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philsail1

New DSLR - will it work?

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I wonder if anyone can give me a bit of advice?

I'm thinking of buying a new DSLR camera (to upgrade from my Canon A570is Digicamera).

I looked at a few and read the reviews. I like the look of an "Olympus E-420"

Curry's are selling it for £269.00 (with an 18mm to 45mm lens).

This model doesn't have any anti shake system, though it does have a built in "dust extraction" system, and takes pics in "RAW" format as well as "JPEG." It also has something called a "Live view" which apparently allows one to use the LCD screen to focus shots before you take them.

It is one of the smallest (and lightest) DLSR's on the market.

It does seem to be a good buy at the price. (I don't really want to spend too much, and I would lilke something that is light enough to carry around when we are on holiday (to get my full monies worth out of it!).

What, I would like to know is - will it be any good for "ASTRO PHOTOGRAPHY?" and will I be able to use the camera to take photos without its lens? (image being projected direct onto the "chip."

Your thoughts would be most welcome before I commit myself.

(Oh! and may I just add that I don't really want to go along the path of buying specific imaging web cams etc - I would rather have a decent camera that I can also use for everyday photography).

Thanks,

philsail1

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Pretty good value for money but it might be worth stretching to the price of a Canon 1000D as the noise performance will be better. You also get the benefit of a wide range of second hand lenses being available.

Regards

Kevin

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Hi. Philsail.

I have the Olympus E-500, which is a predecessor of the

E-420. Mine doesn't have the Liveview facility, but I like the camera very much. Can't help you regarding Astro Pics, except for a moon shot last year. Pic. below. I also used the camera on a lunar eclipse sequence,. which came out very well. The camera was couple to a 500 mm f/length mirror lens. This picture was prime focus on a 150mm f8 Achromatic frac.

There is a member on SGL who has the E-420, but I can't remember who.:) I will try to think who it was. He could see this thread and let you know what he thinks of the camera.

I don't think you can go wrong really. Do some noise tests at different exposures and ISO's. Put the cap over the sensor and fire a few shots to see the results.

Ron.:)

post-13213-133877384878_thumb.jpg

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The 1000D with the 18-55 IS lens starts around £340 witha bit of digging around.... If you can bridge the gap I know what I would do....

Peter...

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Many thanks for your replies.

Kevin (and Peter) - yes, I have considered the Canon 1000D. I am aware that Canon

are about the most versatile of all DSLR's. I like the Olympus,

because it is a bit smaller, and lighter, and the "spec" is very

similar to the Canon. (Canon 1000D is 126 x 98 x 65mm and

weighs 502 grms (without battery). Olympus is 130 x 91 x53mm

and weighs in at 426 grms (without battery). Price also is a

big factor - especially when specs are similar.

Ron - Ah! you have experience of Olympus cameras. That's great! Your pic of the

Moon looks OK. Did you take it with the camera - minus the lens? or was it

an "AFOCAL" shot. (Excuse my ignorance, but what do you mean by "prime

focus?"). Yes, it would be idel if the member who has an Olympus 420 should

see this thread.

Arthur - The Olympus has a mirror which "flips" up and locks whilst you focus using

the "live" view, but I don't know if it actually locks. The camera has a

60 second maximum shutter opening time. Don't know if it has a "bulb"

setting though.

John - thanks for the link to the "Bird Forum." I've just joined, so I'll take a look at

the "Canon" posts on there.

Regards,

philsail1

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Philsail,

The camera lens had no part in the taking of the picture. The camera was fitted with a TMount and 2" nose adaptor, and the scope became the lens, focusing the image on to the cameras sensor.

Ron.

I will add, that I bought a Canon 1000D Body only not long ago. I also got the necessary filter to modify the camera for emission nebulae, and retain it's normal capability. I have not got around to doing the mod yet, but I will. I intend to keep the Olympus E-500 though.

Do a Google search on a guy named Wrotniak. He is Polish, and he has written some great info on the Olympus 500. He may have advanced to the 420 by now.

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another vote for the canons, the 1000D has the same architecture as the 450D, Mirror Lock up(i think), Live View & Bulb settings, the difference being one is 10megapixel and the 450D is 12.2.

Here's a couple of reviews of the 1000D & 450D :

Canon EOS 1000D / Rebel XS Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

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Live view can definitely be a real bonus.....mirror lock up and bulb would be pre-requisites for just about any astro-imaging.....relative noise is worth investigating.....lens compatability/options also relevant: lightness and size are of (some) consequence but if the budget can be stretched I know which is the more adaptable dslr.....but I'm a Canon fella (modded 20D and modded 50D) though i have inherited an almost new Nikon D80..!?!

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My personal opinion as a noob to DSLRs - if you want to do any astrophotography and you don't currently own a DSLR - would be to buy Canon. You will want to hook it up to a computer at some point and the support/knowledge for Canon on astrophotography is second to none. It may cost a little more now, but that will be repaid many times over when you come to getting the best out of the system. Personally, on a budget, I'd be looking at a 1000D

BTW Peter, I think the standard kit lens with the 1000D now is NOT the IS lens...

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Many thanks fellas - you've all got me thinking about "Canon 1000D."

I'll look a bit deeper into this before comitting myself.

Ron. That Polish chap certainly seems to know all there is to know about the Olympus "E" cameras! A cracking review.

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Indeed the standard kit lens is not the IS anymore but some people are still selling it with it... if you look around you can find some IS kits cheaper than the new non IS kit as they were pre-the post crimbo price hike...

Peter...

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Phil

If I were starting out again the Canon 1000D would be high on the list for Astro work.

I personally have Nikon equipment but i do take alot of varied snap shots of many different topics.

The Canon would perhaps be a good all round choice for most subject topics.

As most people say bodies come and go, it's the "system" that you buy into so check if the lens line up of whichever camera you end up buying meets your requirements.

Paul

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Just one other thought.

I always consider a possible exit strategy. By this I mean, how easy will it be to sell my camera/kit should I wish either to upgrade or to exit. Following a number of classifieds forums I find that Canon and Nikon sell without too much bother. Other makes, including lenses tend to "stick" on the forums unless they are an absolute bargain.

John

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Put it this way, i bought the canon 1000D after advise i got from here.

Great camera, for astronomy, not fully tested yet, but i am sure salisbury will assist there!

Excellent camera for taking terrestrial photos as well, it has me hooked on photography.

Yes it has a bulb setting, it can also take a delayed shutter gadget.

also it has a live view, though i would suggest its a tiny disply for seeing stars on in the middle of the night.

Bahlitov filter (pardon spelling) is a must for focussing i think.

Other than this the battery lasts very well.

The software it comes with has a utility to control the camera from the laptop, with YES, a larger live view being on the monitor.

The word on here is the canon 1000D, thus far even without decent astrophotos, i have no regrets.

edit

__________________

The Canon 1000D, is for its price a very good camera. Professionals use them as a budget entry thing. Then that said, the top range are anything up to £2000 for the body alone.

A friend of mine took my canon for a test drive, and did not think his 2k kit could beat it easily. Then that said, he does not really know eremuch about it.

I have asked many, a top astro person on here uses a nikon.

If you have an Olympus, then try it.

you never can tell. The proof and the results are in the pudding as they say :-)

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Thankyou All!

I am now thinking along the "Canon" lines!

However, I may decide to wait a bit now (until Chrstmas) as I have just seen two other "candidates" which look promising for "Astrophotography."

A Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1

An Olympus E-P1

Both these cameras are very small DSLR's with what look like impressive specifications, and have been given good reviews on various review sites.

But as they have not long been on the market, they are expensive at present. (£469 and £799 respectively).

They certainly meet my most important requirement - small and lightweight enough for general daily use, and can be carried around all day.

Thanks for all the help though - at least you all have prevented me from "rushing in!"

Regards,

philsail1

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Phil, worth reading the full spec. When I was looking at SLR's with the intent of using them for Astro as well as Daytime use. I seriously considered the Olympus's (should that be Olympi ??)... the ones that were available, at that time, were limited in max exposure to about 60seconds I believe.

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The Panasonic Lumix will probably take a cracking photo, especially daytime with it's Leica glass. But I doubt it will be as capable as the proper dSLRs from Canon and Nikon when it comes to noise. Panasonic's management of noise has traditionally been shocking. The biggest let down is the lack of choice when it comes to lenses, as others have already mentioned. If I were you I'd stick to the the big two, Canon or Nikon. Other camera manufacturers may be able to produce an equal camera, but the sheer volume of lenses available push Canon and Nikon in front. Especially if you are interested in daytime use too.

You seem to be keen on a very small camera. The thing is, even the mainstream cameras like Canon 1000 that has been mentioned are pretty small. It is only when you start going up to the 5D and such that they start getting big. The lower priced models are designed to be carried all day by tourists :) The really small models you have mentioned from Olympus and Panasonic may well be smaller, but they still won't fit in a pocket. If the camera/lens combination is below a kilo it is very easy to carry around all day without it becoming a pain.

Good luck with your choice.

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Thanks John and "Jamjulian."

A lot to consider between now and Christmas!

It's a big step for me - going from my little Canon A570is (which is a very versatile "point & shoot" camera), up to a full blown DSLR.

Yes, I am very keen on selecting the smallest DSLR I can really. I think this has come from the fact that my Canon A570is has been so versatile to carry around - and not know it's there - that I'm quite afraid that I might get something that just feels big and bulky.

philsail1

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Another vote for the 1000D, I got mine just before Christmas with the 18-55mm lense. At the time canon had a £30 cash back, plus tesco direct had them on sale, and I looked up a voucher code online. I got the camera for £272 in the end, which can't be bad. So wait for the deals if your not in a rush and buy at the right time!

Have a look in my profile for my deep sky efforts, all taken at prime focus on a 250mm reflector.

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Phil whilst you're thinking about the smallest SLR... As you're planning on using it for everyday photography too, then get along to a shop that'll let you handle the cameras. That'll help you get a feel for them, and allow you to find the one that's the right size and weight for you. Whilst the specs are all well and good and can help narrow down the list, you might find you're requirements change when you handle them. It might also be worth taking along a couple of cards (if you have suitable sized ones.. XD, CF or SD as appropriate) and seeing if they'll let you shoot a couple of frames onto them, this might also help you decide as you'll have real world images to work on.

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