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D7200 DSLR video recording tests: Venus, Jupiter

Posted: 30 April 2015

Open: Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 1813 MST
Temperature: 87°F
Session: 816
Conditions: Mostly clear

Just after opening the observatory I took four photos from outside the observatory using the D7200 DSLR to test out the panorama stitching capability in Lightroom v6. Here's the result, which is pretty good:

Click or tap on image for larger version

Did you see the waxing gibbous Moon at the upper right?

1827 MST: viewed Venus with the 8" LX200-ACF at 83X. Then set up for HD video recording tests with the D7200 DSLR set for different resolutions. Here are two images of Venus, stacked from 15 second HD video recordings at 1.3X crop factor and made with exposures of 1/800sec, ISO 800. The left is 939 frames at 1920x1080 and the right is 981 frames at 1280x720.

photo photo

As you can see from the above images, 1920x1080 yields more magnification of the stacked image. I'll continue to use 1920x1080, 1.3X crop factor, 60 fps for planet video recording.

1844 MST: removed the camera from the telescope and began using the Baader Zoom 8-24mm Eyepiece for some lunar observing at various magnifications. Although the view of the Moon was low constrast before sunset, the views were good.

1900 MST: viewed Mercury, low in the western sky using the zoom eyepiece. 1907 MST: sunset. The view of Mercury using all magnifications except 83X showed the near half-phase illumination.

1911 MST: viewed Jupiter with the zoom eyepiece. Four moons were visible, with Europa approaching the planet's disk.

I mounted the D7200 DSLR at prime focus + 2X PowerMate and took this photo of the southern region of the Moon, 1/500sec, ISO 3200:


Then did a focus test on the star Procyon using the Bahtinov Mask. Slewed back to Jupiter. This cropped image, 1/4sec, ISO 2000, shows three of the moons (Jupiter is overexposed in order to capture the moons):


I monitored Europa in the camera viewfinder as it approached its transit of the planet, which would begin at 2008 MST. As the transit began I started doing HD video recordings at various exposure settings in the hope of capturing Europa in transit. Unfortunately, the best (but not great) stack of 3639 frames from a recording at 1/60sec, ISO 500, did not show Europa:


2023 MST: ended imaging and viewed Jupiter at 167X. Europa was visible in transit as a bright star-like object. By 2028 MST Europa was becoming difficult to see at 167X. Switched to 83X, which made it easier to see Europa, but a minute later Europa was almost invisible.

Close: Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 2040 MST
Temperature: 66°F

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