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Cheap Astrophotography using lightweight DSLRs


DeepSkyBrad
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I've just had a Canon EOS 250d modified by Juan, IR filter off and shim to restore focal plane.  He previously did the same for a 100d which got me going in the hobby.  Juan is willing and able to take on successive generations of camera.  I prefer to rely on Juan's experience for this task, despite me being an optics specialist professionally.   The cost of the camera and Juan's conversion service together are a bargain and I trust him with a new camera.   

I like to use this type of imager over the specialist cameras because they are the result of Canon's massive R&D capability and bundle together all these functions:  battery, an up to date sensor chip, the on-board software, on-board storage, built-in display, easy-fit Astronomik filter. In the case of the 250d, that very important tiltable display so you don't have to crawl around on the wet lawn to see it.  The only thing they don't have is an easily-implemented thermo-electric cooling.  But I've got a long way to go in astro-imaging before I care about noise that much (though I'd like to cool, and understand what can be achieved, I use stacking averaging in the meantime to go part way in that respect).

The dslr is my one imager for three rigs, the most notable being that it's lightweight enough to go on my Omegon clockwork mount. 

On my heftier rig, I do have an Altair camera with a Sony back-lit chip but only use it for tracking with a wireless-controlled Stellarmate setup, having got fed up with all the cables and tablet pc with memory dangling off it.  

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  • 3 months later...

I've been thinking about trying AP and I've been going back and forth among a Revolution 2 Imager, a dedicated ZWO that would require a laptop to run, and a DSLR.

My laptop is very light, but I have a hard time with the thought of dragging it wherever I would go with a cam.  I know ZWO offers a WiFi solution but it's yet another expense.  The R2 is inexpensive, but still has cables and a supposedly user-unfriendly interface to deal with.  So it seems my best choice would be to go DSLR.  I like wide field constellation shots and I could use it for other things if astrophotography didn't workout.

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