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I'm pulling my hair out trying to find the right DSLR


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All I'll say here having owned a host of Canons is that DSLR's are a slippery slope where you'll continuously want better results.. I've had 1100d's, then 600D, 60D, then 6D, now Sony a7s. Genuinely, 

Hi. How about a new but astro-modified camera? I wish someone had recommended something like this when I started: A Canon 1300d (365 sterling),a proper 200mm lens (20 to 70 sterling) and an adaptor (a

Canon 600d from your selection. Svivel screen will be useful. Canon are very well supported by software and users. You can connect it to an android tablet using dslr controller, very useful. 

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Here's a few tips for shooting with a DSLR from a fixed tripod that you might find helpful, based around some of the mistakes I made when starting out. It includes some tips for focussing with the kit lens, which can be tricky.

Canon remains the best budget option for AP due to software compatibility, relative ease of modification and compatibility with old (cheap and capable) M42 lenses. However, on your slightly higher budget....

9 hours ago, GTom said:

Not webcams, but anyway correct, they are for the telescope user :D.

I'd suggest a nikon d5100 with the nikonhacker firmware.

...This might be worth considering, I'm hearing the latest Nikon sensors are a bit more sensitive than the Canon ones. Out of the box they have a 'star eater' noise-reduction problem that can't be turned off, I don't know how easy it is to work around this with the hacked firmware, or how easy they are to get modded if you later decide to go down that route.

If you go for a Canon the 100D works well but the battery life is a little on the short side. The 600D should be better in that respect and also has a flip-out screen.

I wouldn't sweat it too much, the difference in performance between any of these DSLRs isn't huge. The lens will have more impact.

3 hours ago, wxsatuser said:

If your just going to use a tripod effective dithering will not work.
Although each frame will be slightly shifted they will all be in the same direction.

It should work OK as the movement won't be aligned with the camera axis. I rely on slightly inaccurate unguided tracking for my dither, it seems to work although I expect a proper controlled dither would be better. As my camera is on a ball-head joint it's not aligned along the RA & Dec axis.

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blimey what a palava. For a minute there reading all the responses i was set to just completely sack off the whole 'project' for its complexity. i am still none the wiser and turns out its not as simple as get a camera and tripod and shoot. 

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13 minutes ago, pne_rob said:

its not as simple as get a camera and tripod and shoot

It is! You'll get loadsa different responses because that's what's worked for us as individuals. In a way, it's a pity you don't already have a dslr because then you'd realise that to get started, it really doesn't matter and what all the fuss was about. You'll get something. I'd get a cheap dslr to begin with, any. But if you read through the replies here, you'll see a leaning to one particular make. (or borrow one? not sure if that's possible in uk). Only by taking the plunge will you know if it's for you.

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1 minute ago, alacant said:

It is! You'll get loadsa different responses because that's what's worked for us as individuals. In a way, it's a pity you don't already have a dslr because then you'd realise that to get started, it really doesn't matter and what all the fuss was about. You'll get something. I'd get a cheap dslr to begin with, any. But if you read through the replies here, you'll see a leaning to one particular make. (or borrow one? not sure if that's possible in uk). Only by taking the plunge will you know if it's for you.

i suppose its not the DSLR which is the major problem as ive heard others say that majority of the newer DSLR's are good for AP its the lens that does the work which is fine. I think i will start with a DSLR and a tripod as usual and then look at getting the tracking mount in the future

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All I'll say here having owned a host of Canons is that DSLR's are a slippery slope where you'll continuously want better results.. I've had 1100d's, then 600D, 60D, then 6D, now Sony a7s. Genuinely, if you really want a camera which you're unlikely to want to replace at some point, it's worth resisting and saving for something like a 6D, it's full frame, has amazingly low noise and comes with everything you'd expect from a Canon. If I'm honest I always felt restricted with noise with the 600 and 60D's, the difference between those and the 6D is considerable. Camera's lose their value considerably, so it's an expensive endeavour to get a cheaper one and slowly make your way up to a good body. You end up spending double what you would have spent.

Other things to note: Be careful with 'fast' wide angle lenses, some (most of them) have quite terrible achromatic aberration which almost always forces you to stop the lens down. The best I've used for the money so far are the Rokinons. If you're tracking targets you don't need a fast lens, and you're better off getting a nicer (but slower) one. That's my opinion anyway. 

Also some people have suggested cameras based on the fact they have a flip screen - these are really handy, but don't let it define your decision. With the wireless enabled cameras like the 6D, you can use your phone to control the camera and thus it negates the need for a screen at all in that scenario.

 

Good luck ;)

Edited by jezhughes
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Getting started is the easy bit, Camera + Lens, nice clear night, bright Moon, f11, 1/125, ISO100, point it at the Moon and shoot away.

Its getting serious that adds up fast.

buying S/H from one of the reputable suppliers can save a packet and generally place you in a position to purchase better kit that has been tested.

Good luck.

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Wireless control as far as I know doesn't broadcast the live view image to a mobile device just shutter response. However I use a usb cable to connect to an android tablet to see the live view image on a 7 inch screen.

Or does wireless control do more?

Edited by happy-kat
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13 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

Wireless control as far as I know doesn't broadcast the live view image to a mobile device just shutter response. However I use a usb cable to connect to an android tablet to see the live view image on a 7 inch screen.

Or does wireless control do more?

I cant comment on all the Canons but my 80D allows full remote control and live view either on a mobile/tablet with the Canon app or with EOS utils on a PC, you can even switch between still and video mode and AF/manual focus. The only thing remote shooting cant do is change the mode dial settings.

Alan

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On 11/25/2016 at 00:01, Davey-T said:

If it's purely for astro there is no point really in getting the latest megapixel camera, if it was me I'd get a secondhand Canon 450d and a secondhand Skywatcher Star Adventurer which can achieve ten minute exposures with a wide angle lens and 90 secs using a 300mm lens.

Sorry if that upsets all your plans :grin:

Dave

i took your advice on this. Got my Camera, SA and getting my 300mm lens. i got good results with just my 18-55mm on the tripod already. Cheers Dave

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On 11/27/2016 at 16:00, usingen1 said:

Need some help also, i am looking for the right camera Canon eos 6d  eos 7d or a 70 da or a 60 da  Help is apporeciated and you experience counts...ty

if you purely want the best camera for Astrophotography without money problems then the 6d i would choose. For more on a budget go for the 100d/1300d/650d. 

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Not to confuse the issue.... But my dream DSLR at the moment is the Sony A7s.

Way out of my realm of financial ability, but OH! Look at this!

If I was to win the Lottery (Fat chance, I don't play) I would want a Sony A7s on a RASA telescope.

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I do have a Nikon D3300 DSLR, and have done some Astro with it. It does an admirable job as it is, unmodified. Of course, the lens used is important.

I've mostly used mine for star trails, and for overnight runs to make time lapse video. But piling on 3000 + shutter actuation's in a single night has been a concern for me. And why I want for a mirrorless camera. Less parts whacking about with each image captured.

So that might give you some food for thought.

As far as filtering goes, I can mount the D3300 onto my telescope and use it's filter wheel to use my light pollution filter, or HA7nm (Hydrogen Alpha) with it. I use a program called digiCamControl when doing Astro with the D3300, and connect it to my laptop. (Using my laptop allows for mass storage on a USB drive.) The dCC program has an Astronomy feature I like for DSLR and Space shooting.

Although, the laptop is just an option. I have 64 GB cards for the D3300 that easily hold a nights collection of images.

I don't know much about Cannon Cameras. I have admired the images taken with them. And used a friends to shoot an awards program she was a part of for her sons. I liked her camera. One casual observation I've noted is that many Cannon folks prefer Apple computers. And Nikon shooters seem to lean towards PC's.

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My advice would be the canon 600d, straight or modded, your choice.

Yes i have one but thats only because i have found thats what worked best when i had a static tripod and camera.

Have a look at Forrest Tanaka' videos on youtube, you will find them very helpful.

Here's a relevant one.

 

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On 30/11/2016 at 17:50, SonnyE said:

Not to confuse the issue.... But my dream DSLR at the moment is the Sony A7s.

Way out of my realm of financial ability, but OH! Look at this!

If I was to win the Lottery (Fat chance, I don't play) I would want a Sony A7s on .

Just beware of the Sony star eater...

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10 minutes ago, usingen1 said:

Okay, got a eos 6D and well, it does real good, thinking about getting a eos 60Da ?? any comments on it ?? Ernest

I've got a 60Da, but only because I got it "cheap" opened and returned, bit in between an unmodded and a modded camera, but it has got the nice swivel screen and comes with the Canon AC adapter.

Dave

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With your 300mm lens you're really going to want some sort of a tracking mount to get beyond M31 or M45 and even those will prove a challenge to get sufficient data with maximum exposure times of a couple of seconds - The Star adventurer is a good introduction and is very capable for what it is and will easily allow much longer exposures .. here's what I recently got with the star adventurer with a Nikon DSLR and a zoom lens set to 380mm - about 30odd 30 second exposures - no calibration frames processed in PixInsight. It really will open up new areas !

31244630576_de58eafd5d_k.jpg

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Id say it dont really matter on what dslr you get...100d is a great little camera..600d if your looking for something with a swivel veiw finder..cant comment on the nikon but again dont think you can go too far wrong..i would suggest thou that shooting on a static tripod is really going to limit your exposure time to a drastic level on a bigish lense..so a staradventurer would make such a difference..

What was you hoping to shoot target wise?

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On 25/11/2016 at 07:13, wxsatuser said:

If your just going to use a tripod effective dithering will not work.
Although each frame will be slightly shifted they will all be in the same direction.
Dithering should be totally random, normally shifted by at least 12 pixels.

I'm not sure about this. The trailing will, of course, be along the lines of RA but those lines, other than at the poles or the equator, will not be parallel with the chip. If the exposeures themselves are long enough to show trailing then there will be considerable dispalcement on the sky between subs and this will be in the form of field rotation. It won't be orthogonal to the chip. (This matters because some camera artefacts are  orthogonal to the chip. Columns, banding, etc.) Only on an equatorial mount with imperfect tracking will the displacemet be in the form of a continuous line.

Dithering can have two functions. It can be used in conjunction with drizzle stacking to enhance resolution. For this to work then the nature of the dither needs to be carefully managed and probably wouldn't work here. But for noise reduction, the other reason for dithering, any displacement of the target on the chip will work, I'd have thought. A 12 pixel dither is recommended for colour mottle reduction but other forms of noise reduction will work with a much smaller displacement.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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