Saturday, August 18, 2012

Exact settings for star circles on Canon Powershot A3100 IS

I've seen some hits coming through my site as a result of Google searches with questions about the exact settings to use for star circles with a point and shoot camera. While most sites will give information on ISO and shutter speed, I though I would try to make it even easier for people to take their own star circle photos on their very first try.

Nothing can replace reading your camera manual, and a healthy amount of trial and error. However, if you have a point and shoot camera like mine, these setting guidelines should allow you to step outside and immediately start taking star circle photos!

Here are the major steps in order:

star trail camera settings

  1. Set the camera to SCN mode
  2. Make sure flash is off
  3. Set length of exposure (in this case 15 seconds)
  4. Set focus to infinity
  5. Set functions to ISO 400 or 800, and Continuous shooting
  6. Tape down the shutter button when you area ready to begin 
  7. Open StarStaX software and open files
  8. Select files and click the stack icon
  9. Be sure to un-check the first photo that you probably ruined by messing with the tape, click save and you're done!
Ok, so footnotes... the resulting camera home screen should look like this:

canon powershot star trail settings

Obviously you're going to need to download StarStaX to stack the images. There are a lot of other software options out there, but this one is very simple and also free.

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