GH2: Night sky timelapse

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by TheCameraLens, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. TheCameraLens

    TheCameraLens New to Mu-43

    6
    Mar 7, 2013
    Portland
    In a few weeks I will be going on vacation to the beach and one thing I would like to try and do while I am there is to get a good timelapse video of the night sky with stars moving across the sky. Does anyone have any recommendations on the best way to do this with a GH2 with 14-140 lens? Am I better off taking a bunch of stills at full res and cropping out a 1920x1080 image in post so I can do a simulated pan if I want, or shooting at 1920x1080 in camera? What is a good starting place for settings? ISO, Shutter speed, Aperture, Interval etc? What about other settings such as Slow Shutter Noise Reduction, Sharpness, Contrast, WB, Colorspace etc.? I am planning on having the camera on a tripod (duh!) with OIS off and manual focus. I believe the way to ensure infinity focus is to power off and on in MF mode. Is that correct?
    Am I right in thinking that no hack improves the still image capabilities of the GH2 and that they only improve the video side? If I am wrong, is there a recommended hack? I currently have Flowmotion V2 on my GH2. I am also making the assumption that a bunch of stills is the way to go rather than trying to shoot video and speeding up in post. I haven't tried doing this before as I have too much light pollution here. So I am assuming that there is not enough light to get a good video in 1/24 sec.
    Any help or pointers would be much appreciated. Also if anyone has any sample clips and can share their settings that would be great.

    TIA

    Colin
     
  2. ilikecheesecake

    ilikecheesecake Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    May 8, 2012
    Denmark
    Hi Colin
    Here's a good website for that kind of stuff.
    LRTimelapse - advanced Time Lapse Photography made easy!

    I was planning to do my first one tonight on my gx-1 but the damn clouds arrived. I wanted to catch the ISS coming overhead.

    My setup is;
    Plugged into the mains with an AC adapter.
    7-14 mm lens at 7mm
    iso 2000
    30 seconds at f5.6
    All on manual.
    +1/3 exposure and long shutter NR is on.
    WB auto
    I've got most everything switched off including sleep.

    I've got a cheap Hongdak intervalometer from Amazon (guess where that's made?). That is set at 5 second intervals with an unlimited frame count the setting is --
    My camera takes about 30 seconds to download the RAW file and the intervalometer keeps on counting down. The shutter on the camera fires when it is ready after downloading the image file.

    I'll let you know the results when the sky decides to behave.
    Adam
     
  3. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Drop Norseman1968 a line - he seems to have a knack for this - https://www.mu-43.com/f80/samyang-7-5mm-f-3-5-image-thread-16458/index66.html#post413213

    I use an adapted manual focus lens set to infinity, usually the fish-eye although occasionally I'll try something faster.

    Try a few test shots first before setting the remote to snap a bunch of shots for an hour or two.

    I tend to experiment - various online articles for night sky shooting - these are for star trails but the settings for a series of stills are the same ->

    How To Photograph Star Trails - Photography by James Vernacotola

    How to Photograph Star Trails: The Ultimate Guide


    Good luck.
     
  4. ilikecheesecake

    ilikecheesecake Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    May 8, 2012
    Denmark
    Crikey they're top photo's.
     
  5. trasher202

    trasher202 New to Mu-43

    1
    Mar 10, 2013
    thanks to OP for asking question. i will be going on a trip where i will require the same.
     
  6. TheCameraLens

    TheCameraLens New to Mu-43

    6
    Mar 7, 2013
    Portland
    I did a few test shots on Friday night as the sky was clear at my house. The best results on my 14-140 lens were

    f5.6
    15 secs
    ISO 400
    14-140 @14mm
    MyFilm settings of -2 for all params.

    Longer than that and I had too much star movement. Higher ISO and there was too much noise in the image. Increasing the exposure resulted in too much light pollution reducing contrast.

    Here is a sample image at the above settings

    Star photo test - Mu-43 Gallery

    I think to make a timelapse I can get away with a longer shutter speed and maybe drop the ISO. Any brighter than this and the noise shows too much. I did have slow shutter speed NR enabled. But I did forget to turn off OIS. I am not sure how much difference that would have made to the image. The image here is straight out of the camera with the exception of being reduced in size to be able to post it here.
     
  7. TheCameraLens

    TheCameraLens New to Mu-43

    6
    Mar 7, 2013
    Portland
    Thanks all for the responses. I will check out the various links. I will let you know if I get good results based on info obtained.

    Hopefully the weather will cooperate when I am on vacation.

    Colin
     
  8. ilikecheesecake

    ilikecheesecake Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    May 8, 2012
    Denmark
    I did one last night
    GX1 with 7-14mm lens @ 7mm
    f5.6
    2000 iso
    RAW
    30 sec exposure 5 sec duration between exposures
    Everything else off and it ran all night.

    Post production
    I cancelled out all the noise in lightroom and exported as large jpeg then 25fps in Quicktime pro.
    Worked a treat.
    I pointed it at the pole star and got several shooting stars and the ISS going over.

    I'll point it at the Milky way next time for more stars.
     
  9. TheCameraLens

    TheCameraLens New to Mu-43

    6
    Mar 7, 2013
    Portland
    I haven't tried doing a timelapse yet. I wanted to try and get the settings down for a single image first. How much noise did you get at ISO 2000? I was getting a lot of banding noise over ISO 400. Do you get much in the way of star trails at 30 secs at 7mm? Do you get a lot of light pollution from city lights?
    I would love to see your test if you have it posted anywhere.
     
  10. TheCameraLens

    TheCameraLens New to Mu-43

    6
    Mar 7, 2013
    Portland
    OK, I just got back from my trip to the beach where I did my timelapse test. I am happy with my results. I now have the 20mm f1.7 lens and I was using that. The shots I took to make up the timelapse were taken at f2 15sec ISO 400. There was 40 seconds between each shot to allow for the exposure, slow shutter noise reduction and saving of the image. I probably should have left the camera running for longer as all I took was enough shots for 7 secs of video.
    I have posted the video here. I only have a basic account so it is at 720p not 1080p that the actual video is saved as. I assembled the video in Windows Live Movie Maker @ 0.04 secs per frame (approx 24fps)

    https://vimeo.com/64418374

    The glow on the clouds in the left was from a bright light on a fishing boat. The Pacific ocean is just out of frame.

    Now I know it is possible to get these type of shots I can make longer ones in the future.