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  1. #1
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    Default Astrophotography



    I'm currently a college student working with my astronomy professor over the summer, and we are trying to get started on astrophotography. The problem is that we are working with an old Nikon D70 that has been giving us a lot of problems, so we need to buy a new one. What DSLR camera would be best for astrophotography and why?

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    Default Re: Astrophotography

    Of the current DSLR's Canon 60Da - a specially factory modified version of the 60D - would be my first pick. Canon cameras are generally the preferred option as a single USB cable can be used for complete control of the camera including long exposures. It all depends on how big a commitment of lenses you have to swap brands. Nikon cameras are perfectly fine - but there is no factory astro modified (much higher H-Alpha sensitivity - by a factor of about 5x) camera and long exposures need a special adaptor or be under external control of a timer release.
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    Default Re: Astrophotography

    What kind of camera is best.... that's like asking what kind of car is best...it just depends. In the astrophotography world Canon dominates with Nikon a distant second. If you have a several lenses for the Nikon then switching to a Canon has the obvious drawback of you not being able to use the Nikon lenses you have. You may want to stick to Nikon for that reason alone.

    One problem with DSLRs for astrophotography is they have a built-in infrared filter. This makes DSLRs not sensitive in certain parts of the red spectrum which turns out to be the part of the red spectrum of most interest to astrophotography. This is why the dedicated CCD astro cameras produce richer colors in images of DSOs than do DSLRs. One work around is to remove the filter but this can create issues for using the camera for regular photography and removal kits are only available for a few DSLRs. Canon's 60Da is designed to counter this issue and provides the best sensitivity in red. I suspect that this moment in time, this ability of the Canon 60Da makes it one of the better DSLRs for astrophotography.
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    Default Re: Astrophotography

    and long exposures need a special adaptor or be under external control of a timer release
    Most Nikon cameras can be controlled through Nikon Camera Control Pro 2, exposures/interval and image transfers, it's a software program similar to EOS, but the Nikon software is exceedingly expensive ($149) when compared to the cost of EOS ($0) or BYEOS ($29).

    Just my two cents worth........good luck,

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    Default Re: Astrophotography

    Thanks everybody, this has been really helpful. Unfortunately the department won't spring the $1,500 for the 60da, but I have looked into all of them, so we should be ok.

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    Default Re: Astrophotography

    The 60Da is definitely "Pricey" - in part because it is "specialized" and in part because it is "new to market".
    Keeping with Canon DSLRs, anything from a 450D to a 600D (XSi to T3i in other markets) would make a great AP DSLR. So would the 40D, 50D, 60D, 7D semi-pro series.
    There is little reason to buy NEW (unless the School Purchasing Dept says so), and visits to AstroMart or CloudyNights (or even eBay) will net you a number of regular as well as "modified" (Infrared Filter removed - either professionally or self-modified) Canon DSLRs on offer. (And will highlight the assertions above that Canon leads Nikon for AP use...)
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    Default Re: Astrophotography

    Someone posted a fantastic pic taken with a xs canon(1000d) unmodded here the other day ,, I bought one off ebay for 117$ if your not using the camera lens that came with the cam and doing prime focus then there you go

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    Default Re: Astrophotography

    Looking for a Dedicated Canon for AP
    This site is a gold mine of testing date dark frame noise.. temp / time noise curves.. modification etc.
    IMHO the 450D or 600D are the sweet spots and the 450D can be had as a used body for $200-$300.

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    Default Re: Astrophotography

    Hi my Nikon d700 has a built in intervalometer, as do some other models, so no need for expensive Nikon software, although having said that I bought a cheap (£50, $80)wireless intervalometer which allows longer than 60secs exposures

 

 

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