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Best all around DSLR off the shelf

astrophotography dslr imaging
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#1 Broglock

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 03:13 PM

Thinking about upgrading or adding to camera collection, lol. My question since I'm largely a novice is which off the shelf camera is best suited for both terrestrial and astronomical photography? I realize both types coudl have specific qualifications for the best, however just looking for input on which one without sending it off to Spencer's on any other shop for upgrades. Thanks



#2 Gucky

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 03:37 PM

With your specification "off the shelf" and "without sending it off...for upgrades" there's currently only one: the Canon EOS Ra    ;- )

 

And welcome to Cloudy Nights!


Edited by Gucky, 07 April 2020 - 03:39 PM.


#3 robbieg147

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 03:52 PM

Hi if you are just starting out I would use whatever camera you currently have for now, though if you do decide to buy something I would personally get either a Canon or Nikon as these are well supported by software such as Backyard.

 

I would chose your camera based around what you plan to use it for in normal use, so if you shoot sports maybe a Canon 7d, I like DSLR's for astro just my preference.

 

Good luck.



#4 bobzeq25

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 04:38 PM

Most cost effective choice.  Cheap, excellent quality for astro.  OK for terrestrial, fine image quality, although there are better menu systems.  Nikon D5300/5500/5600.  Does not apply to earlier Nikons.

 

Almost no DSLR (there are a very few very expensive exceptions, like the Da) is optimal for emission nebulae, they all block Ha a significant amount.  LifePixel will do a professional job of fixing that with an H alpha mod, for not much money. 

 

https://www.cloudyni...a-modification/


Edited by bobzeq25, 07 April 2020 - 04:52 PM.

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#5 KLWalsh

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 08:48 PM

It’s a relatively expensive camera compared to most (if you can even find one), but the Nikon D810A has an extended red response to allow ~ 4x better sensitivity to the H Alpha line. (Thus, the ‘A’ for Astronomy in 810A.)
It’s a full-frame camera and thus it weighs more.
But it’s also excellent for general photography. A ‘pro’ might add an 82a pale cyan filter to the lens to reduce the extra red response, and/or adjust color balance.

Edited by KLWalsh, 07 April 2020 - 08:52 PM.


#6 Readerp

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 10:29 PM

Some of the new Fuji cameras have seemingly very low noise, good efficiency, and better hydrogen alpha response, like up to double the H-alpha response compared to most standard non-astro DSLRs

 

Might be a good option for a non modded astro DSLR.

 

https://www.cloudyni...-2#entry8497762


Edited by Readerp, 07 April 2020 - 10:36 PM.


#7 bobzeq25

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 11:14 PM

Some of the new Fuji cameras have seemingly very low noise, good efficiency, and better hydrogen alpha response, like up to double the H-alpha response compared to most standard non-astro DSLRs

 

Might be a good option for a non modded astro DSLR.

 

https://www.cloudyni...-2#entry8497762

That looks better, but...

 

He says the Ha efficiency of those Fujis are about 45%, where other DSLRs are 25-40%.  That's significant.  But the efficiency of a modded DSLR or one of the expensive astro designed DSLRs approaches 100%.  That's better.  <smile>
 



#8 Broglock

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 01:23 AM

Thanks everyone for the responses much to ponder. Presently I have an OlympusE-620 and I don't know how it would fair at astrophotography without being modded, I have just aquired a Cannon 40D modified by Spencer's Camera with a full spectrum clear filter and a heat reduction system. I have not tested it out yet and look forward yo doing so. I have heard a lot of good things about the Canon RA though.



#9 mmalik

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 01:57 AM

A sum up here.... Regards



#10 erictheastrojunkie

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 09:52 AM

Thanks everyone for the responses much to ponder. Presently I have an OlympusE-620 and I don't know how it would fair at astrophotography without being modded, I have just aquired a Cannon 40D modified by Spencer's Camera with a full spectrum clear filter and a heat reduction system. I have not tested it out yet and look forward yo doing so. I have heard a lot of good things about the Canon RA though.

Skip the Ra, a wildly expensive camera that offers nothing over the unmodified R that can't be done for hundreds less. 

 

A sum up here.... Regards

And ignore this entire thread, for the love of god.

 

Seeing as how you've already bought the camera you'll really just want to familiarize yourself with it, I personally would have gone with a newer other option, at a minimum a modified D5300/D5500, or if you have to have a Canon than a modified 6D, but to each their own. 



#11 bobzeq25

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 11:51 AM

Thanks everyone for the responses much to ponder. Presently I have an OlympusE-620 and I don't know how it would fair at astrophotography without being modded, I have just aquired a Cannon 40D modified by Spencer's Camera with a full spectrum clear filter and a heat reduction system. I have not tested it out yet and look forward yo doing so. I have heard a lot of good things about the Canon RA though.

Note that modding only really matters on emission nebulae.
 



#12 Alen K

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 12:01 PM

I have just aquired a Cannon 40D modified by Spencer's Camera with a full spectrum clear filter and a heat reduction system. I have not tested it out yet and look forward yo doing so.

I am curious about Spencer's heat-reduction system. Can you tell us more about it? Their web page on it doesn't actually say how it works (in general terms at least, given it is proprietary IP) or what they do to the camera. And, of course, no specifications about how much reduction in temperature it actually achieves or the expected reduction in thermal noise (as shown by the before and after images on their page). 

 

Frankly, after looking at another page on their site, I am not encouraged about the accuracy of their information. I checked out the page about the Pentax K-70 DSLR. Removing the AA filter and re-installing the dust-cleaning system are listed as extra-charge options. Problem is, the K-70 doesn't use an AA filter and it has no separate dust-cleaning system. (It uses the IBIS to shake the sensor, which is not as effective as an ultrasonic transducer.) It's probably just a case of sloppy cut-and-paste since all of the camera pages are similar (although not always the same). But it seems they will happily charge you for not doing those things regardless if you unwisely select them when you order.


Edited by Alen K, 08 April 2020 - 05:24 PM.


#13 Broglock

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 08:18 PM

The modded 40D was aquired in a bulk purchase that included an AVX mount and tripod along with many extras, so it was more of a bonus and something I thought I could at least learn on if nothing else. I am not all that familar with Spencer's, so unfortunately I can make no comment on thier heat reduction system. I have yet to test the camera out other than charge the battery and turn it on, since I have no lenses at present I will need to test it on scope and I will need to order a compact flash first.



#14 17.5Dob

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 10:20 PM

The D40 is essentially worthless for AP even with a mod and a "heat sink"..

If you want a 'one camera solution", the new Fuji's are probably your best bet, as they use a less harsh IR filter, but even they still have strong drawbacks. All Software/ Hardware support is still geared to only Canon/ Nikon.

Canons are the worst camera you can buy,in regards to sensor technology for AP use, but have a strong following for daylight use.

The Nikon D5300/D5500 are the best consumer chipped cameras on the market, for AP, but Nikon never released the same chip in their much better "D7xxx" line, which is my baseline for a "general use dSLR camera" and was a very poor move on their part.

 


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#15 Gucky

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 02:15 AM

Some examples what others can achieve with a 40D...

 

But since you already have a Olympus E-620 as well why not putting this on your AVX mount and just try?


Edited by Gucky, 09 April 2020 - 02:22 AM.

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#16 Broglock

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 02:53 AM

Thanks Guckyfor the encouragement and I will! And Thanks to all for the input and Information!



#17 Kevin_A

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 08:16 AM

Nikon D750 is a great astro camera but target limited due to its larger pixel size of 5.97uM.

In order for it to work well you need over 800mm to acquire good detail on small DSO's or use it for shooting with 14-100mm widefield targets.

Images look clean but detail isn't great due to the AA filter and large pixels when used on small scopes.

I prefer the smaller 3.75uM pixel resolution and AA-less D5300 or Z7 pixel size for my 640mm scope.

I wish my D7200 had the D5300 sensor in it too!



#18 rgsalinger

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 09:51 AM

Canons are the worst camera you can buy,in regards to sensor technology for AP use -- seems odd to me. Do you have any camera reviews that would make this more than an assertion? I've seen tons of really nice images with Canons on astrobin, etc. So, why is sensor technology relevant and how do Canon's offerings come up short. 


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#19 Kevin_A

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 10:55 AM

Just go to Photons to Photos website and look at the noise levels etc from typical Canon sensors compared to Nikon camera (Sony sensors).

You can definitely get beautiful images from Canon cameras but it is widely known that Sony sensors are far less noisy especially in the lower 200-800 ISO range allowing greater imaging flexibility. Some people manage to create fantastic images with Canon cameras and have mastered bringing out great clean detailed images.... kudos to them!


Edited by Kevin_A, 09 April 2020 - 11:00 AM.


#20 bobzeq25

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 11:04 AM

Canons were the hot setup for many years.  People have done, and still do, fine images with them.

 

Then Nikon brought out the D5300 with major improvements in the sensor and the electronics.  Significantly better for astro than the earlier Canons.  And Canon didn't respond, likely because those improvements were much less important for terrestrial.

 

Recent Canons have made major strides.  But there's limited experience available.  The D5300/5500/5600 are cheaper, so people tend to buy those, in the absence of any evidence the new Canons are better.



#21 MHamburg

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 11:17 AM

M45.jpg M51.jpg The D40 is essentially worthless for AP even with a mod and a "heat sink"..

If you want a 'one camera solution", the new Fuji's are probably your best bet, as they use a less harsh IR filter, but even they still have strong drawbacks. All Software/ Hardware support is still geared to only Canon/ Nikon.

Canons are the worst camera you can buy,in regards to sensor technology for AP use, but have a strong following for daylight use.

The Nikon D5300/D5500 are the best consumer chipped cameras on the market, for AP, but Nikon never released the same chip in their much better "D7xxx" line, which is my baseline for a "general use dSLR camera" and was a very poor move on their part.

 

This is totally unfounded! I began AP with a fully modded 40D and then upgraded to a modded 6D. The 40D was noisier than the full-frame 6D but delivered acceptable images. The 6D is one of the cleanest sensors out there. 40D image of M45; 6D image of M51.


Edited by MHamburg, 09 April 2020 - 11:26 AM.

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#22 Kevin_A

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 12:01 PM

How does one explain this then?

Unfounded, I don't think so.... but, I honestly believe that the superior sensor isn't all that important as much as the person using it to get superior results with whatever brand they own for whatever their reason for buying that brand. I use Nikon because all their lenses fit on all my cameras i use for daytime photography. I have the best Nikon sensor (Z7) money can buy but have seen way better results from older Canon's because some people obviously do a better job at using what they have than I do whether it be in post, setup or tracking. hahahhaha

 

But if you took the user out of it.... Sony sensors are superior.

 

1.jpg


Edited by Kevin_A, 09 April 2020 - 12:04 PM.


#23 rgsalinger

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 12:12 PM

I went to the Photons to Photos website as recommended--- it is excellent. I'm going to book mark it for future use. If you just want to use read noise then the Nikons (which have Sony chips?) seem to have marginally better read noise at any price point in a new camera. That is a surprise to me. It's why I asked the question in the first place. I always prefer measurements over assertions.

 

It seems to me that, since I don't have a DSLR at this point, if I was only concerned with read noise Nikon has to be the name of the game. (My grand daughter got my last system last Xmas.) One other point that might be worth discussing is the overall cost of a DSLR imaging system. Right now I looked at the Canon T7I and the Nikon 5600 on a popular photography equipment website and the Nikon with the usual 18-55mm lens is actually cheaper. 

 

However, I can see no reason why you couldn't make wonderful pictures with the latest Canon's, not to say Sony's. Oh boy, now I want to buy a DSLR again. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#24 piaras

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 12:20 PM

Shoot what you have and learn how to use it. Later worry about the future. Who knows, maybe the next best camera will be a Walmart branded body!lol.gif


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#25 Broglock

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 06:29 PM

So is what I'm gathering from this discussion is one as in everything else in life there are good, better, best, and Outstanding sensors out there, and second regardless or in concert with the processing one does in producing the final image. The second point relying on the software used as well as the time one spends and thier expierence.


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