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Canon or Nikon for AP


lw2689
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Which DSLR brand would you recommend for AP and why? (Price, software for stacking etc, lens costs, other accessories..etc..)

The reason i ask is i was certain on buying a Canon,.. But a photographer friend has recommended Nikon. He said the body is more expensive, but lenses tend to be cheaper.. Is this really the case?

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If have to say Canon. There is much wider and greater support for canon, I believe that's because canon release the API's. Most of us use Canon cameras, so there's more knowledge of the Cameras for AP.

Either way, both are good for daylight.

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There is lots of free software for Canon starting with the bundled EOS utils and DPP another very useful application is Magic Lantern again Canon only.

As to the hardware there is probably little to choose between new Canon or Nikon although older Nikons where known as star eaters.

Alan

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Not wanting to start a Canon vs. Nikon debate but I feel that Canon has a lot more support in the AP arena, lenses in my experience are generally cheaper for Canon since there are a lot more that come up for sale on the 2nd hand market...plus you can fit a lot more lenses onto a Canon body and still achieve infinity focus (with adapters).

Software support for controlling a Nikon is improving but miles behind Canon.

There are more resources and information for modifying Canons as well.

Image wise they are probably on par with each other given a similar spec camera.

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There is lots of free software for Canon starting with the bundled EOS utils and DPP another very useful application is Magic Lantern again Canon only.

As to the hardware there is probably little to choose between new Canon or Nikon although older Nikons where known as star eaters.

Alan

When you say Star eaters what do you mean?

Den

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When you say Star eaters what do you mean?

Den

Some older models that had a layre of noise reduction designed to remove hot pixels unfortunatly it removed faint stars in the image too, I think there is a hack that can disable this feature now on some cameras.

Alan

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I don't see there's a need for any kind of religious war over this.  It seems to me that the question of which is best of astro use has reached the point where it has little to do with the merits of the cameras themselves, but rather which has software available that allows you to do the kind of stuff that imagers tend to want to do.  In that respect I'd not consider it unjust to say that Canon has been well out in front for quite some time.  Things are changing and support for Nikon cameras does seem to be catching up, albeit slowly.

There may be other things to consider too, such as whether the camera will only be used for astro use or for "normal" photography too, and if there's likely to be a desire to do something like a full-spectrum mod to the camera in the future.

Personally, I went with a Canon because of the software support available at the time and because there were far more people who might be able to help if I got stuck.

James

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I've used both. At one time I would have said Canon with out a doubt - now I use Nikon.

True Canon has more free or included software for long exposure work - but you only need a few dollars on BackYardNikon and the differences become very small.

Both are easily to get modified for AP, the only extra for the Nikon would be a programmable timer release for remote working (same with Canon) so exposures to the camera longer than 30s are feasible.

Both will prove very workable for AP and for daytime use. I don't think Canon have any edge now for AP.

I think you'll find lenses are pretty much the same from camp to camp because both want to sell their gear. If your fitting to a scope directly - don't worry about lenses.

Good hunting.

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Chose canon for the support and ability to connect to the camera with my tablet I don't have a laptop.

Magic lantern was also a strong persuader for canon.

Nikon just too tightly controlled and didn't like the snipets I read about turning off noise suppression though did like the 5100.

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You didn't mention your budget.

Olly alluded to Nikon's new D810A. If you don't have budget constraints that camera, for me, would be a no-brainer.

Some Nikon blurb from their website:

  • Nikon's first full-frame DSLR dedicated to astrophotography
  • Specialized IR cut filter captures the red tones of H-alpha emission nebulae
  • 36.3MP FX-format CMOS image sensor with no optical low-pass filter captures staggering detail
  • Shoot ultra-long exposures up to 900 seconds (15 minutes)
  • Built-in Time-Lapse, Interval Shooting and unlimited continuous shooting

OK, I'm using a D800, but I'm not a Nikon fanboy. I use a Canon P&S and still have about ten 'A' series SLR's, and I went to Nikon via Pentax.

What pees me off with Canon is their habit of changing their lens mounts. With Pentax and Nikon you can mount any lens from the last 50 years on their current models, albeit with some loss of function in the lower end models.

Like you, I'm just getting into AP so you can take my thoughts with a grain of salt. From my internet wanderings there does seem a lot more legacy support for Canon, but it seems like the gap to Nikon is narrowing.

If you are going the budget route (I am) look for something without an optical low pass filter, and be prepared to experiment with things like the Hoya Intensifier Enhancing Didymium Glass Filter. To this end I'm looking at the D5300 as I obviously have a collection of Nikon lens. Initially I'll be using my D800, and I am still on a steep learning curve re the end results I can expect with a DSLR v a telescope.

Good luck with your deliberations.

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Eight or so  years ago when I started pointing camera's at the night sky I was a Nikon shooter using a D50 and D200. The ampglow with the D200 was horrendous.

Having seen results from the canon 300/350D 's  I bought a second hand 350D and full spectrum modified it and added an IDAS P2 LP filter into the mix, ampglow was still there but much better.

The 350D's was USB1.1 and you were limited to a max 30s exposure when controlled solely over USB so it needed a serial shutter cable (or timer remote for standalone)  So when the 1000D came out I bought one of those and this time did the Baader BCF filter mod on it so it could be used with "normal" camera lenses. I also had a Briefly had a 450D and 500D whose higher MP count sensor showed up the inadequacies of my budget lenses so I started buying L series glass...

This gave me a real dilemma when it came to the next body upgrade...  I had to do the maths and decide which system to go for -  I went Canon 7D and since then 5D III and 7D II the original  7D has now been full spectrum modified and the sensor re-positioned to allow Infinity focus with lenses...  I know have a substantial investment in Canon kit and last year moved  finally moved my Macro kit from Nikon to Canon..

These days The gaps either closed or become pretty much non-existent...

If AP is something your just want to try out - what other kit do you have for AP - mount , scopes, lenses etc ?  I would look at starting with a secondhand  1000D/450D/1100D possibly modified... 

Peter...

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For the price of Nikon D810A (~£2800) I might instead be tempted to go for one of the cooled large chip colour CCDs.

I have been In a similar situation twice over the last few years and both times went down the DSLR route as for me the balance is 95% terrestrial and 5% astro and even then the astro tends to be with camera lenses...

I can do this without any need to get a PC involved (although I have a 7" Windows tablet that can do it)  If I want a stress free session or have to walk a considerable distance with the kit...

You can get a lot out of budget camera and then if you decide that it's for you make the larger investment without losing too much money...

Peter...

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yep, ampglow on my D80 was horrendous too, and the noise.  Even without any IR mod, or any software support, I'd still go for the Canon 1100d over the Nikon D80 now

It is possible that Nikon may have made some improvements in that area since 2006, when the D80 was released.

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