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  #1  
Old 16-05-2013, 01:46 PM
Astroliver (Oliver)
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60Da vs 6D, which is better for astrophotography?

Hi Guys

I'm just on the verge of buying a Canon 60Da but also much like the Canon 6D. I'm buying it solely for astrophotography, but thought the 6D might be better because it has a full frame sensor and has higher iso capabilities?

What are your guys thoughts?

Cheers
Oliver
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Old 16-05-2013, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Astroliver View Post
Hi Guys

I'm just on the verge of buying a Canon 60Da but also much like the Canon 6D. I'm buying it solely for astrophotography, but thought the 6D might be better because it has a full frame sensor and has higher iso capabilities?

What are your guys thoughts?

Cheers
Oliver
I would go the 6D.

I borrowed and tested a 60Da one night and while the improved red sensitivity was nice I wasn't blown away by it, and I was disappointed with the higher than expected noise levels (certainly no better than my 7D).

A little while after that I borrowed a 6D for two nights and immediately was completely blown away by it's low noise level. I strongly disliked the buttons/user controls design, but that's something you'd learn to live with.
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Old 16-05-2013, 03:16 PM
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iceman (Mike)
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Agree with everything Roger says.

Go the 6D. Hate the buttons
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Old 16-05-2013, 04:04 PM
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If its just for astro, (barring nightscapes), for 2K you could also look at a CCD camera?

Just a thought
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Old 17-05-2013, 09:28 AM
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philiphart (Phil Hart)
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Originally Posted by Astroliver View Post
Hi Guys

I'm just on the verge of buying a Canon 60Da but also much like the Canon 6D. I'm buying it solely for astrophotography, but thought the 6D might be better because it has a full frame sensor and has higher iso capabilities?

What are your guys thoughts?

Cheers
Oliver
Hi Oliver

If you want solid advice, you should really describe what sort of astrophotography you are hoping to do (with what sort of scope)? But if you are buying it solely for deep sky astrophotography and hoping to capture red nebulae etc. why not look at a fully modified DSLR (or CCD) rather than 60Da which is partially modified but not fully, so that it allows for some daytime use for those who want to do both.

The 6D is an awesome camera (i love how mine is going) but if you're planning on using it with a scope then you'll need some pretty special optics to illuminate a full frame sensor with good looking stars. For working with camera lenses it is awesome, but again you'll be investing $$ in good lenses to get the most out of it.

Phil
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Old 17-05-2013, 10:19 PM
Davi5678 (Dave)
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Phil, could you define "pretty special optics" for a full frame camera?
A 6d is on my shopping list in the future and I'd hate to make an expensive purchase in error.
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Old 18-05-2013, 12:34 AM
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Octane (Humayun)
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L-series lenses.

H
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  #8  
Old 18-05-2013, 05:58 AM
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I agree with those assessments from what I have seen of posted images. Full frame is hard to beat. Its a bigger sensor so therefore a bigger light bucket. I have Nikon D800E, Fuji XE1 mirrorless ($815 body only) Sony Nex 6 Mirrorless (same as Fuji body only). The mirrorless are both APSc sensors same size as 60Da, 70D etc etc. Its a Sony Exmor sensor so its got great low light low noise high ISO performance. But not as good as the Nikon. So smaller sensors even if excellent at present do not match current full frame sensors. Fuji is closest though.

There are alternatives of course to those. Nikon D600 is the competitor to 6D. This would match the 6D. It also has internal time lapse and interval shooting options which are great as no need for an external intervalometer to do time lapse should that interest you. Both are the same price. D600 has a dust issue though. Its only fault otherwise universally raved about by owners. So you'd have to clean it regularly with a wet swab.

But mirrorless should be considered. There are cheap accessories available now that may well narrow that gap between mirrorless APSc sensors and full frame and make them more equivalent. Yet to be proven though. I'll be posting about it in the near future as I have ordered one for my Nex 6. I suspect it will make it closer in performance to the full frame cameras and when available for the Fuji XE1 even more likely to be close, all for less money overall.

Costs are lower as well with mirrorless. They work better with Polarie as they are lighter. Lenses are cheaper. You can get plenty of adapters and use older but high quality lenses that are very cheap. For example the older Contax g Zeiss 35mm lenses are just jaw droppingly good. Stunning. Yet a 90mm F2.8 Sonnar costs on ebay about $200. The 45mm F2 (some reviews rate it as one of the sharpest lenses ever) is about $450 same for the 28mm F2.8. Fuji's new lenses are superb, better in general than Sony's. For example there are no other manufacturers who have a lens that can match Fuji's new 14mm F2.8 (except perhaps the new Zeiss 12mm F2.8 touit lens). Its as good or better than my Nikon 14-24mm F2.8. It has zero distortion. Amazing. Perfect for nightscapes,it also has a manual focus lock which I find helpful as its easy to knock a lens off focus at night. Fuji's 35mm F1.4 is often compared to top of the line Leica lenses- it is that good. Fuji is perhaps not as well known as the more common brands like Nikon and Canon but they are winning big time with their new cameras.

There are also youtube videos detailing how to mod a Nex 6 and whilst its a complicated little camera you do not need to replace the low pass filter on it as it has on chip autofocusing. So you can simply remove it. The 5r, again you can simply remove it and the little washers that currently on top go under the sensor board which just happen to be the exact right spacing to restore the sensor to the right distance.

Not sure what the appeal of a large DSLR would be here over a nice mirrorless unless you go full frame (for now). The mirrorless tend to be superior in all ways except fast AF tracking of moving objects. Unless you go full frame. The only mirrorless full frame are Leicas (mega $$).

Mirrorless are likely to be full frame though within a year with a rumoured Sony Nex 9. I think that could be an awesome machine.

I like my Fuji XE1 and Nex 6 and they are particularly great for terrestial (also light) but do not match the full frame power of the Nikon D800E.
Still they are not far away, closer than you would think. I think either would outperform any of the current Canon APSc cameras in low light high ISO and perhaps some of the Nikon APSc (not sure to be honest). The Fuji in particular as it has its own proprietary colour matrix on the sensor. One of the characteristics of that colour array is low luminance noise. It is particularly clean.

There's also Olympus OMD EM5 and a new EP5 model. That is micro 4/3rds and a smaller sensor though so again battling against physics there.

Sony Nex 6 has a time lapse app you can download. I have been using it for a while now. Its great. Its one of the reasons I got a Nex 6. It works much like the internal Nikon one. It took me a while to work out how to use it (not particularly user friendly but once learned it seems easy enough) but its quite a good little system. Battery life on a Nex 6 is good enough to do a 6 hour time lapse which is impressive.

So I would rate either the Sony Nex 5r or 6 and the Fuji XE1 to be excellent nightscape cameras with a good lens. The Fuji has the better lens lineup. XE1 and 14mm F2.8/Polarie and you are good to go.

Greg.

Last edited by gregbradley; 18-05-2013 at 06:25 AM.
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  #9  
Old 18-05-2013, 06:55 AM
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I agree with Greg, having used the X-Pro1 for a bit of "pretty picture" astro imaging, it is stunning. If there was one fly in the ointment, it is the lack of any form of ability to attach an intervalometer. A bit of "Kiwi ingenuity" will be required.
At the moment it's in the too hard basket, but I will sort some thing out. Until then I am making do with a full spectrum modified 550D.
Gary
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  #10  
Old 18-05-2013, 07:46 AM
luigi
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I have both a 60Da and a 6D, the 60Da destroys the 6D in every aspect of astrophotography.

Specially in terms of noise. My 60Da is less noisy than my 6D by a good margin. It's believed that Canon batch-selects its 18mpx sensors and the worst ones go to the rebel series (550D,600D, etc) and the best ones to the 60Da.

In my tests the biggest difference comes in thermal noise, in a summer session it was easy to see how the dark frames of the 6D had more noise than the 60Da by a good margin.

I might have an exceptional copy of the 60Da but I don't think that is the case.
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  #11  
Old 18-05-2013, 12:18 PM
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trek1701 (Mark)
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I canít speak for the 60Da, but I have the 60D and 6D and in my case the 6D is better for low noise.


Mark
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  #12  
Old 18-05-2013, 04:21 PM
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I agree with Greg, having used the X-Pro1 for a bit of "pretty picture" astro imaging, it is stunning. If there was one fly in the ointment, it is the lack of any form of ability to attach an intervalometer. A bit of "Kiwi ingenuity" will be required.
At the moment it's in the too hard basket, but I will sort some thing out. Until then I am making do with a full spectrum modified 550D.
Gary
Yes Xpro 1 does not have one. There probably is a workaround. Nex 5 owners have made IR remotes that act as an intervalometer. There is also another unit. I'll see if I can dig up the link and post later. It may work ( it may need an IR port - not sure if XPro 1 has that).
XE1 gained a port for intervalometer. Its the stereo jack. Nex 6 has no port for intervalometer although you can control it with infrared remote manually on and off (which is what I have been doing for longer than 30 second shots).

Greg.
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Old 18-05-2013, 04:23 PM
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Specially in terms of noise. My 60Da is less noisy than my 6D by a good margin. It's believed that Canon batch-selects its 18mpx sensors and the worst ones go to the rebel series (550D,600D, etc) and the best ones to the 60Da.


Wow, that is surprising. Very interesting. Anyone else with 60Da can comment?

6D is from what I have seen at DPreview the cleanest of all current cameras. Perhaps not as much in RAW but Canon seems to have done a good job handling noise with this one.


Greg.
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Old 18-05-2013, 04:58 PM
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philiphart (Phil Hart)
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Originally Posted by Davi5678 View Post
Phil, could you define "pretty special optics" for a full frame camera?
A 6d is on my shopping list in the future and I'd hate to make an expensive purchase in error.
Most scopes are not designed for astrophotography, and even fewer are designed for astrophotography with a full frame sensor. To produce a 'flat' and close to fully illuminated field across a 35mm sensor is a tough job. A typical Schmidt-Cassegrain, Newtonian and most affordable refractors will not do it. You need a scope that is designed for imaging.. if so it will have specs for its image circle and perhaps even the 'spot size' at the centre and edge of the frame. Look at the types of scopes being used with big sensors in the Astrophotography gallery or anywhere else online. It's considerably less demanding with a cropped sensor camera.

Phil
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Old 18-05-2013, 08:53 PM
Garbz (Chris)
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As someone who's just moved away from DSLRs, don't do it. If you're going for astrophotography get yourself a dedicated CCD.

I started on a 6 year old Nikon D200. It worked just as you may expect for such an old camera. Then I upgraded to a D800 which is about the best of the best in terms of sensitivity etc.

First problem, lack of response to IR band. There's no good having a high ISO sensitivity if there's something blocking your band of interest. In this respect you should likely look at the 60Da.

Second problem, vignetting and coma. I used the D800 in full frame mode for one single shooting session only. Vignetting and coma were completely uncorrectable on my SCT. There's no point, it was nothing more than wasted portions of the sensor.

Third problem, ludicrously large images like 20megapixel put an incredible strain on processing. In the one case where I did shoot full frame on the D800 my stacking software refused to stack (there's no 64bit version of DeepSkyStacker) as it very quickly hit the memory limit. When I used another program to stack the image it was utterly painful even on my modern machine to process the image, not to mention that the resolution was way finer than any effects of optics and seeing so again a great waste.

Finally never underestimated the power of cooling. I eventually upgraded from the ever so incredibly sensitive D800 to a QHY10, which is only about 2/3rds of the price and has THE SAME SENSOR AS MY 6 YEAR OLD D200!!!! None the less I was blown away by the much better performance.

Then there's the other things you get such as consistent temperature allowing you to use one set of darks rather than doing a set every imaging session, integration in the software to allow for things like plate solving, autofocus, the cameras are significantly lighter, no need to charge batteries, and I'm sure I could think of more if it weren't 10pm.

In summary, if you're not going to take normal photos and want an astronomy camera, don't waste your time with a DSLR.
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Old 19-05-2013, 01:19 AM
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Specially in terms of noise. My 60Da is less noisy than my 6D by a good margin. It's believed that Canon batch-selects its 18mpx sensors and the worst ones go to the rebel series (550D,600D, etc) and the best ones to the 60Da.


Wow, that is surprising. Very interesting. Anyone else with 60Da can comment?

6D is from what I have seen at DPreview the cleanest of all current cameras. Perhaps not as much in RAW but Canon seems to have done a good job handling noise with this one.


Greg.
I owned a 60Da & now a 6D and found that the 60Da has lots of hot pixels whilst the 6D has much, much lesser - the 60Da is no longer with me as I had "fried" electronics by just turning on the camera for an imaging session one night and though the warranty allowed a repair of the whole motherboard I chose not to accept it and got a Fuji X-E1 instead as a replacement

My 2cents - YMMV

Cheers
Bill
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Old 19-05-2013, 04:09 PM
Davi5678 (Dave)
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Most scopes are not designed for astrophotography, and even fewer are designed for astrophotography with a full frame sensor. To produce a 'flat' and close to fully illuminated field across a 35mm sensor is a tough job. A typical Schmidt-Cassegrain, Newtonian and most affordable refractors will not do it. You need a scope that is designed for imaging.. if so it will have specs for its image circle and perhaps even the 'spot size' at the centre and edge of the frame. Look at the types of scopes being used with big sensors in the Astrophotography gallery or anywhere else online. It's considerably less demanding with a cropped sensor camera.

Phil
Thanks for the reply Phil! I have a Stellarvue 115edt which is patiently waiting for me to purchase a mount...
Apologies for the thread hijack!
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Old 19-05-2013, 05:02 PM
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Here is a sensor size comparison.
Draw a circle around the edge of each sensor, you will see how large the corrected field needs to be for full frame.

Cheers

Phil
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Old 20-05-2013, 03:55 AM
Astroliver (Oliver)
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Hey guys, thank you so much for all your feedback!

It has helped with my decision making tremendously, and I think I might just go the Canon 60Da

I'l let you all know how it all goes!

Happy star gazing everyone
Oliver
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Old 21-05-2013, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Astroliver View Post
Hey guys, thank you so much for all your feedback!

It has helped with my decision making tremendously, and I think I might just go the Canon 60Da

I'l let you all know how it all goes!

Happy star gazing everyone
Oliver
I think that is a good choice. If you are using a scope then 60Da would be the go to get the Ha response. For nightscapes the unmodded 6D would be the go.

Greg.
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