When the total solar eclipse sweeps across the U.S. on Aug. 21, you'll want to be armed with the best photography gear to capture it. Not only will you need solar filters to protect your camera and eyes, but you'll also need zoom lenses that are powerful enough to reach the sun, 93 million miles away.
Here's all the best gear for capturing the upcoming eclipse.
Credit: Tom's Guide
A word of caution before photographing the eclipse: Looking directly at the sun can not only damage your equipment, as well as your eyes. Our sister site Space.com has tips for safely photographing the eclipse, as well as some more general guidelines on how to get a great shot of the eclipse.
For the eclipse, Canon is selling a kit which includes the Canon EOS Rebel T7i with an EF-S 18-55 IS STM lens, an EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM zoom lens, a camera bag, a HOYA PRO ND100000 67mm Filter, and a 58-67mm Stepping Ring, all for $1,099. The T7i is a great DSLR camera for beginners, and boasts a huge 24-MP sensor, which will come in handy if you want to crop in on the sun without seeing a loss in image quality.
The Nikon D3400 is an excellent DSLR camera for beginners that won't break the bank. It boasts a huge 24-megapixel sensor, which will come in handy if you want to crop in on the sun without seeing a loss in image quality. DSLRs also allow you to attach telephoto lenses and telescopes, providing the best possible view of the eclipse.
For a slightly cheaper alternative, try the D3400's predecessor, the D3300.
If you're shooting the eclipse with a Nikon DSLR, the AF-S DX Nikkor VR 55-300mm lens is a perfect choice. The maximum focal length of 300 millimeters is the equivalent of 450 mm on a DX camera, such as the Nikon D3400, providing excellent views of the sun.
This lens also features vibration-reduction technology, which helps to minimize camera shake when you zoom in on distant objects. If $400 is more than you care to spend on a lens, a similar version is available without vibration reduction for a fraction of the price.
MORE: Nikon Lens Guide
The Nikon Coolpix P900 is easily the best point-and-shoot camera for photographing celestial bodies, thanks to a powerful 83x optical zoom lens and 16-MP sensor. The lens is so impressive that people have used it to capture the rings of Saturn.
The P900 can also record full-HD video and offers slow-motion and time-lapse options, just in case you want to film the eclipse. If the $579 P900 is too pricey, consider the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS, which has a 65x optical zoom lens, and costs around $329.
The Sony a6000 is a lightweight, mirrorless camera with a large 24-MP sensor and excellent image quality. For shooting the eclipse, we recommend attaching a telephoto lens or a telescope (with the help of an adapter) to get a detailed view of the sun.The a6000 is only compatible with Sony "E-mount" lenses, but an LA-EA4 adapter will also let you attach Sony Alpha and Minolta Maxxum lenses.
Sony's E 55-210mm lens is a good, reasonably priced option for shooting the solar eclipse on an a6000 camera (or any other Sony camera with an E-mount). It also features image-stabilization technology, which helps to minimize camera shake when you zoom in on distant objects.
The maximum focal length of 210 mms is a bit short for solar photography, but the 24-MP sensor on the a6000 will allow you to crop in without a significant a loss in image quality.