Milky Way Photographer of the Year – Gear Analysis (2024)

*If you click on links we provide, we may be compensated at no extra cost to you - Affiliate Disclosure / Review Guidelines.

The website Capture the Atlas has released the winners of its annual Milky Way Photographer of the Year awards.

26 images from different photographers were selected – including Mihail Minkov and Rositsa Dimitrova.

The gear used by each photographer was shared so we have done some analysis to give us insight into the camera, lenses, trackers and tripods being used by some of the best astrophotographers in 2024.

(This is much like our popular Astronomy Photographer of the Year Gear Analysis.) Enjoy!


All the winning images were taken with Sony, Canon or Nikon cameras, with Sony the most popular:

The models used are (in most popular order):

This means that the vast majority are using mirrorless models.

Only the Canon EOS 6D, Nikon D810 and Nikon D810a are DSLRs in that list.

Every single one was a full-frame sensor camera:

Also noteworthy is that the vast majority of winners use astro-modified cameras:

(Note, we have ignored the camera used for the foreground when comparing whether they were astro-modified or not.)

Socotra Bottle Tree Rositsa Dimitrova
Socotra Bottle Tree (Image Credit: Rositsa Dimitrova – taken from our interview)


Sigma lenses are the most commonly used, followed by Sony and Tamron:

There are no dominant individual lens models used but the list includes:

All lenses fit the characteristics you would expect for Milky Way photography:

  1. Wide-Angle to enable you to capture a wide expanse of the sky (from 12mm to 35mm)
  2. Fast Aperture for better capture in low light (from F/1.4 to F/2.8)

Star Trackers

The star trackers used are led by the popular iOptron and Sky-Watcher models:


There are no dominant tripods but they are mostly carbon fiber models including:

Final words and methodology

This is not a particularly scientific study, more just for fun.

It’s just 26 photos, which is a pretty small number to draw too many conclusions from but hopefully you found it useful.

As far as I can tell the winners seem to just be selected by the site’s editors, rather than any formal application and judging process. Therefore this is subject to their individual preferences. However, they are all great images from great astrophotographers who are active in 2024.

Head over to Capture the Atlas to see all the photos: Milky Way Photographer of the Year and let us know if you have any comments or questions below.

Related content

About the Author

Anthony Robinson is the founder and owner of Skies & Scopes, a publication and community focused on amateur astronomy and astrophotography. His work has been featured in publications such as Amateur Astrophotography, Forbes, the Guardian, DIY Photography, PetaPixel, and Digital Camera World - read more.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.