If you’re looking for a camera that can give you stunning visuals and high-resolution images of the stars and galaxies, then the Canon 70D is for you. With its 20.2MP APS-C dual pixel CMOS AF sensor, you can be sure to capture every last detail of the cosmos. Such a high-resolution imaging sensor makes it the perfect camera for astrophotography. This camera also holds a remarkable DIGIC 5+ image processor that produces the sharpest images you can ask for.
Astrophotography demands lots of hard work, and only real enthusiasts are ever able to dive deep into the galactic amounts of patience required of this job. You have to devote lots of time in figuring out your camera settings, getting the right foreground, and waiting for the long shutter modes. The 70D is helpful because it is not very hard to work with, and it has features with constant direction. The fully-articulated touchscreen with 1040k dots and a 3 inch clear-view LCD makes it much more convenient to work on.
Perhaps the most incredible function of the 70D is its ISO range. With an ISO range of 100-12800 on standard mode and 25600 on expanded mode, you can easily take pictures at any location at any time of the day. For astrophotography, lower levels of ISO are needed as they help in capturing lots of light, which makes the stars and the night sky visible to the camera’s mirror.
Here are 5 tips on using the Canon 70D for astrophotography.
Get Ready To Wait
Astrophotography is unlike any other kind of photography, and therefore, patience is a key component in getting decent images. Since you’re dealing with darkness, it becomes difficult to navigate the camera’s functions that give you adequate results. In daylight photography, it is easier to just click the shutter and snap a picture. Most of the blemishes and distortions are hidden when photographing anything. You don’t necessarily have to spend so much time and effort into figuring out camera settings.
Nighttime photography is entirely different. You have to be careful about every little aspect of the camera, the ISO level, the aperture, the angles, and even the way you click the shutter button. Since it is all dark outside, and you have to somehow bring in enough light for a picture to develop, you have to create the right conditions. This happens only through manual settings. These settings will take lots of experimentations. You’ll have to work on a trial and error basis, which will require immense amounts of patience.
The Canon 70D helps you manage time through the many features that it possesses. This camera has 63 exposure metering zones and multiple exposure modes, including aperture-priority, automatic, bulb, manual, program, and shutter-priority. All of these things essentially come together and help you automate your functionality so that you can focus on other elements of astrophotography. It also has several shooting modes, including backlight correction HDR, close-up, handheld night shot, landscape, and night portraits, among others. These features will assist you in becoming more efficient with photographing the night sky.
Plan It Carefully
As mentioned above, astrophotography requires lots of patience because there is lots of planning involved. You have to be very meticulous about each and every detail that goes into photographing the night sky, whether it is the stars, the galaxies, or the desert at night. Planning is essential not only to streamline your camera’s functionality but also to manage the logistics of photographing anything at night. You have to think about many things that will contribute to a good experience and a decent result.
One of the methods you could employ is making a list of every potential resource you will need to make the most out of your experience. You may have to stay the night at the photography site, so you should plan accordingly. Maybe take a chair and some food with you as a source of sustenance. You should also plan out the location. Inner-city locations are not ideal for astrophotography as the light coming from the buildings distorts the light coming from the stars. So you must plan where you will camp, what equipment you will use, and how you will go about photographing the sky.
With the Canon 70D, you can easily minimize your worries. It offers you a 19-point AF system, along with an all-points cross-type AF that is sensitive to -0.5 EV. This means you can manipulate the camera into taking pictures in the most unlikely of circumstances. The camera also comes with a lithium-ion battery that will last you the whole night. All these features will enhance your experience and produce incredibly stunning results.
Be Willing To Travel
Since the earth is constantly moving and the stars are never at their locations for the whole night, you may have to move around to find the perfect spot for your images. Some areas may have distorting lights or dusty weather, while other places may be too cold or too hot for you to be in. So you have to get ready to travel, sometimes for hours, to find a spot that suits your comfort level and one that can provide you with amazing sceneries from the sky.
As previously stated, astrophotography is not easy. It requires time and effort and the willingness to travel. However, there are convenient ways to do so. You can plan ahead of time and look up what the lunar or astronomic placements are for any given day, which will show you where the stars and the moon are located. So you can track these locations and see where (geographically) is the optimal place to shoot pictures from. The maps may help direct you to a larger area, but you have to move around to really get the feel.
Here is another way that the Canon 70D can resolve issues. It comes with a built-in WiFi and LAN, which are great resources for connectivity and assist in moving about. Additionally, it has an operating temperature range of 32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also operate within a 0-85% humidity range. So, it is a highly functional camera that can sustain itself in varying weather conditions, so you don’t have to worry about traveling to harsher climates or locations.
As much as you want to take pictures of the night sky, you can’t stay oblivious about composition. It is this very factor that makes the picture unique and gives it character. Without composition, you would not be able to distinguish your picture of the stars from any other image that any other photographer has taken, since the stars are at a constant placement from every angle of the earth. However, through certain elements you add, your image will become distinct.
Composition involves many things. It includes the relationship that you build with the foreground and the background. This may be your camera placement with the earth’s horizon and the sky behind it. It can also simply be the aspect ratio that you use or the editing process you employ. You can add objects like a tree or a human or even your hand as the silhouette with the stars and the night sky as the background. Among other things, you can also just change the shutter speed and take images with streaks of stars. This happens when you move the camera while the shutter is on.
With the Canon 70D, you get 7 frames per second continuous drive. This makes taking images super interesting because now you can add multiple frames to your image, which will layer on to give you a three-dimensional result. The camera also comes with a 98% viewfinder coverage that has 0.95x magnification, switchable gridlines, and electronic level display. These features also help in adjusting proportions for images that have a horizon.
Practice As Much As Possible
Finally, the only real advice that anyone will give you is to practice as much as possible. At this point, you must have heard the phrase “practice makes perfect.” This could not be more true in the case of astrophotography. Take as many pictures as you can and play around with the settings as much as you can. Doing this will help you find out what works best for you and the different kinds of skies above.
With the Canon 70D, you can easily experiment and practice because of its user-friendly interface. It has a fiberglass-reinforced polycarbonate resin body that allows you to be comfortable with the structure as it is super light. The camera also weighs less than a kilo, so it is easy to work with, carry around and practice on. With the easy manual dial provided right at the top of the camera for easy accessibility, you can change up the functions as many times as you want and still be able to restore to default mode easily. Overall, it is a very convenient camera to accompany you for astrophotography.