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Old 12-04-2005, 04:23 PM
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Striker (Tony)
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Digital SLR's

OK....

What does everyone recommend....

We have the popular canon 300d and the Quality Nikon D70....is their others that are worth a look and is their any real difference between both the Canon and Nikon.

Doesn't have to be to technical...just everyone's opinion if possible.

Thanks.
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:50 PM
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acropolite (Phil)
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Recommend that you read the reviews at
http://www.dcresource.com
http://www.dpreview.com/
http://www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html I decided on a Canon (8Mp) EOS20D. The 350D is also 8Mp and looks promising. For a review on the Canon 350D get the April copy of Camera Australia

Last edited by acropolite; 12-04-2005 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 12-04-2005, 06:02 PM
rumples riot
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There are many pros and cons to every camera.

Certainly a pro to the Canon series of camera is that they are more sensitive to Ha light which is good for taking astro shots. Negative of these cameras is that they tend to be made of a lot of plastic.

As for the Nikons the bodies are very strong and have a noise reduction combined with long exposures on Bulb. However, they have poor performance when it comes to Ha.

I like my Nikon and am very glad that I own it, however if I was going to look at another camera just for astrophotography I would seriously look at the digital rebel by Canon. They are tricked up for astro shooting and cost way less than the nikon or a Sbig for that matter. To boot I have seen some amazing shots taken with them also. As yet I have not seen as many great shots taken with the Nikon.

So anyway that is what I think, and I love Nikons.
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Old 12-04-2005, 06:25 PM
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acropolite (Phil)
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Only the cheaper Canons, 300/350 D have a lot of plastic. The 10D, 20D, 1D etc are solid with Magnesium Chassis. The hype about plastic being inferior is mostly generated to justify higher prices, would you really like to drop your DSLR to see whether a plastic body survived better than a metal one?? Celestron and Meade are now using Plastic in their optical tubes, less expansion, more rigid and lighter.

Last edited by acropolite; 12-04-2005 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 12-04-2005, 07:26 PM
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I believe the digital rebel is another name for the EOS300D here in Aust, no mods, just the US name for it, mind you I would stand to be corrected on this.

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Old 12-04-2005, 07:40 PM
rowena
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your correct exfso!

the other good thing with having a 'plastic' or light weight camera is that your not putting a lot of weight on your mount.

get an extended warrenty if you buy the 300d. they have a tendancy of Error 99 which locks the shutter, which inturn means canon replaces the shutter (been there, done that once). Other then that I love the camera. i will however start to do some shooting in RAW format and see if i get as much 'noise' in my pics then in JPG format.
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Old 12-04-2005, 09:00 PM
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to add to the Digital Rebal = EOS 300D, the Digital Rebal XT = EOS 350D

If your goin to get the canon i'd def pay a bit more and get the 350. 8mp, mirror lock just 2 of the features over the 300d.
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Old 12-04-2005, 10:11 PM
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[1ponders] (Paul)
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I don't know if the Nikon has it but the 10D,20D etc have a mirror lockup facility and with the 300d hack you have that along with alot of the other 10D facilities.
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Old 12-04-2005, 10:22 PM
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How about a Pentax *ist DS. I have one, with a 2 times teleconveter, and a 50-500 sigma zoom lens. Together with a 1 gig memory card makes for a very versatile mix. A must is a bulb.

I will shortly be getting a 90mm solar filter to put on the front of the lens so that no matter what I can get a solar shot of the sun at any time.

The lightness of the camera makes for a better setup and less stress on the scope and lenses.

Other toys to get are a scopetronix's maxview digital slr fitting and a t adaptor. You can fit easily a nagler 31mm eyepiece or anything elseyou wish for projection. Not that I have a nagler (know enyone that wishes to donate to an obsession!).

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Old 13-04-2005, 07:27 AM
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OK, I have sat on this thread for a wee while, waiting, mulling.
I am and always have been a Nikon aficionado. I have had all manner of Nikons over the years, and loved them all. I am also “Old School” and only just recently moved to cameras without a shutter speed dial, aperture ring, and/or rewind knob. I guess some of you young whippersnappers will have no idea what I am talking about. No mind.
I have also (just prior to going completely digital) owned Canons. To me they are clinical, but very functional.
I wanted a Canon digital, but couldn’t find one used, so instead ended up with a Nikon, the D100. (the D70 was not available when I bought).
The best thing about the Nikon line is the ability to use any old Nikkor. OK any old Nikkor will not give you all the auto features, but for astro work it simply needs to attach, and attach they do. I use an old (pre AI) Nikkor 300mm f4.5, and for constellation shots, or comet shots it is superb. I intend getting a shorter focal length or two, maybe a 180mm, and about an 85mm. Again these can be older lenses, and this means cheaper, without the quality suffering.
Canon throughout their cameras have changed their lens mounts, and the latest series, the EOS, have a completely different mount (the EF) to the previous (FD/FL) series. While this isn’t all bad, it means you must buy EF lenses, and these, especially the “L” series, rather expensive. Price them and you will see what I mean.
In as much as the respective qualities, Nikon/Canon, I doubt there is much difference. I personally like a “metal” camera, but add that the “plastic” models are as strong, possibly stronger. It is the aesthetics that suffer with plastic, they just don’t “feel” nice to me. Image quality will be nigh on impossible to tell apart I venture. The Nikon has a “Raw” setting, whereas I don’t think the Canon has, but I use this very infrequently.
The Nikon system has a cunning Noise Reduction (N/R) built in, and I use this all the time. It doubles the exposure time, but I live with this. The images therefore don’t need a dark frame, although I am going to try this anyway. Amp glow which is easily seen in a 2 minute (for example) exposure, is not seen when the N/R is used. I understand that the system takes the exposure, then takes a dark (automatically), and subtracts this dark (automatically as well). Cunning huh? It works.

With the D100 (not sure about the D70) there is mirror up, and the ability to use ISO3200 without hacking the firmware. To be honest I don’t use mirror up, and seldom get above ISO1250. The D100 allows a cable release, remember them?, to be used directly, and this means I don’t have to spring money for an electric remote. Bulb setting gives me about 5 minutes max.

The statement that the Canons are more sensitive to Ha is a bit wide sweeping, and perhaps comes from reviews, hopefully where both were compared. It am keen to try this test, and may get together with Robby, who has a Canon 300D and try it. So far I have been happy with the nebulosity images, those with Ha, like the Lagoon/Trifid, M42. Watch this space. Certainly the “inability” to render Ha is not sufficient reason to discount a Nikon, in favour of a Canon.

Bottom line is this. Buy one, and use it. I had an SBIG ST-7 about the time I got the D100. The ST-7 had a miniscule (comparatively) sized chip, and finding objects was challenging. It was monochrome and the D100 colour. The D100 proved so easy to use I had no qualms about selling the ST-7 although I have kept the Ha filter that I used with it, and may return to a mono cooled CCD camera one day, simply for Ha.
DSLR’s are simple (albeit a but pricey) but such easy and fun cameras to use. Most will not need anything else, and the choice between Canon and Nikon irrelevant. If anything the choice could be made on the overwhelming availability of astro related software designed for the Canon line, with Nikon not really being mentioned, examples are DSLR Focus and Maxim DL (although Nikon models are being incorporated slowly). Of course as Houghy correctly points out, there are others as well.
Get one, any one, and try it, you won’t regret it.
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Old 13-04-2005, 07:49 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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And it can be used for terrestrial shots too... try that with an ST-7
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Old 13-04-2005, 09:37 AM
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Thanks Ladies and Gentleman.....I didn't think their would much difference...just personal preference....

Is the 350d available yet...

And is the D100 more expensive then the D70
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Old 13-04-2005, 09:45 AM
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Hi Houghy,
I noticed that you brought some poster size pictures along to the NAS just wondering what camera you used to take them.
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Old 13-04-2005, 10:16 AM
rumples riot
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Just a post script to my post. The D70 dose have mirror up, I have never used it for astro related stuff. The shutter moves so smoothly that it does not affect the images.

I bought an infra red remote for my camera and it cost $32.00 Au. Other remotes cost over $200.00. This just slips in your pocket and works really well, no contact with the camera at all.

Like Gary I have owned many Nikons and I still own two at present. I started buying them in 1988 and have been reluctant to buy any other brand. I too am a "Nikon" man but can see the limitations of the camera. The D70 iso goes up to 1600, but have never used it yet. It can pull 3 frames a second at Raw mode. The shutter bulb release can be opened for 30 minutes. Never left it open for that long, longest has been 12 minutes.

Anyway just want to qualify some of my post.
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Old 13-04-2005, 01:20 PM
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I own a Nikon D100 & love it. I haven't got fully into astro photography as yet,just some moon/occultation pics & a lot of press style freelance photography. I'm led to believe that the D70 is better suited to H-alpha response. It is slightly more expensive than the D70. The D100 has a 'buffer' which to some shooters,may be a hassle when rapid fire shooting is necessary whereas the less expensive D70 doesn't have that buffer. (a buffer is when the camera will allow you to only shoot so many pics b4 it stores them to the flash card.I can shoot up to 6-8 hi-res 'fine' jpeg's b4 the buffer kicks in ,immobilises the shutter & stores them)...I'm out of shooting action for several seconds b4 i can snap again.Shooting big tiff files has a much longer buffer - i shoot 6 hi-res tiff files & the buffer can be up to 1-2 minutes) The D70,as i understand doesn't suffer from this caveat.However the D100 can be equipped with an optional battery pack/grip which gives the camera a big & impressive 'press' style look to it which i love because it gives you something substantial to hold on to...both cameras have their +'s & -'s but for me it had to be the D100 for my freelance work.
As for which is tougher...drop a canon/nikon titanium body or a plastic body on concrete( i have on several occassions) & the sound is sickening!...I have owned 11 nikon cameras
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Old 13-04-2005, 01:47 PM
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The D100's sound nice but for Double the price...hmmmmm

Just got some prices:

Both are 8 Megapixel

D100 = $2900

Canon 350D = $1650

I think I might go for the 350D....I dont mind it being made out plastic for what I will be using it for you...less weight the better.

Now how do I sneak it in without the misses knowing...hmmmmmmmm or will I wait....

I will think about it.
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Old 13-04-2005, 06:04 PM
gbeal
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Tony.
to compare the D100 at $2900 with the 350D at $1650 isn't really logical. You would be better comparing the 20D with the 350D, both are Canon, and both about 8mp.
Having said that the 350D, at $1650 is way ahead of anything else.
Gary
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Old 13-04-2005, 06:12 PM
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"The Nikon has a “Raw” setting, whereas I don’t think the Canon has, but I use this very infrequently."

Even my non-SLR Canon G3 has a raw mode. All the Canon DSLRs have raw mode and at least some (but I think all) have a simultaneous full size JPEG + RAW mode.
I like raw but it's annoying when I'm on holidays and can't show my pictures before processing them at home.
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Old 13-04-2005, 06:50 PM
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Canon 300D has RAW format and JPEG.
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Old 13-04-2005, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Orion
Hi Houghy,
I noticed that you brought some poster size pictures along to the NAS just wondering what camera you used to take them.
The Pentax *ist DS. it also takes RAW images, just about every DSLR does now.

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