Photographs of Astronauts Using DSLRs on Spacewalks

This photograph of Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide taking a self-portrait was published to NASA’s amazing 2Explore Flickr account on Wednesday. It was snapped during a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station. The EXIF data embedded in the photo reveals that he was using a Nikon D2Xs with a 10.5mm fisheye lens at f/11, 1/500, and ISO 200.

Here’s a closer crop of the photo, which gives a more detailed look of the DSLR. Notice the padded insulation, and the lens cap that’s attached with what appears to be a metal carabiner:

Looking through the entire photo stream, we found many more photographs showing ISS astronauts using DSLRs while floating around in space. The images offer a fascinating glimpse into how these cameras are used in space, and the special equipment that’s needed to use them.

Here’s a shot of Russian astronaut Gennady Padalka taking a shot. Notice how bulky the space suits are. If you thought shooting with gloves in cold weather was hard here on Earth, imagine what handling the cameras must be like for the spacewalkers!

Padalka continued snapping away even as he roamed about the outside of the space station. We can’t tell whether he’s using the optical viewfinder, or is simply pressing the LCD’s live view up against his gigantic helmet:

If you’re wonder how they manage to hold onto the cameras without it floating away into the blackness of space, here’s a photo showing the DSLR while not being used:

Look closely, and you’ll see that the DSLR is permanently affixed to the space suit with a crazy-looking metal arm. The bottom also appears to be attached with an extendable wire (just in case?):

Finally, one of the popular subjects the astronauts like to snap is… themselves. A number of the photos show self-portraits that are essentially reflections using the space suit’s visor as a mirror:

This last photograph, captured back in 2008 by Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, wasn’t shot with a Nikon DSLR. The EXIF data states that it was a Kodak DCS760C. Apparently the Russian space program made different gear choices:

There you have it… a fun look into how DSLRs are being used by spacewalking astronauts on the International Space Station!

Thanks for pointing us to the photo, Branden!

  • Oliver Lea

    This is freaking awesome. Space is SO COOL.

  • Maxis Gamez

    Amazing stuff!! Love it! GO NASA!

  • Joey Duncan

    Pretty cool. I wonder how hard it is to take pictures with all the space suit stuff on. Would suck to end up with the wrong settings though.

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    The Kodak DCS760C is in fact a Nikon :) well, a hacked up Nikon F5 to shoot 6 megapixel photographs instead of shooting film

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    Kodak DCS760C is in fact a Nikon, well – a hacked up Nikon F5 to shoot 6 megapixel photographs instead of film

  • aksara

    Wats the camera used??

  • Kuyan21

    Nikon D2Xs

  • Patric Franksson

    Now that is a pretty nice facebook profilepicture to use instead of all those bathroom-mirror-images I see here and there!

  • az_121490

    I wouldn’t mind going to the deadly vacuum of space and take a self-portrait, just to post it on my Facebook as my profile picture, seriously.

  • Michael

    how does the camera cope with +-200° in space? special lubricants? water cooled/heated jacket?

  • sierrarobba

    You said/wrote nothing new.They had been taking picture like that almost 40years.

  • Guest

    And nasa use nikon F3 digital also yes digital f3!!!

  • Kevin Mako, Mako Invent

    Next time: iPhone shot with Instagram (jk)

  • Freaked

    Zero stars…. interesting how no stars were caught in any picture at all….

  • Joshua Frazer

    I’m quite certain DLSR cameras have not been used to take pictures on the International Space Station for 40 years. Neither DLSR nor the ISS existed 40 years ago.

  • vitabee4ever


  • Chris

    Not interesting at all – the images were taken in direct sunlight, so the camera is set to daytime settings (short exposure time, etc).

    Why is this still such a confused complaint about images taken from space?

  • Alex Fairchild

    @Joshua, not sure if you are being purposely obtuse, or what – but no one said that DSLR pictures have been taken on the ISS for 40 years. However, we HAVE been taking SLR pictures for over 50 years from space, starting with the Hasselblad 500C in the Mercury space program.

  • sierrarobba

    Those picture looks interesting for a 6yrs old kid.If you google some space program you find similar and BETTER ones.

  • Octavio Mancilla

    Does anyone know how can the flare in the first picture be created? Is it because of some sort of casing?

  • brob

    best profile pic ever

  • Matej Koren

    Use M mode on your camera go out at night set your camera the same as the
    astronaut in self portret and see how many stars you capture…
    “The EXIF data embedded in the photo reveals that he was using a Nikon D2Xs with a 10.5mm fisheye lens at f/11, 1/500, and ISO 200″

  • poradnik fotograficzny

    It’s Kodak using nikon body as a skeleton. I wouldn’t say that it’s a nikon.

  • elshorty

    NASA used to use F3 back in the 80s, Kodak made digital backs for the F3 but I am not sure they were used in Space. In 1991 NASA started using the Nikon NASA F4, those were digital. Now they use the D2X, D3X and D3S.


    I can see Nikon coming with a new tag lines… now in use in space!

  • ChaIzzat

    now is the time to invent a space suit that look like what isaac clarke is wearing

  • Emily Taylor

    Hmmm wonder where I can get one of those white coat cases. Would be nice to keep the metal body from freezing on earth winters