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em-10 maybe not the best sensor for astrophotography?

Discussion in 'Astrophotography' started by randyspan, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. randyspan

    randyspan Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    May 24, 2014
    New Hampshire, USA
    Randy Spann
    em-10 oly 12-40 pro at 2.8 - 8 shots @ 20 seconds stacked with enfuse LR plugin. Many different trys at post processing and this is the best I could get. This is th e north end of the milky way. P7133066en.
     
  2. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
  3. randyspan

    randyspan Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    May 24, 2014
    New Hampshire, USA
    Randy Spann
    Thanks for the reply MadMarco - but I'm on a Mac! The more I look at my shot, I think a lot of the problem is light pollution. I need to find a darker location!
     
  4. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    Sorry, I don't do Mac :)

    You are definitely on the right track with light pollution being an issue, here in the UK the LP is a constant problem along with medium to high humidity and high, thin cloud. For us the winter is always better seeing than the summer, the colder weather tends to make the skies a bit clearer, plus the nights are darker for longer.

    If you can find some astro specific stacking software for your Mac that allows dark frame subtraction then that would be worth a shot.
     
  5. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    I don't even think good Milky way photography is possible on the east coast (USA). Esp summer when it's hazy, but the light pollution is just too hard to escape. A cold dry winter/Autumn night if you are remote enough and maybe a chance, but still nothing to compare to being out west far from cities. I camped in the deserts of Utah years ago and the night sky was like nothing I've ever seen, because I've lived in the east my whole life.

    Was it windy? the trees/house seem out of focus or is that a stacking effect?
     
  6. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    From what I've seen your E-M10 sensor is pretty good for this kind of thing...
     
  7. show

    show Mu-43 Rookie

    19
    Jun 25, 2014
    Norcal
    Here is my first try at the milky way with the em10


    P718037312.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. randyspan

    randyspan Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    May 24, 2014
    New Hampshire, USA
    Randy Spann
    Yes, trees/house are out of focus because of stacking software.
     
  9. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    I'm shooting the E-M5, same sensor as M10. There's lots involved in doing this kind of wide field astro besides the sensor - yes good seeing but also max aperture, post processing methods including stacking, camera mods & trackers. This type of photography is at the bleeding edge of what technology can currently do.

    Here's a single capture @ ISO 6400 w/ good seeing, f2.0, 25" exposure & the best NR software I've found (DXO Prime). Other than NR & lens corrections, no other post.
    15034520540_9cc4d0d8e3_o. _8270053_DxO wPrime by tradesmith45, on Flickr

    As this shows, the now 3 yr old 16mp 43 Sony sensor is ok.

    You'll have to decide how much of this kind of photography you want to do & then work through the many options for getting good captures.

    First, I'd suggest the 12-40 f2.8 Pro though a great lens has significant limitations - f2.8 to start. IMHO f2 is a min. aperture for widefield until we get better sensors like the Sony or Samsung BSI just released. And this lens has tons of geometric distortion that I doubt is fully corrected in RAW development. This will limit stacking.

    Nebulosity is a Mac-centric stacker that is very capable. But its designed for narrow filed astro. WA lenses have several challenges that limits stacking - some decentering is common & perspective distortion limits the number of images you can successfully stack. W/ my Oly 12mm f2 & 25" exposures, I can't stack more than about 5 captures before stars near the bottom edges start to streak. I'm playing to test stacking shorter exposure captures say 10".

    There's also a new stacker aimed a landscape called cleverly StarryLandscapeStacker at the Apple App store. Haven't tried it yet but plan to. I have used an old version of PS to merge 2 different captures - 1 for the stars & a longer/lower ISO one for the foreground. Works good.

    There are now at least 3 small trackers that work very well to get highly detailed long exposures of the sky or specific objects. They can handle 5-6 lb loads so many old MF tele lens or small scopes are possible.

    Lastly, I'm planning to get a full spectrum modification on my E-M5 to do both nightscapes & daytime IR photography. A full spectrum mod removes the cutoff filter over the sensor to let in both UV & IR beyond the visible range. The near IR range includes the deep reds given off by hydrogen fusion commonly referred to as H-alpha. At night, this will allow more photons to get to the sensor. BTW, after modification, the camera can still be used for regular visible photography with the use of screw on UV-IR blocking filters.

    For me nigh photography has opened this huge esthetically exciting world - I'm loving it!
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  10. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    Oh, forgot to mention, LR, ACR & PS all get poor marks from users for RAW development of .ORF files when using default settings especially at high ISO. I don't use these so am just passing on many other's comments. There are several good threads here at M43 & over at the DPT forums for .ORF specific RAW development presets for LR & PS.

    In my testing, the free OV3 is almost as good as the rather expensive DXO Optic Pro. But then you get Prime NR & lens correction library w/ DXO.
     
  11. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    By all accounts, the 16MP Sony chip in the E-M10, E-M5 etc. is one of the best in m4/3 for this.

    The E-M1 Panasonic chip is widely known to be worse. But then again, as long as exposures aren't too long even that is fine. Here's what stacking half a dozen 7.5mm fisheye shots at f/3.5 (something like 30s, ISO1600) can give on the E-M1. The biggest factor is light pollution IMO.

    D5230049ep.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
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  12. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    That's a really sweet show wjiang, I like it a lot!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. AL904

    AL904 Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Mar 29, 2012
    Jacksonville Beach, Florida
    Allen Forrest
    I am considering having my EM-5 modified to full spectrum, but I hadn't considered also using it for astrophotography until I read this thread. I have used Kolari Vision for prior infrared conversions (on Panasonic 'G' and 'GH' series cameras.) I have found Kolari Vision to offer excellent advice and service. They now offer "Two Spectrum Conversion" which they describe HERE. Their two-spectrum conversion removes the UV spectrum which improves color rendition. I had planned to use that type of conversion, thinking I had no need for ultraviolet light, and would prefer the enhanced color rendition. Now, I wonder if that UV light would be beneficial for astrophotography.

    I would truly appreciate any advice.
     
  14. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    Allen, I can tell you what I know but it isn't much & I'm not sure I understand all the info on the Kolari site about the 2-spectrum conversion.

    First though is a question for you. Are you expecting to do only starry nightscapes or are you getting/do you have a scope?

    I'm not an astronomer but do know that there are stellar objects rich in UV, some more than others. And that easily visible objects like planets & the sun look differently when viewed in UV. Same goes for 656nm H-alpha hydrogen emissions. (If you ever get the chance to look at the sun w/ an H-alpha scope, it will rock you good!)

    I do not think a converted camera will produce wildly different images for nightscapes depending on how the terrestrial objects are illuminated. From images I've seen from the new Nikon 810A, small parts of the MW will be redder. Here's an example I stole off Flickr from a modified Canon 60Da.
    8748542728_a27f9b3ced_o. We are made of star dust… by Tanja Schmitz (Sund), on Flickr

    I suggest searching Flickr for things like ultraviolet astronomy will yield more examples of the value of increased UV sensitivity.

    If you are interested in deep sky astro, you should post your question in an astro specific forum because I'm just not knowledgable enough.

     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    Oh yes, forgot to mention. The aurora is rich in UV. So best not to have a UV or skylight filter on for that. How much a full spectrum camera will help w/ aurora, I don't know.

    My apologies to the OP for hijacking this thread.
     
  16. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    How about posting a single frame of this from your stack. That would give us a good way to see what stacking has accomplished. I've read that 10 is a good minimum for achieving significant image improvements from stacking. Your great image from 6 frames seems to prove that wrong!

     
  17. AL904

    AL904 Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Mar 29, 2012
    Jacksonville Beach, Florida
    Allen Forrest
    Thanks, Tradesmith45!

    I have no plans to use a scope. I would only use it for starry nightscapes.

    I did a little searching on the subject of ultraviolet astronomy, and ran into this statement at Wikipedia:

     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    I think that Tradesmith45 hit the nail on the head with his comments.

    Astro modified cameras are best utilised for what is generally know as wide-field astro photography, such as nebula and galaxies. You'll need a telescope to get any great detail though. It's possible to pick out additional details from the planets and the moon, although the differences can be quite subtle. I'm sure that it will make a noticeable difference for star-scapes, whether it is worth the investment is something that only you could answer.
     
  19. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    After lots of fiddling in Photoshop, in the end it seems like a slightly reduced (65% magnification) crop from each makes for easier comparison. The stack was 7 frames, each with dark frame subtraction in camera turned on.
    D5230048.
     
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  20. maritan

    maritan Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Oct 30, 2014
    Late to this party, but is that right? 1/30s per frame? That's it? I'm shocked at how much detail you captured even accounting for stacking 6 other pictures of the same type...