Earlier I mentioned that when you’re doing your initial camera settings, you could see how good your hardware was by looking at the maximum resolution of long exposures. If it crunches it to a much smaller size than your max resolution for normal shots, you’re kind of hosed for astrophotography. Like me.
But, sure, you can go into program mode. Max out your ISO, boost your duration to 10s or longer (too long and in theory you’ll get star trails), and BAM, a long exposure shot.
Here’s what I get when I set my camera for 10s @ ISO 1600 while looking at M003:
Isn’t that amazing? The depth, the colour, it feels like I could just touch it. A solid black image of nothingness. My sensor will pick up bright single stars (like Spica or something), but it will NOT register a DSO. Most of the time, it won’t even TAKE a picture — it basically gives an error that no picture was recorded. It saw NOTHING, so it took NOTHING. Apparently somewhere in the above, there was enough of something for the camera to think there was something there, but nothing visible once processed. It’s also not entirely clear on my old phone if it is doing anything other than simulating a long exposure.
But regardless of what it does or doesn’t do for LEs, it does mean I’m limited to shots of planets or the moon. Maybe some constellations if the individual stars are bright enough. If I want to do more, I need a new camera to work with…