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Fuji X-A1 for Astrophotos


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Hi there, I'm Thomas from Darmstadt, Germany. I got me an old x-a1 because of the good reviews concerning sensor noise. I recently tried to use it for astrophotography and was facing two major problems. 1. the ISO setting did not affect the picture on the display, means I could not see stars at all and could consequently not do focusing with Bahtinov mask. My Sony Nex-3N even allows a 'live view' (when saving in jpg format) to zoom in on the stars while doing the focusing. Stars (and noise) become brighter at higher ISO values as expected, why not so on th Fuji? 2. I solved this problem by taking many pictures, zooming in on the saved images, but the camera seems to have a maximum zoom factor for saved images which is not very high. So even in this quite cumbersome way I could not see sufficiently big Bahtinov patterns. 

Since I have the camera only since few weeks it is absolutely not excluded that the mistake is on my side (yes, I read the manual). If not, I would say it is definitely not usable for astrophotography. 

Edited by TomS
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  • TomS changed the title to Fuji X-A1 for Astrophotos

Wow, that is an old Bayer sensor range-finder type camera.

Range-finder cameras are not the best for astro-photography, but you may be able to get it working. Do you have a smart phone or tablet?

Try using the Fujifilm Camera Remote app to use the A1’s wifi to transfer a shot over to your phone/tablet which should let you zoom in further than the lcd will. This method requires some patience to get it to work, but once you do, it gives usable results.

https://app.fujifilm-dsc.com/en/manual/camera_remote/usage/live_view/index.html

If you do not get results you like, or as an alternative, The X-A1 has a USB port which you can use to upload images to a “cheap” laptop and zoom in as far as the laptop’s software will let you. Again, patience, patience and practice.

I use a version of these for plate-solving and focus checking with more recently made cameras. I hope you are able to make something work.

p.s. Welcome to the forum.

Edited by jerryy
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There is an alternative that may help. During the day time, take your gear to a place where you can sort of see things far, far, far away in the distance. Get a couple of shots focused on that object. Make a mark on the “focuser”, (you did not say whether you are using a camera lens or a telescope). Then at night, take a bunch of shots focused at that mark. Move the focuser one notch below the mark and get a bunch more shots. Move the focuser to one notch above the mark and take more shots. Move these over to your computer and see which set gives you round, small stars. If it is the set from the mark, you are pretty much good to go, during regular sessions, focus at the mark and get lots of good images. One thing to keep in mind, if the temperature changes several degrees, or you are aiming 60 degrees (or more) above the horizon, you may get focus breathing, so check now and then.

Edited by jerryy
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