Every day, astronaut Scott Kelly posts incredible images on his Twitter account. Yesterday, Kelly gave us a unique look at Super Bowl 50.

Which got me thinking. What kind of cameras do they use up there? A quick Google search led me to this image from October of last year.

ISS camera gear

That’s Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko posing with enough gear to make even the biggest photography nut blush. This image was taken with a Nikon D800E. And it turns out, NASA and the ISS are big Nikon fans.

Nikon D4 appears to be the camera of choice

Here’s the Soyuz capsule sitting in the foreground as the ISS passes over Florida.

Soyuz and Earth from ISS

That was taken with a Nikon D4.

Here’s astronaut Kjell Lindgren snapping a selfie with the same camera during a spacewalk on November 6th.

Space walking selfie

This close-up of Typhoon Maysak’s eye was also taken with a D4.

Typhoon Maysak eye

Here are the full stats:

Lens – 70-200mm
Aperture – f/22.0
Focal length – 200mm
Exposure time – 1/640 seconds
ISO – 800

Scott Kelly tweeted out these two images last month.

African desert from ISS

Bahamas ocean from ISS

Both were taken with a Nikon D4 and an 800mm lens slapped onto it.

Nikon in Space

Scott Kelly and company love their older model Nikons, but come March, the upgrades are here. The Nikon D4 has a successor in the D4S, but it will be all about the D5 for FX professionals. $5,000+ have you shrinking back in bank account horror?

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Look to the Nikon D500. It’s a crop sensor, but the specs are damn close to the D5 and without the price tag. Ok, you may be looked down on by the FX crowd, but nothing beats learning with the DX format before you jump into the world of full-frame.

Also, it all comes down to the person behind the camera. You learn by snapping the shutter. You can have $20,000 in gear, and it won’t make your photos look amazing. That’s on you.

Scott Kelly uses an older D4. The latest and greatest won’t translate to award-winning photographs. Grab a format. Get comfortable and keep shooting.

Image credits: NASA/Flickr

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