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Noctilucent Clouds
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ChrisJG
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So, between now and around the end of July, there's an opportunity if you are up late or early enough to see these very high altitude "Night Shining" Clouds.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noctilucent_cloud

They are a bit of a mystery in we still are not exactly sure what causes them, it could be linked to global warming, it could be linked to the larger number of asteroids  / meteorites buring up in our upper atmosphere...no one is yet certain, apart from the fact that we are seeing them ore often each year...

I'm an amateur astronomer and have seen these a few times, but last year and the year before, before I purchased my Spark. Easy enough to photograph if you are fortunate enough to be in the right place and time with a dslr and a tripod. Could they be photographed with a Spark? I note that the ISO can be cranked up, it's not astronomically dark in the Summer months and these are fairly bright...but the Spark has a small'ish sensor compared to a camera, so could it be done?

I'd love to have an attempt, but all of the night time photography I've seen has been of fairly bright street scenes.
Thanks,

Chris
6-7 12:53
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DMX_MT
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Hi Chris, what setting do you use in Manual DSLR ? Long shutter + Tripod or you crank up ISO with Fast Shutter hand held ? To see if Spark can handle it.

I am into Night Photography too. Never did Astro, but will be thinking in getting a Wide Angle like 14mm f1.8 but they are reallly expensive.

6-7 17:38
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Northwood
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Fascinating, going to watch for these on weekends when I am at my northern home.
6-7 19:07
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ChrisJG
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DMX_MT Posted at 2018-6-7 17:38
Hi Chris, what setting do you use in Manual DSLR ? Long shutter + Tripod or you crank up ISO with Fast Shutter hand held ? To see if Spark can handle it.

I am into Night Photography too. Never did Astro, but will be thinking in getting a Wide Angle like 14mm f1.8 but they are reallly expensive.

Good morning, I use a micro 4/3rds camera, as I'm usually carrying my telescope too! Use about 32000 ISO. A tripod is an absolute essential and usually an exposure time of about 30 seconds. But I do have a reasonably fast wide angle lens; a Samyang 12mm f2.8. A larger chip in the dslr would give less noise. 2 years ago, driving home from the Observatory at around (I think) 2-3am the view was stunning, these clouds stretched most of the way across the Northern horizon. I had to stop the car to just take in the sight, it was mesmerising. But of course my camera was at home in its case!
Good hunting!
Chris
6-7 20:23
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ChrisJG
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Northwood Posted at 2018-6-7 19:07
Fascinating, going to watch for these on weekends when I am at my northern home.

Well worth looking out for, the solar activity is decreasing a little, but depending on your latitude, there has been reports of aurora activity too. I've seen the aurora from North Norfolk in the UK twice. Good hunting!
Chris
6-7 20:25
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ChrisJG
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DMX_MT Posted at 2018-6-7 17:38
Hi Chris, what setting do you use in Manual DSLR ? Long shutter + Tripod or you crank up ISO with Fast Shutter hand held ? To see if Spark can handle it.

I am into Night Photography too. Never did Astro, but will be thinking in getting a Wide Angle like 14mm f1.8 but they are reallly expensive.

Sorry, one other thing, I buy my camera kit used. There's a retailer that sells mail order and accepts returns if not suitable. My spark was £499 for the Fly More Combo, but open box; never flown. My camera kit the same...if you look for Wex Photo you'll see an extensive used offering, some of the pro kit is well used, other kit hardly touched. Worth a look!
Chris
6-7 20:29
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DMX_MT
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ChrisJG Posted at 2018-6-7 20:23
Good morning, I use a micro 4/3rds camera, as I'm usually carrying my telescope too! Use about 32000 ISO. A tripod is an absolute essential and usually an exposure time of about 30 seconds. But I do have a reasonably fast wide angle lens; a Samyang 12mm f2.8. A larger chip in the dslr would give less noise. 2 years ago, driving home from the Observatory at around (I think) 2-3am the view was stunning, these clouds stretched most of the way across the Northern horizon. I had to stop the car to just take in the sight, it was mesmerising. But of course my camera was at home in its case!
Good hunting!
Chris

Hi Chris,

I think what you must do, is to use some type of HDR Technique.

If you are using those type of lenses and long exposures for your Shots, it will be impossible in my opinion to achieve with a Drone.

If it was me I would experiment by taking the Sky Shots with your Equipment as usual, then fly the Spark at the Altitude you need (You will be replaceing the Sky), take the shots, put them both in Photoshop or your Post Editing Program you use and superimpose them.

Its take a lot of Hard Work and Trial and Error, but it would be worthed.

Also thanks for the Info re the Equipment, will surely have a look.

6-7 23:18
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Montfrooij
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It might be difficult for Spark (or any small sensor camera that moves) to do just that.
Shutterspeeds up to 1 sec might be ok, but only in very mild wind conditions.
I doubt if that is enough to capture this.
But hey: who will stop you from trying!
6-7 23:59
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dj_dread
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you can boost up the ISO and the 1 sec exposure may be enough. yes, try it and see how it works
6-8 00:41
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DMX_MT
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dj_dread Posted at 2018-6-8 00:41
you can boost up the ISO and the 1 sec exposure may be enough. yes, try it and see how it works

DJ_Dread when we do night photography sometimes 30seconds is an Average to capture Phenomenons like the Milky Way. Still you have to boost the a bit the ISO. Too much ISO will cost the Photo to be more Grainy / Noisy which doesn't look clean.

Thats why many spend a lot of money buying large Aperture Lens, as the Wider the Lens the better for Absorbing Light. Fast Lens (We call them) like the f2.8 is almost a Minimum Requirement.

Leaving the Shutter open over 30seconds can result in Little Star Trails (Motion), due to the Movement of Earth.

Bit Complicated right ? But Astro Photography is an Art in itself, and needs Special Studying and Techniques.

6-8 01:22
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DMX_MT
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I think the Manual Shutter on the DJI Drones its like 8 Seconds the Max Exposure Time for the Shutter Speed.

I found this Video -

6-8 01:35
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dj_dread
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DMX_MT Posted at 2018-6-8 01:22
DJ_Dread when we do night photography sometimes 30seconds is an Average to capture Phenomenons like the Milky Way. Still you have to boost the a bit the ISO. Too much ISO will cost the Photo to be more Grainy / Noisy which doesn't look clean.

Thats why many spend a lot of money buying large Aperture Lens, as the Wider the Lens the better for Absorbing Light. Fast Lens (We call them) like the f2.8 is almost a Minimum Requirement.

thanks for the explanation.
it may worth a try though. but Spark may not be fit for Astro
6-8 01:52
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Weesel
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Hi!

But the question was to take a Photo of noctilucent clouds - not the milky way And i am with DJI_Dread, shouldnt be a big issue for Spark. Depending on the weather 1s exposure is no Problem and Sparks f/2,6 is not bad. Depending on the overall brightness of the Scene HDR might also be an Option. I once tried to capture a Panorama after dawn - worked suprisinlgy well in Microsoft ICE. Another Point is the Resolution of the stiched pic - the Quality improved by scaling the pic down.

Greetz
Weesel

PS: For quite some time I wanted to check night-fotography. I have a 70D with an 30mm Sigma Art with F/1,4. So thats an equivalent of 48mm due to APS-C sensor. In Addition I have a Sigma 50-500 wit OS and F/4,5-6 which is a minimum equivalent of 80mm. So which one would you prefer? My stochmach tells me to use the 30mm - so prefer aperture to OS (besides the wider angle obviously )? Any tips on Settings? Thanks in advance!
6-8 02:27
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ChrisJG
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Weesel Posted at 2018-6-8 02:27
Hi!

But the question was to take a Photo of noctilucent clouds - not the milky way  And i am with DJI_Dread, shouldnt be a big issue for Spark. Depending on the weather 1s exposure is no Problem and Sparks f/2,6 is not bad. Depending on the overall brightness of the Scene HDR might also be an Option. I once tried to capture a Panorama after dawn - worked suprisinlgy well in Microsoft ICE. Another Point is the Resolution of the stiched pic - the Quality improved by scaling the pic down.

For night photos to show star trails, depending on the focal length of your lens, then what most do is take a series of maybe 300 pics, or until the battery dies and then stack them together in (for the Mac) StarStax.
There's some advice regarding the well known 500 rule here https://petapixel.com/2015/01/06 ... following-500-rule/
Thanks all for your comments and advice, next week am going to try, if the weather is favourable...
If you get the opportunity, I'd recommend having a look North late at night and early hrs.
Good luck,
Chris
6-8 02:34
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ChrisJG
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Weesel Posted at 2018-6-8 02:27
Hi!

But the question was to take a Photo of noctilucent clouds - not the milky way  And i am with DJI_Dread, shouldnt be a big issue for Spark. Depending on the weather 1s exposure is no Problem and Sparks f/2,6 is not bad. Depending on the overall brightness of the Scene HDR might also be an Option. I once tried to capture a Panorama after dawn - worked suprisinlgy well in Microsoft ICE. Another Point is the Resolution of the stiched pic - the Quality improved by scaling the pic down.

30mm for sure as wide open as you can, focussing is a pain, on the old film lenses infinity meant just that, on digital stuff, less so!
6-8 02:35
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ChrisJG
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DMX_MT Posted at 2018-6-8 01:22
DJ_Dread when we do night photography sometimes 30seconds is an Average to capture Phenomenons like the Milky Way. Still you have to boost the a bit the ISO. Too much ISO will cost the Photo to be more Grainy / Noisy which doesn't look clean.

Thats why many spend a lot of money buying large Aperture Lens, as the Wider the Lens the better for Absorbing Light. Fast Lens (We call them) like the f2.8 is almost a Minimum Requirement.

It sure is an art in itself, and keeping the lens from misting over or the user from freezing their butt off in Winter when it's minus 7 or more ;-)
6-8 02:36
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Weesel
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ChrisJG Posted at 2018-6-8 02:35
30mm for sure as wide open as you can, focussing is a pain, on the old film lenses infinity meant just that, on digital stuff, less so!

Hi,

I'll give it a try with. Tripod, different ISOs and Exposure times and F/1,4. With liveview obviously instead of the snapping mirror Curious about the sharpness of the outcomes. Focusing with F/1,4 is always a pain in the ass... But I get your Point

Greetz
Weesel
6-8 02:46
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DMX_MT
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ChrisJG Posted at 2018-6-7 20:29
Sorry, one other thing, I buy my camera kit used. There's a retailer that sells mail order and accepts returns if not suitable. My spark was £499 for the Fly More Combo, but open box; never flown. My camera kit the same...if you look for Wex Photo you'll see an extensive used offering, some of the pro kit is well used, other kit hardly touched. Worth a look!
Chris

Thanks for the link Chris !

I really appreciate it ! I am into Canon, and there are some very good camera ! How I wish someday to have the Canon 5D MKIV !!

Really appreciate your help, send you request as I like talking to Pro Photographers !



6-8 03:48
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DMX_MT
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Weesel Posted at 2018-6-8 02:27
Hi!

But the question was to take a Photo of noctilucent clouds - not the milky way  And i am with DJI_Dread, shouldnt be a big issue for Spark. Depending on the weather 1s exposure is no Problem and Sparks f/2,6 is not bad. Depending on the overall brightness of the Scene HDR might also be an Option. I once tried to capture a Panorama after dawn - worked suprisinlgy well in Microsoft ICE. Another Point is the Resolution of the stiched pic - the Quality improved by scaling the pic down.

Yes for Clouds it can work fine, I wonder how an 8 Second Shutter will look like from a Drone....

I never tried any night flying yet. But it is very interesting ! Maybe try with 1/4'', 1/2'', 1'' and bump a bit the ISO to compensate. I am very doubtful, even a 1/4'' will produce a Sharp Picture, but thats why best is to test.

It think it so difficult to avoid motion with long exposures, the slightest movement will produce blurred pictures, very hard to find a day with almost no wind. The thing is that these Rare Phenomenon may appear in a Wind Day.

6-8 04:00
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DMX_MT
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ChrisJG Posted at 2018-6-8 02:34
For night photos to show star trails, depending on the focal length of your lens, then what most do is take a series of maybe 300 pics, or until the battery dies and then stack them together in (for the Mac) StarStax.
There's some advice regarding the well known 500 rule here https://petapixel.com/2015/01/06/avoid-star-trails-following-500-rule/
Thanks all for your comments and advice, next week am going to try, if the weather is favourable...

Yes Chris keep us updated.

I wish to know how your Session went. Maybe even post some pictures here with different Shutter Speeds.

Very excited to see your tests !

The 500 Rule is very good advise. Welldone mate and Thanks for Sharing !

6-8 04:03
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DMX_MT
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ChrisJG Posted at 2018-6-8 02:36
It sure is an art in itself, and keeping the lens from misting over or the user from freezing their butt off in Winter when it's minus 7 or more ;-)


Chris you take Astro in Winter so that there is no humidity in the air ? For clear pictures ?

Here in Malta its an Island in the Mediterranean and we suffer so much with humidity, also to find a place with no city lights its almost impossible.

Humidity + Lights are all Noise / Pollution for Night Photography with Long Exposures.
6-8 04:09
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DMX_MT
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Weesel Posted at 2018-6-8 02:46
Hi,

I'll give it a try with. Tripod, different ISOs and Exposure times and F/1,4. With liveview obviously instead of the snapping mirror  Curious about the sharpness of the outcomes. Focusing with F/1,4 is always a pain in the ass...  But I get your Point

Weesel always remember to turn the OS 'OFF' on any Lens when you mount it on a Tripod. The OS Motor can cause Slight Blur.

I bought an extra screen that attaches with the HDMI Out of my Canon 5D MKII for better focusing in Manual Mode. LiveView is way to go, which AUTO Sets the Camera to the Mirror Lockup Mode.

I have a Sigma Art 50mm f1.4, very expensive too, but when compared to a Canon 50mm f1.2 some said it is Almost Same Sharpness / A Bit  Maybe Sharper from the Tests I saw on Youtube.

I took mine for Euro 599. New it was almost Euro 950. I waited and bought a really good second hand one from Germany.

Have a look at the link that Chris posted here, for Second Hand Camera Equipment from UK ! Really nice website on the Right of the Homepage there is the Second Hand Section.

I really had Fun talking to you Guys !!!

6-8 04:17
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Prairie Chicken
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I shoot time lapses of northern lights at four-second exposures and ISO 1600 or 3200, depending on the brightness of the aurora. If noctilucent clouds are a little brighter, it might be doable with the Spark's maximum two-second shutter speed if it can remain stable. If it comes out a little dark, you might be able to boost it in editing. I hope you post the results here if you try it, for my own selfish benefit.
6-8 12:37
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Prairie Chicken
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ChrisJG Posted at 2018-6-8 02:36
It sure is an art in itself, and keeping the lens from misting over or the user from freezing their butt off in Winter when it's minus 7 or more ;-)

Or at -20 C, leaving the camera for a few hours to record star trails, and coming back to find it completely covered in frost, including the lens. Makes for interesting star trails, though.
6-8 12:40
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ChrisJG
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DMX_MT Posted at 2018-6-8 04:03
Yes Chris keep us updated.

I wish to know how your Session went. Maybe even post some pictures here with different Shutter Speeds.

Will do, although tomorrow my Spark gets used for the reason I purchased it in there first place! Wish me luck, I'm trying to capture a rocket launch!

https://mobile.twitter.com/NorwichAS/status/1004768584952958976

Chris
6-8 13:14
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ChrisJG
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Prairie Chicken Posted at 2018-6-8 12:40
Or at -20 C, leaving the camera for a few hours to record star trails, and coming back to find it completely covered in frost, including the lens. Makes for interesting star trails, though.

Haha, not my camera, when conditions are that good, I'm at the eyepiece of my telescope! I've had eyepieces and a scope freeze over more than once, but to a max of minus 12....at minus 20, I'm indoors!
In Canada your Winters are extreme!
6-8 13:17
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Prairie Chicken
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Minus 20 is room temperature here. It's the minus 40 we have to look out for.
6-8 13:38
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DMX_MT
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ChrisJG Posted at 2018-6-8 13:14
Will do, although tomorrow my Spark gets used for the reason I purchased it in there first place! Wish me luck, I'm trying to capture a rocket launch!

https://mobile.twitter.com/NorwichAS/status/1004768584952958976

Thank you Chris ! It was really fun chatting with you ! You talk like a Pro Mate !
6-8 14:39
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pmshop
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CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

Counting on my "accidents do happen" capability of taking awesome photos...well, to keep from being conceited...I have been told they are awesome
6-8 16:04
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ChrisJG
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DMX_MT Posted at 2018-6-8 04:03
Yes Chris keep us updated.

I wish to know how your Session went. Maybe even post some pictures here with different Shutter Speeds.

So the video quality is poor, but am surprised with how well the still came out. I left everything to auto, the iso when I checked was set at 32000. The attached still I have done nothing to, apart from resize in photoshop elements to fit the max file size of this forum...Bottom line is that I think, in Tripod mode, you can get great shots of the Night sky / Noctilucent clouds and possibly aurora too.
My iphone screen was just dark, so very much "shooting in the dark" (groan) with regards to composition.

6-11 03:55
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Weesel
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Hi,

so forget my post in the other Thread...^^ Whats the Shutter Speed at this pic? Did you try HDR? Could also be wrth a try!

Greetz
Weesel
6-11 04:35
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ChrisJG
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Weesel Posted at 2018-6-11 04:35
Hi,

so forget my post in the other Thread...^^ Whats the Shutter Speed at this pic? Did you try HDR? Could also be wrth a try!

This time I left everything on auto, just checked the ISO before take off and it was set at 3200...I was so focussed on flying and not crashing, that I didn't even think about HDR! (Noob error) but think it's "do-able" with a Spark!
6-11 04:42
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Weesel
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Shutter Speed should be mentioned in the pics meta data? Just curious as I think you have some room for playing with the shutter Speed

Greetz
Weesel
6-11 04:48
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ChrisJG
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Weesel Posted at 2018-6-11 04:48
Shutter Speed should be mentioned in the pics meta data? Just curious as I think you have some room for playing with the shutter Speed

Greetz

I didn't know how to "do" that, but thanks to a big search engine ;-)
Make        DJI
Model        FC1102
Exposure        0.5
Aperture        2.6
Focal Length        4.5 mm
ISO Speed        1599
Flash        No Flash

Looks like once airborne, the Spark dropped the ISO down from 3200 to 1600
6-11 04:56
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DMX_MT
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ChrisJG Posted at 2018-6-11 03:55
So the video quality is poor, but am surprised with how well the still came out. I left everything to auto, the iso when I checked was set at 32000. The attached still I have done nothing to, apart from resize in photoshop elements to fit the max file size of this forum...Bottom line is that I think, in Tripod mode, you can get great shots of the Night sky / Noctilucent clouds and possibly aurora too.
My iphone screen was just dark, so very much "shooting in the dark" (groan) with regards to composition.


The Sky doesn't have so much grain for 3200. I agree with you Chris !

Really Big Step Forward ! This is all Trial and Error and this first picture already shows Big Progress !
6-11 04:57
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Weesel
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Merci. Think you can go up to 1s for your purpose. I was quite amazed how well Spark handles in such situations (especially when you take the Price into account...).

Tip: Start using Manual mode only. I try to find the "boundaries" before flight while Spark connects to GPS. Then i roughly know which Settings to use. You can put camera Settings to the button under the Releaser - so makes it easy to Change exposure and ISO

Greetz
Weesel
6-11 05:14
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ChrisJG
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DMX_MT Posted at 2018-6-11 04:57
The Sky doesn't have so much grain for 3200. I agree with you Chris !

Really Big Step Forward ! This is all Trial and Error and this first picture already shows Big Progress !

Thank you!
6-11 05:16
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ChrisJG
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Weesel Posted at 2018-6-11 05:14
Merci. Think you can go up to 1s for your purpose. I was quite amazed how well Spark handles in such situations (especially when you take the Price into account...).

Tip: Start using Manual mode only. I try to find the "boundaries" before flight while Spark connects to GPS. Then i roughly know which Settings to use. You can put camera Settings to the button under the Releaser - so makes it easy to Change exposure and ISO

Thank you, it's like learning to fly all over again...we joke that guys don't multitask so well, so flying in the dark and managing the exposure in camera will be a challenge...But thanks for the advice, next time ;-)
6-11 05:21
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Weesel
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ChrisJG Posted at 2018-6-11 05:21
Thank you, it's like learning to fly all over again...we joke that guys don't multitask so well, so flying in the dark and managing the exposure in camera will be a challenge...But thanks for the advice, next time ;-)

TBH I realy suck on Multitasking - but I never had problems with manual control of the camera, as Sparky is realy stable in GPS mode Just release the sticks and it will hold its position even in higher winds
With e.g. my 100€ Syma drone i havent even been able to look for the releaser on the RC xD

Greetz
Weesel
6-11 05:36
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ChrisJG
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Weesel Posted at 2018-6-11 05:36
TBH I realy suck on Multitasking - but I never had problems with manual control of the camera, as Sparky is realy stable in GPS mode  Just release the sticks and it will hold its position even in higher winds
With e.g. my 100€ Syma drone i havent even been able to look for the releaser on the RC xD

I wish I'd remembered your advice last night about setting the camera to manual exposure, had I done so, I might have captured the faint beginnings of some Noctilucent Clouds!
I did capture them with my iPhone, (which is crazy I know) but that's on the Osmo section of the forum.
9 minutes of night time flying and over the sea, not quite as terrifying the second time around...It was though, much darker than the photo shows.
I'm off to learn how to set the camera to manual

6-19 23:42
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