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Thread: Canon EOS 550D/Rebel T2i/Kiss X4 External Power?

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    Canon EOS 550D/Rebel T2i/Kiss X4 External Power?

    Hi all! I have a Canon 550D (well mines branded kiss x4, since i got it out of the country but anyway) and i want to attempt one of those photos where you take a really long exposure of stars and they go around in little circles...
    My question(s) are:
    1. Can you attatch a external powersource to the 550D so it doesnt run out of juice?
    2. Is there any special way of taking photos like that?
    3. Would the internal battery last long enough to take a photo like that?

    Thankyou!

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    There are special adapters available that fit in the battery compartment and can be plugged into the mains. Not sure if there is one for the 550D but I know there is one for the camera's I have and had (like the 400D).
    However... I never felt the need to buy one as the battery capacity is sufficient to take long exposure shots.

    When you tether your camera with a computer via USB, using the EOS utility software you can take interval shots for as long as you like... That'll give you the desired effect and is probably more energy efficient than bulb exposure. But I never tried bulb that long myself.

    And... you most likely have thought of that already: use a stable tripod.

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    Hmm, i have found the adaptor online (on ebay) but ill try doing it just using the batteries capcity and see what happens. Yea, i had a play with the EOS utility software it seems really good.
    And ohh yes, i have a tripod. Thanks for your help! Now i need a clear night! (It wont stop being cloudy)

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    Hi Cheese510 - i have the exact same camera as you (i too got the kissx4 haha) - and i took a 2hr exposure after using it all day to capture star trails over new years and when i went and took it off its tripod, it still had 1/3 power left on the battery- the battery packs in there are amazing, and if i were you- you'd get much better value for money if you bought a spare battery rather than external power- that way you've got two batteries.. and everyone should have 2 charged up little babies set and ready to go! Use one for long exposures and then swap over to the freshly charged one for new shots

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    Hi Ice,

    I tried capturing star trails the other day but i cant for the life of me get the stars to actually come out in the photo! Yes, the night i tried it was the first clear night in....along time however the moon was at ~50%. Im guessing this would of affected it? It probably isnt going to help that im only 50-60km from sydney....Thats why i want to try the method of taking alot of 8 minute exposures (or whatever time) then layer them up using the startrails program. May i ask how far away from major cities you are and what settings you used? This is my first DSLR so everythings still a little new to me :S

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheese510 View Post
    Hi Ice,

    I tried capturing star trails the other day but i cant for the life of me get the stars to actually come out in the photo! Yes, the night i tried it was the first clear night in....along time however the moon was at ~50%. Im guessing this would of affected it? It probably isnt going to help that im only 50-60km from sydney....Thats why i want to try the method of taking alot of 8 minute exposures (or whatever time) then layer them up using the startrails program. May i ask how far away from major cities you are and what settings you used? This is my first DSLR so everythings still a little new to me :S
    Hi Mate, have you researched the Forum under Night - Astro for star trails, Astro man and others have posted some very helpfull ideas and links on how to get it right.

    I would also go for another battery, then you have the capability to go anywhere with the two batteries, also can use a battery grip with both batteries. I have the 50D and a N grip, used both batteries and didn't need to re-charge either the other weekend at the SummerNats car weekend, over 1000 shots day and lowlight. Can't do that with an external power source, but if you want long fixed in place exposure shooting, near a power socket, well thats a different story.

    With the star trails, you need to go off the southern cross lower southern star axis or something, hit the forum search and you'll find the link. Hope that helps somewhat.
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    Try this link fron Haka.

    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ome-startrails

    He has put heaps of info on this link, also if you post some shots, i'm sure the astro togs will help you out.

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    Hi again

    Sorry, i hadnt checked this post in awhile... Yes- you have to be careful not to get any other light sources in the picture (i havent noticed any problems with the moon, but not sure what stage it was at when i have tried my star trails). ISO 100, shutter open 30 minutes. I dont have the great software that all of you guys have, so i just take long exposures- and i usually test an exposure for 1 minute to make sure my camera's lined up right. Even after 1m you can usually see a few star blurs in the sky.. not sure why yours isnt working. Clear nights help- minimal clouds etc, and yes, i was out in the country when i tried mine- i wouldnt even bother in residential perth! Not enough stars to make it interesting

    Good luck- if you still have issues, post up a picture to show us what you're getting

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    Well guys, its time for show and tell!
    Ok, so i went outside one night, and tried a few short, minute, two minute exposures etc. The stars actually came out. I was amazed. So, i went for a 30 minute exposure. I pointed it away from the moon. It finished and i was left with one lovely white photo with a few streaks through it. LAME. So i opted for method 2. I tried 50x 30 second (i think ill have to check my exif data) exposures, with a 15 second rest between photos, all this being driven by my little netbook and the eos utility software. I then used the program startrails.exe to overlay them all over, even though i didnt take any dark frames it still turned out ok for a test. Now this was zoomed in, so you cant see any foreground or anything (i live in a freaking gully) but you can see streaks! Theres a picture below of the finished product!
    Startrails-100-lowres.jpg
    In hindsight, i guess 15 seconds between shots is too much hence the hundreds of dots...i also will zoom out next time, and try getting some of the foreground in. I also need to learn how to find my polar alignment or whatever its called :S.

    Unfortunanly ever since that night, its been cloudy, rainy, or both. Quite lame. I even was with a friend whose new toy is a diana f lomography camera and she wanted to try a startrails photo with it, but alas, it had to start raining....
    Currently as the moon is at 97% of full, i doubt i will get a chance to try it again soon. But hey, doesnt look like this weather is going away anytime soon.

    Thanks for all your help people!

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    they're quite exciting ...although i would be tempted to shoot longer exposures and not stitch them together- although totally your call. With longer exposures, you dont get that dotty effect

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    Yea, id rather longer exposures too, but a combination of the moon and the fact im 50km from sydney might make that a lttle hard..........

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    Good work, Keep it going and you'll reap the rewards.

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    Just thought id share my latest attempt. I think their slowly getting better Unfortunantly, during this one, my laptop locked up, and hence the gaps in the trails. Dammit. You can see southern polaris in the top left corner!

    Startrails_entry.jpg

    I am really happy with the result

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