I have a Panasoinc Lumix FZ30 "SLR-like" camera
It can take raw images. It has ISO speed between 80 and 400 and max aperture f2.8
and max 60 seconds of exposure time.

I am really eager to take photographs of milky-way, stars, ...
and tried a lot, but haven't achieved much.

Can I do these sort of things with this camera?
or do I need to buy some extra filters or lenses ...
or should I take pictures in specific time or date or place?

  • Can you please include some example images of what you hope to achieve. Aug 25 '15 at 11:53
  • You will not be able to photograph the milky way with this camera. You may be able to capture some stars at best but astrophotography is pretty demanding = fast prime lenses, high ISO, large sensor, etc. Aug 25 '15 at 23:48

You can certainly take MW shots with this camera, as I do with it's descendant, the FZ150 and FZ200. You would not want to zoom in at all for this subject, which in this case would benefit you secondarily by letting you use slower exposures according the 500- or 600-rule mentioned above. IIRC, the FZ30 has 35mm at the wide end, so according to my safer 500-rule, keep the exposures to 14 seconds or quicker, and you'll be fine. You could try ISO at 200 or 400, and the aperture at f/2.8 - 4.0, this part is all trial and error to arrive at a nice exposure with minimal noise.

As for image quality, sure, you can't compare it with current models with larger and more modern sensors, but if this is a hobby for personal entertainment, go for it. I shoot with Canon APS-C as well as Sony full-frame, but when I need ultra-light, I still use the Lumix.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 is a camera from 2005 with a rather small 1/1.8" 8MPix sensor.

Even if you managed to capture something, the image quality will be still poor for this kind of images.

More recent cameras with larger sensors would be definitely better option. Image quality has radically improved during the 10 years.
I'm afraid no additional filter or conversion lens will help much here, sorry.

  • 3
    I'm not sure that zooming "as much as possible" is a good idea, especially if it decrease your aperture. The more you zoom, the shortest shutter speed you should use to avoid star trail. With a maximal focal length of 420mm, the "classical" rule of 600 says shutter speed = 600/420 = 1.4 sec max ! So with this "limited" camera, I would use the shortest focal length (35mm for the FZ30) at f2.8 and use some images stacking software specific to night sky photography to get better result.
    – Olivier
    Aug 25 '15 at 20:18
  • Good point. The statement about zooming dismissed. Aug 26 '15 at 5:14

In addition to what @RogerYeoh said, you can also try taking multiple exposures and stacking the resulting images to improve the image quality. You don't say what operating system you use, but a web search for "astrophotography image stacking" should help you find software for whatever you use.

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