Digital Cameras

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Digital cameras are great. They are a major improvement over film cameras for a number of reasons. While standard 35mm film is typically limited to 24 and 36 exposures, digital cameras can hold well over a hundred high resolution images. If you have a bad shot with a digital camera you just delete it instead of wasting the film space. Most digital cameras come with on board software that makes picture taking a breeze, you just point and shoot. Digital cameras are features on portable cell phones, can fit into a shirt pocket, or can be set up for direct communication to the Internet for live video feeds. Digital cameras take eclipse photography to a different level.

Consumer digital camera technology operate at a level desired for eclipse photography. Brightness ranges and density are now superior to most films. If you are not sure about yours, test it by taking a few pictures of the moon and see how they come out.

Types of digital cameras:

Example (Simulation)
Example Product
Tiny - in a cell phone - great for capturing images of people before, during, and after the total phase of the eclipse. Does not do well with the eclipse itself since all you get is a blurry white area with a tiny black dot in the middle at best. Horizon colors and the rapid darkening can be imaged. Be polite when taking pictures during totality and stay still.
Tiny camera
Small - pocket camera - excellent people pictures before, during, and after totality. Pictures of the eclipse will result in a somewhat blurry corona and black center. Can produce nice images of the horizon and sky colors, shadows, and silhouettes of eclipse chasers against the brighter sky. Make sure the flash is covered with black electrical tape or turned off!
Tiny camera
Regular - SLR with removable lenses - professional grade cameras that accept multiple lenses or can be attached to telescopes. Using a wider angle lens these cameras are wonderful for before and after pictures, colorful views of the sky and extended corona, and silhouettes of eclipse chasers during totality. Zoom lenses will bring increasing details of the eclipse into view. The subtle shades of the corona, twisted details of streamers, and even prominences can be resolved clearly with sufficient optics.
Tiny camera
Astronomical - replaces eyepiece on telescope - requires computer and possible cooling system, very sensitive to low light and much deeper depth of shades. Astronomical web cam type cameras designed for color photography of the planets and moon can be used even though they may be at too high a magnification for anything beyond prominences and detailing the visible edge of the moon. Typical lunar/planetary web cam set ups are meant to replace a 6mm eyepiece.
Tiny camera

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