So you’ve looked online and have seen some wonderful astrophotography pictures, but thought that it might be too expensive to get into the hobby. Well, if you have an old or a new DLSR/Mirrorless camera then you may be able to grab some incredible night sky photos.
All the major brands should be capable but you will need to start getting familiar with the manual settings of your camera. You will need to consider exposure time, that is to say how long the camera will take a picture. You will need to think about the size of the aperture. This just means how open the lens you want. An example is shown below in figure 1. (Taken from the Nikon website). Finally, you will need to also set the ISO. An easy way to think of ISO is similar to the volume dial for a speaker. The higher the ISO the brighter the image will be, but it could introduce noise just like a very loud speaker.
Now that you have gotten your exposure time, ISO, and aperture all set, you can use a tool like Photo Pills to find out where you might want to go or even track an astronomical event. As you can see in the next picture we were able to take a nice picture in a bright subdivision in Knoxville, using a DSLR brought from F/32 ,32mm lens at f/2.8, ISO 800 and a 5 second exposure.
– Thanks for reading and clear skies!