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Mirrorless Canon Camera with the Questar

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#1 Gregory Gross

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 12:45 PM

For years I've been using Canon point and shoot cameras. I love their low-light performance and the warm color tone that they offer. I've gotten to the point where I swear by the brand.
 
Of the numerous New Year's resolutions I set for myself last January, I've faithfully kept to one of them: take at least one photo a day. It's been a fun little personal journaling exercise. Going through this year's photos reminds me of all the many little interesting things that one sees in day-to-day life. The project has also highlighted the possibility that it might be time for me to graduate up to a better camera.
 
I really like the ease of use and convenience of the point-and-shoot form factor, and I'd like to retain that moving forward. But I'd also like the ability to remove the lens and attach the camera body to my 1962 Questar. At some point in its life, my Q went through a wide field conversion and has the modern wider axial port. Rob Pettengill's camera connection overview has some great information on the range of possibilities for connecting a camera to a Questar.
 
I know that mirror slap and shutter shock are an issue with high-magnification photography, so it seems that a mirrorless camera is probably the best choice for me. I have my eye on the newly-released Canon EOS M200. This camera comes equipped with a silent shooting mode, which seems like a feature that would fit the bill for eliminating any kind of mechanical movement that would blur an image. I'll also need an adapter to go between the camera body and my Questar camera coupling set (swivel and extensions). This Gobe M42 Lens Mount to Canon EF-M Camera Mount seems like a good choice.

 

I'm at the point where I'm assessing possibilities and cost. One thing I'd like to know is whether I'd be able to do full-disk lunar photography and some long-exposure imaging of top-shelf DSOs (M8, M42, etc.) with the above setup. In the case of imaging the Moon, I'm wondering if the image sensor on the M200 is large enough for a full-disk capture or if I'd be forced to assemble a mosaic of images to create a full-disk image. Or maybe using eyepiece projection is the proper route.

 

I'd appreciate any guidance that anyone can offer. Please set/re-set my expectations as appropriate! I'm approaching this pretty cold with no meaningful experience beyond aiming my point-and-shoot camera into the eyepiece.


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#2 B 26354

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:59 PM

Mirrorless is definitely the way to go. I've been a strictly Olympus guy since ~'76, so I have no experience with Canon at all... but after being an exclusively visual observer since 1954, upgrading to a mirrorless OM-D E-M1 almost four years ago is what started me on the astro-photography path... and I'm having some very gratifying success (and a ton of fun) with it.

 

I've dreamt of owning a Questar for decades, and even toured the Questar facility when I lived back east. Looking forward to reading the answers to your FOV questions... and seeing the results of your adventures!  grin.gif



#3 Steve C.

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 02:13 PM

I shot this eclipse video through my mirrorless Canon M5. 

 

https://youtu.be/FhNRx_YT2pQ


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#4 Gregory Gross

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 02:24 PM

I shot this eclipse video through my mirrorless Canon M5. 
 
https://youtu.be/FhNRx_YT2pQ

I see that Canon's listing for the M5 on their website indicates:

  • Effective pixels: Approx. 24.2 Megapixels
  • Total pixels: Approx. 25.8 Megapixels

Likewise, Canon's listing for the M200 shows:

  • Effective Pixels: Approx. 24.1 megapixels
  • Total Pixels: Approx. 25.8 megapixels

The image sensors between the two cameras seems to be pretty much the same size. Looking at that video that you took of the eclipse, Steve, I see that your camera wasn't quite able to capture the full disk of the Sun and Moon. I'm assuming you weren't using a focal reducer.



#5 Steve C.

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 02:50 PM

I see that Canon's listing for the M5 on their website indicates:

  • Effective pixels: Approx. 24.2 Megapixels
  • Total pixels: Approx. 25.8 Megapixels

Likewise, Canon's listing for the M200 shows:

  • Effective Pixels: Approx. 24.1 megapixels
  • Total Pixels: Approx. 25.8 megapixels

The image sensors between the two cameras seems to be pretty much the same size. Looking at that video that you took of the eclipse, Steve, I see that your camera wasn't quite able to capture the full disk of the Sun and Moon. I'm assuming you weren't using a focal reducer.

Yep. Didn't have. Next time for 2024, I will.



#6 jprideaux

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 11:10 PM

Did you decide on whether to get the m200 yet? I was also wondering if that would be a good light-weight camera option for my Questar and other scopes.

#7 Gregory Gross

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 12:42 PM

I'd eventually like to get the Canon M200, maybe next year. Out of all the mirrorless camera that I've seen on the market, it seems to satisfy my requirements for a compact, easy-to-use, well-performing, and reasonably-priced camera more than other models I've encountered. Various reviews seem to be ho-hum on this particular model (see this review and this review, for instance). But I'm biased in favor of Canon cameras, as I have really grown to like the natural color tone and low-light performance that they deliver (see this particularly useful review).

 

But for optimal use with my Questar, I need to have its failed optics given some attention.

 

If anyone decides to pull the trigger on this camera and uses it with his/her Questar, don't be shy about sharing thoughts here.




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