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Best all around DSLR off the shelf

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#26 zxx

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 06:43 PM

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.

Get ready for the most posted M45 image on CN    lol


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#27 DubbelDerp

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 07:02 PM

Get ready for the most posted M45 image on CN    lol

lol.gif



#28 calypsob

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 07:59 PM

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.


I think hes talking about a Nikon D40

#29 Readerp

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 08:04 PM

I think hes talking about a Nikon D40

There is a Canon EOS 40D introduced in 2007



#30 whwang

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 08:46 PM

I didn't want to mention this.  But now since people start to talk about D40 vs 40D, I think this thread is off-topic enough for me to bring this up:  do people realize that Ra, Z6, and Z7 are not DSLRs?  I think the OP asked for a DSLR, at least according to the subject line.


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#31 SandyHouTex

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 09:32 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.

I think what you should gather is that astrophotography is complicated and can’t be reduced to one or two parameters for a camera.  People make beautiful and wonderful astrophotographs with Canons, Nikons, Fujis, etc. etc..  It’s really more about the person using it and how good they understand it.  Jerry Lodriguss has some very good books and CDs on astrophotography.  Here’s one for beginners: http://www.astropix.com/bgda/bgda.html He’s a good guy to listen to and very helpful.  WHWang uses a digital Pentax 645 and along with SharkMelley have forgotten more about AP (short for astrophotography) than many of us know.  They’re two of our resident gurus.

 

The other thing you should gather is there are certain people here who think your an idiot for buying and using a Canon Ra (you’re not it’s a great camera).  Another person thinks you’re an idiot if you don’t buy and use a Nikon D5300, another thinks everyone must use a modded Sony A7S.  There’s a huge thread about that entitled, “Is Sony Really Alpha?”.  They’re not.

 

The Canon 40D that you have will be fine to learn with.  Once you get to know it, and learn how to use it, you will be astounded at the astro photos you can make.  Good luck.


Edited by SandyHouTex, 09 April 2020 - 09:56 PM.

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#32 ChristopherBeere

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 10:03 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

 

Canons APS-C range enables you to modify the camera for astro and then use a clip in filter for original white balance that gives you a true dual purpose camera.

 

I have a modded 70D with an Optolong OWB clip in filter that is super versatile. I also have several dedicated day time and astro cameras but if I only had room for one in the bag on a remote trip it would be the 70D because of this versatility.

 

Plus the articulated screen makes life a hell of a lot easier when focusing and framing.  Try shooting high altitude without one.

 

Canon sensors are awesome in my experience. You don't even need to shoot darks they have such low noise.


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#33 Broglock

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 08:49 AM

Exactly whwang! And good point! 

Yes, to SandtHouTex it is asn I am learning and just ask the question for a good all around DSLR for AP. I have gained good info, so all in all a good discussion even if slightly off original question.

Again Thanks to everyone I am learning a lot.


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#34 rgsalinger

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 11:45 AM

The topic is best all around camera. If it was "How much money do I have to spend on a DSLR to make good pictures", that would be different. I liked looking at read noise as a starting point. There's also pixel size to be considered as well as QE. Matching pixel size to your telescope's image scale is one thing you can do to get the most out of your clear sky time. 

 

Reading about DSLR's now I'm realizing that there are also a set of features that might be almost as important. For example, I was reading the Canon Ra review by Tony Hallas this month in Astronomy. He pointed out that the shutter closes when you turn off the camera, protecting the chip on the RA. He said that he had no trouble producing terrestrial photos in the two months he's owned it. Sometimes it's features and not absolute performance numbers that make a camera the "best all around" performer for most people.

 

My guess is that pretty much any of the later NIkon, Canon, Sony models particularly modded is going to be a good all around astro-camers.  


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#35 ewave

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 12:08 PM

I am hoping to see sample images taken using the Nikon D780.  Still waiting.


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#36 Broglock

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 12:11 PM

I stand corrected, my bad on that. 

Would you mod an off the shelf camera specifically designed for Astrophotography? This is a serious question not being a wise guy here.



#37 Gucky

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 12:16 PM

"producing terrestrial photos" is indeed one of the points here in this thread which are always neglected when just looking at sensor specs for AP use.

 

If you have an "ordinary" DSLR or mirrorless and let it astromodify by some third party there's always the problem of white-balance. The additional photons in the red part of the spectrum cause the colours of your daytime pictures to be very inaccurate.

 

If you can buy a camera modified by the manufacturer "off the shelf" - like the Ra indeed is - then the manufacturer corrected this white-unbalance (hopefully ;- ) already. You won't get 100 % perfect colours in daytime use, but it certanly suffices for holidays, family events etc.

If it was a third-party who modified the camera then you have to correct white balance in each and every picture in postprocessing. This isn't a big task, but you have to do it anyway.

 

There are several knowledable companies which modify almost any camera (I let my 6D modify by Gerd Neumann (who also produces the Astronomik filters) in Germany). There are others who directly sell modified DSLRs - but then it isn't "off the shelf".


Edited by Gucky, 10 April 2020 - 12:18 PM.

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#38 Kevin_A

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 12:58 PM

Experience and desire and time creating always beats any marginal difference in "Off-the shelf" camera quality ..and if you have it all and a great camera sensor.... you get top shelf results instead of just great shots.

Most of the time I'm not thinking of what quality of sensor i wan't to use these days as I have the basic D5300 and the top of the line DSLR sensors...its trying to plan getting my gear outside since its either windy, cloudy, snowing, raining, full moon or too humid. Hahahaha.

My only sensor decision i need to think about these days in Fullframe or APS-C is pixel size (big or small) based on my target size and expected sub-lengths for each and know either sensor will give equally close great quality pics when chosen correctly for the right targets i want to shoot.

 

If i only had one choice between my $2k Nikon D750 and my $300 Nikon D5300..... and I didn't do daytime photography.... I would buy the D5300 and buy another scope. 

Cheers


Edited by Kevin_A, 10 April 2020 - 01:24 PM.

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#39 SandyHouTex

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 09:15 PM

One thing you can do is get a replacement filter that goes on the lens, if you have a modded camera.  I have a Canon T3i which I had the filter removed from and replaced with a clear glass to maintain the autofocus capability.  Then I bought one of these filters for a lens I use on it:

 

https://www.maxmax.c...ry_pathway-9221
 

It’s the same filter as the one that goes on the sensor.  It passes the same wavelengths as the original sensor filter.  They come in various diameters.  The one I’ve linked to is the 58mm one.  It allows me to use the auto white balance when I use it for daytime photos.


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#40 17.5Dob

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 09:59 PM

One thing you can do is get a replacement filter that goes on the lens, if you have a modded camera.  I have a Canon T3i which I had the filter removed from and replaced with a clear glass to maintain the autofocus capability.  Then I bought one of these filters for a lens I use on it:

 

https://www.maxmax.c...ry_pathway-9221
 

It’s the same filter as the one that goes on the sensor.  It passes the same wavelengths as the original sensor filter.  They come in various diameters.  The one I’ve linked to is the 58mm one.  It allows me to use the auto white balance when I use it for daytime photos.

Unless all of your lens' have the same filter diameter, you're going to need separate filters for each lens, which is hardly idea, for an all purpose, off the shelf camera....

Fuji uses the same sensor as Nikon, that is ~2X less noisy than the T3i,  but uses a much less harsh IR cut, giving you the best of both worlds and no filters/custom white balance required.

 


Edited by 17.5Dob, 10 April 2020 - 10:04 PM.


#41 Uggbits

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 10:45 PM

Unless all of your lens' have the same filter diameter, you're going to need separate filters for each lens, which is hardly idea, for an all purpose, off the shelf camera....

Fuji uses the same sensor as Nikon, that is ~2X less noisy than the T3i,  but uses a much less harsh IR cut, giving you the best of both worlds and no filters/custom white balance required.

 

Another option if you want to use one of those filters is to buy it for your largest filter thread and use step-up rings. It's clunky, but it can save some money. 


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#42 piaras

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 07:42 AM

For any DSLR, you should really have a CWB for the moment that you are using the camera. The factory settings are pretty good but not perfect. I will take an unfocused image of a white item or use my grey card just about every time on my cameras, modded or not. Better finished image RAW or JPG.
Pierre



#43 SandyHouTex

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 09:25 AM

For any DSLR, you should really have a CWB for the moment that you are using the camera. The factory settings are pretty good but not perfect. I will take an unfocused image of a white item or use my grey card just about every time on my cameras, modded or not. Better finished image RAW or JPG.
Pierre

Yea.  You can do a custom white balance with a grey card.  That’s what I’ve done with my Canon Ra.  However the default white balance looks quite good.



#44 bobzeq25

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 09:37 AM

I stand corrected, my bad on that. 

Would you mod an off the shelf camera specifically designed for Astrophotography? This is a serious question not being a wise guy here.

No, it's redundant.

 

Out of the box question.  Would getting an astro specific camera be out of the question for you?  A lot of what's being said above is how to adapt an astro modified DSLR for terrestrial use.  Modding, then adapting for terrestrial use, is a strategy to use one camera for two purposes.  That's OK, lots of people do it.  But obviously it isn't as good as using two cameras, each for their specific purpose. 

 

The two camera alternative is expensive, and may not be appropriate for you.

 

Another alternative is to not mod, and accept weak performance on emission nebulae.  People do that, too.

 

I like options.  <grin>


Edited by bobzeq25, 11 April 2020 - 09:39 AM.

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#45 Broglock

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 12:28 PM

Well bobzeq25 the original question had formulated after reading up on Canon's RA camera and I had recieved the 40D in a bulk purchase. That being said try not to judge me to harshly here. I will try not to be to long winded here, so  have been interested in Astronomy and really not having time to devote it as needed I had recently decided after having to retire due to back fusions I have jumped in with both feet not checking the depth of the waters and not knowing what EAA was or meant. I have wound up with a little bit of stuff lets say. I could outline all the mistakes I made here 1st of all not joining the St Louis Astronomical Society until after I had purchased a Nextar 6SE and a Neximage Burst C with ideal I would be able to use my laptop to control scope and look at images in realtime! Oh how I have learned a lot in the last month or so and by no means have a full handle on all of it.

Now if I had an unlimited or at least 6-8 thousand $'s I could set myself up really well. As I'm sure the majority of us don't I didn't want to go to crazy right out of the box and so now I find my inventory of cameras to consist of original Olympus E-620, modded Canon 40D, NextImage Burst C, NextImage 5, & a Skyris 236C, so in answer to the question I guess technically I have astro specific cameras already. They are just not what most would choose I'm sure. The price was right to get my feet wet without drowning or so I thought. LOL!

It's when I opened the NextImage Burst C (the only brand new AC) that I started to realize this is not the same as Terestrial Photography although both ideally are deally with capture of light. Astro Photography is avery specialized capture of light traveling an incredible distance through a miriad spacial atmosheric anomilies and conditions that are not experienced in the terestial setting.

So much for not getting long winded, LOL!


Edited by Broglock, 11 April 2020 - 12:28 PM.

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#46 bobzeq25

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 12:47 PM

The main difference is a truly awful signal to noise ratio in astro.  Handled by long total imaging time and intensive processing.  Often using quite marvelous and sophisticated techniques.  The hardware is often secondary to those.


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#47 ChristopherBeere

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 02:39 PM

The main difference is a truly awful signal to noise ratio in astro.  Handled by long total imaging time and intensive processing.  Often using quite marvelous and sophisticated techniques.  The hardware is often secondary to those.

Very true.

 

All modern DSLRs are capable of recording great astronomical data with correct technique.


Edited by ChristopherBeere, 12 April 2020 - 02:11 AM.


#48 SandyHouTex

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Posted 11 April 2020 - 07:09 PM

Well bobzeq25 the original question had formulated after reading up on Canon's RA camera and I had recieved the 40D in a bulk purchase. That being said try not to judge me to harshly here. I will try not to be to long winded here, so  have been interested in Astronomy and really not having time to devote it as needed I had recently decided after having to retire due to back fusions I have jumped in with both feet not checking the depth of the waters and not knowing what EAA was or meant. I have wound up with a little bit of stuff lets say. I could outline all the mistakes I made here 1st of all not joining the St Louis Astronomical Society until after I had purchased a Nextar 6SE and a Neximage Burst C with ideal I would be able to use my laptop to control scope and look at images in realtime! Oh how I have learned a lot in the last month or so and by no means have a full handle on all of it.

Now if I had an unlimited or at least 6-8 thousand $'s I could set myself up really well. As I'm sure the majority of us don't I didn't want to go to crazy right out of the box and so now I find my inventory of cameras to consist of original Olympus E-620, modded Canon 40D, NextImage Burst C, NextImage 5, & a Skyris 236C, so in answer to the question I guess technically I have astro specific cameras already. They are just not what most would choose I'm sure. The price was right to get my feet wet without drowning or so I thought. LOL!

It's when I opened the NextImage Burst C (the only brand new AC) that I started to realize this is not the same as Terestrial Photography although both ideally are deally with capture of light. Astro Photography is avery specialized capture of light traveling an incredible distance through a miriad spacial atmosheric anomilies and conditions that are not experienced in the terestial setting.

So much for not getting long winded, LOL!

You don’t need to spend a ton of money to get started.  The Canon 40D will work fine.


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#49 mmalik

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 12:18 AM

I have just acquired a Cannon 40D modified...

40D is from 2007; don't mind my saying but if you are remotely serious about AP get something recent.... If affordability is driving your decision then there is no argument. Regards



#50 rgsalinger

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 01:17 AM

On the other hand there are great pictures from 2007 taken with DSLR's so...………………………………….. The issue with AP is almost always experience and perseverance, not equipment. IMHO and YMMV. 


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