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Old 22-08-2012, 08:27 PM
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Camera

I'm sure this has been covered in the forum before but with 106 pages of threads I thought it easier to ask again. My old point and shoot camera has finally died. I've always wanted to buy a better quality camera for normal snaps of holidays and of the kids ect and now I'm into astronomy.I think I would like to have a go at DSLR astrophotography in the future.Your images are amazing. I only have a bit of a play with a modded SPC900NC at the moment. I'm wondering what would be a good camera for both normal pics and astrophotography. I like what I have heard about the canons but I see so many different prices. I thought a camera with higher MP was better but I have seen a 18MP camera cheaper than a 12MP camera that was over a grand. I'm confused over the features I would need in the future. Also I have seen a lot of comparing between modded and unmodded cameras. If a camera is modified is still good for normal photography? Hope you guys and girls can point me toward a good camera. Thanks Cam.
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Old 22-08-2012, 08:51 PM
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Hi Cam
The reason that Canon have been prominent in Astro work is two fold.
1) Nikons for a long time had an overly agressive noise reduction that would detect stars as noise and eat them out of images. Not sure if this is still the case but it was for a long time.
2) Canon has made the only 2 dedicated astro DSLRs out the (the old 20Da and the new 60Da)

The 60Da can be had for $1600-$1700 so if your budget stretches that far it is worth a look. I gather it is still usable for daylight use, but I would defer to others that have tried to offer an opinion.
The size of the sensor is not the major factor in pricing DSLR camera. For example the 5d MkIII is 22.3mp and costs arond $4k while the 1Dx is 18Mp and costs up to $7500.

I have a book on DSLR imaging with lots of useful info I can lend you if you wish!

Malcolm
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Old 22-08-2012, 09:10 PM
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Yes thanks Malcolm. I'm still confused about cameras tho :-)
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Old 22-08-2012, 09:14 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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There is an article on the Canon 60D (Not the 60Da!) here http://www.iceinspace.com.au/93-697-0-0-1-0.html

May be of interest.

Malcolm
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Old 22-08-2012, 09:30 PM
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Hi Cam,

For Canon's the general rule is: the smaller the number, the bigger the price.....

E.g A Canon 1D > $7500, but a Canon 1100D is more like $500-750.

A lot of people here have bought the 1100D recently and I myself use an unmodded 1000D which doesnt do a half bad job.....

My son has a 550D but I havent bothered yet trying that on the scope as I want to wring the 1000D for all its worth before getting any sort of camera type "aperture" or "model" envy.....

As a rule, the filter that is in place for daytime photography kills a lot of nighttime nebulosity as it doesnt let the Hydrogen types of spectra through. I have an EOS CLS clip which I insert for AP and this seems to help a LOT and cut down on skyglow. Easy to remove too so the camera can be used in daytime with no dramas.

The 60Da was on my shopping list as its MADE to be a daytime camera but has a modified filter that lets the Ha and other spectrum through for better AP response.

If you have a lazy $1600, go for the 60Da, no mods needed.

Cheers

Chris
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Old 23-08-2012, 07:17 AM
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Thanks guys
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Old 23-08-2012, 08:22 AM
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Cam,

I started with a secondhand Canon 350D (can't remember what it cost but probably $400). I used it unmodded for astro and of course daytime stuff.

I was really pleased with the results it gave for astro and gave faithful service for years.

I got a T-ring and an extension tube and off I went. All the software I used was freeware.

I've moved up to a Canon 1100D (basically the new entry level Canon) and a mate kindly modded a 1000D for me.

I'm sure the budget is tight. You could do worse than an entry level Canon either new or secondhand from a trusted source.

Good luck

niko
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Old 23-08-2012, 10:52 AM
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Thanks niko
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Old 23-08-2012, 11:12 AM
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I've been using my KM Dynax 7D but I'm looking to get a Canon 450D or better. The main reason is that Canon seem to have better software and the LiveView capability suited to astro purposes. The ability to view, focus and control from a PC is just too good.
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Old 23-08-2012, 12:20 PM
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I was looking at a breakdown of Canons recently and the one that came up best for noise was the 450D (which I feel was a lucky thing for me as I already have one!) even better than the 500 and 600Ds
It is also quite light and takes quite good 12mpx pics (well let's just say the camera is still performing better than I).
I bought it on this forum from someone who had a better cam.
They can be bought second hand for reasonable prices too.
Body only is possible too if you only do AP but I use mine (as you intend to) for terrestrial photography.
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Old 23-08-2012, 12:22 PM
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OK is there much difference between these two cameras to warrant the extra $200? Seems to have the same lense does 6MP make that much difference? I realise its Ebay but they are in Australia offer returns and have a 12 mth warranty. Are these prices good? Thanks Cam

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-Canon...item20bccd876d


http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-Canon...item1e62c626f0
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Old 23-08-2012, 12:27 PM
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Thanks Jennifer, I'll check them out, Brent mentioned the 450d too. Thanks guys
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Old 23-08-2012, 06:53 PM
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Forgot to put in a budget. I'm hoping to spend about $600 for camera and at least one lens. I may be able to stretch a little further if I need to. I dont mind 2nd hand as long as it is in good condition and hasnt been used too much.
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Old 23-08-2012, 07:11 PM
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I'd buy the QHY8 in the classifieds, and save up and get a DSLR later. If you are new to DSLR photography, then a model from a few years ago will do you just fine.

You can pick up a Canon 10D with a lens for like $250, and it will outdo your skills for a number of years. But a QHY8 or similar astro camera will really do a fantastic job and you won't be fighting sensor noise, lack of Ha sensitivity etc. etc.
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Old 23-08-2012, 07:21 PM
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Thanks for your input Peter, something else to consider. This is more confusing for me than I expected.
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Old 23-08-2012, 07:47 PM
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Just remember that dslr cameras are designed with people doing daylight photography in mind. There are a lot of bells and whistles you will never use in astrophotography. Keep it simple--if it has live focus and raw capture, then it probably also has all the other stuff you will ever need.
Geoff
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Old 23-08-2012, 08:33 PM
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Thanks Geoff .. Love your quote from 1947. "A good eyepiece is not cheap.. It may cost 6 or 7 dollars or more" Too funny
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Old 23-08-2012, 08:46 PM
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Dave thinks he may already have a buyer for the QHY8 :-(
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:09 AM
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450D Mod

Hi. I just acquired a stock EOS 450D body and did a FULL full sprectrum mod. Took about two hours (incl. coffee break), was fiddly but not too difficult. Total cost NZ$330 ;-)

.....now, about those clear skies.....;-(

D
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:32 AM
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Sounds like you got a bargain. So youre to blame for all the cloud lol
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