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Sony A6000 for astrophotography page 2

Here are single 1 min and 2 min subs without any processing. As you can see there is already a lot of detail captured of the Orion nebula. I used my Astronomic CLS-CCD filter to block the light pollution from street lights, which is necessary in this part of the country.

1 min sub from Sony A6000 @ 200mm F4 ISO 800
1 min sub from Sony A6000 @ 200mm F4 ISO 800
2 min sub from Sony A6000 @ 200mm F4 ISO 800 (the bright background is from light pollution
2 min sub from Sony A6000 @ 200mm F4 ISO 800 (the glow in the background is from light pollution which has been minimised by using my light pollution filter)

And then the final image after stacking in Deep Sky Stacker:

My best Orion nebula image so far
My best Orion nebula image captured so far

I am very impressed with the Sony A6000’s capabilities to get such great images, and this from an unmodified camera, which will have reduced sensitivity to the H-alpha region compared to a full-spectrum camera. I will be posting about the Orion nebula after I have had a chance to image it with my Olympus E-PL5 and process it in DSS, to see if there is any appreciable difference between the two images captured.

What more have I found out about the Sony A6000 for astrophotography?

1) The Sony A6000 + FE 70-200mm lens works well for astrophotography @ 200mm F4.

2) At ISO 800 the Sony A6000 is hardly breaking a sweat, so there is high potential for capturing even darker objects in the sky using higher ISOs.

3) Although the Sony FE 70-200mm F4 lens has a 72mm filter thread, I was able to use my 2″ (48mm) Astronomic CLS-CCD filter on it without causing any colour fringing or vignetting @ 200mm focal length. That is despite using 3 different adapters (72-67mm, 67-52mm, 52-48mm) to mount it on. However, there was colour fringing issues with the Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS lens at the edges though.

4) Having 24 megapixels (1.5x crop factor) to crop into does give me more flexibility when capturing images for astrophotography. Compare this to my Olympus E-PL5 with its 2x crop factor and 16 megapixels, the Sony A6000 has more pixels to work with when comparing images shot using a lens with the same focal length i.e. the A6000 has a slight advantage in terms of number of pixels capturing the subject.

All in all, there are many great features in the Sony A6000, and certainly astrophotography can be added to this list. No wonder it recently won (by a big margin) the Consumer Interchangeable Lens Camera (ILC) Readers’ choice award for 2014 on DPReview.com.

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