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Northern lights Photography

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  • What camera do I need for Northern lights photography?
    There are several different cameras and types to choose from, and this is just a general walkthrough. For a full article on northern lights photography go to our blog. For daylight photography all cameras sold today are sufficient. Ranging from small compacts as low as 50 euros, to the big DSLR cameras that can get just as expensive as you want. And nowadays most people allready have a very good camera in your pocket - your mobile phone. For low light photography and northern lights photography, the more money you throw at it is usually better, but you don´t need a 5000 euro Leica camera to get decent pictures. The main thing you have to look for is a camera where you are able to control the settings manually - this is because you are going to shoot in an environment most cameras are not used to, and you will have to tell your camera what to do. Ask your retailer, the manual settings are usually marked by the letter M on the settings wheel on the camera housing. The small compact cameras are better left at home. The menus rarely allow for manual settings, and if they do have manual settings they usually have limitations on shutter speed, ISO and aperture. With small sensors you also need a lot of light, meaning that even on good days you will have to use very long exposure times. Again, some of the mobile phones sold in the last couple of years are actually gonna give you nice pictures on nights when the lights are reasonably strong. Two of the models I have tried myself, and that gave me very good pictures are the iPhone 11 PRO and the Huawei P30 PRO - but there are probably also others out there. Bridge- /fixed lens cameras are another category where the camera is usually very versatile with its zoom capabilities ranging from very wide to very long. Some of these models are good for northern lights photography, but in our experience, many of the models have menu systems that limit how you set the camera manually. Some of our guests travel with GoPro cameras, and we have seen good results using the night-/low light mode both for pictures and timelapse. In weak lights, this camera will also have its limitations. The battery capacity beeing a very big issue in cold weather conditions. DSLR or mirrorless cameras in the same category are normally the best cameras for low light photography. They give you full control in manual settings and have big sensors allowing for short exposures even in situations where the lights are not strong. The challenge is of course that you need some practice to operate them. For years we have been using a Nikon D750 with the 14-24mm lens, and we are very happy with image quality and battery capacity in cold weather. The camera only does 50% of the work, remember to practice before you get up north.
  • What settings do I use?
    Our blogpost on northern lights photography covers the basic and general settings for your camera.
  • Tips & Tricks for northern lights photography
    Our blogpost on nothern lights photography covers some of the tips & tricks that are nice to know about. In short: - Bring tripod - Bring extra battery, keep it warm when out. - Bring wide ange low aperture lense (f2,8 and lower is good). - Remove strap/stuff that work as "sails"when outdoors. - Bring cable for thethered exposures if you have one - The Kp is not always the most important measure of NL activity - Learn your camera. Everything is harder in a cold and dark environment - Be careful with light, you need your nightvision. Turn of flash! - Be patience and lower expectations Good luck!
  • What camera do I need for Northern lights photography?
    There are several different cameras and types to choose from, and this is just a general walkthrough. For a full article on northern lights photography go to our blog. For daylight photography all cameras sold today are sufficient. Ranging from small compacts as low as 50 euros, to the big DSLR cameras that can get just as expensive as you want. And nowadays most people allready have a very good camera in your pocket - your mobile phone. For low light photography and northern lights photography, the more money you throw at it is usually better, but you don´t need a 5000 euro Leica camera to get decent pictures. The main thing you have to look for is a camera where you are able to control the settings manually - this is because you are going to shoot in an environment most cameras are not used to, and you will have to tell your camera what to do. Ask your retailer, the manual settings are usually marked by the letter M on the settings wheel on the camera housing. The small compact cameras are better left at home. The menus rarely allow for manual settings, and if they do have manual settings they usually have limitations on shutter speed, ISO and aperture. With small sensors you also need a lot of light, meaning that even on good days you will have to use very long exposure times. Again, some of the mobile phones sold in the last couple of years are actually gonna give you nice pictures on nights when the lights are reasonably strong. Two of the models I have tried myself, and that gave me very good pictures are the iPhone 11 PRO and the Huawei P30 PRO - but there are probably also others out there. Bridge- /fixed lens cameras are another category where the camera is usually very versatile with its zoom capabilities ranging from very wide to very long. Some of these models are good for northern lights photography, but in our experience, many of the models have menu systems that limit how you set the camera manually. Some of our guests travel with GoPro cameras, and we have seen good results using the night-/low light mode both for pictures and timelapse. In weak lights, this camera will also have its limitations. The battery capacity beeing a very big issue in cold weather conditions. DSLR or mirrorless cameras in the same category are normally the best cameras for low light photography. They give you full control in manual settings and have big sensors allowing for short exposures even in situations where the lights are not strong. The challenge is of course that you need some practice to operate them. For years we have been using a Nikon D750 with the 14-24mm lens, and we are very happy with image quality and battery capacity in cold weather. The camera only does 50% of the work, remember to practice before you get up north.
  • What settings do I use?
    Our blogpost on northern lights photography covers the basic and general settings for your camera.
  • Tips & Tricks for northern lights photography
    Our blogpost on nothern lights photography covers some of the tips & tricks that are nice to know about. In short: - Bring tripod - Bring extra battery, keep it warm when out. - Bring wide ange low aperture lense (f2,8 and lower is good). - Remove strap/stuff that work as "sails"when outdoors. - Bring cable for thethered exposures if you have one - The Kp is not always the most important measure of NL activity - Learn your camera. Everything is harder in a cold and dark environment - Be careful with light, you need your nightvision. Turn of flash! - Be patience and lower expectations Good luck!
  • What camera do I need for Northern lights photography?
    There are several different cameras and types to choose from, and this is just a general walkthrough. For a full article on northern lights photography go to our blog. For daylight photography all cameras sold today are sufficient. Ranging from small compacts as low as 50 euros, to the big DSLR cameras that can get just as expensive as you want. And nowadays most people allready have a very good camera in your pocket - your mobile phone. For low light photography and northern lights photography, the more money you throw at it is usually better, but you don´t need a 5000 euro Leica camera to get decent pictures. The main thing you have to look for is a camera where you are able to control the settings manually - this is because you are going to shoot in an environment most cameras are not used to, and you will have to tell your camera what to do. Ask your retailer, the manual settings are usually marked by the letter M on the settings wheel on the camera housing. The small compact cameras are better left at home. The menus rarely allow for manual settings, and if they do have manual settings they usually have limitations on shutter speed, ISO and aperture. With small sensors you also need a lot of light, meaning that even on good days you will have to use very long exposure times. Again, some of the mobile phones sold in the last couple of years are actually gonna give you nice pictures on nights when the lights are reasonably strong. Two of the models I have tried myself, and that gave me very good pictures are the iPhone 11 PRO and the Huawei P30 PRO - but there are probably also others out there. Bridge- /fixed lens cameras are another category where the camera is usually very versatile with its zoom capabilities ranging from very wide to very long. Some of these models are good for northern lights photography, but in our experience, many of the models have menu systems that limit how you set the camera manually. Some of our guests travel with GoPro cameras, and we have seen good results using the night-/low light mode both for pictures and timelapse. In weak lights, this camera will also have its limitations. The battery capacity beeing a very big issue in cold weather conditions. DSLR or mirrorless cameras in the same category are normally the best cameras for low light photography. They give you full control in manual settings and have big sensors allowing for short exposures even in situations where the lights are not strong. The challenge is of course that you need some practice to operate them. For years we have been using a Nikon D750 with the 14-24mm lens, and we are very happy with image quality and battery capacity in cold weather. The camera only does 50% of the work, remember to practice before you get up north.
  • What settings do I use?
    Our blogpost on northern lights photography covers the basic and general settings for your camera.
  • Tips & Tricks for northern lights photography
    Our blogpost on nothern lights photography covers some of the tips & tricks that are nice to know about. In short: - Bring tripod - Bring extra battery, keep it warm when out. - Bring wide ange low aperture lense (f2,8 and lower is good). - Remove strap/stuff that work as "sails"when outdoors. - Bring cable for thethered exposures if you have one - The Kp is not always the most important measure of NL activity - Learn your camera. Everything is harder in a cold and dark environment - Be careful with light, you need your nightvision. Turn of flash! - Be patience and lower expectations Good luck!

Got more questions? Contact us on booking@arcticmoments.com or on Facebook.

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