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Camera recommendations

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#1 Mainecanoe

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 03:28 PM

I'm looking to buy a camera for Astrophotography without a tracking scope. I could use a hing tracker for just the camera. Any suggestions? Canon SX50? Looking to buy something inexpensive to start. I've been using my iPhone so if any of you think the iPhone X is as good as a regular camera, please let me know. That would save me a pile of cash!

#2 photoracer18

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 04:31 PM

I wouldn't but nothing says you can't use what you have already as long as you can overcome any limitations (I don't use phone cameras myself as photographic tools). Problem with a fixed or zoom lens digital camera is you are stuck with whatever lens it came with and trust me they are not really setup for astro work although, like I said, you can always experiment to see what you have.
There is one brand of camera I know of that can do AP without a telescope and even without a mount, and that is Pentax DSLRs that are compatible with the external GPS unit (cameras K-5 and newer) or have it built in (K-3/3 II and K-1/1 II). The GPS unit includes sensor movement control. You can point it to any part of the sky and like a telescope it will know where it is pointed to and is capable of using the IBIS to track that part of the sky at the correct rate (function is called Astrotracer). Exposure time depends on magnification, the more it is the shorter you have to use. Here is a sample from one of my DPR friends, Chris Gunn. This is from a rigidly mounted DSLR using a 400mm F2.8 lens 35 10s frames stacked with Deep Star Stacker with only the internal stabilization of the sensor tracking the sky.

CG-M42-4002.8-AT1200.jpg

Now this is not as good as you can do with serious gear but its pretty decent none the less. The camera itself said it could do as long as 1m20s subs at 400mm but he found he had to shorten then to 10s to get clean subs at ISO3200.

Edited by photoracer18, 12 December 2018 - 04:38 PM.

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#3 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 11:33 PM

I'm looking to buy a camera for Astrophotography without a tracking scope. I could use a hing tracker for just the camera. Any suggestions? Canon SX50? Looking to buy something inexpensive to start. I've been using my iPhone so if any of you think the iPhone X is as good as a regular camera, please let me know. That would save me a pile of cash!

 

If you just want to play around, just aim your cellphone camera into the eyepiece of your Dob when it's pointed at the Moon.  You will be surprised at what you can get.

 

There. I just saved you a bunch of money. lol.gif

 

You don't want a point a shoot.

 

If you are serious about astrophotography as a hobby, you need a camera with interchangeable lenses.

 

The iPhone has a nice camera for daytime snapshots. Very nice. But you're not going to be able to do any real astrophotography with it easily.

 

Jerry



#4 17.5Dob

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 12:17 AM

If you don't want to build a barn door tracker, as has been mentioned already, the new Pentax cameras with their Astrotracer function can take reasonable photos from a static tripod.

If you want to build a barn door tracker, the best "cheap" camera for AP right now is the Nikon D5300. You can pick up a good used body for $350-400. Find a used 50mm lens and you're set.

Or Jerry's suggestion is right on, as well......


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