Photos of Astronauts Using DSLRs on the International Space Station

Earlier this month we shared some neat photos of astronauts using DSLRs while on spacewalks outside the International Space Station. In case you’re also wondering how the cameras are used inside the habitable satellite, we’ve carefully perused NASA’s 2Explore Flickr photo stream in search of those photos as well, and have collected them here in one place for your viewing pleasure. They’ve got some pretty nice gear up in the ISS… lucky astronauts.

Here’s one thing that’s very different: when the cameras aren’t being used, the astronauts just let go of them and allow the gear to float around in the module.

They’ve got quite a selection of lenses to choose from, from wide angle to super telephoto:

No, Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov isn’t randomly shooting a photo of a black box. The cameras are often used to document the different equipment that arrives on or leaves the space station:

Shooting with cameras mounted on cameras can be tiring work. Here’s astronaut Dan Burbank taking a break and a swig of punch:

This is how we get those astronaut photos of Earth from space:

What a photo walk looks like in space:

Aside from the cameras that are specially modified for infrared photography, the rest of the Nikon DSLRs and lenses were not modified for their use in space (a fact the company likes to boast about whenever a new order is placed by a space agency). Unlike the heavily padded cameras taken outside the ISS, the ones used inside work quite well as-is.

  • ghene


  • Vo Ho Nguyen

    why nikon ?

  • John Nathaniel Calvara

    Why not Nikon?

  • Greg Schmidt

    Only the BEST go into space. Nikon is the BEST!

  • ceebee

    See, no one needs a stinkin Leica

  • 3ric15

    Canon and Nikon both make great cameras. (Coming from a Canon user) I don’t see why people should be arguing over who makes better cameras.

  • Shannon Allison

    why the hell is it always about brand… its not about who makes it,,, its about how you use the tools at hand.. get over the brand BS! GROW UP!

  • masterat0r

    Don’t have to worry about if dropped ;)

  • Zta

    I see they take photos though the window. Do they ever take the cameras outside the shuttle? In space =) How do they photograph now that they can’t focus though the view finder? Is the LCD’s live view large enough? Or do they just set it to manual focus, focus on infinity and shoot?

    …nevermind, I don’t even know why I’m asking for tips for shooting in space…

  • Felipe_Paredes

    Why they have religious images there?

  • lucas

    “I hate to change lenses, so I bought a body for each of them”

  • wilmark johnatty

    WOW – this would be great for hand held BIF (birds in flight) with a 400 or 600 MM or even 800. Pitty there are no birds in flying here! Besides Im only seeing crappy nekin glass…

  • Nick

    Freedom of religion is not earthbound :)

  • Greg Schmidt

    Canon’s need not apply.

  • Vitaly

    Nikon – good camera for space traveling!

  • antonomy

    how old are you six? my teams the best ! oh god….

  • Felipe_Paredes

    Religion is a private thing, keep it in your home, your church… your wallet if you want. NOT in public places, NOT in space.

  • Ix

    Seriously, these people live there for weeks on end. Surely they should be allowed to decorate a little.

  • Eziz

    and here we go with the pissing contest again

  • Felipe_Paredes

    SERIOUSLY? you think religious and political statements are decoration…

  • nikkiwho

    why there’s so many tapes on the cameras?

  • Rpg Depictions

    in space….NOBODY can hear your shutter! :-P

  • Rabo Karabek

    Uh.. these people LIVE here and they can’t (reasonably) celebrate their religion? Pfff. Imagine!

  • tkel

    It is their human right to live their religion, where ever they are, as long as they don’t hurt someone. I think it is good if it helps theme to manage their live up there.

  • Stephen Cheatley BFC

    It’s a mystery to me that Canon dominate the astrophotography market. This is despite Nikon’s long affiliation with NASA & space imaging.
    What I want to know is that despite Nikon’s well known links to NASA, the company has never released a dedicated dslr for astrophotography like Canon have. Canon have released two models, the 20Da and more recent 60Da.

    There are also a wealth of amateur astrophotographers using modded Canon dslr’s. These models having the IR filter removed, after market.
    Another strong reason for using Canon for this type of imaging is that, apparently, when saving an NEF raw file, Nikon dslr’s apply some sort of noise reducing algorithm which cannot be turned off. This can have the effect of making stars disappear.
    As a long time Nikon user & having recently got into astrophotography, this has made me wonder if I should switch. I probably won’t, but I will probably be in the 1% of astrophotographers not using Canon.

  • Peter

    This isn’t normal tape, it is velcro tape. There is no gravitiy, so you can’t put something on the ground or on a table (Well, cou can, but you can’t expect it to still be there when you need it again), instead you just use velcro to stick things together or on a wall.

  • TodeyM.

    Oare ce-or face în spaţiu cu atâtea aparate…le testează în condiţii de imponderabilitate şi radiaţii ?!

  • tomin23

    Felipe you are sooo wrong… Out there you don’t speak / think about politics…

    Stephen D800E Suits you ?

  • zolatour

    but it could land on the ceiling

  • Aleks Biteman

    Why should you care? That practically is their home. What if someone took down your family portrait in your house because it “doesn’t belong there” because they don’t like it… You’re worse than the people arguing about Canon or Nikon, Freedom exists… Especially in space, Where freedom is pretty much infinite.

  • Felipe Paredes Schulz

    I’m agree with you, but this is not their home, did you read my other comments before say something…

  • Felipe Paredes Schulz

    hahaha are you 6? should I say i’m sooo right?

  • Joe

    my penis is bigger than yours

  • Meier

    At the beginning of space photography Nasa makes tests on the ground, (shock tests, Temperature Change..) The Glass of the canon lenses have had some issues with the shocking and shaking which comes apart with a rocket Start, in some cases lenses cracked. So they started using Nikon, and stay with it until today.

    Nowadays these problems were fixed, but a change to Canon is not necessary and would bring avoidable costs