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60Da vs. 5D Mark III

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#1 forestc

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 06:50 PM

Hey all,

I am just getting into astrophotography more seriously and I am looking for a camera that will offer plenty of room to grow with the hobby. Luckily, I have been a professional photographer for years and have plenty of access to equipment.

Here's my question: I am looking at selling some of my current camera equipment and either getting a 60Da or a 5D mark III. If the cost of either didn't matter, which would be better suited for taking images of DSO's.

I have a SNT telescope with an 8" mirror and a 1000mm focal length.

Thanks for your input,

Forest

#2 fmhill

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 07:00 PM

My choice is the 60Da... I've had one for a year now and am very happy with it... I also have several Nikon DSLR and while they make great images with stock sensors, the 60Da sensor/internal filtering picks up enough Ha color to make more interesting DSO images...

#3 Falcon-

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 07:52 PM

Stock, as they come out of the box, the 60Da would be the better choice without a doubt.

That said... do you plan to dedicate this camera to AP only? If so an astro-modified 60D (rather then the 60Da) would actually be my recommendation. A modified-60D will give even more H-alpha response then the 60Da does, good for astro. The only major downside is a voided warranty and *if* you wanted to use it for professional-level daylight photography likely the purchase of some filters to correct white balance during daylight.

A modified 5D MK III would likely also be a great camera, probably better performing then a modified 60D - however vignetting may be more of a concern with your scope and the full-frame cameras (you can of course correct with flats and possibly crop though).


A 1000mm f/5 scope should make for a good FOV for AP. What mount do you have under that scope?

BTW - If you have been doing professional photography I would suspect you may have a couple of nice prime lenses kicking about - a few of those may be excellent for wide-field AP!

#4 forestc

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 08:22 PM

Thanks for your advice guys!

I would need the camera to be usable for traditional photography as well, but I see no problem with white-balance correction filters. I think the added cost of modification might make the price a bit too high, but I will look into it.

I'm using an old Meade LXD-75 mount, of which I'm in the process of hyper tuning at the moment. The hope is to eventually get an AP Mach-1 or a Losmandy G11.

#5 fmhill

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 08:34 PM

As I have the 60Da, it works well for regular photography, you do nnot need any color correction filters, you simply adjust the in camera white balance and/or create a in camera custom white balance setting that you can switch to by menu selection.


Thanks for your advice guys!

I would need the camera to be usable for traditional photography as well, but I see no problem with white-balance correction filters. I think the added cost of modification might make the price a bit too high, but I will look into it.

I'm using an old Meade LXD-75 mount, of which I'm in the process of hyper tuning at the moment. The hope is to eventually get an AP Mach-1 or a Losmandy G11.



#6 Falcon-

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 08:49 PM

I think the added cost of modification might make the price a bit too high, but I will look into it.


Well actually.... the price of the 60Da is so high a modified-60D is *cheaper* (even with cost of the modification) :foreheadslap:


I would need the camera to be usable for traditional photography as well, but I see no problem with white-balance correction filters.

It is worth noting that the colour balance on the 60Da is also slightly off "normal" as well, so if custom white balance on the a modified 60D is not going to fit your requirements then likely it would not on the 60Da either.

So either way since you are talking using it for normal daylight photography white balance filters are probably in the cards.

If all your lenses are EF type (not EF-s) then you can use a clip-in filter that goes inside the camera body behind the lens (the Astronomik OWB-CCD). That way you only need a single filter to work with everything. :)

If you do have some EF-s lenses then the X-Night CC1 filter is available in a bunch of standard filter sizes.

In any case you might hold off on the filters till you try the camera with custom white balance and see if that does or does not meet the "good enough" colour rendition threshold for you.

I'm using an old Meade LXD-75 mount, of which I'm in the process of hyper tuning at the moment. The hope is to eventually get an AP Mach-1 or a Losmandy G11.


The LXD-75 should be not bad to start with. I used a similarly heavy scope on a mechanically similar mount (M606 MCT on CG5) and while I would not call it an ideal combo It did allow for quite a few AP captures before I eventually upgraded the mount. It is worth spending a bit of time on an initial polar alignment and make sure to set up your mount to be just *slightly* east-heavy and it should do OK for unguided short-medium length exposures. As I hinted at early also do not discount sticking your camera with a lens on the mount (with no scope)! Lots of good targets for wide FOVs.

Obviously a Mach1 or G11 will be a LOT nicer of a mount for AP.

Hope the hypertune goes well!

#7 nwinston

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 08:54 PM

Have you considered a Canon 6D? It's $1500 cheaper than the Mark III and, when it comes to astrophotography, should be able to perform just as well.

#8 forestc

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 09:10 PM

Awesome! Thanks for the help.

Where would be the best place to look for a good camera conversion company?

I found a refurbished 60Da for only $1200, which I like the idea of, but I'm definitely open to the custom conversion.

#9 fmhill

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 09:14 PM

Check the venders area.

Brent Oliver, Hap Griffin, and Gary Honis are all on here. I do not remember their business names however all three have excellent reputations...

#10 nofxrx

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 10:06 PM

Have you considered a Canon 6D? It's $1500 cheaper than the Mark III and, when it comes to astrophotography, should be able to perform just as well.


This would be my recommendation also, obviously modified.. (though I am a bit partial to mods ;)

But, if money is no object, the 5DIII will blow you away in ANY aspect of photography..it can do everything, and do it very well.
Low ISO performance is not that great (6D, nikon D600 and D800) all do MUCH better..
But HIGH ISO on the 5DIII is easily the best in the bunch..


I have been using modified cameras for years for paid photo and video work. I have NEVER had an issue from the modified cameras. I only use a CWB(Custom White Balance) and never have an issue....FWIW
You can see some of my latest work here (most all was with a recently Monochrome converted Panasonic GX1(performed by me, of course :grin: ), and the first couple hundred are of our 2 week old son ;) ): <<HERE>>


Either way you go, I think you will be happy for AP performance...but that 5DIII will continue to blow you away every day, no matter what you are shooting; so if you can afford one, get one! :cool:


If you have any questions about mods in general, just ask

Good luck!

#11 David Pavlich

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 10:13 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights! Unless the scope you're going to use will illuminate the big chip in the 5D, I'd say it would be a waste of a great terrestrial camera. In fact, I wouldn't even mess with modifying something like a 60D. You can get excellent results from a T2i. The APS-C class chip allows a lot more choices in scope type. I'd take a look at Jerry Lodriguss' work. He's done incredible work with Canon APS-C classed cameras. And he's a regular contributor here.

And to add to all of this, we have a member that does the various modifications to make them great imaging cameras. Brent has modified a couple of cameras for me and have been nothing but excellent. I only mention this because he does a great job and backs his work without question.

David

#12 mmalik

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:04 PM

...getting a 60Da or a 5D mark III. If the cost of either didn't matter, which would be better suited for taking images of DSO's.


Can't go wrong with getting 60Da, period. If money wasn't the factor, you may also get 5D Mark III later and get it modded as you get some astro-imaging done. In short, start with 60Da. Some results of my 60Da here....


Reviews
S&T
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Shutterbug
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On a side note, some image processing instructions here....

#13 forestc

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 09:21 AM

Wow, thank you all so much for your help. You have all given me a lot to think about.

I think a converted 6D might be my favorite of the options so far. I like the idea of a larger sensor especially because it allows for wide-angle landscape images without "crop-sensor" lenses.

Here's another question: How do I know if my scope (or any scope for that matter) could handle a full-frame sensor? Would I just connect a full frame camera and shoot the sky to check for vignettes? Or is there a more scientific way.....?

You all have such beautiful images, I can't wait to get started!

#14 martl

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 03:40 PM

Be careful what you wish for! I went the way with a 6D and a 3" Wynne for what i thought would be the ultimate combo for taking spectacular unvignetted frames with my 8"f4 and 10"f5 newtons. Couldn't be more wrong. It was a harsh dash on my enthusiasm when I saw how severe the vignetting of the camera housing (not the bayonet opening) together with the 3" Wynne Shows. So yes, you will be able to take great shots with a 6D IF you use a well-corrected refractor (there is some selection also on the low-priced side with decent quality). However don't expect to get it work with a newtonian system, it won't due to the lack of suitable correctors. Attached a Frame from Saturday which Shows the vignetting of my 8"f4 Newton which also can't be corrected with flats due to the severe light loss of about 50% in the Corners.

CS
Martin

Attached Files



#15 forestc

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 06:08 PM

Thanks for the input, that's a pretty telling image. I think I might want to stay with the cropped sensor. I do eventually plan on getting a refractor, but that's a ways away.

I guess that means it's either the 60D or the 7D.

#16 mmalik

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 06:26 PM

I guess that means it's either the 60D or the 7D.


You started off right until you drifted into 6D, 7D, etc.; 7D is definitely NOT recommended for AP. Stick to your original plan, 60Da vs. 5D Mark III and you'll be off to a good start. Thx

#17 mmalik

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 06:30 PM

Some sensor size vs. image circle comparisons:

Posted Image

#18 forestc

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 06:33 PM

Thank you! I will drop the 7D from my list. Is there an easy way to know how large the circle of light my telescope produces is?

#19 Falcon-

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 06:53 PM

Is there an easy way to know how large the circle of light my telescope produces is?


This gets tricky... some manufacturers do quote a "fully illuminated image circle" size, some do not. For those that do some have different definitions for what at what "fully illuminated" means (is fully illuminated where there is a 5% falloff? 10% falloff? 25%? 50%?).

You can probably use the size of the primary and secondary mirrors to figure out what the 100% and 75% illuminated area using this newtonian telescope designer here. The Schmidt corrector should not effect the calcs much I think so recreating your scope in that designer *SHOULD* give you a close-enough answer. :)

Do not worry too much about being in the 100% zone as flats will help with minor vignetting (and you want flats to help with dust mote shadows anyway)

#20 forestc

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 06:57 PM

Thanks! I'll give that a try.

#21 hiro

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 10:27 PM

Hi Forest,

I have experienced 5D, 5Dmk2, and 5Dmk3 with FSQ-106ED. All DSLRs are modified on IR cut-off filter. I may be able to put here additional 2 cents.

#1, Martin's sample image tells the truth. Those full frame DSLRs make the same kind of dark area near the edges. It is said to be shadow of EOS mirror box. The area is a little wider near the lower edge, which is said to be made by reverse side of mirror itself. FSQ-106ED also makes such shadow on EOS full size sensor, though it is only near the upper and lower edges. I have never experienced shadow near the both side edges in Martin's image. We need to correct the darkness and color near edges manually even after usual cooking with dark frames and flat frames. Red tends to be weaker near edges.

#2, 5DMk2 is far better than 5D, but 5Dmk3 is not so much different from 5Dmk2 at least in astroimaging.

Good luck for you.

#22 SunBlack

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 09:57 AM

Go for a modded 6D.

#23 forestc

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 11:16 AM

This is a tough decision. So many conflicting opinions, I don't want to have every image with dark corners....but i also know I could just crop.... Hmmmm.

#24 forestc

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 05:58 PM

Alright, after some thinking I feel I need to ask one more question. Is there any disadvantage to a modded 60D when compared to the stock 60Da? I know that there's the obvious waiting time, but beyond that.....

Thank you all so much for all that you've told me.

#25 mmalik

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 06:39 PM

Some say modded 60D passes more Ha than 60Da; I say difference in not significant. 60Da comes modded from the factory, and that makes it the ONLY camera of its kind! Thx






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