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camera question: DSLR vs. mono CCD

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#1 CJK

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:58 PM

I've been bitten by the AP bug, and I've managed a few decent images using my little micro 4/3 camera at prime focus. The major problem with my little setup is that I can't control the camera from the computer, so I'm looking at moving to something more suitable for serious AP. To my mind, that means I need to choose between a DSLR and a mono CCD.

My two candidates are the new Canon 6D and the SBIG STF-8300M. They are exactly the same price. I am leaning toward the SBIG for a couple of reasons:
  • I don't need another DSLR, though I don't currently have a full-frame sensor and the 6D does, which is why it's tempting
  • I'm sure I'm going to end up with a CCD eventually anyway, so why wait
I know I need a filter wheel and filters for the mono CCD camera, which for just LRGB would add about $1200 to the price.

Questions for those who know more than I do (which is just about everyone here):

(1) Can I hold off on the filter wheel for now and just take mono photos while learning the camera and software?
(2) If I buy a filter wheel, should I get 8 positions or 5? (I can't afford narrowband filters right now, so I'd just be shooting LRGB to start with.)
(3) I have a separate guide camera and scope -- any potential issues there?

Thanks in advance!
-- Chris

#2 jrcrilly

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:24 PM

(1) Can I hold off on the filter wheel for now and just take mono photos while learning the camera and software?


Sure - you can even stick an Ha filter on the camera and go narrowband if you want to.

(2) If I buy a filter wheel, should I get 8 positions or 5? (I can't afford narrowband filters right now, so I'd just be shooting LRGB to start with.)


That's a harder one. When I've owned cameras with LRGB only I've felt limited - but when I've owned full LRGBHaOIIISII filter sets I find that I almost never use SII or OIII. You can go for a long time with LRGBHa in a 5 position wheel.

(3) I have a separate guide camera and scope -- any potential issues there?


Nope.

#3 jgraham

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

(1) Can I hold off on the filter wheel for now and just take mono photos while learning the camera and software?

Absolutely. I find processing monochrome images can be relatively simple and they can be quite beautiful in their own way. This is a great way to learn your camera.

(2) If I buy a filter wheel, should I get 8 positions or 5? (I can't afford narrowband filters right now, so I'd just be shooting LRGB to start with.)

For starters I'd get a 5 position wheel, the 8's are kinda big. If'n it were me I'd eventually end up with two; one for LRGB the other for specialty filters.

(3) I have a separate guide camera and scope -- any potential issues there?

Not really. I have one setup with a guide scope another with an off-axis guider. The guide scope is a bit more flexible, the off-axis guider was a good solution for my SCT.

Taking things one step at a time spreads out the cost and the learning curve.

Enjoy.

#4 CJK

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:02 PM

Thank you, John & John :)

-- Chris

#5 CJK

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

Just wanted to post an update: I just pulled the trigger on the STF-8300M and FW5. The 8300 was on sale, and I got the filter wheel package that included a set of Baader LRGB filters. This is pretty much a dream setup for me. (After my bank account recovers, I'm going to add a Ha filter to the fifth position in the filter wheel.)

Thank you guys again for your advice!

-- Chris

#6 terry59

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

Congrats. :jump:

#7 nemo129

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:48 PM

Nice camera choice Chris. :cool: Good filter strategy as well. While I have used my OIII and SII filters quite a bit on my ST8300M, I do find that you can do quite a lot with 5 filters. Many times if the object has lots of Ha, I will use that for Luminance or combine Luminance and Ha to bring out more subtle details in a nebula. Congrats and enjoy your new camera.

#8 CJK

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:08 PM

Thanks, everybody! I can't wait for it to arrive! (Of course, that means 2 weeks of clouds & rain, so I apologize in advance to everyone in the Tennessee Valley.)

-- Chris






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