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Old 04-08-2012, 09:59 AM
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EclipseMaestro (Xavier)
Eclipse Maps & Software

EclipseMaestro is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by gregbradley View Post
Not sure about the 60D but I know some use a D800 set to auto ISO, minimum shutter speed and AV. Apparently that works well.
In that case the shutter speed and ISO varies to suit the metered scene.
That can work well when shooting wide angle during totality. However do bracket by up to two stops.

Originally Posted by gregbradley View Post
I imagine with an eclipse you will want your camera able to take in the widish range of light levels from bright to twilight type conditions and back again without requiring fiddling with settings with a few minute window of opportunity.

I'd experiment with settings outside on a bright day then take it inside and make it a bit dim and see if it still handles that without changing anything.
With the exception of a wide angle view of the landscape and sky, automatic exposures might not produce good results.
When the eclipse is partial it should work well. When zooming in on the Sun make sure the camera is in spot metering mode.

However during totality, particularly when zooming in on the solar corona, manual settings are far superior to automatic, and using software to automate the whole process is by far the best method to capture all the dynamic range. Don't forget that no single exposure can capture its full dynamic range.
The best strategy is to choose one aperture and bracket the exposures over a range of shutter speeds (i.e. 1/1000s to 4s). That way a composite image will be able to reveal the structure of the subtle corona.
Usually what you do is, start with a very short exposure time, the one that was used for the partial phase and/or Baily's beads, and then increase the exposure time with every exposure up to about 4 to 8 seconds, this will capture Earthshine on the Moon as well, before decreasing the exposure time down to the one used for the Baily's beads and/or partial phase.
During the about two minutes we'll have next November two complete sets can be captured.

You can use this exposure guide to have a better idea of the exposure times. And don't forget to always bracket the exposures.

Last don't forget to look at the event naked eye as no picture will do justice to the sheer beauty of a total solar eclipse...

For those attending the QLD Astrofest, I will be there from Aug. 16 to 19th and will participate with Terry to a talk addressing this topic and others on Friday Aug. 17th.
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