Nikon COOLPIX950

The Nikon COOLPIX950 digital camera. Principal features for astronomy: high definition 1600x1200 pixels CCD, uncompressed file formats (no image degradation), exposure time up to 8 seconds (a very essential characteristic for astronomy), shutter/aperture priority modes and a fine lens (3x zoom).

One exposure of 8 second2s integration time (January 3, 2000) around Messier 45 region. The original 1600x1200 image is rescaled here by a factor 0.5. Settings of the COOLPIX950: focal length of 7 mm (minimal value of the zoom), uncompressed 1600x1200 (Hi mode), Black&White mode, shutter-priority mode. Note that hot pixels are not removed in this image. Measured limit magnitude for a single 8 seconds exposure: 7.0.

 Same as the later image, but the focal length is now of 21 mm (f/4), the max. value for the zoom. Hot pixels are removed by dark current subtraction and sigma-clipping composite of 4 individual 8-seconds images (Iris and PaintShop Pro for processing and display).

Enlargement of the last image. The visual  magnitude limit is about 7.8. The COOLPIX950 is fixed on a simple photographic tripod, so the sideral drift of the stars is evident for a 8-seconds exposure.

Image of the sun (January 3, 2000). Instrumentation: Meade ETX90 telescope, 25 millimeters ocular and COOLPIX950 (the objective lens is adjusted for an infinity distance objet).

Click here for a comparison analysis of the CoolPix 950 and CoolPix 990
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