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Nikon Cameras used in Outer Space!

Updated on March 6, 2011

Nikon Digital SLR used in Outer Space

Of course there is that part of me that will be biased while writing this article because I am a Nikon user. Although my video camcorder and my point and shoot are Canon cameras so I wouldn't really say that I don't use that brand. It's just that with DSLRs I've chosen to go with NIkon for many reasons, some I will be discussing here.

My interest in photography was really started when I found an old-school film SLR camera at home. Yes, I didn't buy it. I just found it. In a way, it didn't choose it, it chose me. Kind of like Harry Potter's wand. It is a beautiful Nikon FE from the early 80's that comes with the lovely Nikkor 50mm 1.4 prime lens. It's really where I learned to love photography and learn more about the settings like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and many other things. Of course, it's also where I learned about the advantages of film photography over digital photography.

Later on when deciding to buy an digital SLR I learned that Nikon only has one mount for their lens no matter what camera (a powerful advantage, in my opinion). This made me realize that I can use the 50mm 1.4 if ever I choose to buy a DSLR and this is probably the biggest factor that pushed me to purchase a Nikon camera. And so eventually I was able to buy a Nikon D40 and I didn't regret it.

The D40 was, of course, back then the entry level model. This means that I didn't have the many other features that the higher end cameras had. But I loved that camera nonetheless. Although this was when I realized that the cropped sensor is really heartbreaking. Coming from being a film user, you'll really see the great advantage of a full-frame camera.

Nikon used in Outer Space
Nikon used in Outer Space

Camera Models of Nikon used in Outer Space

There are many models of Nikon cameras that have been used for outer space missions by NASA and the ISS or the International Space Station. If you watch that video I found on the top, you'll see the many different models of cameras used. Even before back when it was still film they were already using Nikon cameras for outer space missions.

I'm sure they considered a camera that must have a High Dynamic Range. Go here to learn more about high dynamic range photography: HDR Photography

Of course, the first thing I think about this is about how amazing it could be if you were an astronaut and at the same time the assigned photographer. I think astronauts should have Twitter or Facebook or something like that where they can post photos from outer space in real-time. That would really be epic.

I don't really know what made NASA choose Nikon DSLRs. I mean, I'm guessing it has something to do with the features and the quality because surely they wanted high quality photographs. So one thing we have to remember would be that when we look at photographs from outer space then there's a really good chance that they used a Nikon camera for that.

There's just something about it that makes one really proud of being a Nikon user. I don't really want to go into detail about the many debatable topics and concerns when comparing Nikon and Canon. I'm actually a believer that talent is behind the camera anyways and it doesn't matter what kind of equipment you have. My girlfriend actually has a Canon digital SLR and I get to use it from time to time. This is why I really get to compare the different advantages and disadvantages of each. But you know, I didn't come here to compare both brands. I just came here to share that Nikon cameras were used in outer space.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that you can interchange the lenses of Nikon no matter what model of camera. This really becomes a great advantage especially for me cause I don't really mind manual focus or not having a light meter. I've gotten the hang of it when I was using my film camera anyway. An auto-focus 50mm 1.4 would probably be really expensive. Plus if it were Canon, there are only certain lenses for certain kinds of cameras.

Nikon Outer Space Photos

Nikon DSLR used in Outer Space
Nikon DSLR used in Outer Space

Nikon Digital SLR used in Outer Space

I hope you learned a thing or two about Nikon cameras and how they were used in outer space. It can really be hard deciding on what camera brand to buy. Competition will always force suppliers to innovate and provide better features for consumers. Imagine not so long ago, DSLRs didn't even have video but now most DSLRs, even the entry level ones are equipped with video capability. I am quite wary about the CMOS sensor though, especially with the lower end video DSLRs. It's probably cause my eyes are so sensitive to different effects of the rolling shutter.

As I have said, my video camcorder is actually a Canon brand. It's a Canon VIXIA HV40. It does have a CMOS sensor as well but I'm really satisfied with it. The advantages of having a video DSLR of course would be that you can change your lenses and produce amazing shots especially with prime lenses or telephoto lenses or whatever. Nowadays it's really becoming a norm for filmmakers, both professionals and hobbyists to use DSLRs for video.

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    • daviddwarren22 profile image

      daviddwarren22 6 years ago

      Wow, amazing stuff. I really love it.