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Controlling canon dslr's


paul101
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Hi

Do all modern canon dslr'sHi let you control them via a laptop etc.

I have a Pentax dslr at the moment which is proving very good for dso imaging but controlling exposure lengths in bulb mode and auto taking pictures via software is very limited! I would consider upgrading to a cannon, maybe 1100D if it is all Easyer to control from a laptop, I have to use an ir remote for exposures over 30 sec at moment and watch a timer which is a pain.

Just not sure if you can do more with certain cannon dslr'sHi than others where computer control is concerned.

Thanks

Paul

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That's good to know! Thanks

Can you use canons own software you get with the camera for this?

Would the software you mention work with all canon dslr'sHi such as 1100d or 550d ?

I am seriously thinking of upgrading to a cannon. I'm using pk tether at the moment and it's so hit and miss, sometimes it works and then it doesn't so I can't leave it to work by itself anyway.

Is the above software free?

Thanks again

Paul

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The software that comes with Canon DSLR's allows you to select 'bulb' mode and you can also set the exposure duration and number of exposures as a sequence that will allow the software to keep banging out the frames. It also has other useful features such as live view that will allow you to frame and focus your subject, along with ISO and all the other settings you will need.

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Thanks for the advice, sounds much better than what I'm using at the moment.

Just reading reviews of the 1100d for astro imaging and it's looking like the one to go for, at £291 new body only it's a good deal, I can then use my Pentax for every day which it's awesome for.

One more question, does anyone know if the 1100d charges it's battery when it's plugged into laptop via USB?

Thanks again all

Paul

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One more question, does anyone know if the 1100d charges it's battery when it's plugged into laptop via USB?

Hi Paul,

No, it doesn't. My 1000D lasted 2 to 3 hours at -4 degrees Celsius continuous shooting the other night. I'm thinking the 1100D should be the same. I have a spare battery and I keep it charged for a quick swap when required, but it seldom is.

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Hi Paul.

No the camera is not powered or charged from the USB.

I bought a PSU off ebay for my Canon as I soon got fed up of having to swap the battery over every 2 or 3 hours when doing time lapse of the sky.

I also bought another spare 1600mA battery off ebay (they are cheap) which do last longer than the standard 1000mA batteries.

Edited by Cath
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Hi

A psi sounds like the better option, I never realised you could power them this way. I have to use 4xAA batteries which are a pain to change with camera on mount.

Once I sort my focus problems out using filters( another post) think I will upgrade.

Thanks for all your help

Paul

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Canon are well supported in terms of astronomy software and shutter release options. Later models can be controlled via USB, with older models requiring a serial shutter release cable (easy to make with an opto-isolator and usb-serial converter cable or commercial options availble). As for power, there are commercial options to power the camera from a 12v supply, or there is a DIY option using a dummy battery and 8v regulator.

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Hi all

Went for the canon 600D in the end and I'm very pleased with it so far, my first guided image is being carried out as we speak, I'll put it on for all to see once its processed.

Thanks for all the advice, I'm using the software supplied by canon for now to control exposures until I'm more familiar with the camera.

Paul

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The canon software is very good for both controlling the camera and for sorting out the subs. Having the USB control cable controlling all of the functions made a huge difference when I changed to using a 1000D. I would a imagine you're very much enjoying the 600D.

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+1 for APT which is the software I use on my Canon 1000D it has many useful astrophotography related functions and some neat features in development. Not tried backyardeos so can't comment on that tool. Take a look in my albums nearly all of the DSO's in that were with a 1000D via APT.

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I'd like to point out one option which doesn't even need a notebook: Magic Lantern. It works with most Canon DSLRs.

It's a firmware extension with loads of additional functions, some of which are very useful for astrophotography. To take a series of subs, this is what you do:

- Set camera to manual mode, bulb

- in Magic Lantern, set "bulb exposure time" (in increments of 1 minute)

- in Magic Lantern, activate "intervalometer" (increments of 1 minute)

Your camera will then snap away happily until you stop it. I've tried it on a 550D, and I'm rather pleased with the results so far. Here's a startrail picture made with Magic Lantern: http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-widefield-special-events-comets/171346-startrails-around-celestial-pole.html

Wolfgang

Edited by wolfgang.f
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Just follow the link in my post and go to the download section or click >>here<< :-)

For installation:

- Upgrade camera firmware to Canon's current version

- Format card in camera

- From your computer, unzip Magic Lantern files to your card

- from the camera menu, go to firmware / upgrade. This will install Magic Lantern from the card.

Here is a detailed step-by-step instruction: Unified/Install - Magic Lantern Firmware Wiki.

Good luck :-) W.

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