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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 01 Jul 2013 (Monday) 14:04
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Camera for northern lights

 
Tinathenovice
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Jul 01, 2013 14:04 |  #1

New here- new to everything. I need a recommendation for camera and equipment. I hope to learn to photograph the aurora borealis. So far in life I have owned as nice as the point and clicks sold in Costco. This will be a gift from my husband and I will probably never get another camera as long as we live so keep that in mind, maybe adaptable through attachments. The camera will be for personal use to shoot landscapes, northern lights, flowers. Under $6k for everything. Not too bulky but has everything I need. I don't have the time to learn everything about cameras in order to do a proper comparison in the time I have allotted to choose one. Any help is appreciated. Thanks for your time in review.




  
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Canon_Lover
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Jul 01, 2013 14:36 |  #2

Tinathenovice wrote in post #16081264 (external link)
New here- new to everything. I need a recommendation for camera and equipment. I hope to learn to photograph the aurora borealis. So far in life I have owned as nice as the point and clicks sold in Costco. This will be a gift from my husband and I will probably never get another camera as long as we live so keep that in mind, maybe adaptable through attachments. The camera will be for personal use to shoot landscapes, northern lights, flowers. Under $6k for everything. Not too bulky but has everything I need. I don't have the time to learn everything about cameras in order to do a proper comparison in the time I have allotted to choose one. Any help is appreciated. Thanks for your time in review.

I would suggest a Nikon D600 or D800 with a 14-24 and kit lens for Northern Lights and other night photos, along with doing general photography. The 14-24 is great because it is fast f2.8, wide, and has the least vignetting of any ultra wide angle lens made today when shot at f2.8.

I have a 6D with a 16-35II, and while I think it is the all around best setup for landscape photography, the 16-35LII gets up to 3 stops darker in the corners which can really make life difficult when shooting the night sky.


HOWEVER!

You seem to be at more of a beginner level and those cameras, while great for under $6,000, are pretty advanced. The Nikon setup is without any doubt the best for Aurora, but it could come at the cost of being overwhelmed with features, etc.

You really need to just rent a camera like that for a week or go to a camera store and get a really good feel for how they function.

HOWEVER, AGAIN!:lol::lol:

Those cameras can be set to auto mode for the beginning and then you can have a camera that will let you grow and learn to no limits.




  
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Tinathenovice
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Jul 01, 2013 14:52 |  #3

Great info. Thanks for responding so quickly!




  
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tkbslc
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Jul 01, 2013 14:59 |  #4

Since you said "not too bulky" I would probably look at Olympus micro 4/3 setups. Something like an E-M5 or E-P5. You could use the excellent Olympus 12mm f2, which would work great for night sky photography, along with some general zoom lenses for day-to-day stuff.

Another similar option, although with a more limited lens selection, is the Fuji X series.

THe D800 mentioned above is probably THE best option in terms of output quality, but it is also a large camera and will have large lenses.

size comparison: http://camerasize.com …8.328,289.91,37​1.359,ha,t (external link)


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Canon_Lover
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Jul 01, 2013 15:11 |  #5

Yeah, you can shoot Northern Lights with just about any camera. I guess it only depends on how big you wish to print or if you just want web photos.

If prints, then D600 or D800.

If web pictures, get a Fuji or Olympus. Incredible image quality for such small cameras. If those are TOO small, then a Canon Sl1 with a 10-22 EFS lens would be the perfect middle ground.




  
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tkbslc
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Jul 01, 2013 15:21 |  #6

Canon_Lover wrote in post #16081433 (external link)
If web pictures, get a Fuji or Olympus. Incredible image quality for such small cameras. If those are TOO small, then a Canon Sl1 with a 10-22 EFS lens would be the perfect middle ground.

Pretty ridiculous to say that Fuji and Olympus are only suitable web use. You can print quite well and even large with those cameras, even if D800 allows larger.


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Canon_Lover
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Jul 01, 2013 15:45 |  #7

tkbslc wrote in post #16081471 (external link)
Pretty ridiculous to say that Fuji and Olympus are only suitable web use. You can print quite well and even large with those cameras, even if D800 allows larger.

Yeah it would be ridiculous if that was what I actually said. :lol::lol:

If the priority is web photos, then a d800 is overkill to the extreme. If priority is making nicer prints then get a Nikon full frame. If the priority of weight is the greatest (which I took it as not) over image quality, then sure, both cameras can print and do web photos.

Both can do both, but each does the other thing better.




  
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brettjrob
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Jul 01, 2013 22:33 |  #8

If your budget is $6k, it seems a bit silly to settle for a crop camera. Lightweight and small are nice qualities in a camera system, but ultimately, if you're serious about photography, image quality is going to trump all that once you really get into it. That's just my opinion, though.

The Nikon D600 paired with a Nikon 14-24mm is probably the best value vs. quality proposition on the market right now for landscapes in general. However, for some types of night photography, the Canon 6D has a notable advantage in its cleaner images at very high ISO (6400-25600). One problem is that there are no ultra-wide lenses for EF mount that can equal the Nikon 14-24mm. I use the Samyang 14mm on my 6D, but its severe vignetting in the extreme corners is very problematic if you want any decent foreground detail on a moonless night. It is possible to get an adapter for the 14-24mm and mount it to a Canon DSLR, if you decide the high ISO noise advantage is compelling enough to go for the 6D.

Bottom line: if you plan to shoot a lot of daytime landscapes, and night photography will be more of a side thing and focused primarily on auroras, then the D600/14-24 combo is unbeatable. You'd still have about $2k left over to play around with mid-range and/or telephoto lens options (unfortunately, when it comes to Nikon's own branded lenses, it might be difficult to find both for that price). If night photography is your main interest, though, and you want to get into shooting star trails, nightscapes and the milky way even when auroras aren't happening, the 6D is worth a look.


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LowriderS10
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Jul 01, 2013 22:36 |  #9

You don't need anything expensive for the northern lights. A high-end point and shoot will get the job done. A mirrorless would be perfect. Most of the suggestions (and a $6k budget) is an incredible overkill.

I used to shoot the northern lights with a Canon 30D + kit lens combo (then later the 30D + Tamron 17-50 combo).


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scpictaker
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Jul 01, 2013 22:43 |  #10

Canon 5D Mk3 6D or the Nikon D800(E) will do fine with a wide angle, fast lens. These are large cameras but offer the best for resolution, and sensor sensitivity. I personally would get the NIkon!!


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brettjrob
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Jul 01, 2013 22:47 |  #11

LowriderS10 wrote in post #16082635 (external link)
You don't need anything expensive for the northern lights. A high-end point and shoot will get the job done. A mirrorless would be perfect. Most of the suggestions (and a $6k budget) is an incredible overkill.

I used to shoot the northern lights with a Canon 30D + kit lens combo (then later the 30D + Tamron 17-50 combo).

Almost anything "can get the job done" for any given task, but it's all relative. She stated her budget, and people responded accordingly. If she said her main subjects would be flowers and her dog, then I'd be more inclined to lean toward options with smaller size and lower cost. But any sort of outdoor nighttime photography sees a distinct advantage from full-frame sensors. I don't doubt the 60D (or even an Olympus crop system) is capable of producing aurora images that look great under certain conditions, maybe even most conditions -- but a 6D or D600 will be a lot more versatile and cover more bases for that task.


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philwillmedia
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Jul 02, 2013 00:54 |  #12

brettjrob wrote in post #16082624 (external link)
If your budget is $6k, it seems a bit silly to settle for a crop camera...

Really...?
Please explain...


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Rafromak
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Jul 02, 2013 01:26 |  #13

You can use just about any DSLR camera (any brand, and sensor size) for taking photos of the Auroras. Taking photos of the Auroras is quite common in Alaska, and can tell you that there is not a favorite brand as suggested by some posters above.

Since this is a Canon forum, I would suggest a Canon camera (6D, 5DIII, 70D, 7D), but a Nikon, or Sony, or....would be fine, with the best wide lens you can afford.


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hollis_f
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Jul 02, 2013 03:57 |  #14

philwillmedia wrote in post #16082915 (external link)
Really...?
Please explain...

I'm guessing their thinking is along the lines of - aurora is dim, so needs high ISO, which may cause noise, which will be less of a problem with a FF camera.

I'd probably go for a 6D/5DIII and a 16-35 f2.8 lens.


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Orogeny
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Jul 02, 2013 08:09 |  #15

hollis_f wrote in post #16083132 (external link)
I'd probably go for a 6D/5DIII and a 16-35 f2.8 lens.

This^^^

Don't forget that you will need a good tripod/head combination for the longer exposures and additional batteries (I suspect that battery life will be greatly shortened in cold weather).

Tim


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Camera for northern lights
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