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FarAndBeyond

Buying a starter DSLR camera

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So i´m looking to buy a DSLR camera purely for AP, it will be my first one and i´m new to AP so i´m thinking I want to start out with a cheaper one.

I´m looking to buy a used camera and preferably a Canon. So which cheaper models are suitable for AP. I have been eyeing a used Canon EOS 1100D ( I think its called Rebel T3 in the US?) with the 18-55 mm lens included.

It seems to have live view and a max ISO of 6400, and a 12.1 megapixel sensor (is 6400 ISO and 12.1 mp enough?)

So would this camera work as a starter camera for AP? if no why? And what functions and specifications is important to have in a DSLR which is going to be used purely for AP? 

Thankful for some input.

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I do not consider myself especially knowledgeable on AP. I have though had a Canon 1000D for several years.
An older model similar in many ways to the 1100D.

At the time the 1000D was affordable, good for sensitivity & noise (compared to many) and lightweight.
Weight being important for hanging on a scope.

Actually I have two of them now. Both bought used from astro web sites.
One is not modified at all. The other has the red cut filter removed to help with red sensitivity.

At first I thought I could manage with the modified camera for daylight use and restore the colour balance afterwards.
However, the many other settings (screen, mirror lock up, etc) were so different between AP and daylight use that I found myself spending more time configuring the camera than using it.

As the 1000/1100 cameras are not that expensive used, you might think about a 2 camera option as I did.

Hope this helps, David.

 

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The 1100d is the camera I use and have done for a few years now and in no rush to come it. The canon 600d is a good one as has an articulated screen. The 550d is also good.

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Hi i use a canon 450d its not been modified as i still use it for daylight as well, easy to use and not too heavy in my scopes.

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Depending on your budget, any LiveView model is siutable, except the 1000D, which is only 12bit processing, the rest are 14bit, important when you come to stretching your images.

Then 600D onwards with the articulated screen can be very useful if you frame and focus without a PC.

Michael 

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The 1100D is not a bad beginner's camera, if you can find one at a reasonable price.

I wouldn't get too hung up about the lack of tilting screen, as you can remotely control it with a certain smartphone app and usb cable.

For astro use, you'll be shooting at ISO 1600 or 800, so any higher setting will only be of use for frame and focusing duties.

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10 hours ago, michael8554 said:

 any LiveView model is siutable, except the 1000D, which is only 12bit processing, the rest are 14bit, important when you come to stretching your images.

I used a 1000d and 40d (12bit and 14bit) simultaneously and didn’t see any difference.  What was your own experience of the difference?  

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Thanks for your inputs. Okay So the 14-bit processing is an important thing? So how important is the number of megapixels on the camera in AP, since the 1100D haven't that many megapixels (12.1 mp). Also is ISO 6400 enough, is more than 6400 ever used in AP? 

Since I will be using the DSLR purely for AP it doesn't have to work good for daytime photo, i´m actually prepared to remove the IR cut filter myself if that can be done pretty safely without a too big of a risk of destroying the camera? But like you said they seem pretty cheap used so one can buy another camera for daytime photo if one wants to do that later, right now im doing any daytime photography with my mobile camera, im not a photographer.

But I guess one must also look at the maximum possible ISO of a camera, since ive seen some of the Canon´s manages only ISO 1600, surely that can´t be enough?

So to sum it up, the live view, numbers of processing bits, maximum ISO value, and preferably a tilting screen, and possibly the magepixel count, is that what to look for in a DSLR for AP, or is there anything else?

Okay so the 1100D seems to work fine then, and so does the 1300D, 2000D, 650D, 600D, etc. I guess?

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By the way, can I get a live view on my computer and not only on the cameras screen with all these above models? Also does all Canon DSLR cameras have the bulb mode?

And can one use the DSLR to check drift alignment, for example with PHD2?

Is there a list somewhere that shows which of these Canon DSLR cameras is 12-bit and which are 14-bit?

Edited by FarAndBeyond

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Regarding megapixels, you should look up imaging scale, and over and undersampling - subjects that give rise to a wide range of opinions out there 🙂

Most dslrs have a sweet spot of ISO, not usually the maximum, often 400 or 800, sometimes 1600.

I think it's fair to say that the higher the DIGIC the better.

Michael 

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11 minutes ago, michael8554 said:

Regarding megapixels, you should look up imaging scale, and over and undersampling - subjects that give rise to a wide range of opinions out there 🙂

Most dslrs have a sweet spot of ISO, not usually the maximum, often 400 or 800, sometimes 1600.

I think it's fair to say that the higher the DIGIC the better.

Michael 

The 1100D is digic 4 as I was also looking at the 1000D & 450D which are digic 3 iirc so chose the 1100D as it was digic 4. 

A bit more food for thought for @FarAndBeyond

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So I ultimately went for the Canon EOS 1200D with the 18-55mm kit lens (unfortunately with the version 3 lens without image stabilisation, but maybe that isn't important in AP anyway?)

Bought it just 2 days ago, so i´m in the process of reading the manual. Had a clear night yesterday and pointed the camera against the sky and could not see a single star on the live view screen, the screen was completely black, I didn't try taking any pictures since I didn't know the correct settings for that type of photography (im a total noob in both photography and astronomy).

So was it maybe the settings that were wrong, or aren't the stars usually visible on the live view screen before a shot is taken?

 

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4 minutes ago, FarAndBeyond said:

So was it maybe the settings that were wrong, or aren't the stars usually visible on the live view screen before a shot is taken?

 

Only if you have the ISO and exposure setting to allow them to be. On Manual, if I want to focus I choose the highest ISO and 2 secs exposure.

Peter

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If the lens was not near to infinity focus distance then no stars would show. Focus has to be quite near to being in focus for the brightest stars to show.

IS is not used for AP so you wont miss it.

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I bought a canon 600d body with 8000 shutter count from camera jungle for £150 (it had a few marks on it but works fine, they do lenses too)- and then had it modded.

Been very happy with it.

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