Old 27-01-2015, 01:30 PM
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zarazabas is offline
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Camera for noob: DSLR or dedicated CCD?

Greetings all. Over the last couple of years I have sporadically played around with connecting a rather old (10 years) Pentax DSLR to my scope and dabbled in a bit of very poor quality astrophotography, and I'm looking at getting more serious and upgrading my very poor quality camera.

I must admit, I am tempted to take advantage of Canon's current cashback offer and grab myself a Canon 6D. The problem is, the offer is only valid until the end of January, which allows precious little research time on my part, and tempts an ill-advised impulse buy.

I would also utilise the camera for other purposes; however I don't particularly need a camera for other purposes - my primary reason for purchasing will be astrophotography. Now, I know a little about DSLR's, but nothing at all about those fancy CCD cameras dedicated for astrophotography.

So.... in a similar price range, (around $1600 - $1700 for the camera body), what do you more experienced folks reckon offers the best bang for my hard earned - easily spent cash?

If it helps to know, my current scope is an ED80 on a HEQ5 pro mount.

Any advice is much appreciated!
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Old 27-01-2015, 03:24 PM
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pluto (Hugh)
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I'm sure you'll get many different opinions on this but it sounds to me like your best bet would be to grab a cheap DSLR like a Canon 1200D just to see whether you like astrophotography. If after 6 months or a year you've fallen in love, or down the rabbit hole , you can upgrade to a better DSLR or a CCD as you'll know lots more about the whole thing by then.

Good luck!
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Old 27-01-2015, 03:40 PM
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Amaranthus (Barry)
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Cooling is an advantage for CCDs, as is the ability to do LRGB and Narrowband if you go for a mono (which I would suggest, if you go down the CCD route). If you pay a little extra you can get a nice KAF8300 chipped unit like the QHY9 or Atik 383L+ that will set you up for the longer term.
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Old 27-01-2015, 03:42 PM
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Hi Hugh, thanks for your reply. Basically, my experience with my old pentax DSLR was my trial run; and I'm certain that I am on the verge of falling into the rabbit hole!

There are just so many drawbacks with this old camera that I absolutely need something better, and would prefer to get something that is capable of good results straight away. Not suggesting that the 1200D isn't capable of good results, but I am certainly willing to spend more money if the quality improvement is significant. Currently with my old pentax, the dialy-wheely thing i use to change settings works sporadically, the batteries are terrible, there is no live view to check focus, and the noise level is horrendous.

I am much more familiar with the use of a DSLR and hence was leaning towards upgrading my existing one to the 6d, however as I was on the verge of pulling the trigger it occurred to me that I should probably look into alternatives such as a cooled CCD thingy-doolio (technical term).

I'm not shy of learning to use unfamiliar equipment, but if modern DSLR's are capable of achieving comparable results then I would prefer to have the flexibility offered by having a camera that can also be utilised for non-astro purposes.
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Old 27-01-2015, 03:43 PM
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Thanks Barry, I will look into your suggested models.
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Old 27-01-2015, 04:08 PM
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omegacrux (David)
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Have a look at Tillbrook in deep space photos
I think he uses an 1100d
And gets amazing pictures

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Old 28-01-2015, 12:09 AM
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kosh (Goran)
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You can get some really good results with a second hand DSLR like a 1000D or 450D or something like that.
I started with an ED80, heq5 mount and a canon 450D and got some pretty decent results. I then bought a second hand 1000D off of ebay for $130 and astro modded it myself and it was fantastic. These cameras have live view, can be controlled by most common imaging software ( nebulosity, apt, byEOS) and have cheap intervelometers you can buy. This way you can save some cash for a real decent cooled astro Ccd when the time comes. Or even, if you don't already have one, grab an Autoguider with change!

Just my two cents worth.

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Old 28-01-2015, 07:39 AM
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Rigel003 (Graeme)
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As an experienced user of a mono CCD with filter wheel, I recently spent an evening with my Canon 6D taking some comet photos through a 130mm refractor and was blown away by the ease of getting very good results so easily. I tried a few deep sky objects with it just for fun. Very respectable images of M42 and M45 in single 60 sec frames without even trying.It's certainly a lot easier than CCD fiddling and instantly gratifying results in full colour. So I'd say your original idea was a good one. it's also great for general photography (the full-frame sensor is such a step up) will also give you opportunities to take wider fields and great starscapes like Jason's here https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonw...7647002665793/
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