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Should I convert?

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#1 Stargazer78

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:12 PM

SO I am a beginner in astrophotography. I own a orion star shoot g3 color CCD camera. A good friend of mine is using a nikon d90 and suggested that I follow in his footsteps. The images I get with the g3 are not bad but are no where near the qulity of his. Also to get similar quality I am looking at spending around 2 grand for another ccd camera. So I am leaning towards the d90. Any info on how this camera performs and what I would need to take photos would be helpful.

#2 fetoma

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:22 PM

$2K will get you a decent CCD camera, but do you want it to be color or monochrome? Two very different animals when it comes to acquiring your images.

#3 sternenhimmel

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:23 PM

I can't say anything specific about the D90, but I can say that the advantage of using a DSLR, even if it's astromodified, is that it can be used for daytime photography as well. Thus, you have a dual purpose piece of equipment and half the price. However, that would require you to buy lenses ;).

If you'll be dual purposing the camera, I'd carefully consider whether you go Nikon or Canon based on getting your hands on both brands and trying them out. Once you start buying lenses, you're pretty committed to one company.

#4 TimN

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 10:07 PM

I agree with sternenhimmel. However, if you decide to go Nikon, I would consider a D5100. It has a better sensor - less noise - than the D90. Its also lighter and has a flip screen. However, the D90 has extra functions that can be useful for daytime photography. The D90 is considered a level above the D5100 because it has more functions for daytime use. However, the D5100 is a newer generation and with the sony sensor is better for AP.

#5 mmalik

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 10:19 PM

So I am leaning towards the D90.


Have you considered Canon; especially 60Da...? I think you'll be quite satisfied with it. Thx

#6 Stargazer78

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:01 AM

So looks like I am going to get a canon t3I. How would you guys rate that camera?

#7 mmalik

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:23 AM

T3i would be quite good for AP if you got it modified. Goodluck

#8 Falcon-

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:21 AM

Yep I agree - the T3i is a proven astro performer (and even more so when modified). :)

#9 jgraham

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:09 AM

I walked a similar path; starting with a small color CCD, then moving to larger color and monochrome CCDs until I started bumping up against my budget limit. I then branched over to DSLRs. I still have my CCDs (6 of them) and I enjoy using them as guide cameras and for special projects, but a modern DSLR is a very capable piece of gear at a relatively low cost. The T3i is a wonderful camera. I went from an XT, to and XTi, and finally to a T2i and I sued my T2i unmodified for a bit over a year. I recently had it modified (thanks Gary!) and that has taken my imaging to a new level, with a bit of added complexity. Soooo, I'd suggest using your new camera stock for at least a while to get used to it, then have it modified (or do it yourself) when you're ready and feel the need for the added capability.

Have fun!

#10 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:52 AM

I don't know what other equipment you have, but just a word of advice. In my opinion the mount is the most important piece of equipment for astrophotography. So if it factors into the cost get yourself the best mount you can for what you want to do. Wide field astrophotography with camera lenses are a great way to start with a modified DSLR, and don't require a beefy mount. If you want to image deep sky objects such as galaxies and planetary nebulae with a telescope then a robust and accurate mount will be much more necessary.

I speak as a long time CCD user (and still am) but am soon going to take possession of a modified T2i for wide-field work and I am very impressed with the quality of DSLR images on this forum.

#11 fetoma

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:05 PM

So looks like I am going to get a canon t3I. How would you guys rate that camera?


The T2i is better for planetary because of its special "movie crop mode". The T3i is different in that aspect.






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