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Hacking a Timer Remote to Not Need Batteries (Sony Mirrorless Cameras With USB Port)

This guest post is written by Sean Goebel, an astronomy student in Hawaii and an avid nightscape photographer. You can view his work at SGphotos.com and Flickr.com. All content is copyright Sean Goebel.

If you use a timer remote/intervalometer with a Sony camera that has a multi-connector remote port (A6000, A7 series, RX10, DSC-QX30, SLT-A65, etc.), your remote doesn’t actually need batteries. It’s possible, with some basic modifications, to power the remote from the camera. Why would you do this? There are two main reasons: Continue reading

Astro-Landscape & Long Exposure Timelapse Testing For Mirrorless Cameras: External Battery Power

Since acquiring one of the most amazing compact super-zoom digital cameras ever, the Sony RX10 mk2, I have been earnestly testing Sony’s USB power input. All of of the newer (mk2) A7-series mirrorless full-frame bodies, for example, can run off a 5V power bank using a USB cable. (Previously, the Sony USB port could only charge a battery while the camera was off, apparently.)

My goal is to see just how ready (if at all) mirrorless cameras are for all-night astro-landscape timelapse shooting.

Continue reading

Wigwam Motel, Rialto CA

Testing out some new blog sharpening algorithms, and some night exposures with the Sony RX10 mk2. It appears that although I’m displaying the original size images, WordPress is in fact changing the fine detail ever-so-slightly. Bummer. Might have to go back to uploading to SmugMug, and hotlinking the image URL.

Enjoying the Sony RX10 II for night photography.  Considering it’s a bit noisy at all ISO’s, 30 sec exposures at ISO 100 feel about the same as ISO 400-800 exposures on my D750, which gives a natural grain look to night shots. I’m actually adding a bit of “silver rich” grain. Continue reading

Radian 2 Kickstarter Campaign Almost Over

There are fewer and fewer things that I get very excited about these days, as far as photography equipment goes. We’re pretty close to having the “ultimate” camera bodies, the “ultimate” lenses, and amazing other tools for the astro-landscape work that I am passionate about.  I could use cameras and gear from this current generation for the rest of my life, and be quite happy. Continue reading

Alpine Labs Radian – Timelapse Device Quick Intro

I’m always on a quest for ultra-lightweight, simple, and affordable equipment.

That’s one of the main reasons why, despite owning two full-frame cameras and a handful of lenses, I still frequently reach for my crop-sensor Nikon D5300 and Tokina 11-16mm for creating both still images and timelapse footage.

I obsess over weight for reasons other than just being a sissy, by the way.  (Although that may be one of the reasons.) I obsess over weight because the lighter the gear, the easier it is to bring two or three cameras into the wilderness! (Watch this video if you haven’t already)

I obsess over price for reasons other than just being cheap-o, too.  (Although, again, that could be one of the reasons…) Mostly, I like affordable gear because it makes me a little more willing to take a risk I might not be willing to take if $5,000 is at stake.  (Either by destruction, theft, or confiscation by authorities…  ;-) Continue reading

The Nikon 20mm f/1.8 G is shaping up to be the best astro-landscape lens ever!

I’ve been watching as the reviews start to come in for this exciting new lens from Nikon.  So far, the results are extremely promising!  Consensus being: this lens is highly optimized for astro-landscape work, as it ought to be, with very low vignetting and almost zero coma, the two things were almost every other lens falls flat on its face.  The one thing remaining for me to determine is, how this lens handles field curvature at infinity (star) focus.  Pretty much every lens ever made wider than 50mm has at least some issues with field curvature, either right out of the box or at least after a year or two of heavy use. Continue reading

Nikon D800e Battery Endurance Test Results

Upon buying a mint D800e, of course the very first thing I did was timelapse it on my balcony.  At average outdoor (warm) summer temps, (good for battery performance, not so good for exposures longer than 30 seconds due to christmas light noise) …I was able to pull off 99 1-minute exposures (11 minutes short of 2 hrs) with something like 15-20% of battery life to spare. Continue reading