Sunday, September 30, 2012

Moon nights (updated)

Ray shot the moon with his new Nikon P510. He says he is amazed at the technical progress from the similar super-zoom camera he bought a couple of years ago.

Now, the moon is a sun-lit subject, so the exposure could be done at 1/500 second. But it was zoomed in to 42x plus digital zoom, so he had to use support/tripod, even with image stabilization. It's a seriously long lens you need for the moon. (And the digital zoom means that image quality is not at its best.)
So far as I know, it's a new thing that we're able to do such stuff with entry-level cameras.
Superzooms have developed. Here's a 24x Panasonic with the exceptional feature that the F:2.8 aperture is held over all the range! (Thanks to Michael Reichman.)

Jeff R took his own moon picture with the very same camera. (See comments.)

When I mentioned the P510 the first time a couple months ago, I pointed to this review, which says, reflecting Ray's feelings: 
It used to be that shooting with a superzoom meant compromising. With each new generation of superzoom, though, fewer compromises are required.
With the Nikon P510 I was, for the first time, not keeping score so much as exploring a new way to see. It wasn't just the 1,000mm equivalent reach of the lens, either. It was the results I got at ISO 800 and 1,600. And the detail the 16-megapixel sensor captured.


David Evans said...

The Moon is sunlit but it's not a very reflective surface. My comparable shots, with a Sony HX100V at a mere 30x zoom, tend to be around 1/100 sec, f8, ISO 200. I also find it looks more interesting when around 3/4 full, the shadows pick out the craters and mountains better.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, I read somewhere recently that the moon surface is a quite dark grey.

Jeff R. said...

Further to the above, here's my P510 moon from a month ago.

Cropped, very gently sharpened, but no level adjustment. i.e. straight from the camera, basically.

Handheld, one of a four-shot burst.

EXIF is intact.
Sadly, the GPS did not have time to settle down. It was taken from Sydney, Australia.

Eo, I bought the P510 after your little piece on it (months ago) largely for the GPS facility. Since then I have been amazed at the superzoom quality.

No digital zoom in this image, though it shows artefacts which suggest otherwise.

Exposure comp was -2 stops (the max) which yielded 1/1000 @ f/5.9 800ISO.

Unbelievable little camera. My daily carry-around for sure.

Thanks for the heads-up.

Jeff R. said...


Character-validation is maddening! It took five refreshes before I could read the text, and three further attempts to actually get it right.

Last time I looked, I wasn't a robot.


Sigghhhhh. Here I go again....

Jeff R. said...


Image was also reduced in size to 40% (as well as cropped).

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, Jeff, very cool.