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Old 11-08-2017, 10:05 AM
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What camera to buy.

I like canon.

Modding my old camera does not seem the smart.thing to do.


Something for astro, prefer to go for new probably will go CCD after this one rather than mod it, so what's best no more that $1500.

Maybe something real cheap just to get going again.

Any calm guidance greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Alex
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:56 AM
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It also depends on what scope you are planning to use. Once you go full frame from APS then it requires larger focusers, correctors.

There are several good APS sized sensor cameras. For astro Canon as you say is the best supported.

7D2 is touted to be the best for astro but not sure you'd get one modded for under $1500.

If you check on ebay under full spectrum modified cameras there's a guy in Riverwood who is selling modded cameras. Canons, Nikon and Sony.

Greg.
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:26 AM
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rustigsmed (Russell)
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How about a cooled osc like the qhy163c which is listed new for $999us
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:38 AM
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The Nikon D5300 is way under your price and has a good sensor, 24 megapixels, APS-C size, and pretty good Ha pickup. No anti alysing filter as well. You can get away without a mod. It runs theathered via Backyard Nikon.
Watch all the bells and whistles some DSLRs come with these days, many of which eat up battery power and are useless for AP: things like touch screens, excess in-camera processing which generates heat, etc.
I would avoid full frame for the reasons mentioned below.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:30 PM
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Alex if you want a top camera for astro work you cannot go past the original Canon 5D, when i bought mine it was $5000.00, yea i do not lie.
Today you can pick up one for $500.00
Very good single to noise ratio, I have two and love em.

Leon
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
The Nikon D5300 is way under your price and has a good sensor, 24 megapixels, APS-C size, and pretty good Ha pickup. No anti alysing filter as well. You can get away without a mod. It runs theathered via Backyard Nikon.
Watch all the bells and whistles some DSLRs come with these days, many of which eat up battery power and are useless for AP: things like touch screens, excess in-camera processing which generates heat, etc.
I would avoid full frame for the reasons mentioned below.
Thanks Glen. I found D 5200 at Harvey Norman $988 its 24/meg.. Still looking for D 5300.
Alex
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gregbradley View Post
It also depends on what scope you are planning to use. Once you go full frame from APS then it requires larger focusers, correctors.

There are several good APS sized sensor cameras. For astro Canon as you say is the best supported.

7D2 is touted to be the best for astro but not sure you'd get one modded for under $1500.

If you check on ebay under full spectrum modified cameras there's a guy in Riverwood who is selling modded cameras. Canons, Nikon and Sony.

Greg.
Thank you Greg
Alex
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2017, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rustigsmed View Post
How about a cooled osc like the qhy163c which is listed new for $999us
Thank you Russell
Alex
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leon View Post
Alex if you want a top camera for astro work you cannot go past the original Canon 5D, when i bought mine it was $5000.00, yea i do not lie.
Today you can pick up one for $500.00
Very good single to noise ratio, I have two and love em.

Leon
Thank you Leon I think I like the idea of buying new but I will think about your suggestion.
Alex
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:41 PM
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If you do want to go for a camera with a Full Frame sensor (the noise performance is worth it even against the best of the APS-C sensors), and given the budget you mentioned, then I would say the best option would be a Canon 6D or Nikon D600 or D610, depending on how you roll. BTW, that's not to say that their newer models aren't equal, just that they are considerably more than $1500 and not necessarily better or that much better (that will get me in trouble ). Used in good condition or possibly even as new-old-stock these should be available between $1000-1500. They compete extremely well on noise performance against the very best camera sensors available, including things like the new Sony A9 at $6-7K.

It is very illuminating (haha) and confronting to compare image quality in low light from a host of these cameras. DPreview (no affiliation) has a wonderful camera comparison widget you can use in every (most) of its camera reviews. It uses a studio image in normal or lower light. I choose a dark part of the image - my favourite is the dark area on the LHS of the wine bottle, set the image quality to RAW and Sensitivity to ISO 3200 (not that you'd use that, just that it amplifies differences / makes them more obvious) and the image illumination to low light. Set the image to COMP to compensate to equalise the image size on screen from the various FF/APS-C or other size sensors. Then look at the noise grain in the shadows and hot pixels etc...... It's an amazing leveller

I've attached a composite image I made from many of these comparisons. It contains a mixture of popular Full Frame and APS-C sized sensors. Unfortunately they changed to the image shown a few years ago, so one can't compare it with many of the other quality, but older models.

See what you think. Compare the $6-7000 Sony A9 or others .... with the others...

I accept there are other important camera attributes to consider, connectivity, image quality from available lenses etc, but low noise is certainly right up there.

Image attached - resize with "CTRL +" to study in detail.

I've also added an image of the entire studio low light scene used to give you an idea of scale. The highlighted area at the bottom centre of the images is the wine bottle dark area I used.

Best
JA
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Last edited by JA; 11-08-2017 at 03:09 PM. Reason: Added 2nd image - Studio Scene
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by xelasnave View Post
Thanks Glen. I found D 5200 at Harvey Norman $988 its 24/meg.. Still looking for D 5300.
Alex
Kogan has it for $619, Bing Lee $699. Shop around. Avoid the D5200, you want the D5300, D5500, or D5600 they all have the same sensor and specs.

Of course there are nice Canons as well, i am not trying to talk you into a Nikon.
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:17 AM
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Hi JA
Thank you for you informative post.
Alex
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:30 AM
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Kogan has it for $619, Bing Lee $699. Shop around. Avoid the D5200, you want the D5300, D5500, or D5600 they all have the same sensor and specs.

Of course there are nice Canons as well, i am not trying to talk you into a Nikon.
Thank you Glen the fact you are pro Nikon causes me to really think about changing brands.

I could not see a bulb feature with any camera I have looked at I presume the models you favour have bulb feature.

In any event I think whatever I choose will be much better than my 450/canon it is really old now even though it only seems like yesterday.

Fortunately my.standards are not high and even the 450/is way ahead of the web cams and little cameras I would put in balsa boxes...the Meade lpi was even a big step forward back then.

I wonder about the high.ISO you can get these days ...I can't imagine.even 3200 being useful...some are so high it would seem you could take a wide field hand held with no more effort than snapping the cat.

Thanks everyone for your expert guidance.
Alex
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:16 AM
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Alex, high ISO can be surprisingly good on modern sensors, such as those in the Nikon 5600, Fujifilm X, etc.

Personally, I chose the Fuji side as I like to do a bit of daytime photography too and the mirrorless body is so much smaller and lighter, and the lenses less bulky...and the Fujinon lenses give practically anything a good run for the money. The downside is lack of software support for astrophotography of course...but then, I use a Samyang 12mm f/2.0 for MW shots and you can get adequate exposures in less than 15 seconds...
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:39 AM
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Hi Dunk
Thank you for your input.
I have been surprised by the short exposures folk use these days.
I think my longest single milky way wide field exposure was one hour twenty minutes ...
I have owned small Fuji cameras and liked them.
Thanks again.
Alex
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:41 AM
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I've got a Nikon D7200 that I use for both daytime and astro, has the same sensor as the D5300-5600. All Nikons have a Bulb mode, assuming all Canons do as well.

http://www.astrobin.com/294419/B/
http://www.astrobin.com/304742/
http://www.astrobin.com/304521/
http://www.astrobin.com/301679/
http://www.astrobin.com/301645/
http://www.astrobin.com/297031/

All shot with the D7200. It is a very clean and low noise sensor. Has near enough to zero dark current when shot at 0C and through testing I've done there is no reason to ever go over ISO800 as it just gets noisier after that. I'll usually shoot at ISO200-400.
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:41 AM
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That's pretty epic, Colin agree that beyond 800 it's just amplification for the sake of it, with these ISO-invariant sensors. I believe the 24MP sensor used by Nikon and Fujifilm are one and the same, albeit with a different colour filter pattern on the X-series.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:01 PM
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Most of these Nikons are using the Sony Exmor 24mp APSc sensor. Not all I think but a lot do.

Its the same sensor in the Fuji X latest models and Sony A6000 series.
Its a fabulous sensor.

Fuji XT2 has excellent other aspects for astro. It has a built in intervalometer which is handy. You can shoot up to 15 minutes exposure time and set tit o take as many as you like.

EVF cameras may have a slight edge for focusing. I'd check that out with the Nikons. I presume they have live view with magnified view. My D800e had it and then a firmware update came out and kind of buried the controls to make it do that but it could still do it just not as well.

Fuji Xt2 has a dual swivel LCD which is vital for astro unless you like lying the ground to see image. Also for focusing. You can simply angle the viewfinder up, select a bright star, hit magnified view at ISO6400 and then focus manually.

Not sure if you can tether a Fuji though. It can be controlled from your smartphone though.

XT2 has one of the cleanest low noise sensors around. Fuji does not do any funny business with the RAWs. Not everyone is a fan of RAW converters as it may require a different RAW converter to Adobe Lightroom.

Battery life is poor with the Fuji X mirrorless unless you get a grip with extra batteries or use an external USB power pack to power the camera.

Fuji X has good Ha response for simple nightscape images but for deepsky nebula you'd probably want a modded one. There are several Fuji XE2 modded for astro on Ebay.com. About US$900 or so.

Modded Canons go from as low as US$270 and an expensive one is about US$450.

Greg.
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Old 15-08-2017, 02:06 PM
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Nikon 810a is far superior to any other DSLR. Better still, leave those tiny sensors behind and get a Medium Format camera like the Pentax 645z, the Fuji model that just came out and if money is no object, go for a H'blad or a Phase one!
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Old 24-08-2017, 09:00 AM
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I ended up getting a Nikon d 5500 and a 55 to 200 mm lens.
There may have been better chioces that I could have made but I must say very happy so far given that I am coming from an old cannon 450.
Managed to pick up a remote and have experimented with the new camera piggy backed on my scope whilst using the 450 to record star movement and adjust polar align.
Although the lens is difficult to focus, touchy, the use of the screen and having it in variuos positions together with the ability to enlarge on screen the star for focus is way better than I was used to.
Anyways I am happy.
Got a new lap top and soon will connect to net get deep sky stacker and start doing some snaps.. And at my level I will be happy.
Polar align was alarmingly perfect and managed 11 minutes thru the scope at 100 iso on the canon so at 55 to 100 on the nikon piggy backed I was pleased.
Had a go at extremely high iso and surprised how, relatively, low the noise.
Chasing a t ring but I dont like the drive to Bintel so I will put it off until next week.
All good happy with my choice, surprised I changed camps from canon.
Thanks to everyone for the advice and guidance I really appreciated the various views.
Alex
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