Here is a shot of the Milky Way taken at the end of June, from a somewhat light polluted sky. Taken with a Fuji X-T1 and Rokinon 12mm at f3.5, ISO 1600, this is 49 exposures of 160seconds each for a total of around 130 minutes. I am comparing and will probably write an article on portable imaging mounts, this was taken with a new acquire of a Skywatcher Star Adventurer.
Great shot(s), and well processed.
You presumably took multiple 'shorter' exposures to allow for stacking with a better S/N, limit the buildup of lightpollution, and reduce the limitations of accuracy from the automatic mount. How good is its accuracy (is it as good as the AstroTrack
)? From what I've read, its good for wide field imaging, but for longer focal lengths (say 300mm and up) it's less suited (also because of the payload limitation, which is good enough for compact transport, lighter cameras, and Wide-field work).
I then processed the images in a complex and fairly difficult learning curve piece of software called Pixinsight, which is used for a lot of astronomical image processing. This is not a click and go interface and it takes a long time to get things done. However it excels at getting rid of gradients like those from light pollution.
With the help of PixInsight you managed to get an excellent result (at this size anyway). PixInsight
is extremely capable, but comes with an assumption that one is somewhat versed in Astronomical imaging. Its power also requires a different user interface compared to an average photoeditor. But there are a lot of things that are implemented very well, and the makers are responsive when it comes to questions/suggestions from the user community. Some features are so well designed that one would like to see those in Photoshop as well, for regular image use.
The lack of complete documentation does make for a bumpy ride, although the parts that are documented (and the tooltips) are very well done, but there is also a lot of user generated (tutorial) material
available. In addition, PixInsight is also a development environment, where users can write their own code that uses the PixInsight Libraries. The makers are professionals in their field, and it shows that they understand the needs of Astronomers. but it's certainly not kids stuff.