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Advice sought about choosing a digital camera for..


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Speaking as a rank newbie myself, it is my understanding and experience that compact cameras used for eyepiece projection photography (either handholding, or with some kind of clamp mount) can be effective with the Moon, Sun (with proper filters, of course) and possibly planets (although your webcam would be a better option for those). For DSOs, etc, you will not find it very useful, and will require either a DSLR, or a dedicated astro CCD.

Edited by fatwoul
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As mentioned, your webcam is best for the planets. There are also lots of great moon images taken with the webcam.

Generally when imagining DSOs you need to take longer exposures which is why the DSLRs and dedicated CCDs are best. I did try some images with my canon bridge camera but the longest exposure time I could take was 15 secs. With the DSLRs you can take much longer exposures, subject to having good polar alignment. The Canon DSLRs seem to be a good choice with the entry level 1000d being popular.

If you take a look through the imaging section you should be able to get an idea of what equipment as been used to take the images and the length of exposures and the number of exposures.

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No, you need a DSLR to do it properly. The Canon 1000D is highly rated at the budget end, with Live View and low noise. At some point you can, if you wish, get it modified to remove the filter which partially blinds it to Ha or you could look for a modified one second hand.

You need a T adapter to attach the camera to a telescope.

I have a 100OD for daytime use but all our imaging is CCD.



Edited by ollypenrice
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Thanks for the feedback and advice folks. I'm afraid that although I really want to get into imaging, it will have to be put on a backburner for now until my finances pick up - I won't have a spare grand or so for at least a few months from now.

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The problem with point and shoot compact cameras is that you can't screw them onto the eyepiece or focuser instead you need a clamp adapter (20-£30).

I have taken some deep sky shots with this camera from Morgans computers £40. It has a 15 sec max exposure time.

BenQ Global | Products - Digital Cameras & CamcordersDigital Cameras - 12 Megapixels - C1230

Here are the pics....no where near a dslr but quite pleasing for a cheap method :

Stargazers Lounge - Space Cowboy's Album: Deep Sky (first 2 pics are webcam)

Stargazers Lounge - Space Cowboy's Album: Widefield Sky

Edited by Space Cowboy
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You should be able to pick up a good usable s/h DSLR for under 200GBP.

With the standard lenses you could obviously use it for the family stuff and for wide angle images of the sky...later it would also fit your telescope and take great images of the star clusters and nebulae...you don't have to spend $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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