I want to photograph the northern lights
Hey. I am looking to buy a new camera, I want it to be a good all round camera but later this year I am planning to travel to Lapland and I would like to photograph the northern lights. I tried earlier in the year, but in night situations or low light my pictures tend to come out mostly black and blurry :-( Pretty sure my camera is broken anyway, as it was cheap and is a few years old. I want a camera which doesn't do this.
I would also like the camera to have a good video function, be able to film in full HD and no sound loss when zooming!! Do you have any idea of what would be the best value camera I can get that would be capable of these things? I have looked on Curry's website and seen some around £200 that seem to be OK, but I don't really know what all the jargon means.
Please help :-) Thanks
Take a look at the Canon S100. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jMRM5dlIHc Just a little over your budget but well worth the extra. It's now half price at Currys. http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/cameras...130514171312:s
It has lots of manual controls but you can just put it in Auto for everyday shooting. The manual controls will help with low light shots - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDxdZQWdoK0 It's got a very wide angle for great landscape shots. There's 5 x zoom which is all you need for travel (people soon get fed up with pics of clock faces lol)
You don't have to carry a big tripod around - watch the video on the SteadePod - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SteadePod-...item5d3a3200db
I also carry one of these with me http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hama-Digi-...item2c65b4f189
And don't forget. Post processing is an important part of photography and should be used to sharpen and enhance pictures taken with your camera. If you don't have an imaging editor, then use the one in my signature below.
There are 32 video tutorials to get you started http://ictpublish.com/pixlr/
The most useful is the Adjusting levels http://ictpublish.com/pixlr/Videoes/...06_Levels.html
and for even more adjustment. The Curves tool http://ictpublish.com/pixlr/Videoes/...07_Curves.html is a must (it's my favourite all-in-one adjuster).
My Resize-Crop-Sharpen tutorial below, will get your pics ready for the internet or whatever
Last edited by Chris Cool; 14-05-13 at 06:44 PM.
You may like to look at this tutorial - Shooting Professional-Looking Landscapes With Compact Cameras http://www.ephotozine.com/article/sh...-cameras-16293
To shoot the Northern Lights, you may well find that anywhere between 1/30th to 30 second exposure will be required. The Canon S100 allows you to set the shutter speed to what you want. For the longer exposure times. Set up the camera in your hand with the small tripod attached. Set the 10 second timer. Press the shutter button all the way and place it on the ground. Review your image and adjust as necessary. If you can set it on a rock or ledge first. Still use the 10 or 2 second timer.
I have used my compact (in low light) with that tripod and pressed it against lamp posts, pillars, on walls benches pavements etc, all with the timer and the camera set to Auto with some great results.
Remember to get extra batteries and keep them warm in your pocket so they last longer.
The problem you will have in Lapland is the cold. My brother in law went there a couple of months ago to see the Northern Lights too, and the temperature got to -27 degrees. At that temperature your camera may fail. The only way around it is to keep the camera inside your pocket till you need to use it then put it back as soon as you're done.
On my recommendation he took a Tough camera (an Olympus, as it happens), as they're guaranteed freezeproof to at least -10 degrees, and it worked fine. You'll probably have gloves on so won't be able to mess about with manual controls, so you'll have to preset it before you go out into the cold or just leave it on auto. You will of course need a tripod since you'll be using slow shutter speeds.
We're currently doing a group test of tough cameras but most cost more than your budget. You can still get the previous models though. Check out the Lumix FT4 and Olympus TG-1, for example. Or the new Lumic FT25, which is a budget version of the FT5.
I'm not saying a freezeproof camera is essential, but I guess it will reduce the chance of the camera failing. You should also take a spare battery though and keep it in your pocket.
Still waiting for reply
Originally Posted by EduardoWilliamson