To get a nice view of the Milky Way I would need to get far away from the city lights and a short focal, wide-angle lens. Also most new DSLR are quite impressive in low light conditions to suppress noise at ISO settings above 1600. My old Canon XTi (450D) is best kept at 400… but when stacking many frames I can go up to 800 as the noise gets reduced in the process. Hence when planning of astro-photo session, you need to balance the level of noise and the number of frames you’ll stack. Also ensure that the light pollution or background brightness level never exceeds 3/4 of your intensity level else you are clipping and loosing information.
The image below is two processed images taken with a 50mm lens on two different days (30 seconds exposure at ISO 800) stitched together the old fashion way: manually in a photo editor.
Click on the above image for a a larger version and try to find the planetary nebula Messier 27. Hint: it’s blue.