Shooting the October ‘Supermoon’

Testing out some features in the Lumix GX8 while shooting the moon.

What better moon than the full one of October with clear skies? I used the Leica DG Varia Elmar 100-400mm lens racked out to 800mm. This combo allowed me to get crisp solid captures when zoomed all the way out to 400mm which is 800mm equivalent in full frame cameras. I continue to be pleasantly surprised with this lens.

I made multiple images to try out the digital zoom feature in the GX8 to see what you give up in quality buy zooming in camera. It can go 2X and 4X.

moon comparisonThis shows what you see in the viewfinder when you apply the digital zoom.

What are the advantages of the digi-zoom over shooting in RAW and upping the resolution in the file during post production? None if you are only getting the moon. On all my exposure tests I was able to get a better-looking file when resizing the RAW file. When you use the digital zoom you MUST be in jpeg mode, so you are loosing some information right from the beginning. The advantage is that you can see what the image looks like in the viewfinder. If I were just using the moon image all by itself as we see here, I would choose to shoot RAW. Where the difference come in is if we are shooting the moon in relation to some other part of a scene. In that case, we would get the compression of shooting a longer lens which wold render the moon larger in the scene in relation to the objects. We’ve all made that shot when we first started out where the scene is gorgeous, and the moon is an integral part of the beauty, and it turns into this tiny little white dot in the view. Of course, our eyes make us think it is bigger than it actually is but lens optics rule the day!

Here are the images all made to meet up with the full frame of the 4X capture.

digital zoom moon4X capture

digital zoom2x capture

800mm moon captureRAW capture cropped to match 4X zoom view and output as a 20MP file. Quality is much better in my opinion.

I didn’t have time last night to get the moon into a scene, but I’ll try to set something up in the future to show you the value of engaging the digital zoom feature.

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

PS – Please note that the moon has been rotated in post-production for all images to use a vertical orientation.