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Olli

Canon Sx170 for wide field AP

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Hi,

I’ve found this camera  on EBay £25 with original box ect. I was going to use it for daytime photography but wanted to know how good this is for wide field Astrophotography. I’m not expecting really good images from it but wanted to know what your thoughts are on this.

Many  Thanks 

Edited by Dinoco

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If you have a tracking mount you can give it a go and see how it performs. I would not expect much from such camera in default mode (but CHDK might change that).

Make sure you can set decent exposure length in manual (30s or higher). Also see if camera is able to produce RAW output (instead of usual JPEG that compacts produce).

If there is only option for JPEG, look if it is supported by CHDK and do you want to do a bit of tinkering with it (it looks like it is supported - there is SX170IS model in supported models list). CHDK will give you extra control over features of camera - like much needed RAW and long exposure. Disable any sort of automatic dark removal, noise removal or any other consumer feature that is supposed to enhance image.

http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/SX170IS

I think if you try it with tracking mount and CHDK, you might end up surprised with results (in a good way, but it will also depend on lens quality, so try out different F/stops to see if stopping it down helps with star shapes).

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8 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

If you have a tracking mount you can give it a go and see how it performs. I would not expect much from such camera in default mode (but CHDK might change that).

Make sure you can set decent exposure length in manual (30s or higher). Also see if camera is able to produce RAW output (instead of usual JPEG that compacts produce).

If there is only option for JPEG, look if it is supported by CHDK and do you want to do a bit of tinkering with it (it looks like it is supported - there is SX170IS model in supported models list). CHDK will give you extra control over features of camera - like much needed RAW and long exposure. Disable any sort of automatic dark removal, noise removal or any other consumer feature that is supposed to enhance image.

http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/SX170IS

I think if you try it with tracking mount and CHDK, you might end up surprised with results (in a good way, but it will also depend on lens quality, so try out different F/stops to see if stopping it down helps with star shapes).

Hi, thats the version I’m looking at, ive tried to find on the internet what the exposure time is but haven’t been able to find anything on it. I might just go for it as it’s not really a lot of money. I’ll see if I can find anything on the files. I doubt it can shoot raw. It says the max shutter speed is 1/3200 and minimum is 15 secs. Thanks for the help

Edited by Dinoco

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1 minute ago, Dinoco said:

Hi, thats the version I’m looking at, ive tried to find on the internet what the exposure time is but haven’t been able to find anything on it. I might just go for it as it’s not really a lot of money. I’ll see if I can find anything on the files. I doubt it can shoot raw. Thanks for the help

With that CHDK mod it should be able to shoot RAW and have long exposure mode (well longer than factory anyway).

Here is quote from home page of CHDK

" Professional control - RAW files, bracketing, full manual control over exposure, zebra mode, live histogram, grids, etc. "

And it also should not be too hard to mod the camera - if I remember correctly it is down to formatting memory card in certain way + loading it up with CHDK and then powering camera with that memory card - it is reversible "mod" - if you remove that particular memory card - camera will work as before.

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5 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

With that CHDK mod it should be able to shoot RAW and have long exposure mode (well longer than factory anyway).

Here is quote from home page of CHDK

" Professional control - RAW files, bracketing, full manual control over exposure, zebra mode, live histogram, grids, etc. "

And it also should not be too hard to mod the camera - if I remember correctly it is down to formatting memory card in certain way + loading it up with CHDK and then powering camera with that memory card - it is reversible "mod" - if you remove that particular memory card - camera will work as before.

Thanks, I’ve gone ahead and bought it so if it’s not that good there’s no harm done. I need a cheap camera anyway as I want to get into photography and even if it’s not the best for AP at least I can experiment until I get used to it and a better camera

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CHDK is loaded as and when you want to use it, card as above must be formatted correctly for it. You will need to check the firmware version on the camera first.

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3 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

CHDK is loaded as and when you want to use it, card as above must be formatted correctly for it. You will need to check the firmware version on the camera first.

Thanks, I’m sure when the camera arrives I’ll ask more about it. I’ve never heard of CHDK so will need to read on it more.

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I’m assuming most cameras have this but want to check. Is it possible to use a shutter release cable for this model?

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Only if it has the shutter realise cable port on it, why not try to find the manual for it online.

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Again CHDK might help there:

" USB remote - Simple DIY remote allows you to control your camera remotely. "

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have just got my camera today and spent about half an hour and have successfully downloaded CHDK onto the camera. Now i need to work out how to use it :) 

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35 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

It should give you raw files capability.

Yep, has the option to shoot raw which is good. Bit confused though as i cant seem to see the option for shutter speed have looked it up online and should be in enhanced photo operations but can't locate it. Do i need to install a script for it ? never mind think i've fixed it by loading a script on it 

Edited by Dinoco

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I haven't read your camera user manual. You may only see the option when in the right mode rather than all the time.

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