Camera Control and Astrophotography

A number of computer programs designed for use in astrophotography offer users a high level of camera control. Through the use of the program, the camera settings can be manipulated. By using these programs, the user can instruct the camera on how to take a photograph of the night sky and celestial bodies.

Controlling the Camera

The ability to control how the camera takes the shot depends on the type and model of the camera and the software used. Newer DSLR cameras, from Nikon and Canon, are capable of taking photographs of the night sky. With Canon EOS cameras, programs made by the camera manufacturer are capable of controlling all of the camera’s functions, including the camera’s focus and seeing real-time images. Programs made by Nikon can do almost all of them, except take photographs with exposures that are longer than 30 seconds. For Nikon camera owners, programs made by other companies are needed.

Connecting the Camera to the Computer

Newer cameras only need the USB cable for the program to access and control the camera’s settings. With older cameras, as well as some models of Nikon cameras, two cables are need for astrophotography: one is the USB cable to manipulate camera functions, while the other is for the serial to bulb port to control long exposures.