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Old 16-01-2007, 09:57 AM
TeZZa
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Question New camera suggestions

Hi all, I'm just starting to do some research into buying a camera that I can utalise for astro work as well as 'normal' use; I was planning on piggybacking the camera to begin with (as per advice found on these forums), then hopefully attaching it to utalise the actual scope optics (and, of course, upgrading my mount).

But first things first... I am looking at spending 2k and so far have short listed the Nikon D80 (but with the 18-200 VR lens since I have read a couple of reports about vignetting problems with the 18-135 ED lens it normally comes with), and thats about it! I was hoping that you guys could point me in the direction of reviews of current camera, and maybe offer some suggestions as to what you think are the best current cameras available...
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Old 16-01-2007, 10:00 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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The Nikon D200 would probably be better than the D80? (not sure, i'm not a Nikon man).

other suggestions would be the Canon 400D - A great camera for terrestrial and astro use. There's not too many 400D images on this forum yet but do a search for 300D or 350D images and there's thousands.

I use my 350D for terrestrial stuff and love it. I wish I had the extra 2mp with the 400D.

The 400D kit comes with a couple of (cheap) lenses, so for widefield piggyback stuff you migth want to invest in a good quality lens or two.
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Old 16-01-2007, 10:33 AM
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The Canon range defies all logic, as its CMOS chip seems to work better than the competitors CCD chips for astro work. Pretty much every other brand is just noisier in the long exposures. My 2c's worth.

Clear skies,
Shane
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Old 16-01-2007, 10:53 AM
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Any of the Canon's for sure.
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Old 16-01-2007, 10:55 AM
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Omaroo (Chris Malikoff)
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LOL! The Canon salesmen are out today!

I'd try www.nikonians.org and ask there. It's a dedicated Nikon forum and is simply HUGE. There are lots of astrophotographers there to ask your questions of. Great to have another Nikon devotee aboard! Welcome!

On the flip side... I've heard that Canons have managed to improve over time, and that they actually do OK for themselves in astrophotography circles these days.
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Old 16-01-2007, 11:03 AM
TeZZa
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Canons do seem popular! So, the 400D, is the latest one? [ie the 300D and 350D are older models]
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Old 16-01-2007, 11:04 AM
TeZZa
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Thanks for the nikonians link Omaroo, I'll spend some time on it tonight.
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Old 16-01-2007, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaroo View Post
LOL! The Canon salesmen are out today!
I sell telescopes, not cameras lol (Unless you want a DSI). I personally own a Pentax *ist DS, and in hindsight should have bought the 350D.
The 400D is the improved version of the 350D, which was an improved 300D. Hard to go past the 10 megapixels!

Clear skies,
Shane
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Old 16-01-2007, 11:48 AM
TeZZa
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Just skimming the specs; both the Nikon D80 and the Canon EOS 400D look pretty dam good! However, I noticed that the D80 dosn't have true mirror lock-up, would that be an issue for astro work (I have'nt looked yet to see if the 400 D is the same). Note, I'm more familar with film SLRs...
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Old 16-01-2007, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeZZa View Post
Just skimming the specs; both the Nikon D80 and the Canon EOS 400D look pretty dam good! However, I noticed that the D80 dosn't have true mirror lock-up, would that be an issue for astro work (I have'nt looked yet to see if the 400 D is the same). Note, I'm more familar with film SLRs...
The 350D has mirror lock-up so the 400D probably does. I find it more of a pain than useful so don't use it most of the time, but if your telescope mount is prone to vibrations it would be a big advantage to have it.
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Old 16-01-2007, 01:09 PM
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If I were purchasing a DSLR, I would make a "fixed" mirror lock up a critical criterion for purchasing. My Pentax *ist DS is limited to a 2.5 sec delay between mirror up and shutter release and I often see the results of camera shake on images with my C9.25 at prime focus on a Tak EM200 mount.

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 16-01-2007, 01:32 PM
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Having just been through this whole research process myself I ended up purchasing a Canon 400D body. I am now waiting for a Sigma 17-70 macro lens to be in stock to complete the unit, which at around $430 was excellent value for money. DP review has a good review on the 400D versus Nikon and Sony.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos400d/
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Old 16-01-2007, 01:39 PM
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Hi tezza,
I think your budget is a little low for a D80 and an 18-200 VR. From what I've seen that'll cost you at least $2500. There are several other options from Nikon. There's the new D40, the D50 and there's still old stock of the D70s available for very reasonable prices. Depending on how serious you are about your photography you may even want to pay the extra for a D200. I have a D200 and it's pretty much just like an F100 with a CCD sensor instead of film, so it's a very solid and well thought out design that's easy to use. My only regret is that I didn't buy mine with the 18-200mm VR lens because getting one of them on its own is still almost impossible.
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Old 16-01-2007, 01:55 PM
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SNIP... D200 and it's pretty much just like an F100 with a CCD sensor instead of film ...snip
F100... now there was (is) a camera!
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Old 16-01-2007, 01:56 PM
TeZZa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
If I were purchasing a DSLR, I would make a "fixed" mirror lock up a critical criterion for purchasing. My Pentax *ist DS is limited to a 2.5 sec delay between mirror up and shutter release and I often see the results of camera shake on images with my C9.25 at prime focus on a Tak EM200 mount.

Cheers

Dennis

Thanks for this info... very interesting
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Old 16-01-2007, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TeZZa View Post
F100... now there was (is) a camera!
I love my F100! It still gets a good work out
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Old 16-01-2007, 02:55 PM
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I'm very tempted to blow my budget and go for the D200, if its anything like the F100 it will be a real solid workhorse... seems to be on backorder everwhere I look though

Last edited by TeZZa; 16-01-2007 at 03:45 PM. Reason: the devil made me do it
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Old 16-01-2007, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rogerg View Post
The 350D has mirror lock-up so the 400D probably does. I find it more of a pain than useful so don't use it most of the time, but if your telescope mount is prone to vibrations it would be a big advantage to have it.
I went through this process a few months ago and settled on the 400D, sorry Nikon fans, I have friends who are ardent supporters of each, but the 400D just had too many extras that I couldn't pass up on. It also has the mirror lock-up option, and appears slightly in front as far as general purpose SLRs go regards astro imaging over its Nikon cousins, but this depends on personal preferences really, as a novice I can't pick the subtle differences. I haven't had a chance to use it for astro as yet and am still on the learning curve with this. It's a great camera and very easy to use (I have never owned an SLR before), I wanted a versatile camera for general photography as well.

My wife's 2c, "the 400D doesn't display a live view of what your looking at on the LCD like so many other digital cameras do, including her Fuji S7000, so as far as she is concerned her camera is way better".

The manual for the 400D is available for DL and will answer many questions regards what features it really has, just 'Google' it. I had the manual long before I got the camera to make sure it had what people were talking about, as so many reviews often started with 'I'm not sure but I think is has such and such ...'

Cheers
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Old 16-01-2007, 08:59 PM
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Both Canon and Nikon are versatile cameras, Nikon has some nice glass at lower prices than the Canon equivalents, but at the end of the day it's generally accepted (except by Nikon devotees) that the Canons are better for Atsro use.
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Old 17-01-2007, 12:56 AM
Jonathan
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Originally Posted by TeZZa View Post
I'm very tempted to blow my budget and go for the D200, if its anything like the F100 it will be a real solid workhorse... seems to be on backorder everwhere I look though
The F100 and D200 control layout is almost identical, and they feel the same in your hands. Try here for one http://www.dirtcheapcameras.com.au/s...?idProduct=934
I think that's a reasonable price for the lens and camera kit. They were the cheapest when I bought mine as a body only 7 months ago, and they're another $400 cheaper now. It's still a lot of money for a camera though. You should probably think quite hard before you buy a D200 because they're a pretty full on camera and you might be able to get the results you want out of something much cheaper, either Canon or Nikon.
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