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Jupiter Martin

Camera choice

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Hi

Looking to get my first astro camera and have a budget of £300 to spend sort of late Xmass present. Question is what do I choose there are so many out there I am completely confused.

I would like to Image DSO's primaraly and some planetry as well all suggestion welcome not a great budget but may be able to squeeze up to £400.

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I would probably go for a 2nd hand, ebay cannon 1000d or 450d, if you can get one. Everybody reckons they are great cameras, the 1000d being slightly cheaper, but both have Liveview, which is a must.

si

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I agree, but if you could get one second and that had already been modded you would find it vastly more rewarding. In astronomy there is more supprt for Cannon than for other makes.

Olly

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I don't want to hijack the thread, but what's this modding all about? What does it do/change? Thinking about a 2nd hand 1000D, 450D or maybe even a 500D (for the video) as well.

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Some astronomical objects emit a lot of light in the infra red part of the spectrum (it's called the Hydrogen Alpha or H Alpha) e.g. the nebulae in this weeks pick of the week above. The sensors built into DSLR's are sensitive to this wavelength but the manufacturers put a filter in to stop these wavelengths because it sends the colour balance out.

Modding involves removing and possibly replacing the filter for one which lets more infra red light through, this makes the camera better for astronomical use, but more difficult to use for taking pictures of the family etc. It can also stop the autofocus working properly if you only remove the filter.

You can do the mod yourself if you are brave or buy one off the shelf or get someone to do it for you. Hutech will sell you a modded camera, I think Baader will modify one for you. Astronomiser will also sell you a modded camera. All of the conversions will cost your extra $$$!

Edited by oceanheadted

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Just to make sure, modding is only required when you want to do narrowband imaging (Ha, Hb, OIII and so on) with a DSLR? For "normal" imaging over the full visual spectrum it doesn't need to be done? Or would that still have advantages?

Sorry again for hijacking. I hope the answers will help the OP as well...

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Just to make sure, modding is only required when you want to do narrowband imaging (Ha, Hb, OIII and so on) with a DSLR? For "normal" imaging over the full visual spectrum it doesn't need to be done? Or would that still have advantages?

Sorry again for hijacking. I hope the answers will help the OP as well...

The advantage of having the mod done is that those narrowband emission lines will also be captured when you are imaging in full colour, with or without a light pollution filter

With the filter in place some of these emission lines will be filtered out (especially the most important one Hydrogen Alpha) and it will make a big difference to a lot of deep sky objects, especially anything with nebulosity

See here for a before and after comparison

http://mikesastro.com/analysis/IRmod/

Edited by Euan
Fixed link

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The modding is to increase the response in the Ha as the standard IR filter on the camera is configered for terestrial photography and cuts out some of the wave lengths required for Astro.

A mono camera is still better for Narrow band as the CCD on the colour DSLR has RGB filters on the pixels whereas in a mono camera each pixel picks up the full amount of light.

I am sure someone else will do a better explanation but basically to increase the wavelengths of light hitting the CCD to cover more of the Ha.

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second hand is the way to go, not only ebay but also astro buy and sell is good, or drop a line to a few astro societies, they'll check amongst their members. I think you should also consider an astro ccd camera, i sold a starlight express MX7C one shot colour camera on astro buy and sell with software and it fetched about £350 i think, having bought it about 5 or 6 years earlier for about a grand, so there are deals to get good kit.

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The great advantage of DSLR is it's sensor area and resolution. For example, the 450D in my C80ED gives a coverage of around 2x1.5 degrees. The DMK21 gives around 0.3x0.25 degrees of coverage. Most DSOs are quite big, so you need the area to get the picture.

Yes, you could pick up something like a second hand Atik or similar camera, but they are going to be older technology, and lower resolution (although the chip may be bigger). The bigger second hand CCD cameras are still very expensive, even second hand...

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Think I might of messed up bought a Canon 400D will this be ok or have I just wasted my money yet again.

my internet was down so all I remembered was Canon and 4 something. please tell me this will be ok so I can order my t ring and adapter

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should be ok, and can be modified,,,

but dont think it has live view...

there are other ways to focus though anyway...

depends what you paid really, but plenty fine images have come via a 400d

steve

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