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Old 08-04-2021, 09:39 AM
evltoy (Wayne)
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S/H DSLR or Astro camera

Hey Guys,

I'm currently looking into getting a newer camera to improve on my current Nikon D80 (CCD, 2007) and that works with APT and my scopes.

So far I have narrowed it down to a 2012 (onwards) Nikon D600. I have pick this model as
1) Its a newer camera to what I have
2) Its within my budget ($500-$700)
3) Its weather proof
4) Has live view
5) its a full frame sensor (requirement was to be the same size or bigger then what is in the D80)

So far I can see D600's in my budget with around 20k shutter count which is low considering they have a life of 150k

So the question is;
Do I continue down the path of getting a D600 to use for the next few years or can I get an astro camera that can give me the same result as the D600 (sensor size) within my budget?

Thanks in advance for you help
Cheers
Wayne
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2021, 09:57 AM
AdamJL
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Hi Wayne

A Full Frame astro camera is going to cost significantly (even used) beyond that. If Full Frame is something you must have, then that does sort of limit your options.

If you're willing to ignore Full Frame and even go as large as APS-C or H, then I would choose the astro-camera. I went through this as well. Started out with a (stock) 5D IV, and got a new astro-camera recently. Why that instead of a modded DSLR? Main reason:
- Temperature control. Being able to take dark frames at your leisure is a lot better than being tied to doing it at the end of your session or worse, putting the camera in the fridge and guessing the temperature vs when you were out. DSLRs also change temperature during the shoot with ambient changes.

That said, your budget is your budget and so long as you're aware of what extra work you'll have to do in some circumstances, then you should be fine with the DSLR until you outgrow it. Only thing is to check how the Nikon plays with your capture software of choice. I know from hanging out on the NINA Discord, NINA has more trouble with Nikon drivers and performance than Canon, and the devs put that down to Nikon. Canon works flawlessly.
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Old 08-04-2021, 10:31 AM
evltoy (Wayne)
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Thank you for the advice Adam

Taking darks after a session is not an issue for me. I’m doing it now with the d80 and I don’t know any better ��. I understand sensor temp plays a big part in the image. Saying that I live in light polluted area which can only gives me a max of 3mins exposure on a good night.

One of my requirements is to go no smaller then the sensor size I have now which is an APS-C. What Astro cameras are there within my budget with an APS-C sensor?
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Old 08-04-2021, 11:39 AM
Muzfox (Murray)
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I started 12 months ago with a standard DSLR. I quickly picked up a cheap Canon 1100d for $100 and modified it myself (naked sensor, removed IR Cut and Anti Aliasing filters completely). With added l-pro and l-enchance filters it was a game changer.

The main issue I then had was darks. With these filters you are taking 5 minute subs no issues, and noise becomes a big factor. I found it critical to get darks at as close temp as possible to the lights and never really got there with a DSLR.

So I saved up and got a 071MC Pro Cooled camera which has the same sensor (APS) size as the DSLR. Game changer for me. Being cooled the noise is dramatically less to start with, and then I can do the darks any time (I've built a library) which means a lot more time spent actually taking images.

For someone starting out I would say use what you have for as long as possible while saving for the best you can get even if it takes another 6 months to achieve.
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Old 08-04-2021, 12:19 PM
Imme (Jon)
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Can i ask why the full frame sensor is so important?
The bigger the sensor the more issue you will get with curvature and tilt and all other kind of nasties.

Field of view on an image is a combination of a couple things, sensor size and focal length.....if it's field size you're after then could you not play with the focal length and a smaller sensor?

I don't think anyone will argue that a cooled astro camera is far superior to any dslr regardless of what mods it has had done to it......with the disclaimer of 'unless you want a highly mobile and simple setup'
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Old 08-04-2021, 12:24 PM
evltoy (Wayne)
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The ASI071MC is indeed a nice camera, but at $2k+ I would be looking to spend this type of money on a mono camera setup in a few years once I have more experience.

I good point though is to wait and use what I have as its doing well for me. I guess My logic was for a low amount of money I could get a big improvement over what I have now to last me a few years
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Old 08-04-2021, 12:28 PM
Wilsil (Wilco)
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I started with a DSLR last and just bought a mono astro camera.
There is a huge improvement. As an example I couldn't get the Rosette from my backyard with the Canon.
This is no problem with the QHY268M so for me, I would go dedicated astro camera.
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Old 08-04-2021, 01:08 PM
evltoy (Wayne)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imme View Post
Can i ask why the full frame sensor is so important?
The bigger the sensor the more issue you will get with curvature and tilt and all other kind of nasties.'
Full frame is not mandatory or my requirement. I just want to be the same size as what currently have or bigger.
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Old 08-04-2021, 03:31 PM
AdamJL
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I think your budget is the limiting factor. If you're going to get an astro-camera, it should be cooled. And unless you can find a killer deal on a used camera, you're looking above your budget.

That said, I would honestly rather upgrade the D80 with an astro mod than buy a new DSLR that isn't sensitive to Ha. You're missing out on so much date. Here's the difference between a stock 5D IV and my new 2600MC on Carina

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/a...e.php?a=273295
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Old 08-04-2021, 04:03 PM
evltoy (Wayne)
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Yeah... I have a bit to think about.

What would be the cost to mod my d80 or a d600 to be able to pick up that HA?
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2021, 04:18 PM
AdamJL
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When I looked for my 5D IV, about $595 for Full Frame.
Looks like it's $495 for a D80 sized sensor.

https://www.cameraclinic.com.au/inde...-modifications

And of course, you could always buy an already modified camera

https://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/...d.php?t=190047
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