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IWatchStars

Canon astro-software support vs Nikon Low light/high ISO performance?

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Hi,

Everyone I ask tells me that canon is better for astrophotography because of it's 3rd party software support, but I don't understand when this comes in handy. Can someone give me real examples where canon comes on top of nikon because of it's software support?

I'm having doubts about buying Canon over Nikon because every review on the net concludes that nikon has way better low light performance and can handle higher ISO better than Canon. This would make it better choice for astrophotography, but every astrophographer recommends Canon.

What am I suppose to buy now??

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Choices, choices and difficult decisions. Not every astrophotographer recommends Canon's though!
I have been using Nikon's for years and get some great results. I use an intervalometer to take my images.
I just can't be faffed with software control etc. It's another piece of technology that would go wrong and frustrate you in my experience.
Have a look at the images on my Web site in my signature to see what I can achieve from a light polluted town.

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Why Canon for me as begginer, lots of support available, the raw files produced can be used by the many astro editing software programs. You can turn off on camera noise suppression You can drive your Canon from a PC or laptop or windows 8 tablet and in my case my small 7 inch android tablet very useful for just taking night sky photos plus old m42 lenses off ebay are cheap.

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Perhaps the difference isn't as marked these days, I don't know. I have APT which is a fantastic bit of software and cost about £12, I haven't explored it properly really but have used it for planetary imaging to grab data from the camera liveview. Backyard Nikon may be very similar but is more expensive and I'm not sure if it's out of beta yet. Historically Nikons have had problems where the RAW files aren't RAW enough (the Canon RAWs aren't perfect either), the in-built noise reduction tends to eat stars. I believe there is a work-around these days but don't know how well it works or how much hassle it is to apply.

I also make heavy use of old M42 camera lenses which wouldn't reach infinity focus on a Nikon body. 

I keep hearing that Nikon has the edge for daylight photography these days. But is that because the sensor is fundamentally better or is it because the camera does more processing of the image? (I recently upgraded from a Canon 1100D to a 700D as my regular camera so I could have the 1100D modded. I noticed the images from the 700D come out of the camera with brighter colours, I can't help wondering if that's simply Canon tweaking the output to differentiate their models or genuine sensor performance.)

Basically, they are all good cameras these days. Canons are well proven for AP, I'm sure good results are possible with Nikons too but there may be more limitations and hassle involved.

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As above one other big advantage of the canon is the ability to use Magic Lantern software.

Alan

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I've recently upgraded to a Nikon D750 (from a D300), and I have to say the high ISO performance is very impressive, with very decent images up to ISO 1600 or so before colour noise starts to be visible.

The standard SRB adaptors for M42 lenses to Nikon do maintain infinity focus, according to SRB, although I'm unlikely to use one as some of my Nikon manual and auto lenses are sharper than any M42 lenses I've tried! 

The WiFi connection to my Samsung 7" tablet (Android) seems to work well, and I've plans to use it soon for Moon imaging.

Chris

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The standard SRB adaptors for M42 lenses to Nikon do maintain infinity focus, according to SRB, although I'm unlikely to use one as some of my Nikon manual and auto lenses are sharper than any M42 lenses I've tried! 

Yes, the do reach infinity using an adapter with a lens element, but they aren't cheap, it changes the focal ratio and can impact image quality. There are some good M42 primes lens that are available for around £15-£50 so this is a factor worth considering for lens imagers. (There are probably some good vintage Nikon mount lenses out there too, but I've never seen an image taken with one.)

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I'm having the same dilemma too ! Canon or Nikon and until I bought some mags recently it was going to be Canon because of astro software but searching around I've come across the afore mentioned BYnikon and also another one I hadn't heard of before but looks very interesting its called controlmynikon!! So maybe the lack of software support is not an issue now?

Steve

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What are M42 lenses?

It's an old lens mount  commonly used from the 1940s to the late 1970s, 42mm threaded. There are lots available on the 2nd hand market. I've used several for AP, here's some of my favorites:

20813709984_dedfae49ee_c.jpg

...and here's my latest image from the 50mm lens on the left.

22623411536_4844d484d5_c.jpg

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Yes, the do reach infinity using an adapter with a lens element, but they aren't cheap, it changes the focal ratio and can impact image quality. There are some good M42 primes lens that are available for around £15-£50 so this is a factor worth considering for lens imagers. (There are probably some good vintage Nikon mount lenses out there too, but I've never seen an image taken with one.)

£22 apparently......I'm not sure about the lens element, they appear not to have in the image on the website.

Chris

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£22 apparently......I'm not sure about the lens element, they appear not to have in the image on the website.

Chris

That's not the right adaptor then, the simple ones do work but don't reach infinity. Can still be useful for close-ups and macro work though. I tried putting an M42 lens on a friend's Nikon and ran into these issues, it took a while to find the correct information.

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That's not the right adaptor then, the simple ones do work but don't reach infinity. Can still be useful for close-ups and macro work though. I tried putting an M42 lens on a friend's Nikon and ran into these issues, it took a while to find the correct information.

This is the one I've seen - different from the macro adaptor you may be talking about??

http://srb-photographic.co.uk/nikon-to-m42-lens-adaptor-6050-p.asp

Chris

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I'm having the same dilemma too ! Canon or Nikon and until I bought some mags recently it was going to be Canon because of astro software but searching around I've come across the afore mentioned BYnikon and also another one I hadn't heard of before but looks very interesting its called controlmynikon!! So maybe the lack of software support is not an issue now?

Steve

I have both of these software packages and BYNikon eats controlmyNikon for breakfast... it is, by far, the superior package for astrophotography needs.

ControlmyNikon was originally developed as a camera tethering package, more for daytime photography and, originally, lacked the facility to control long exposures necessary for astrophotography use.

The latest version does have this facility using a Dsub cable release or directly via USB where the camera model allows... it is a great piece of software for tethered use but lacks a lot of the features more suitable for astrophotography.

BYNikon (just like BYEOS) was specifically developed for astrophotograhy and as such it does a lot more in that it can use several different external electronic shutter release devices (including the Dsub).

It can also control an electronic focuser via ASCOM to give FWHM focussing in a separate window, it has much more sophisticated camera control, which can be programmed for a whole sequence of timed exposures including sequences of mixed lengths, each of which can have specific names, ideal for targets like the Orion Nebula, or the Andromeda galaxy where shorter subs are required for the brighter core areas and longer ones for the outer regions.

It can also directly link and synchronise with PHD for guiding...+ a good many other astro related features, including dithering, which are unfortunately lacking in ControlmyNikon.

The old problem of Star Eating in earlier Nikon Cameras is no longer an issue and all in-camera noise reduction can now be dissabled via the camera menu's.

The Canon edge for astro use/control is now not such an issue.

Keep happy.

Sandy. :grin:

Edited by Lonestar70

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This is the one I've seen - different from the macro adaptor you may be talking about??

http://srb-photographic.co.uk/nikon-to-m42-lens-adaptor-6050-p.asp

Chris

Interesting thanks. That's a lot cheaper than Nikon infinity focus adaptors I've seen previously, I can't tell whether it has a glass element or not. Not sure what to think about that, whether the listing is incorrect, it has an element (and dodgy image quality) or whether it's a new design that manages to get the lens in the right position (I did a lot of searching on this but that was a couple of years ago now).

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I have both of these software packages and BYNikon eats controlmyNikon for breakfast... it is, by far, the superior package for astrophotography needs.

ControlmyNikon was originally developed as a camera tethering package, more for daytime photography and, originally, lacked the facility to control long exposures necessary for astrophotography use.

The latest version does have this facility using a Dsub cable release or directly via USB where the camera model allows... it is a great piece of software for tethered use but lacks a lot of the features more suitable for astrophotography.

BYNikon (just like BYEOS) was specifically developed for astrophotograhy and as such it does a lot more in that it can use several different external electronic shutter release devices (including the Dsub).

It can also control an electronic focuser via ASCOM to give FWHM focussing in a separate window, it has much more sophisticated camera control, which can be programmed for a whole sequence of timed exposures including sequences of mixed lengths, each of which can have specific names, ideal for targets like the Orion Nebula, or the Andromeda galaxy where shorter subs are required for the brighter core areas and longer ones for the outer regions.

It can also directly link and synchronise with PHD for guiding...+ a good many other astro related features, including dithering, which are unfortunately lacking in ControlmyNikon.

The old problem of Star Eating in earlier Nikon Cameras is no longer an issue and all in-camera noise reduction can now be dissabled via the camera menu's.

The Canon edge for astro use/control is now not such an issue.

Keep happy.

Sandy. :grin:

As far as I can tell the only difference between BYE (Canon) and BYN (Nikon) is the lack of lens focus yet with BYN which is obviously not an issue when attaching to a scope but only when using lenses. The response form the mods on the BYE/BYN forum is impressive too so useful if issues arise.

One thing I haven`t been able to find out yet is if there is an adaptor available to hold a Star Analyser (which looks just like a normal eyepiece filter, same size too) in between the camera and the scope!. I know they are available for the Canon.

best

Steve

Edited by Gasman

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