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A58-SLT and a step into the unknown...

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Recently have got back into my photography, and rekindled my interest in landscape/deep-sky/astrophotography. I bought a used Sony Alpha SLT-A58 last year and really enjoy using it. (My previous camera had been a NIKON D50 from like 2006? Or something, so the jump was a huge one. I also really liked the backwards compatibility with a large number of Minolta branded lens from before their acquisition by Sony, meaning I picked up a couple of great value lens for some absolute steals. A 50mm prime lens F1.7, and a 28mm prime lens have really helped develop my shooting and due to the lack of zoom, develop the fundamental skills and make me think about the shot composure. 

The SLT-A58, plus some basic 8-10 second exposures at F2.8, ISO 1600 have provided some excellent results, and with some basic PS post-processing with RAW, I am stunned by the starscapes I have been able to capture. I am excited to see where I can go with this. 

In the future, I intend to acquire a tracking mount to increase my versatility for long-exposure shots. (Currently, depending on the angle in the sky and lens, I can get about 8 or so seconds from my f2.8 28mm prime lens before the star trails appear) and also look at working towards DSO photography.

I understand with the right set-up/tracking mount configuration, that programs such as APT can be great to allow control the guiding of the camera, however I am pained (and somewhat unsurprised) to discover that Sony locked down the cameras and there is very little, if not zero functionality available in programs (APT or whatever), meaning the expandability with the above. It certainly would be very convenient to be able to set-up a laptop in the warm and have greater control/sight of what I am shooting.

Long story short: I am looking to CANON/NIKON as alternatives. The market appears to be bloated with well-priced entry level DSLR's, but I am looking to the future and want to invest in something that will help nurture the above aspirations, especially with a different lens and the possibility of introducing telescopes. 

Does anybody have any suggestions? I am considering the CANON 77D or Nikon D7200. I am looking for some alternatives for intermediate level camera systems that are future-proof for somebody who is experienced but not an expert. The first challenge will be the body, then the lens which will be another kettle of fish.


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