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Full Moon

New Contributor

I recently purchased a Canon SX 150 14.1 MP 12x zoom camera. I was just wondering, how would I go about shooting a full moon, craters and all?  Thank you very much.


Esteemed Contributor

I've never tried that with a P & S but it might work out but be realistic on your expectations. You may be able to do it while hand holding but I strongly recommend using a tripod of bracing your camera against an immovable object. Since it's going to be an experiment it can also be a learning experience where you step into the world of photography using it's basic rules.

According to the review at Imaging-Resource that camera ONLY has f5.6 thru f8 available at the max telephoto length so you can try this using Av mode using BOTH separately & letting the camera decide on the correct shutter speed to get a proper exposure using the built in light meter (READ the manual on this topic for a better understanding). You could also do it in Program mode & use Exposure Compensation to fine tune the exposures because the camera may not pick the perfect shutter speed for this exact situation (VERY important to learn to do by instinct) or in M where you pick both an apeture & shutter speed combo but with ONLY f5.6 thru f8.0 available I'd just use Av mode.

Now you have the primary info but there is an important variable which can be useful but it has it's limits & that is your ISO setting. Higher ISO settings allow faster shutter speeds BUT once you pass a certain point they introduce noise (tiny off color dots like confetti) and it gets more noticible as the ISO gets further up the scale. Try each ISO setting available below the max it says you could use, because that's not likely going to give a good result.

Now back to the light meter reading. It gives you a starting point, but thanks to the LCD you get to see your results immediately & you may want to increase & / or decrease the shutter speed from the recommended (by the light meter) setting based on the image brightness on the LCD. A faster shutter speed will darken the image (using the same aperture & ISO) & a slower shutter speed will brighten it. Too slow will blow out the highlights which can't be resurected later. Since there is no cost to experiment try ALL of this & see what works so you'll have a better understanding of night photography.


Now as I said be realistic in your expectations because it's a mighty small target way up in space. This was shot the day my 5D2 arrived way back when (50% more pixels) using 400 mm's of lens (you have 336 mm's) just a bit before it got dark. The first shot is the full frame & the second shot is what I cropped down to & as you can see I gave away a lot of the full photo.






"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Esteemed Contributor

PLEAE NOTE I've edited my original response due to an error in how the camera works in Av mode (or Tv mode too) I said that you would pick the right shutter sped using the built in meter BUT the camera does that according to the program built in. You only pick both the aperture & shutter speed in M. You can however over ride the camera's programming by using Exposure Compensation to fine tune the exposure.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Super Contributor
Nice moon shots. Its always more of a challenge than meets the eye to get sharp images. I like the blue skies.

Esteemed Contributor

Thanks but it was just a lucky shot. I do however think the fact it wasn't quite dark yet may have helped. I live in a rural area where it's DARK at night so no annoying refracted light from street lights / houses etc but I didn't do as well shooting the Supermoon that was supposed to be extra bright. The camera arrived 2 days before my vacation so I wanted to make sure it was working properly before packing it so I just shot a bit of everything available. Luckily it was a very nice camera & it produced lots of nice photos including a lot of night photos at Carnaval, which I'm in the middle of packing for again right now. I'm really looking forward to seeing how well the 1D4 is at ISO 3200 & 6400.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."