I primarily use DSLR for imaging and plan to stay the course for some time. However, I need to pick up a second guide camera and not excited about getting another Orion StarShoot Autoguider.
I was thinking about a OSC CCD camera to use as a guide camera and also an imaging camera from time to time. What OSC CCD camera give me comparable images to the Canon T3i? I have both a 4 in refractor (630 mm FL) and an 8in SCT. Also considering using the Hyperstar at some as well.
i think you would find once you started imaging with the OSC CCD you would prefer it over the T3i. better (regulated) cooling will result in less noise. many will recommend their favorite brand -- i think the usual suspects are Kodak 8300 based chips (like SBIG or ATIK) and there are sony chip cameras, too (i don't know those brands).
none of those choices are cheap guiding solutions though. you can get a good guide camera for about 1/4 the cost of OSC CCDs.
I've used StarlightXpress OSC cameras (H9C and M26C) with Sony low-noise chips. They are superb. Low noise means no dark calibration is required -- a big difference with cameras using the very good but noisier 8300 chip (which I have in my mono camera.)