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Old 16-12-2008, 01:20 PM
Bob Jones
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CANON DSLR or QHY8 for a beginner?

Hi all
After 10 years of visual and video astronomy it is time to progress to astro photography. I have just purchased an EQ6 Pro and an Orion 80 Eon to mount beside my 6" Intes Mak but I am undecided which camera to get. I am considering a Canon 450D, a Canon 40D or a QHY8.

I have just noticed that there will be a 10% increase in QHY prices in 2009 and so I need to make a decision soon. As a beginner should I start with a DSLR or can I jump straight in with a QHY8? Am I mistaken in thinking the QHY8 and its output will be easier for this old fart to master or is the learning curve about the same with a DSLR?


Bob Jones
please
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Old 16-12-2008, 02:45 PM
Zuts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Jones View Post
Hi all
After 10 years of visual and video astronomy it is time to progress to astro photography. I have just purchased an EQ6 Pro and an Orion 80 Eon to mount beside my 6" Intes Mak but I am undecided which camera to get. I am considering a Canon 450D, a Canon 40D or a QHY8.

I have just noticed that there will be a 10% increase in QHY prices in 2009 and so I need to make a decision soon. As a beginner should I start with a DSLR or can I jump straight in with a QHY8? Am I mistaken in thinking the QHY8 and its output will be easier for this old fart to master or is the learning curve about the same with a DSLR?


Bob Jones
please
Since you are asking as a beginner I would definately recommend a beginners setup. To this end you should get a second hand EOS 350D and basically learn the basics of focussing, guiding, polar alignment, processing etc.

After about a year of this during which you will be able to take some decent photo's you will be able to answer your own question as to which way you should go.

A very good 350D just went in IIS classifieds for around 350 AUD. A year from now it would still have around 300 AUD resale. As far as a QHY8 going up in price, so what? A year from now it may well have gone down in price.

Bear in mind that a QHY8 even at the new price is a far cheaper option than say an SBIG or FLI which can run to over 15,000 AUD. Who knows, maybe after a year you may find you like astrophotography so much you may be prepared to fork out for a TAK, G11, SBIG combo.

Until then go the 350D and see how you go

Cheers
Paul

Last edited by Zuts; 16-12-2008 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 16-12-2008, 02:53 PM
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Hi Bob,

depends on how keen you are.
the QHY8 would be the best place to start if your using it purely for astro since its cooled and it doesnt have a front filter blocking most of the Ha emission line. unmodded DSLR's can still give good results but i dont think anyone will argue that a QHY8 will do much better.

im not sure about being easier to use straight off the bat but its not overly difficult to work it out plus Theo is very helpful and theres a bunch of QHY8 users on this forum if you run into trouble. once you get everything set up though its pretty simple to use.
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Old 16-12-2008, 03:06 PM
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I would have to agree with Paul's statements. I have a modded 20D and QHY8. The 20D is a delight to use (with a remote timer) and once you have the guiding sorted out then you are on a very steep learning curve. The extra complexity of a cooled CCD camera in the dark will drive you to distraction and can end in tears. Learn the basics of a goto mount, polar aligning and guiding - that should take you 6-12 months to get it all worked out and reproducable in the dark. Then doing astrophotography is again a steep curve but enjoyable - stacking, darks biases etc. Then once you feel comfortable step up to a cooled CCD - by then the AUD may be at parity with the USD and you never know what great cameras would be available by then.
I would recommend a modded 350D or 20D from Eric Styles as these will hold their value as they are a specific purpose camera and will hold their value better than an un-modded camera
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Old 16-12-2008, 03:40 PM
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i was going by the comment 'After 10 years of visual and video astronomy it is time to progress to astro photography'
and assumed that he can already set up a mount and scope.

i think one key point being missed here is that you only have to learn how to use it once.
plus if you can achieve any kind of good result with a DSLR its only going to be better with a purpose built astro ccd

biggest mistake you can make is to take it out on the first night and try to work it out in the dark as Allan mentioned.
you really need to have a play with it in daylight to get used to controlling the camera.

in the end its up to you, i just think its better to do something once and be done with it rather than fiddle around buying everything twice.
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Old 16-12-2008, 04:02 PM
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I agree with Allan. Start with a cheap DSLR. The QHY8 is a bit of a learning curve.
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Old 17-12-2008, 12:03 AM
Bob Jones
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I'm not a total beginner. I have used a ToUcam, a Nikon Coolpix4500 and a Mallincam Hyper Plus http://mallincam.tripod.com/. to take photos with my 12" LX200 using a field de-rotator and recently with an Ultrawedge.

My main concern is my ability to process the RAW images that a DSLR and QHY8 will deliver. I guess I could start out with BMP's until I learn how to process the RAW files.

What the heck. I will ring the QHY8 guy as soon as Mr Rudd sends me my Christmas bonus.

Thanks
Bob Jones.
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Old 17-12-2008, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Jones View Post
My main concern is my ability to process the RAW images that a DSLR and QHY8 will deliver. I guess I could start out with BMP's until I learn how to process the RAW files.

What the heck. I will ring the QHY8 guy as soon as Mr Rudd sends me my Christmas bonus.

Thanks
Bob Jones.
That's a very good camera. You'll have fun with it. You may want to start reading on raw processing and bayer matrix. Nebulosity is a good way to start with the QHY8. You might want to talk to Theo about which drivers you want to use which is the main hurdle when starting with this camera.
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