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charmedkelly

DSLR camera's for Astrophotography

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right ive been told that dslr digital cameras are good for imaging dso's well i can only afford second hand, they seem to hold there rice these camera's ive found one let me know if there good or not, also if u can come up with another good camera or some imaging tool to use for imaging dso's can u let me know

Kelly

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Usually the DSLR cameras we are talking about are Canons - A 350D/400D can be bought s/h at a reasonable price. If your looking at transfers with USB 2.0, then you should consider a 1000D or 450D. A 1000D is exceptional value for money especially if you find a modded one :)

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The 350d is USB 2 and are going for around the £200 mark now. I would avoid the 300d as its only USB1

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I went for a sony (who took over Minolta) the reason being that you can use the Minolta af lens's which you can pick up s/h for reasonable prices, Sony has just brought out a new range so you may well get a good deal on the A200 or A350, both are excellent camera's

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Does anyone now any good second camera shops online.

ive tried the london camera exchange nothing much on there :).

kellyxx

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Just to re-iterate the choice thing, stick to Canon 350d and above, great bargains to be had on flea-bay etc. But I'd check your local camera shop as they may have trade-in camera bodies.

There are all sorts of nice DSLR add-ons which you will appreciate once your obsession has really bitten... computer control, remote triggering, easy T-ring mounting, high signal to noise ratios at high ISOs... its all possible on Canon.

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whilst I agree that canon makes good gear (along with Nikon etc) why do you disregard the Sony equiptment ? why stick to canon ? i have come accross this sort of favoritism towards certain brands many times before, some times with good reason, but mostly due to brand snobbery some thing I really don't like, whilst canon and nikon do make good gear there are other brands such as Pentax, Sony (x minolta) Olympus all who make supurb camera gear that can more than live with anything canon make but quite often doesn't carry the price premium of canon and nikon, keep an open mind as regards brands and do your homework is the best advise

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why stick to canon ?
Because there is a lot of experience using them for astro stuff. Most programs support them, the bits are made to connect them to the scope, they can be modded easily to support better H alpha and lots of people around here use them. Simples...

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sorry, don't get us wrong, im sure other makes including sony do make fabulous camera's, I do not think anyone on this forum doubts this. Canon are more prone to picking up a higher intensity of Red in images especially if you are doing DSO imaging from what I understand.

Many of the Imagers on this Site do use Canons, not to say other makes are Inferior for Astrophotograpy. Please excuse my ignorance - I have not yet so far seen a Filter Replacement for any other make except for Canon to intensify HA Emissions.

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I think Canon camera's are the only ones supported by applications like DSLR Focus. Nothing wrong with Nikon or Sony but Canon has better software support.

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Canon took Astrophotography with DSLR's seriously before the other manufactures with the release of the Da series cameras... they were also ahead of the game with the sensor performance ... And so they got the 3rd party software support and the "following" with the imagers...

I never in trended to buy Canon kit before I really started imaging having been a fan of and user of Minolta(35mm) and Nikon (DSLR) ... Nikon are finally getting their act together with the sensor performance but as yet software support is still pretty poor...

Peter...

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Ok I stand corrected then, it would seem that for astro imaging canon have the jump on other manufacturers, thing is when I bought my photography gear i didn't buy it primarley for astro imaging, most of my photography is wildlife and landscape with some portrait work thrown in astro imaging is relativley new to me, i'm not fortuanate enough to be able to afford a camera for each differant purpose, now don't get me wrong but i'm guessing i'm not alone in this respect, i tried canon, i tried nikon i did my homework and bought Sony mainly as it was very good (several award winning kit of late) and it followed on from my fav Minolta experiances, what's more it felt better in my hands, astro imaging came after i had a love for photgraphy so i'm afraid buying canon (better surported it may well be) is a no no

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Don't be disenheartened that you can't get Canon kit - its not the be all and end all. But that said, the majority of imagers are either using Canon or a pukka CCD. I agree that Sony handles well for instance, but low light performance lacks that 10% which can make the difference between a good image and a great image. So your penalty might be you need to take another 20% more sub-images before stacking the RAW files.

My deciding factors were:

1) Low light high iso signal/noise is more constant for the money I was spending

2) Availability of good quality software to control the camera remotely (USB) to avoid the cricked neck (I use Nebulosity from stark-labs)

3) Availability of a vast network of Canon astro-geeks to help out

4) Availability of nebula filter - very important to me because I live where there are aurora and I love Ha emissions

YMMV!

Get stuck into planetary, clusters, nebulae without Ha emissions and you won't notice the difference that much, until the bug really bites!

Clear dark and steady skies

Trull

PS: Much insight : Nikon vs Canon DSLR Cameras for Astrophotography

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I think Trull hit the nail on the head. Astronomers tend to go for Canon on account of their low noise at long exposures, and the availability of equipment and support. The 20D and 30D are a good second hand choice as they are cheap, USB2 and have prosumer performance, but they are a bit obsolete compared to the 40/50D and lack live view.

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Hi Taz,

I tried starting off doing AP with my Sony A-300. I had bought it with the same intentions as you - it had compatibility with my Minolta AF fit lenses.

I quickly realised its limitations. Low light pics show more noise than Canons, and amp glow is horrendous. I had plenty of wise advice from SGL members to go Canon, but the Sony hadn't been tried and tested yet as it was new on the market. I took a gamble and it DIDN'T pay off. So apologies that I didn't heed your advice!

Don't get me wrong - I still love the Sony as it takes wonderful daytime pics, but now I've bought a Canon and had it filter modded - an option I didn't have with the Sony.

It's not just brand-snobbery (I can't stand that either!) - Canons are just fantastic for astro use. To summarise what's been said already:

- better support for remote control software

- filter replacements available for astro-modifying

- better noise in low light

HTH

Andrew

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I went Canon from the outset with me dSLR as part of my intention was to get into imaging with it. I'm certain that all the other manufacturers cameras do a great job, and in some areas probably outstrip the canon, but mine works great. The other thing that specifically canon seems to have the drop on all the others is Macro with the MPE65 macro lens.

As for second hand shops... take a look at mpbphotographic.co.uk - Buy Used Canon & Nikon Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses, Accessories & More

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I am sure somebody told me that the head of Canon (or somebody high up in the company) is into astro photography and thats why the canon camera's are better - they have been (at least partly) designed with astro use in mind.

Dont know if that's true mind!

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better noise in low light

So let me play devil's advocate. Although the above is often stated about Canon DSLRs on this an other astro forums, it seems to me to be a bit of an apocryphal tale. I have never actually seen any scientific measurements to support this fact. So if anyone knows of any I would love to see it.

NigelM

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Nigel M

I should have made it clearer that I was comparing the Sony to the Canon - sorry. In fact, I wouldn't be much surprised if a Nikon camera matched the Canon for noise levels.

The Canons are also good at higher ISOs

Andrew

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I have never actually seen any scientific measurements to support this fact. So if anyone knows of any I would love to see it.

NigelM

Have a look at Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi Review: 19. Photographic tests (Noise): Digital Photography Review (and related).Graphs of noise performance vs ISO (not vs time unfortunately, but...). Most of the reviews on that site will compare cameras against each other for noise... Or do you not mean that sort of noise :)

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I took a single 34 minute exposure of the moon... it was correctly exposed (I used a 10 stop ND filter... just playing and it didn't give me the effect I was after either :)). There was very little noise showing, certainly no amp glow (in camera NR of any sort was and is off). It was full of hot pixels mind you. But they are easily dealt with in processing. I'll see if I can find it and post it unedited, just converted from raw.

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hello all ive just purchased a canon eos 10D body, and 2 people have told me its a good camera to use for planets and the moon

anyone agree

,kelly

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Not sure to be honest.

I would think a webcam is best for planets and the moon.

The DSLR would be best for DSO :)

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Have a look at Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi Review: 19. Photographic tests (Noise): Digital Photography Review (and related).Graphs of noise performance vs ISO (not vs time unfortunately, but...). Most of the reviews on that site will compare cameras against each other for noise... Or do you not mean that sort of noise
No I don't mean that sort of noise - the comparisons done for daytime photography (which these are) are mostly irrelevant to astro work. What is needed for astro work is stuff like the level of dark current and amp glow (and the QE, so you can work out signal to noise). But none of the comparison sites ever measure these. As a result there is no way to compare the astro abilities of the different DSLRs.

The Clarkvision site has some stuff on, but he only has detailed stats for Nikons and Canons, and strangely, despite claiming to be analysing them for astro work, has virtually nothing about dark current.

One thing is sure, it is not as clear cut as people make out, because all cameras have different gains, so you can't just say "my camera has a lower dark current in ADU so it is better".

NigelM

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I'm going to stick my neck out and suggest that the (now discontinued) Fuji DSL'rs weren't that bad at astrophotography either. The Fuji chips were noted for their low noise at high ISO's but there seems to have been little astro work done with them from what I can find on the Net.

I used a Fuji S5 Pro with Nikon 180mm F2.8 ED lens for this photo. Exposure was 300s at ISO 800 unguided

Red12.jpg

And now check out my home made camera drive!!!

Img_4337.jpg

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