What’s the best way to use my point-and-shoot camera with a telescope?

Use a point-and-shoot digital camera with the Celestron #93626 Universal Digital Camera Adapter. Here the camera is held by the adapter behind the telescope’s eyepiece. This works well for small- to medium-sized cameras. Attach the adapter’s clamp to the eyepiece drawtube, then the camera to the platform on the adapter. You will have to make adjustments to the universal camera adapter to properly position the camera lens in the emerging light beam from the eyepiece and focus it. This is easy to see with the camera’s preview screen. Try different eyepieces in the telescope and zoom settings of the camera to get the view you want.

A second method is to use a photo tripod to hold the camera in place behind the eyepiece.

Last, you can hand hold the camera behind the eyepiece for short exposures of the Moon and planets.

If your scope has a piggyback bracket or screw, you can mount your camera on it. Use the camera’s 1/4x20 tripod socket on the bracket or screw. Place your camera’s tripod socket on the screw and turn it until it is securely onto the thread. Align the camera in the direction of your subject – generally that will be parallel to the telescope tube’s axis. Lock the camera in position on the screw. Now your scope acts as a platform to point and track for astrophotography of wide regions of the sky. Use the self-timer feature of the camera to trip the shutter to avoid blurring.

A telescope with either a motor drive or computerized drive will track for you once it’s properly aligned or polar-aligned with the sky. Tracking may not be needed for very short exposures of the Sun through a solar filter, Moon and planets.

 

Updated 12/27/13