edits and customize the look of your clips. You have access to tools like RGB curves and can adjust shadows, mid-tones, and highlights. You can also save color edits as presets so you can quickly apply the same color grade to multiple video files, saving you lots of time in post.
Support for multiple file formats
Premiere Pro supports a wide variety of native video formats. So, you don’t have to go through conversion to ensure your files are supported. It saves you a lot of time when you’re adding in media files.
Who should use Adobe Premiere Pro?
Premiere Pro is an application for video editors wanting to make an edit that goes past the standard adjustments you would do on standard software. If you’re new to video editing or Premiere Pro, loading into the program for the first time can feel like being thrown into a cockpit without knowing how to fly a plane. Admittedly, there’s a lot to Premiere Pro and it can be overwhelming for beginners. While Premiere Pro can do all of the basic editing functions, like trimming or overlaying music, it might take a little while to learn Premiere Pro to get the edit you want.
What is Adobe Premiere Rush?
Premiere Pro is the video editor featuring all the tools you’d ever need – comparatively, Premiere Rush is a trimmed-down, simpler video editor. As the name suggests, Premiere Rush is an application for quick edits on videos. While it is much simpler than Premiere Pro, that’s isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Anyone can pick up Premiere Rush and start editing videos with little to no prior experience. It features a timeline to add in a set number of video clips and a few audio and graphic layers.
Some of the key features of Premiere Rush
Basic clip editing tools
Like many other basic editing applications, Premiere Rush can do basic video edits on clips. This includes cropping, rotating, resizing and color correction. However, its color correction is slightly more comprehensive than the standard editor. It offers a few color grading presets and there are a few sliders you can adjust to get the look you like.
Premiere Rush also features a few audio adjustment tools. You can control the volume of different media files. For example, you can turn down a music file and increase the audio of a video clip. Additionally, there are tools to reduce noise and balance sound.
Premiere Rush shines when you use it with its mobile app. Available for iOS and Android, the Rush app allows you to either do an entire edit or start your edit on the go. This is highly useful for video professionals who travel a lot. Creators can create videos for social posts right on their smartphones. Also, video professionals can trim their clips while traveling, preparing them for a more extensive edit in Premiere Pro.
Who should use Adobe Premiere Rush?
Adobe Premiere Rush is an excellent program for beginners or those looking to do quick edits on their videos. It offers all the tools you need to make a clean, concise edit for posting on social media. Online creators who just need to do basic edits on their videos may want to use Premiere Rush, especially if they’re on the go. The Rush app allows anyone to start edits right on their phone and finish it on mobile or desktop.
Premiere Rush files can also be converted into Premiere files. So professionals can start in Rush, do basic edits and later import the files into Premiere Pro. It’s a great starting point for professionals who may be traveling and want to get started on editing.
Should you use Adobe Premiere Pro or Premiere Rush?
Adobe Premiere Pro and Premiere Rush are both helpful editing tools. They’re just beneficial in different situations. Premiere Pro is Adobe’s flagship video editing application; it’s got nearly everything a professional video editor will ever need — which is excellent for more complex edits, but might be a little overkill for basic edits. Not everyone needs to pull out the big guns every time they need to make an edit on a video. For instance, trimming clips down to share on social media can be done in Premiere Pro, but it can probably be done faster in Premiere Rush. However, its inclusion of color correction, graphics and keyframes makes Premiere Pro a top-tier editor and only limited to the skill level and creativity of the user. However, what it lacks is simplicity and mobility. This is where Adobe Premiere Rush comes in.
Rush has all the fundamentals you would desire in video editing software. You can import media into its timeline, trim video clips, do basic color correction, add preset graphics and incorporate audio tracks into the project. Rush is an excellent software for people wanting to make a quick edit on their video or content creators making an edit on their video to share to social media. Additionally, Rush has a companion mobile app. You can start edits on your phone while traveling from set and finish them later on your desktop (since Premiere Rush saves to the Cloud.) Where Premiere Pro’s strength lies in its expansive library of tools, Rush shines in its simplicity. It won’t take long to learn the application to make a decent edit.
Two solid video editors – a good problem to have
Premiere Pro and Premiere Rush are each great in their own way when it comes down to it. The one you choose to use will depend on your workflow and the job you’re working on. If you need a more extensive, complex edit, Premiere Pro is the way to go. If you want to make a quick edit or prepare your footage for a more expansive edit later, Premiere Rush is the better choice. Regardless of what you choose, both programs can help you create professional-level edits on your videos.
Sony’s ZV-E10 camera, the company’s latest camera release, looks like an intriguing new option for vlogging professionals and content creators.
Let’s take a look at the top features of the Sony ZV-E10:
ZV-E10 should deliver high quality video
Being that it houses an APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor with a BIONZ X imaging processing engine, the Sony ZV-E10 looks to deliver higher quality than most vlogging cameras on the market. Many vloggers settle for smartphone cameras but, by comparison, the ZV-E10’s sensor is about 10 times larger than a smartphone, allowing it to capture much more detail and produce a higher quality image. Additionally, it supports more cinematic depth-of-field control and HDR along with lower noise levels.
The Sony ZV-E10 oversamples 6K to produce 4K video at 30p. Oversampled 4K video from 6K video retains more detail than 4K video shot standardly, so the image quality should be more detailed than the standard 4K camera. It also features a few functions like HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3, S-Gamut3/S-Log3. The camera also has an interchangeable lens mount, which is unique compared to similar vlogging cameras. So, you’ll be able to swap out lenses depending on the situation and your desired look.
Flexible autofocus on the ZV-E10
The ZV-E10 camera supports both phase-detection and contrast-detection autofocus, allowing the camera to be helpful in various situations. Phase-detection is ideal for keeping fast-moving subjects in focus, whereas contrast-detection is best when you want more accurate autofocus in live-view. It’s slower than phase detection, but it’s much more accurate. So, the ZV-E10 is ready to capture both fast-moving subjects as well as still life, landscapes and portraits. You can also fine-tune their settings to your liking.
Additionally, the ZV-E10 features real-time Eye AF for humans and real-time tracking. So, when you’re behind the camera, Sony claims the camera will keep you in focus as you move around the frame.
Sony designed the ZV-E10 camera with a few vlogging-specific features. For instance, the camera has a vari-angle LCD screen, allowing you to see the camera’s framing while being in front of the camera. Weight-wise, the camera is just 12 oz (0.75 pounds) and measures out to be 4.53 x 2.52 x 1.76. It seems to be a highly portable camera that shouldn’t present a problem to carry around with you.
You can turn the ZV-E10 camera into a webcam through USB. It supports the UVC/UAC standards and sends image and audio outputs to PC or smartphones. There’s no need for a video capture card and you don’t need any special software or app. Overall, its livestreaming seems simple to set up and it will likely save you some money thanks to not needing a capture card.
Lots of options for audio
Capturing clear, quality audio when you’re out vlogging or livestreaming is very important. The Sony ZV-E10’s audio functions, on paper, seem to have the goods to help creators deliver professional audio. It features a Multi Interface (MI) shoe. Also, it supports low-noise digital sound recording and operation without connecting cables or a power supply. You can connect the latest wireless microphone and lavalier microphone through the MI short connection.
- APS-C CMOS sensor
- BIONZ X processing engine
- 4K 24p/30p full pixel readout video and 6K oversampling
- HD 120p with full AF/AE
- S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3, S-Gamut3/S-Log3
- Fast hybrid AF, Real-time Eye AF, Real-time tracking
- Face priority AE
- Electronic Image Stabilization
- Natural skin tones and soft skin effects
- Built-in directional 3-capsule mic with windscreen
- Digital audio interface through MI shoe
- 3.5mm headphone and mic jack
- Vari-angle LCD with touch operation
- USB webcam compatible (UVC/UAC)
- Livestreaming via USB
- Battery life: 80 minutes or 440 images
Pricing and availability
The Sony ZV-E10 releases this August for $699 (body only).
Light and Motion, a cinema lighting developer with over 30 years of experience developing lighting solutions, offers a couple of powerful-yet-portable lights in its StellaPro line.
The line contains four different models: the CLX10, CL 8000, CL 2000 and CL 1000/2500. Each model is for professional videographers and accommodates various budgets (starting at $399). Let’s get into some of the highlights of the line.
Light and Motion claims the line offers speed and power
According to Light and Motion, each entry in the StellaPro line shoots at a high frame rate while providing continuous light. The line’s top offering (the CLX10) delivers a CRI and TLCI of 93 and 94 — a good rating for color accuracy. Even with its lower options (the CL 1000/2500), it has a CRI and TLCI of 91/93. Though the rating is slightly lower, it’s still a solid rating.
Light and Motion StellaPro lights look portabile and durable
The entire line, on paper, looks well suited for run and gun photography and videography. Each light in the line weighs less than 3 pounds and is compact enough to take them with you when traveling. The lights’ cordless design makes them simple to travel with. As for the lights’ durability, they are weatherproof against rain, snow and high winds. So, you can use any of the line’s lights in the elements.
Each Light and Motion Stella Pro light has a simple design
With no wires and cables, every light in the lineup is meant to be simple to set up. They have integrated batteries that are rated to last slightly longer than an hour and a half on a single charge. Also, every single light activates with just one button press.
Breakdown of each light in the StellaPro line
- Lumen output range: 10,000 – 500
- Battery run time (high): 50 minutes
- Battery run time (low): 900 minutes
- Charging time: 105 minutes
- CRI/TLCI: 93/94
- LUX: 20750
- Daylight balanced: 5600K
- Weight: 2.7 pounds (1237gm)
StellaPro CL 8000
- Lumen output range: 8,000 – 500
- Battery run time (high): 50 minutes
- Battery run time (low): 900 minutes
- Charging time: 105 minutes
- CRI/TLCI: 92/94
- LUX: 18400
- Daylight balanced: 5600K
- Weight: 2.5 pounds (1156 gm)
StellaPro CL 2000
- Lumen output range: 2000 – 300
- Battery run time (high): 50 minutes
- Battery run time (low): 900 minutes
- Charging time: 105 min
- CRI/TLCI: 91/93
- LUX: 6260
- Daylight balanced: 5600K
- Weight: 1.1 pounds (504 gm)
StellaPro CL 1000/2500
- Lumen output range: 2,500 – 150
- Battery run time (high): 90 minutes
- Battery run time (low): 900 minutes
- Charging time: 105 minutes
- CRI/TLCI: 91/93
- LUX: 1000
- Daylight balanced: 5600K
- Weight: 0.6 pounds (227 gm)
You can get every light in the line right now. To learn more, head to Light and Motion’s official website.
Capture One is a solid photo editing software that’s an excellent alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It also offers a few unique features for Sony camera users, and now it’s adding to that list of features.
In a new update, Capture One has added a new Magic Brush for making complex masks in just a few seconds. Additionally, improvements have been made to the Exporter and file management. Plus, the software has new camera and lens support.
Capture One adds a new Magic Brush
Similar to how Photoshop’s masking tool works, Capture One’s new Magic Brush masks parts of an image you draw over. Capture One will fill the space automatically. It will find and fill the area of similar pixels as well, making the process of masking much simpler.
Capture One redesigns its Exporter
The Redesigned Exporter shows the final image with all the output settings applied to it. Because of that, you can see how the end product looks before exporting. It makes it much simpler with your workflow to see the end results. So, if there are any adjustments you need to make before you export, you can do so with the Proofing Viewer when exporting.
Catalogs now show images in subfolders
One of the most requested features users have asked for is the ability to see contents in folders. Now, Capture One’s Catalogs have the functionality to show the content inside subfolders. You can also get an overview of images in multiple folders. This helps not only with organization, but also speeds up your workflow.
Synchronize new subfolders
You now can synchronize new subfolders into your Catalog by synchronizing their parent folder. You have two new options during the synchronization process: “Include Subfolders” and “Only Include Previously Added Subfolders.” The new feature will cut down on the time it would take to import images. Previously, you would have to import the images manually. It also allows you to keep catalogs in sync with your hard drives consistently.
Also, Capture One’s new camera and lens support
In addition to the Magic Brush and redesigned Exporter, the Capture One update improves Tethering and offers new camera and lens support. Now while tethering LiveView with Fujifilm cameras, you can trigger an exposure inside Capture One. Additionally, you can adjust the focus in three different intervals using the Focus Nudge tool with compatible Leica cameras and lenses.
Here’s the list of the new camera and lenses the software supports now:
New camera support
- Fujifilm X-T1 IR
- Panasonic Lumix G99/G95/G90
- Fujifilm X-S10 tethering
New lens support
- Fujifilm Fujinon XF16mm F2.8 R WR
- Fujifilm Fujinon XF18mm F1.4 R LM WR
- Fujifilm Fujinon XF27mm F2.8 R WR
- Fujifilm Fujinon XF50mm F1.0 R WR
- Fujifilm Fujinon XF10-24mm F4 R OIS WR
- Fujifilm Fujinon XF70-300mm F4-5.6 R LM OIS WR
- Fujifilm Fujinon GF30mm F3.5 R WR
- Fujifilm Fujinon GF80mm F1.7 R WR
- Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM (SEL35F14GM)
- Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G (SEL40F25G)
- Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM (SEL50F12GM)
- Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G (SEL50F25G)
- Sigma 15mm F2.8 EX DG (Canon EF)
- Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN (Sony E)
If you want to learn more about the update, you can check out its press release here.
Even though astrophotography has created a new genre in the vast world of modern photography, it’s nothing new historically. The practice has been around since the mid-19th century—ever since experimenters and amateur astronomers started using it as a tool to photograph space and the stars beyond.
However, for more than two decades, photographing the night sky and all its phenomena has developed into a cool hobby of tech and gear that would impress the likes of NASA.
Astrophotography involves several methods and special needs, unlike common photography. But even as more and more backyards become observatories, the process of astrophotography can be somewhat complicated to hobbyists and daunting for beginners. But once you get to know and understand the equipment used in astrophotography, you will soon be selecting the best techniques and picking the best approaches for taking professional-looking and top-tier images.
Astrophotography over traditional photography
Unlike ordinary photography, astrophotography requires its own set of tools and techniques to photograph astronomic and cosmic objects. To ensure capturing the most pleasing images, you have to take the distance of celestial objects, atmospheric changes, lighting, night or day shots and accuracy into consideration. Keep in mind that astrophotography is still science-based photography that’s all about photographing astronomical objects. This is what sets it apart from the custom of more traditional, earthly photography. For the best results of astrophotography, camera settings and equipment have to pivot in a parallel mode from the earth, and devices have to ensure that taking photos is accurately timed.
Even for the amateur or hobbyist, successful astrophotography depends on the precise tracking of astronomic objects and preventing tracking errors with the right tools and equipment and modern developments in computer science and software. Unlike traditional photography, the art and science of astrophotography involve more than just point-and-shoot.
Choosing a starting point
With just a camera and telescope, any enthusiast can explore the vast hobby of astrophotography. But to make it more fun and rewarding, you need to consider a starting point. There are several types of astrophotography you can pursue. Photographing objects far away into the night sky can be a bonus for the hobbyist looking to capture stunning images of the nebulae and far away galaxies. This is known as deep space astrophotography.
For this particular photoshoot, you need to consider the challenges and obstacles of star trails and the use of special equipment. Or you can go as simple as photographing everything within our solar systems, such as the moon, the sun, and the planets. Or you can explore the type of astrophotography that uses a wide field of view. The bottom line here is that considering a starting point of what images you want to capture, whether in the night sky or somewhere out there in the Milky Way, the quality of the cameras and equipment you decide to use will make all the difference.
Choosing the right camera for the right job
The same way you have a variety of cameras to choose from for standard photography is the same way you have an abundance of choices for astrophotography. Your preference will narrow down to two vital factors: what images you plan on capturing and which camera is best for the job.
Whether you’re a beginner or a hobbyist, many astrophotographers start with standard DSLRs, either full-frame or cropped. Mirrorless systems and smartphones can produce crisp and quality images; however, most beginners—and hobbyists, too—tend to start with what works for their budget and their photographing goals. If you decide to follow most amateur and beginning enthusiasts, the top three DSLR brands dominating the market continue to be Canon, Nikon and Sony.
There’s a great deal to consider when purchasing the right camera for the job. The hobbyist who has some years of advancement in astrophotography recommends a DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera because they are cost-effective and multipurpose. Popular amongst these are the Canon Rebel T7i and Nikon D3400. As cameras with an entry-level body go, these two cameras support an overwhelming quantity of camera lenses and software apps. Sony offers mirrorless a7 series cameras, which tend to be notable for wide-angle landscape style astrophotography, but not for deep sky imaging.
This is why before spending your hard-earned money, it’s important to research and determine which camera is right for your needs. For example, a Canon 60Da is an excellent choice for capturing deep space images like the Andromeda galaxy. The Canon 5D Mark IV and Nikon D850, meanwhile, are perfect professional upgrades when you’re ready for the big leagues of astro-cameras.
Outside of the popular DSLR camera bodies, dedicated astronomy cameras are designed specifically just for deep sky imaging through a telescope. Dedicated astronomy cameras come in two formats—one-shot-color, and mono. The ZWO ASI294MC-Pro captures amazing high-resolution images in full color. These cameras are ideal for capturing images under a dark sky.
Photographing space can come with complications. However, you don’t need to break the bank with enough cameras and equipment to fund an entire NASA space program. Some cameras to consider for the DSLR camera bodies are the Canon EOS Rebel T7i, the Canon EOS 80a, the Nikon D5300 or the Nikon D7500. If you lean toward a dedicated astronomy camera, consider the ZWO ASI294MC-Pro (Color) or the ZWO ASI183MM Pro (Mono).
Another thing to keep in mind when considering a camera is CCD Imaging over DSLR. According to advanced users, one of the main reasons why you may want to consider a CCD camera for astrophotography is that CCD cameras can be up to 50 times more sensitive to light than DSLRs.
Think about your needs before your spending. Whether DSLR or dedicated cameras for astrophotography, consider the experience you’re looking to have from the shoot. Are you looking to capture the moon and shooting stars, or are you looking to go as far as technology can take you into the Milky Way and deep space?
Choosing the right accessories
Astrophotography is more than just a camera or telescope. An equatorial mount with full GoTo, an 80 mm apochromatic refractor for long exposures, equatorial mounts that track the sky by moving and a Skytracker that follows the earth’s rotation are just a partial list of essential accessories to add to your gear. For example, with a Skytracker, you can keep your focus on star systems without any trailing or fuzziness. A tripod is also essential for photographing the night sky. You can also enhance your long exposure times with a remote and an intervalometer to capture images in succession. And if you plan on being outside for long periods of time, gloves and warm clothing are much-needed accessories.
Filters can help you get better images of the sky. For example, (CLS) City Light Suppression helps to cut skylight pollution from cities. Light pollution is a major side-effect of urbanization in major cities. Light Pollution Suppression (LPS) filters cut down the extra light in the sky, and LPRO Max filters for wide-angle landscapes are explicitly designed for astrophotography. Essentially, these filters are meant to give you far more natural-looking star colors.
It’s also pertinent to have the best lenses in your gear for your Canon, Nikon or Sony DSLR cameras. The best lenses for astrophotography will make shooting the stars and night sky stress-free. Knowing which lens is ideal for shooting the Milky Way will improve the quality of your images. Astrophotography with the right camera lens offers a far more enjoyable experience.
Time to get lost in the stars
Thanks to advancements in digital cameras, video technology, computer software and gear, astrophotography has become just as popular for the backyard hobbyist as it has for the trained scientist. From the beginner to the enthusiast, everyone can enjoy capturing space images and seeing into faraway galaxies. Beginner-level tools, accessories and equipment are available to anyone looking to start the journey of surveying the cosmos. Webcams, CCD, over-the-counter cameras, single lens and digital single-lens cameras, telescopes and computer software have become available for the enthusiast at any level. All that’s left to do is choose the right tools for you, then start shooting.