Society for Popular Astronomy

What to buy?
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Author:  Cepheus42 [ Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:37 am ]
Post subject:  What to buy?

Hi guys,

I've already got a video camera for planetary work and an Orion G3 CCD deep sky camera, but I'm also looking to add a DSLR camera to the armory. There seems to be a huge range of cameras out there at all different prices. I'm not hugely technical. I have an LS 8 inch SCT.

Any ideas as to a DSLR camera that would compliment that set up. I'm looking at a budget of about £500. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Author:  Brian [ Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What to buy?

Without doubt go for one of the Canon models. Canon have released the "coding" for their cameras and so a small industry has grown up providing free control software for astro use. A small control program is placed onto the cameras SD card and it can link with a laptop in Liveview mode for automated shooting/recording of images. Have a look at "BackyardEOS" for instance. There are more out there, including the Canon software. The equivalent software for Nikons has to be purchased as the code has not been released, around £200 I read recently.

The 1100D (?) has a big following for astro use. Reasonable price, good community support and not too many pixels so good at collecting photons :)


Author:  Cepheus42 [ Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What to buy?

Thanks Brian, I have to say you seem to be the most helpful of people and always seem to reply to any post I make. Would be great to shake your hand one day at an event.

It's people like your good self that keep newbie dunces like me coming back to the SPA.

Many thanks again

Author:  Brian [ Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What to buy?

Dear Peter, Thank You. You are most welcome. I don't claim to be any sort of expert by the way :) but I'm glad to help if I can,


Author:  meteorB [ Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What to buy?

If I could make another suggestion for suitable dslr camera.
I have quite poor eyesight and have always found focussing difficult.
A short while ago I purchased a Canon 1000D. Primarily because it was the cheapest model with "liveview". This makes life MUCH easier compared to my trusty 350D!
It is a bit "plasticy" but is fairly lightweight and I been quite impressed with it's performance.
Got some good meteor images with it and produced some decent results on PANStarrs.
I don't know if it's still available new as it's been superceded by the 1100D mentioned.
I got mine via amazon so that might be worth a look, a good second hand one would be a bargin I think.
Anyway it's definitely worth considering. Just one minor issue. The battery performance is actually quite good but I'd get an extra couple of batteries so you have them to hand.

Author:  Cepheus42 [ Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What to buy?

Thanks for the feedback. I have been able to find a Cannon 1100D for less than £250 and it seems to be quite highly thought of. The final question is: Would I be duplicating the capabilities of my existing Orion Star Shoot G3 Deep Sky IV colour imager. My main concern is to confirm that the DSLR camera wouldn't do the exact same thing and my CCD imager. The main issue is that it appears the apart from a focal reducer is the only real way to get wider field images on the Star Shoot, where are with a DLSR camera, I will have the ability to widen the fields.

I'm greatly technical at the moment and am on a very steep learning curve. many thanks in anticipation.

Author:  Cepheus42 [ Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What to buy?

After a great deal of research, it seems Canon brought out a new dedicated astrophotography camera. It's called the 60Da. It has enhanced bits and pieces over and above the normal 60D and certainly seems to be the camera to beat. I've checked all over and the price range is huge. The prices range from £460 - £1,100 for the same camera. The cheaper ones seem to be on Amazon from sellers based in Japan and the mid level process from "new" sellers who have little or no service ratings available. I know from previous experience that the items from Japan will attract large import taxes, but the price range is huge. It makes it very difficult to make any kind of decision. However it seems that the 60Da is the way to go.

Author:  David Frydman [ Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What to buy?

. Dear Peter,
I would check actually with Astro photographers as to whether the Canon 60 D a is actually as good as Canon make out.

Best wishes, David

Author:  Brian [ Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What to buy?

Peter, before you buy, read this: ... anon-60da/


Author:  Cepheus42 [ Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What to buy?

Hi Brian,

Wow, I read a lot more info from your link and it seems the 60Da has more problems than its worth. I think the scales have been tipped in favour of the 1100D.

Thanks so much to all those who have contributed


Peter Hutton

Author:  groberts [ Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What to buy?

I am also looking for a suitable DSLR - does the 1100D have a lockable mirror, which I believe is useful for astro imaging?

Author:  Brian [ Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What to buy?

As I read the reviews of the 1100D, there is not a separate mirror lockup. However, if you operate in "Liveview" mode, this automatically locks up the mirror for you. You can then use the camera in live-view with a PC and software such as BackYard EOS to control the camera and download the images.


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