Best camera for photographing the northern lights

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by CarpCharacin, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Rainbow cichlid Administrator Fish mentor

    I'm going on a road trip in November up to Yellowknife in Canada to see the northern lights, and I need a good camera. I'm looking for a DSLR with a lens that can take good photos of the northern lights. I don't have a lot of money for a camera, so I'm looking for one that isn't too expensive, something under $500. I have considered the Nikon D3400, but the lens isn't the best for low light photography. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Protim Sarkar

    Protim Sarkar German blue ram Fish guru

  3. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Rainbow cichlid Administrator Fish mentor

    That one you linked comes with an extra lens that I'm not sure if I need. I read that a lens with an aperture of f/2.8 is ideal, but anything wider than f/4.0 will work. The lower the number is, the wider the aperture is meaning it will let in more light so the shutter speed doesn't have to be as long.
     
  4. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Rainbow cichlid Administrator Fish mentor

    Or would a Panasonic Lumix G7 work? It's a mirrorless camera, and it can record 4k video. I'm just not sure what the aperture of the kit lens is.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  5. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Rainbow cichlid Administrator Fish mentor

    I read that the aperture on the Panasonic G7 is only f/5.6 when zoomed out, so I'm getting the Nikon.
     
  6. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Rainbow cichlid Administrator Fish mentor

    I ordered the Nikon, but then I talked to someone who told me why the Panasonic would be better with a different lens, so I decided I wanted to get that instead, but unfortunately it isn't letting me cancel the order. I'm going to return it when it comes and get the Panasonic along with a Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 lens. There aren't any decent inexpensive lenses like the Rokinon lens for the Nikon.
     
  7. Protim Sarkar

    Protim Sarkar German blue ram Fish guru

    I think Nikkon is better than Panasonic in quality pictures. You should stay with Nikkon.
     
  8. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Rainbow cichlid Administrator Fish mentor

    I know the Nikon has a higher megapixel sensor, but I wouldn't be able to use the Rokinon lens with it, and a similar lens for the Nikon would be extremely expensive, more expensive than the camera itself. The aperture of the Nikon kit lens is only f/3.5, and it isn't a wide-angle, so it isn't ideal for photographing the northern lights, or for astrophotography in general. Also the Nikon doesn't record 4k video, whereas the Panasonic does.

    I'm also considering the Panasonic Lumix G85 even though it's more expensive because of the in body image stabilization, the improved shutter, and the weather seal
     
  9. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Rainbow cichlid Administrator Fish mentor

    I decided on the Panasonic G85, mainly because of the in body image stabilization, and it also records 4k video in one large file instead of breaking it up into 4gb files like the G7. It should be arriving today. I'm going to go to Antelope Island on Saturday to test out the Rokinon lens, because you can see the milky way there.
     

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