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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    For Aurora Borealis shots, Sony RX100 good enough or go for Canon EOS-M?

    I'm a point&shoot-er wanting to upgrade to a better yet still simple to use camera, to be able to take reasonably good night sky shots of the aurora borealis (northern lights). Is the Sony RX100 good enough or go for the Canon EOS-M?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Livin in a redneck paradise
    I'm not sure how you narrowed it down to those two, but I don't think it is possible to say yet. One has the advantage in a larger lens opening, the other in a larger sensor. Wait until Jeff (of this website) gets his night pictures up from those cameras, that is really the best comparison on the web for this application. Either way, if you don't have one a tripod will be the best tool. Followed by knowing how to set the ISO or shutter speed yourself. Bear in mind it is likely that there are other models (Sony, Samsung, maybe Olympus) that will give better results for the Aurora Borealis.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Exeter, UK
    I would think that to gather as much of the relatively faint light of the aurora as possible, the bigger the sensor the better. Since you're already looking at a CSC in the form of the EOS-M, why not one of the APS sized sensor CSCs from Samsung or Sony?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    From what I have read you will probably need a camera that supports bulb mode for extended exposures. Certainly at least 10-15 second times. Doubt you can keep a point & shoot mindset for Aurora photos.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Brisbane, CA
    The big questions are how much money and effort are you willing to invest? And what do you consider to be a reasonably good photo?

    Camera: Anonymous
    I could tell you but I wouldn't want you to get all pissy if it's the wrong brand


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Terra Australis Incognita
    Depends I suppose how bright the Aurora is near you. In southern Tasmania (Australia) a successful amateur on a forum I frequent shoots about 2 min, F4 and between iso 200 and 800 depending how bright it is.

    You could also look up the NASA website which has heaps of beaut photos (mostly space but some Aurora) and you could look at the settings used to capture them.

    As far as I can see the main thing is a camera with manual controls and a tripod.
    D800, D300, D90, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200VR f2.8, 300 F4, 105 micro, 16-85VR, 50mm 1.8, Tammy 90 macro, 70-300VR, SB900, 2xSB600, MB-D10, 055XPROB 322RC2. New computers to run photoshop faster. C&C always appreciated. PhotoGallery
    Pressing the shutter is the start of the process - Joe McNally ... Buying the body is the start of the process - Dread Pirate

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    I'm interested in an answer to a similar question. I'm a long time point and shoot user that has been seriously considering the step up to a Sony NEX5R, a big driver being a trip to Norway to see the northern lights next March.

    One concern I'd had was the size of the NEX camera with lens, the kit lens looks huge relative to the body, though possibly there are some better options avaliable for my purposes. It has made the prospect of the RX100 quite tempting given that would give manual control and be a significant step up from a regular P&S. I just can't work out if I'd regret not going for the NEX.

    In terms of reviews there have been a lot that are positive for the RX100 but have tended to say its amazing given the size etc but can't quite tell myself how much of a compromise it is.

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