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Helen

Which mirrorless camera for astro and general use?

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We're off to the US for the eclipse :biggrin:, but are making it a special month-long holiday (to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary).  We'll be taking an Alaskan cruise as well as visiting quite a few national parks etc.  I always struggle keeping within a weight limit  :rolleyes: so packing for a month, including cold and warm weather gear, would be bad enough, but with adding astro kit for an eclipse, this time is going to be a real challenge!!  So any small savings in weight will be useful.  

I'm looking for a mirrorless camera that will be able to cope with all the usual holiday photo requirements but also be good for night shots too.  Mike's hobby is photography so we have lots (!!!) of Canon gear and usually that would be my first choice, but from some initial research the canon mirrorless offerings are very underwhelming.  So I'm wondering what other people are using and would recommend.

Thanks 

Helen

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The Sony A7 has an excellent reputation.  I seem to recall Jon Hicks  demonstrating one at a recent SGL Star Party.  The 'S' version is amazingly sensitive, with a highly useable maximum ISO of over 400,000!  However, it's not exactly cheap (body only around £1500)!

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Stick with with what you know i.e. Canon & get a 60Da....

As for packing, I usually find that I used to take too much, so I now take some basics & buy locally when there (which is usually cheaper)....

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I use a Fuji X-T1 for my astrophotography and general photography. It's not without its problems in astrophotography as it has what is called the X-Trans AP-S sensor which doesn't use the standard Bayer filter pattern, but I can get around that, and other than that it has a nice low noise sensor with a good red response. The lack of an anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor does allow maximum detail to be extracted. The Fuji lenses are fairly compact and excellent optically. But again, it's not cheap. It has a more traditional user interface which I like (for example, the lenses have the aperture control around the base, as traditional lenses did), and it's water resistant. There are cheaper variants that use this sensor too, as well as others which use the standard Bayer array. You pays yer money and makes yer choice. Google Fuji Astrophotography to see what is achievable; this looks a good review: http://www.lonelyspeck.com/fujifilm-x-t1-astrophotography-review/. The Sony A7 of course is full frame, and although the body may be relatively compact, the lenses required will have some heft. At the other end of the scale worthy of note is probably the micro-four-thirds sensor cameras from Olympus and Panasonic. These bodies and lenses are very portable, and give excellent results in conventional photography, but the smaller sensor size does have a poorer noise level when it comes to long exposure shots.

Ian

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For a good mirrorless system without spending a ton the Olympics OM10-D II is where I'd be looking. 

I had the original and it was brilliant and am very tempted to get another. Handles really well (note my main camera is a Canon 5D mkIII) and is nice and small without being fiddly. 

Can't comment on its astro credentials I'm afraid but can't see any reason why it'd be any better or worse than any other offering. 

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Second the Olympus 10 d mk 2 got some very useful features for Astro I'm experimenting with mine. I also have the canon 6 d but keep going back to the little Olympus.

regards

graham

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On 27/01/2017 at 22:34, Devon_Demon said:

Second the Olympus 10 d mk 2 got some very useful features for Astro I'm experimenting with mine. I also have the canon 6 d but keep going back to the little Olympus.

regards

graham

What features are these? I'm tempted by one as a back up to my 5D mkIII and it would be good if it has some features pertinent to astro work. 

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Dannybegoode

I particularly like the 14 x zoom on screen at the touch of a button ( configurable from 2x through to 14 x) for focusing and the time lapse feature, just set your desired time i.e. 60 seconds and how many subs 1-999 connect to phone app and press start these can be saved as single subs or made in to time lapse in camera .

 Oh and tiltable screen.

live composite mode ( very interesting for tracked Milky Way shots)

small size

about a million different lenses.

Os takes some getting used to if used to canon but like most things needs practice 

like I say I'm still experimenting with mine but looking promising as only interested in wide fields.

i have just brought a 25 mm 1.7 prime by Panasonic so need a clear night to try out

its got good reviews as Astro lens.

oh any micro 4/3 lenses are compatible...

regards

graham

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The two things that have put me off mirrorless and micro 4/3 cameras is lack of bulb mode and external shutter control, I dont know if this is still an issue though with the new ones.

Alan

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Thanks for all the opinions so far everyone :hello2:  I think remote control and touch screen would be on my requirements list.

Helen

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On 16/01/2017 at 12:07, Helen said:

We're off to the US for the eclipse :biggrin:, but are making it a special month-long holiday (to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary).  We'll be taking an Alaskan cruise as well as visiting quite a few national parks etc.  I always struggle keeping within a weight limit  :rolleyes: so packing for a month, including cold and warm weather gear, would be bad enough, but with adding astro kit for an eclipse, this time is going to be a real challenge!!  So any small savings in weight will be useful.  

I'm looking for a mirrorless camera that will be able to cope with all the usual holiday photo requirements but also be good for night shots too.  Mike's hobby is photography so we have lots (!!!) of Canon gear and usually that would be my first choice, but from some initial research the canon mirrorless offerings are very underwhelming.  So I'm wondering what other people are using and would recommend.

Thanks 

Helen

Honestly @Helen, camera mirrors really aren't that heavy :angel4:

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10 minutes ago, Scott said:

Honestly @Helen, camera mirrors really aren't that heavy :angel4:

Can I double-like??  That made me smile :glasses9:

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What about the SL1. Small touch screen no evf but has mirror and I've seen user's image with it, there is something about heat build up as tiny body there is a link to a discussion on that camera recently on the forum. Doesn't stargazing tim use one

Edited by happy-kat

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2 hours ago, Alien 13 said:

The two things that have put me off mirrorless and micro 4/3 cameras is lack of bulb mode and external shutter control, I dont know if this is still an issue though with the new ones.

Alan

I don't think it's a problem, they have both T and B shutter settings. The Fuji can be operated remotely via an app, and Olympus as well I think. Not the same as BYEOS of course. Personally, I see no reason to persist with conventional DSLRs, other than maybe it's a Canon which seems to be de rigeur for astrophotography, although the company is falling behind the pack in order to protect its existing product lines. Given the short flange to sensor distance of mirrorless gives one more flexibility in mounting. Just my 2 cents worth :wink2:.

Ian

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I've been using my Sony A6000 for quite a lot of general photography and it fits nicely onto my 150PDS.  No touchscreen but genuinely pocketable (or small-baggable).   General IQ is easily good enough - I have made money selling photos taken with this camera and the humble kit lenses (16-50 and 55-210).  There are newer more whizbang models out now but I don't feel the urge to upgrade.  I expect the a6000 will have some good twin-lens kit deals going.....

 

I have a cheapo ebay intervalometer that plugs in to the camera for unattended sequence shooting in Bulb mode

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Thanks everyone - seems like some good options available ☺️

Helen

 

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Owning a Olympus PEN I can confirm it has bulb, as per specification, though I rarely use it. All subsequent PEN and OM-D have it too. Many models from E-PL5 and after (but sadly not all) also have the "bulb time" feature which is appealing (allows you to see progress in image building while exposure goes on).

Can't comment on wifi, mine has none.

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I may be wrong on this but if I recall correctly, that whilst there is an option to watch the 'live' image build as time progresses, the result suffers from a greater noise level.

Ian

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On 16/01/2017 at 12:07, Helen said:

We're off to the US for the eclipse :biggrin:, but are making it a special month-long holiday (to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary).  We'll be taking an Alaskan cruise as well as visiting quite a few national parks etc.  I always struggle keeping within a weight limit  :rolleyes: so packing for a month, including cold and warm weather gear, would be bad enough, but with adding astro kit for an eclipse, this time is going to be a real challenge!!  So any small savings in weight will be useful.  

I'm looking for a mirrorless camera that will be able to cope with all the usual holiday photo requirements but also be good for night shots too.  Mike's hobby is photography so we have lots (!!!) of Canon gear and usually that would be my first choice, but from some initial research the canon mirrorless offerings are very underwhelming.  So I'm wondering what other people are using and would recommend.

Thanks 

Helen

I haven't read all of this thread, so it may have already been said, but why don't you send the majority of your clothing on ahead of you to the hotel/s you're staying at, and just carry your astro stuff and some clothing/essentials? Do the same for the return home. Those that cycle coast to coast across America do this, to save them carrying all of their kit on the plane across. Takes a bit of planning, but at least if you're getting hire cars etc when you get there, weight doesn't matter and you can carry everything in the car.

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Thanks everyone ☺️

I think I've decided on a Sony 6500 as a good balance between size and spec.  I'll get a sony lens for general use. But then an adapter to use Mike's canon lenses too ? 

I'm hoping to do some video on our trip, so the high spec video shooting features were a selling point too.  Will need to learn a new operating system though!!!

Helen

 

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Wouldn't it have been a lot cheaper just to pay the excess baggage fee and take the Canon ?

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