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Canon EOS 550D vs Orion StarShoot G3 Deep Space

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#1 NorthWolf

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:59 PM

Canon EOS 550D vs Orion StarShoot G3 Deep Space CCD?

I am trying to get back into astrophotography with a minor budget for a camera of around the 500$ mark, used or new.

This would be used with a C9.25" mounted on an HEQ5 mount or a CPC 9.25.

I have not researched yet the whole Fastar with Hyperstar setup so maybe some of you can set me on the right path.

Which camera would you choose for this basic setup, I would especially be interested in taking pictures of Globular Clusters, Variable Stars, Nebulas and Galaxies, as well as planets and comets if possible.

I would also not want to use programs like Registax or Nebulosity because I know almost nothing about how to use them and do not want to get into a whole other hobby since my primary hobby is Visual Astronomy and that is quite enough for now!

I am basically a point and shoot type of person but have already gone through the afocal method with a very basic Canon Camera, T Rings and T Adapters with a 10" non go to Dob and found it very fun and rewarding.

I would prefer Color over Monochrome as well.

Any tips? Thank you.

#2 Raginar

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:19 AM

EOS. Larger chip size will allow you to suffer through some tracking errors. I don't think you'll be happy with the G3 pictures through your C9.25.

FOV will be awesome as well :). Go do some research in the DSLR forums... you'll find they're relatively user friendly and super simple.

Good luck!

#3 snowcrow

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:33 AM

The Canon EOS 550D is a really nice camera for the money! I bought one refurbished for just under $500! I think you will the Canon EOS 550D a better match for the 9.25 then the G3 camera will be.

As far as using a stacking program, it's one of those necessary evils.

#4 jgraham

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

No contest; the 550D. The G3 uses a tiny Type 1/2 chip which is waaayyyy too small for a 9.25". I bought my 550D new (body only) for $495. For simplcity you should also look at Backyard EOS to control the camera as this will be the closest that you'll get to using your camera as an extension of visual observing. I've been using my cameras for many years to observe with as well as dedicated imaging. Single unprocessed frames are okay for basic work, but beyond tnat you'll need Deepsky Stacker (Registax is for planetary imaging) and something like Photoshop Elements.

#5 NorthWolf

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

Thx guys, I have some concerns though. Let me get this straight:

Without the use of photoshops and registax, Deepsky Stackers or Nebulosity stacking programs, (I really do not want to use these programs, just looking at their websites gives me the hibbity jibbies, let alone trying to understand them, which camera or 9.25 scope setup (9.25 as is, with fastar/hypsertar..) would you choose if you wanted a good looking picture? *Without the use of these programs*

Please name a DSLR or CCD camera. Thank you.

#6 jgraham

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:40 PM

Sorry, but it can't be done. The camera is only a means of collecting the source data, processing produces the image. The value of having access to the unprocessed source images is that you get a better idea of what an object really looks like, which rarely bears any ressemblence to the images that you are accustomed to seeing. The closest that you might get would be one of the 'video' cameras, which are really just CCD cameras that do a lot of in-camera processing of single source frame and output the result over a video line. You might find something on the used market, but new they're fairly expensive.

Given the contraints of no processing I'd still go with the 550D and Backyard EOS, no way I'd try this with the G3. Whether this would produce a 'good' image depends on your definition of 'good'. With the complete absence of any processing this will be a lot like shooting Ektachrome, only without the wait.

If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.

#7 michael hester

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

Go with the EOS 550D. The G3 has the worst software backing it I have ever used.

#8 NorthWolf

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

Good info guys, by the way, when you first started using stacking software, how did you go about learning how to use them? Did you follow the tutorials on their websites, did you search each meaning of every option etc, or were you already knowledgeable in the photography field?

If you had to pick one easy to use software for planetary and one for deep space stacking which ones would you choose?

I think at this point I would rather make planetary videos and take pictures of deep space objects.

#9 terry59

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:44 PM

Deep sky stacker for DSOs. Here's a good tutorial

http://flintstonesta...acker-tutorial/

I don't do planetary but a lot of folk use Registax

#10 dickbill

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

...however, a G3 or similar chip camera, is much more sensitive than a dslr and 'should' produce decent images of many objects with just 20-40 seconds sub-exposures, especially if you can get a focal reducer (~ $50) for your C9.25.
Then you are in bussiness by simply doing unguided imaging with a german equatorial mount like the eq5, provided your tracking/stacking software works decently, as Michael mentioned.
With a dslr, you might have to guide your scope because longer exposures will be required and that is not always simple.
Well, at least the difference in sensitity is important for a monochrome ccd, but is probably marginal between a color G3 and the Canon, therefore if you are definitively mindset for color, the Canon migh be the better choice.

#11 Mike7Mak

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

I think at this point I would rather make planetary videos and take pictures of deep space objects.

Two different diciplines requiring different hardware and software.

I'm a kindred spirit in that I do not like learning complex software and have no desire to acquire a master's degree in image processing. That said, a certain level of understanding is necessary to get any kind of acceptable results.

I don't do planetary but for DSOs I've managed to trim my software arsenal to PHD for guiding, Nebulosity 3 for capture, calibration, and limited post-processing, and StarTools for comprehensive post-processing.

The Nebulosity manual is a good introduction to the basics of image processing as well as an instruction manual for the program. For the level of advanced processing it provides StarTools is literally the 'simplest' image processing program in existance.

#12 Raginar

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:20 PM

Oh, you don't want to do any processing? Buy yourself a Mallincam. They're great devices, integrate over time, and don't require you to know photoshop at all. Everything is manipulated via software or on camera menus.
You won't get one for 500 bucks though; Even a Hyper Plus will run you around 7-800 dollars. And, for software control, you're running around 1500.

However, save your pennies and they can be awesome. Go to the Video-astro forum and check it out!

#13 NorthWolf

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:57 AM

Nice suggestion, I will check them out! I heard they are great for hooking them up to your tv as well?

#14 Raginar

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:33 AM

That is true too. You can hook them up directly to a TV. Go to www.nightskiesnetwork.com and check out a 'show' on there. The guys will demonstrate what you can expect to accomplish with a mallincam.

I found I wanted to do CCD more than video; but it's another tool in the bag :).

Good luck!






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