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The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

(NASA Crew Earth Observations)


















"We catch a glimpse of a huge swirl of clouds out the window over the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or the boot of Italy jutting down into the Mediterranean, or the brilliant blue coral reefs of the Caribbean strutting their beauty before the stars. And...we experienced those uniquely human qualities: awe, curiosity, wonder, joy, amazement." (Russell L. Schweickart, Apollo Astronaut ("The Home Planet")






Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Cameras Used on the ISS and Shuttle Missions by NASA Astronauts to Photograph Earth

Nikon D3 Digital Camera

Specifications:

  • Nikon's original FX-format CMOS image sensor with 36.0 (H) x 23.9 (V) mm image size; 12.1 effective megapixels
  • Compatible with three image-sensor formats - FX format (36 x 24), 5:4 (30 x 24) and DX format (24 x 16)
  • Sensitivity range ISO 200 to 6400 at normal setting for exceptionally high-quality images; can be set to ISO-equivalent 25,600
  • Incorporates Nikon's original EXPEED digital image processing concept
  • Nikon's original Scene Recognition system, utilizing the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor, greatly improves autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance performance
  • New 51-point autofocus system features 15 cross-type sensors that maximize the potential of lenses with apertures as small as f/5.6
  • High-speed continuous shooting at approx. 9 frames per second [FX format (36 x 24)/5:4 (30 x 24)]/approx. 11 fps [DX format (24 x 16)] *1
  • Newly employed Picture Control System enables creation of desired picture with preferred tones
  • Accurate focal-plane contrast AF*2 available with built-in Liveview mode
  • Wireless Transmitter WT-4*3 (optional) realizes wireless connection of cameras with a PC, enabling thumbnail display of images taken with up to five of them, and downloading of images selected
  • CF card double slot accepts two CF cards
  • Quick response with approx. 0.12 sec. startup time and 37 ms Shutter-release time lag
  • Viewfinder with approx. 100% frame coverage and approx. 0.7x magnification in FX format
  • High-definition (920,000 dots), 170 viewing angle, 3-inch VGA LCD monitor with tempered glass
  • Active D-Lighting optimizes tone reproduction in both shadows and highlights
*1 With Continuous-servo AF, S or M exposure mode, shutter speed 1/250 sec. or faster; other settings are set at "Default".
*2 When Tripod mode is selected.
*3 Specifications differ depending on country or area.

Nikon D3

Source: http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/digitalcamera/slr/d3/index.htm

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