Around 2 am, I headed out to the beach to see how the Sony RX100 V would capture the Milky Way. As you can see, the 1” sensor handled it with aplomb. A single exposure at ISO 3200, f/1.8, 20 sec, and 24 mm was amazing, but when I stacked 5 consecutive exposures with the same parameters, whatever little noise there was simply melted away. Here’s basically what I did to create this shot.
1. I put the camera in Manual mode set the following parameters: ISO 3200, f/1.8, 20 sec, 24mm.
2. I set the focus to manual and zoomed in on the brightest star and made sure it was a pinpoint of light on my LCD. Here’s a bit of great news…when the camera says the focus is set to infinity, it really is at “true” infinity. On interchangeable lens cameras, the infinity point is often inaccurate, and trial and error is required to find the “true” infinity mark.
3. More awesome news! The little Sony has a self-timer setting that will take 5 consecutive images with a 2 second delay! This feature was extremely helpful for this shot because I planned to stack 5 images.
4. I took my 5 consecutive shots and one last one where I stood in front of the lens to offer a sense of perspective, make the composition more dynamic, and have a cool selfie.
5. I brought the images in LightRoom. Then, I exported the 6 images as layers to Photoshop.
6. In Photoshop, I combined the first 5 images by converting them to a smart object, auto aligning them, and blending them using the “median” blending mode. If you’re interested in how to do this and many other things related to astrophotography, Ian Normal (@inorman) has excellent tutorials on his website (www.lonelyspeck.com). 7. As a final step, I blended in the bottom of the image where I was standing in the field of view. ============================
C: Sony RX100 V
E: ISO 3200 | f/1.8 | 20 sec x 6 ============================
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