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Old 22-11-2014, 12:36 PM
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zenith (Tim)
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Canon or Nikon?

I am about to purchase my first digital SLR (I owned a 35mm film SLR in high school and currently have a Canon powershot and Ixus). I will use the camera for terrestrial and beginner astro-photography (starting with nightscapes and the moon using an ED80).
I have almost decided on a Canon 6D and Sigma 24-105 F4 DG OS HSM. However from a cursory glance on DXOMark.com, the Nikon D750 with AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Zoom Lens appears to have superior dynamic range, sharpness, larger effective ISO, and more features (veri-angle view finder, pop-up flash, faster continual shooting speed etc).
However Canon appear to be more popular in astro-photography circles. Is that because of useability? Or is there more free software/laptop control options?
I'd really appreciate your thoughts and experiences.
Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 22-11-2014, 01:19 PM
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jenchris (Jennifer)
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If you're using the ed80, the lens is less likely to be relevant as you take it off and use just the body.
Obviously for terrestrial pics, the best lens you can afford is going to be of prime importance.
It is generally held that Nikon make better terrestrial cameras and canon better astro cameras.
On that I can offer little advice as I've never had a Nikon.
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Old 22-11-2014, 04:29 PM
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pluto (Hugh)
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There certainly used to be more software for controlling Canon DSLRs but I'm not sure if that's still true. Plus there's MagicLantern for Canon DSLRs, which is awesome.

However if I was buying a camera for astro/night photography and normal photography right now I'd buy a Sony A7s. It might end up slightly more expensive than the 6D with that Sigma lens as the Sony lenses seem to be relatively expensive but the low light performance of the A7s seems like it's in a league of its own.

This is just my opinion, qualified by the fact I currently have a 5D mkII and love it, but I think if you're not doing studio or photog work the old assumption that Canon and Nikon cameras will give you the best images and to essentially look past the other manufacturers may not necessarily be true any more, especially as the trend changes to mirrorless over DSLR cameras at the consumer/prosumer levels. Read some reviews and comparisons.

Last edited by pluto; 22-11-2014 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 22-11-2014, 06:37 PM
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cometcatcher (Kevin)
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Poor Pentax, no one loves them anymore.

Another + for the Sony A7s. Looks like it's the best consumer astro cam at the moment.
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Old 22-11-2014, 07:31 PM
PeterEde (Peter)
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Ask yourself what software you need. Not much in the way of Nikon.
As for Nikon being better than Canon at Terrestrial. Never heard that in my time in photography.
But look at sports photogs. Most use Canon
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Old 22-11-2014, 08:07 PM
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doppler (Rick)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterEde View Post
As for Nikon being better than Canon at Terrestrial. Never heard that in my time in photography.
Nikon was always the pro's choice, (back in the 35mm film days anyway) and Pentax was a close second. The true pro's used medium format cameras, but none of these were canon, nikon or pentax and cost an arm and a leg ($10,000 +). We did want to try a medium format (60mm) film camera on my scope but they didn't have 3" focusers then and the vignetting would have been huge.

There is a lot more astro software available for canon cameras and there are a lot of cheap entry level models available, and lots of second hand ones as well.

Last edited by doppler; 22-11-2014 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 22-11-2014, 08:13 PM
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After 35 years using Nikons I just find the controls so easy to locate in the dark, when I tried a Canon I found myself frustrated trying to locate the controls, image wise Canon and Nikon are just both so good it is personal pref which you go with. I think if I wanted one for astro I too would go Sony A7s.

My personal preference is for a heavy camera. Currently a Nikon D3, 17-35 F2.8 and a 50 F1.4. Solid as a brick outhouse, I dropped it the other day on a building site, other than a dent on the filter rim not a mark on it.

On the lens selection side, I stay away from zooms with a large range, and actually only use IF zooms where the filter ring does not rotate and the lens does not vary in length as I found some like the 24-120 actually 'bend' a little when zoomed out to 120 and the front elements extend out.

My only zooms are the 17-35 and 80-200 AF-S F2.8s
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Old 22-11-2014, 11:22 PM
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Steffen
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Ahh, that 17-35 f/2.8...

It is also the only zoom I purposefully bought, many years ago (besides a cheap travel zoom I picked up on a whim). It turned out to be one of the best photography investments I ever made, and it wasn't even that expensive.

Sadly, I find myself using my Nikons less that I ever thought possible. It turns out that the camera that's with you at all times is more useful than the camera that takes better pictures.

While sports photographers seemed to lean towards Canons (under pressure from their employers, no doubt ), Nat Geo photographers always favoured Nikons. Now they are unashamedly using iPhone cameras, still churning out great images. Is the writing on the wall...?

Cheers
Steffen.
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Old 23-11-2014, 06:21 AM
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Andy01 (Andy)
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I'm a pro photographer and dedicated Nikon guy. That said for astro work I found the nikon and mac combination a total pain in the ... And eventually bought an SBIG CCD just so I could control it from the laptop.
Canon has BYE and other wonderful software options that are maybe only now becoming available to nikon/mac users and in limited development form.
Lots of people raving about the new Sony DSLRs though. Check out Fritz Helmut Hemmerich on FB. He uses one and his images are gobsmakking!
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Old 23-11-2014, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cometcatcher View Post
Poor Pentax, no one loves them anymore.
Not true. I have a k100D and have been giving serious consideration to the 645z
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Old 23-11-2014, 10:13 AM
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zenith (Tim)
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Hi guys, thanks for your replies, I'll definitely take a look at Sony and Pentax, and also give Nikon more than a quick glance.
I am planning on getting a better refractor and a goto mount next year, and I forgot to ask if any particular brand of camera was better for longer exposures (say 10min, 20min, 30min) in terms of controlling hot pixels etc.
Also if I wish to program a sequence of shots (e.g. 10 photos, each of 5 minutes duration with a 60 second pause) is this inbuilt functionality, or external control on the various brands of camera?
Thanks again.
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Old 23-11-2014, 12:53 PM
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SimmoW (SIMON)
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Nice to see the Sony suddenly taking on popularity Am hoping to take delivery of my modded version this week or next. Sold my EOS 5D mark III I was so impressed with its capabilities.

Here's Fritz's latest demo from his admittedly very dark skies. A single 15 second shot. Again, fifteen seconds...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...levant_count=1
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Old 23-11-2014, 01:22 PM
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Sony is making significant strides ahead and seems intent on kicking both Nikon and Canon in the butt. Fuji are developing an organic sensor with 15 stops of Dynamic Range. It may be a long way off being introduced though.

They have developed a new era type sensors, one is curved the other is
active pixels so every pixel takes an RGB image and its capable of 16,000 fps plus it has large pixels for high sensitivity and hopefully low high ISO noise (unknown). It has a global shutter and is no doubt going to be 4K video (could be good for planets as well).

That if it does in fact have low high ISO noise will definitely be the bees knees. A Sony mirrorless full frame pro camera is due to be released shortly. I don't know if this advanced sensor is ready for release yet or may end up in a phone first. If not then its likely to be a 48 or 50mp full frame sensor like used in the Pentax 645 medium format camera.

Not everyone likes Sony mirrorless yet as the lens lineup is still being released but what they have put it is high quality (except for the 24-70 F4).There is a lot of brand loyalty in the camera world so it does require a really significant advantage to pull customers away from their usual brands.

The latest Sony A7 11 has 5 axis in camera IBIS (in camera stabilisation from the Olympus which sony bought off Olympus to use).
Not useful for astro but awesome for 3rd party manual focus lenses that now have a 4.5 stop advantage in shutter speed due to this plus improves video as well as different high dynamic range video codecs.

Greg.

Greg.
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Old 23-11-2014, 05:54 PM
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cometcatcher (Kevin)
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Quote:
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Not true. I have a k100D and have been giving serious consideration to the 645z
Why 645Z over Sony A7s? Larger format?
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Old 24-11-2014, 07:57 AM
hobbit
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Quote:
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Why 645Z over Sony A7s? Larger format?
Pretty much. Same sensor as an IQ250 for a quarter of the price.
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