Canon Powershot S3... Dec 14, 2006 19:28:09 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Dec 14, 2006 19:28:09 GMT -6
Astrophotography with the Canon Powershot S3
Sometimes it's just time to bite the bullet and invest in better equipment. Recently, I just did that, and am pleased so far in the results.
Most of the images I have placed on this forum were taken with a Kodak DX3215 digital camera.
Served me well, but quite limited. I needed an upgrade to something more versatile and robust - andI researched and asked around for suggestions.
Certain features I wanted were not in a strict DSLR, (such as a movie option), and they are mighty expensive. I was quite the conductor with the Nikon 35mm film SLR, with an arensal of lenses and accessories. But film is expensive and results not known till after proccessing.
I became aquainted with the Canon Powershot S3 and liked it from the start. It's a full function, 6 megapixel, 12x optical/4x digital zoom camera. In manual mode, one can control the shutter speed, aperture, ISO and f-stop. It has a widescreen feature as well.
In auto, it takes care of all that, with other minor features such as portait, landscape and other settings. The movie option is quite good, even in it's lowest settings. I can also keep the shutter down, and in rapid sequence, keep taking shots until the battery runs down or the card fills up.
What I enjoy about the camera is the 15 sec max shutter exposure, the 800 ISO and the 2.8 f-stop. Good for faint astro objects, as I have had it wide open and captured some interesting sky shots. Most thru the eyepiece exposures are less than 15 secs, so I think it's ok.
It also has the usual macro feature, but also includes a super macro. Good for getting in tight to the eyepiece. I have yet to attach it to a telescope, but I anticipate the results.
Images are stored on SD cards and power supplied by 4 AA batteries. An optional AC adapter can be bought separately.
Researching the PS3, I found the baseline prices at $399.00. On-line had similar or slightly better deals, but they had to be shipped, and I like to pick up electronics in person. I desired to wait until after Christmas for better deals, but I saw this ad from OfficeMax with a good offer. The camera with a $30.00 instant in-store rebate, brought it down to $369.00. They threw in free 512 Mb SD card and the option to purchase a $100.00 photoprinter for $30.00. So for $399.00 I got some additonal stuff that I normally would not have.
I don't miss the hassle of changing long focal length lenses or the heavy accessory bag to carry around. My 35mm SLR will certainly still have a place for astrophotography, but it will be the Canon that will be used most often. As for the Kodak, I will continue to use it as an augment to the Chicago Astronomer reporting activities.
Let's see how the Canon performs.