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Under the Northern Lights: Join Alister Chapman for an Arctic Adventure

“I come up here to Norway to shoot the Aurora every year and I’ve never seen any other camera show as many faint stars as easily as the [Sony] FX9 does.”

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Cinematographer Alister Chapman recently returned from capturing the Northern Lights in Norway, using Sony’s FX9 camera.

“At the time the Aurora video was shot it was about -24c, but I have also been using the camera at -32c with no issues other than the LCDs becoming sluggish. So I made extensive use of autofocus to avoid having to take off my mittens,” he says. “The lens used was a Sigma 20mm f/1.4.

“The shots are timelapse using the built-in intervalometer, 1 frame every 2 seconds. I used a 32 frame slow shutter with a base frame rate of 23.98fps giving an exposure time of about 1.3 seconds,” he continues. “ISO was either 6400 or 8000 ISO. White Balance was 3200K to help best represent the green of the aurora, how it actually looks to the eye.”

“I come up here to Norway to shoot the Aurora every year and I’ve never seen any other camera show as many faint stars as easily as the FX9 does,” he says, “which is a very good indication of the true high sensitivity of the camera’s sensor. Also, the images are remarkably low noise. There was no need to do any additional noise reduction in post. Most cameras start to get very noisy and grainy when you combine a high ISO with a longer shutter speed.” To read his full account, click here.

 

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