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Raz

nikon or canon

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Hi peeps,

I am a total newbie, and i want to start taking pictures of the night sky, you probably had this question before, but i want to invest in a dslr but what shall go for, i hear canon are better at Astrophotography,

My initial choice is the Nikon d7000.

Thanks

Raz

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Hi Raz - not much to choose between them as cameras per se. But the Cannons do seem to be more popular in the astro community. Possibly due to ease of connection, modification possibilities, and astro friendly features like "live view" (v.useful for focusing) ;)

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Are you intending to use the camera for daytime photography as well Raz? That may well affect your choice of DSLR if so.

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Depending on your budget you may want to consider using older manual focus lenses as they are cheap and can provide good results for astrophotography. Canon has the advantage over Nikon in this respect as the flange focal distance is shorter so you can still focus at infinity when using an adaptor.

Both systems have advantages though, it depends on what you want to do with it.

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Are you intending to use the camera for daytime photography as well Raz? That may well affect your choice of DSLR if so.

yea, i will be using it for daytime aswell

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In that case Raz, I would be looking into the complete Nikon or Canon system to determine what is better for the type of daytime pics you are going to take. For example, the long Canon lens's tend to be a little cheaper than the Nikons (300mm +), so if you are looking at wildlife, that may well be a consideration.

Will daytime photography be your main usage or astro? I would be looking around some photography forums first and deciding what will be best for the main use.

Get into a local retailer, hold both the Canon and Nikon (plus any others you may fancy) and see which is most comfortable, which menu feels most intuitive. I am sure that one will feel better in your hands than the other - That may well make up your mind.

Hope that helps.

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A Decent Nikon for Daytime and a cheaper Canon which you can mod for Astro...

What type of Astrophotography - using scopes or camera lenses...or perhaps both?

A Decent Nikon for Daytime and a cheaper Canon which you can mod for Astro...

My next "daytime" DSLR my 7th - Will be another Nikon

Billy...

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Ive used Cannons for many years and found them most reliable, however we have an office camera a Nikon that has plauged us with problems from new over the last 3 months

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Had to make the same decision some 4 years ago and went for the Nikon.

Basically, it comes down to what you want to do with it. If you're sure that you'll only be using the dslr for astophotography I think a Canon would be the best choice since it can be modded easily (by yourself or someone else), is easier to control and there are a lot of people who can help you when there is a problem. If you want to do other things with it, go for the camera that helps you making good pictures (by having a good shape, weight, menu structure, button placement, ....).

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A Decent Nikon for Daytime and a cheaper Canon which you can mod for Astro...

What type of Astrophotography - using scopes or camera lenses...or perhaps both?

A Decent Nikon for Daytime and a cheaper Canon which you can mod for Astro...

My next "daytime" DSLR my 7th - Will be another Nikon

Billy...

At the moment i want to be using the camera lens and then move on to scopes.

Why modify cameras, i'm a little confused on that can anybody explain please

thanks

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The filter that sits in front of the sensor cuts out a lot of infrared, making the camera not very sensitive to emission nebula. Removing or swapping the filter (modding the camera) makes the camera much more sensitive to infrared at the right wavelengths for the emission nebula. I've seen swap out filters for Canon, but not for Nikon.

Either will produce good results for daytime photography... I went Canon as I wanted the support in Astro (there seems to be more of it for Canon, and a lot of astrophotographers have Canon, so more experience) and, being into Macro, I really want to get an MPE65 (Canon's specialist Macro lens).

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Matters very little nowadays.

Early Nikon DSLRs had a "star eater function" that you couldn't turn off (part of the noise reduction / sharpening built into the camera) but with the later models it can be disabled. Later Canons have similarly nasty image processing turned on by default.

If you have "legacy" lenses it probably makes sense to stick with the same brand. Otherwise go for whatever you feel most comfortable handling (try them in a real shop). Don't ignore Pentax who are now making good DSLRs ... I'd avoid Olympus as the small "four thirds" sensor they're using is technically limiting and in any case Olympus's commitment to DSLRs seems to be fading in favour of EVIL (electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens) cameras.

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Hi Raz,

Talking simply photography rather than AP you will find the majority of professionals moved over to Nikon when the D300 and D3 came out a couple of years ago. Witness the last olympics compared to previous ones. The last had more black than white lenses compared to all previous years.

One of the benefits of using NIkon is that once you have used one and learnt all the controls, all other cameras are similar. I have gone from a D200 to a D3X and can confirm this is the case. Unlike Canon who for some reason seem to change location and style of controls. Now that comes from a couple of Canon users I know! Along with witnessing a Canon user looking and trying to work out the next camera in the range!

As to live view, most of the current range of Nikons have it so no problems there. Modifying and removing the IR filter is not camera dependant and can be done to any camera, there are many companies out there.

Now to AP. On this I have no idea, but understand a few years ago it was proven that Canon was better. However, unless someone can tell me or us otherwise I don't think this has been proven in recent years and not in particular since the D300 D3 launch by Nikon.

Finally I agree wholeheartedly that you should get a feel for a camera. I know of many people in my photography circles who find handling the 'wrong' camera to be a nightmare.

Hope that helps.

Best regards

Chris

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I use a Nikon for terrestrial photography (had it for years!), but bought a Canon 1000D on eBay for astro work. Two reasons:

1. I can mod the Canon and still have a camera for ordinary work.

2. There seems to be much more support for Canon DSLRs in the astrophotography world.

I'm sure someone will quote lots of freeware Nikon software (I hope so - I still own one!), but as an example, the Canons come bundled with EOS Utility which is enough to get started; the Nikon equivalent costs £132!

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I'm going to stick with my D7000 un-modified until I can stretch to a 'proper' astro camera. Unfortunately, I've yet to produce any good astro results yet due to focus/collimation issues that I need to address.

One thing that has to be mentioned at this juncture is that all Nikons suffer with, what I feel is a major issue, a lack of remote control options and bulb mode while in remote control is not available.

This can be done on with Canons easily with so many bits of software available to control them remotely... something that disappoints me about Nikon at the moment.

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Hi Alex,

Not sure I have come across a Nikon in recent times that does not have a bulb setting but stand to be corrected on that one!

As to remote controls I have a few sets that cost me about £10/20 each and have bulb setting built in so not with you on that one.

Got say I am not sure with the software issue as I have not had a need up until now, although I have seen it used a few different photo shoots.

Best regards

Chris

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Not sure I have come across a Nikon in recent times that does not have a bulb setting but stand to be corrected on that one!

Hi Chris,

I probably didn't explain that very well. I meant that the software cannot operator bulb mode on Nikons remotely, you end up having to use a cabled shutter button as you mentioned. With Canon's, and please somebody correct me if I'm wrong, there are numerous pieces of remote control software which will indeed activate and use bulb mode without the use of a cabled button (which can introduce shake on the telescope if you're not careful.)

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Hi Alex,

I never use a cable on my cameras all are remote controls with bulb setting.

As I mentioned I am not sure about the software, but will ask on one of my photography forums and let you/all of us know!

Best regards

Chris

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Neither Nebulosity nor APT indicate support of Nikon's in their write ups... Not sure why, guess they weren't available for development.

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Hi Alex,

Links for you:

Wireless Remote Control Cord for Nikon D300s/D300/D200 on eBay (end time 01-Feb-11 22:42:26 GMT)

Wireless Remote Release Control for Nikon D700 D300s D3 on eBay (end time 03-Feb-11 22:04:09 GMT)

Got similar at a similar price bought at Focus On Imaging last year and off Talk Photography, dealer previously.

Best regards

Chris

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Hi Alex,

I never use a cable on my cameras all are remote controls with bulb setting.

As I mentioned I am not sure about the software, but will ask on one of my photography forums and let you/all of us know!

Best regards

Chris

I've only got the IR remote which doesn't support bulb, as far as I can remember the wifi one's are something like £300 ;)

I don't know if the Hahnel one I bought for my partner supports bulb or not, I shall have to test (when she's not looking :p )

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Hi Alex,

Remote control for Nikons, on a Mac:

Sofortbild - Mac Tethered Shooting

On a Windows machine:

http://www.diyphotobits.com/download-diyphotobitscom-camera-control/

Done no more than get the info. Not had chance to read the spec as of yet.

Best regards

Chris

Oooh, I'll have to try that, thanks for that find! D7000 not listed yet but we'll see tonight! ;)

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