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Which is the most ideal camera for Astro Photography?

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Old Saturday 4th February 2012, 04:26   #1
alphan
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Which is the most ideal camera for Astro Photography?

From personal experience and hearsay, can we have a discussion on the most suitable camera for our purpose. We can even update as we go along. The more common criteria would include image size (Mp), focus points, VF and LCD performance, ISO, shooting rate, build quality, image IQ, features, etc. I am using a Sony A550 the last 18 months and here's my experience.

Pro:
High ISO performance
Light and compact (compared to other similar)
Slightly cheaper than other major brand with similar class
High continuous shooting rate

Cons:
Build quality are lower (even my shutter button are failing after about only 20,000 clicks
VF gets quite dark with 80ED + 2X TN
shutter noise loud
Metering poor (spot mode)

According to an ex-senior Sony guy, Sony camera are more designed for limited life. An entry level camera would last 18-24 months, the mid level 24-30 months and higher level ones 36 months before major problems started and you just need to get new ones. Failure would occur earlier for those shooting more.

How does Sony's usually higher MP's translate with higher cropping as in bird photography? Thinking of going the A65/77 way to overcome the darker VF but with 7X and 14X magnifier in EVF, the view quality are poorer. LCD would always be a problem outdoor. Perhaps the Nikon and Canon users can put more light into this perspective.
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Old Saturday 4th February 2012, 04:53   #2
RJM
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Not sure what your headline topic has to do with the gist of your post but I think you will get a better discussion in the Cloudy Nights DSLR & Digital Camera Astro Imaging & Processing forum.
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Old Saturday 4th February 2012, 15:04   #3
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I presume alphan meant that the thread is to do with what's the best camera for bird photography through refractor telescopes rather than astro photography.

Alphan, 20,000 is quite low for buttons to be playing up. Not sure what my Canon 450D has taken but it's probably easily 5X that amount without any camera faults so far. I used to regularly take 500-1000 photos per day, week in week out. Personally I'm waiting another year or two to see what advances are made with mirrorless cameras before I upgrade.

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Old Saturday 4th February 2012, 18:53   #4
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dedicated CCD's still seem to rule pure astrophotography realm.Not going to do much birding with them.Something personally wanted to try is ability of cmos sensor in K5 pentax to shift per rotation axis and elimnate trails for up to 6 minutes.Pic below is 35 second exposure of transit of space station,can see bright saturn(left), jupiter(right) trail or blur at botton of frame in just short exposure(bisected by SS.).Should,alledgedly eliminate.Havent had clear sky and good transit to try it out.Something to play with while waiting for sun and birds to "wake up"
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Old Tuesday 7th February 2012, 07:23   #5
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My apology all. I should state it as Bird Photography with Astro telescope (refractor). After getting my C80ED, I decided to look into astronomy too but too few clear nights a year to stir up any interest.

Paul, how was the Canon in term of high ISO, AF and metering? I belief Canon and Nikon are much better build than Sony, but to switch brands are costly. I do hear of a number of Sony going for shutter button replacement below 50K clicks. Sony seems to have better High ISO performance though.
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Old Thursday 9th February 2012, 07:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphan View Post
Paul, how was the Canon in term of high ISO, AF and metering?
I tend to use my Canon 450D at ISO800 most of the time and it's ok at that. It's a couple of years old though and new models will be better. Some of the new Nikons are extendable to over ISO 200,000. I haven't looked to see what the photos are like but it shows the leaps that technology is making and that sort of thing will filter down to budget models in the future.

Metering is fine and I don't use any type of AF or dandelion chips.

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Old Friday 10th February 2012, 09:11   #7
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My usual ISO is 800, moving up to 1600 and 3200 if necessary. At 1600 + 100% crop and sharpening, noise will be noticeable. Some camera's ISO went very high, but how's the noise handling at the higher level? When camera would perform better at similar ISO? That's what we would like to know. Since most of us are using the 80ED scope, we could compare the quality of each camera.

I have just acquired another A550 used (but still very new) and at very good bargain. So my older 550 will be saying goodbye soon. Hopefully, the technology would have reached our expectation and I can finally get my dream camera LOL.
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