Just because it is nighttime, there is no reason to leave your camera at home. There can be some wonderful opportunities such as a vivid sunset or sky vista. Sure, for some of these shots a tripod or other solid support may be needed but sometimes you can get lucky. On July 15th, 2018 in Rockford, IL the clouds parted and an stunning celestial event occured. Venus was “kissing” a cresent shaped moon and both were extremely bright. A cell phone photograph just wouldn’t do justice to this sight and neither would a photograph using a standard lens. This is where a crop sensor mirrorless camera can come in handy. In this case a 55-210mm zoom lens can have a reach of 300mm when compared to 35mm sensor size.
When taking a photograph of a “bright white light” on a black background, you can’t trust your camera’s autoexposure. Mirrorless cameras show the image on a LED screen, so it is a simple matter of going into manual mode and adjusting the exposure until the moon and Venus properly show without haloing. It is also possible, as I did, to keep your camera in auto mode and use exposure compensation to get the proper exposure, again by looking at the view in your LED viewfinder. By using a high ISO setting, a hand held shot is very possible as this photograph shows; however, be careful. Some cameras will show considerable noise at higher ISO levels. It’s a good idea to experiment with various ISO settings. Bracketing your exposures will also help insure you get the proper exposure.
This photograph was taken with a Sony NEX-6 which as good high ISO performance. The exposure was made at ISO 3200, 1/125 sec at f/6.3 using a Sony 55-210 Zoom lens. The zoom was set at 200mm (300mm 35mm equivalent).