Bolton Astronomical Society

DLSR Mod ????
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Author:  bbones [ Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  DLSR Mod ????

I'm thinking of getting my Canon 600D modified for astrophotography its either that or getting a dedicated Astro Camera.

Any thoughts?

Cheers Bill

Author:  DRatledge [ Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DLSR Mod ????

It all depends on what you want to image and with what. Your Canon would be a good match to camera lenses and small apos say up to 600mm focal length. Canons are remarkably good value - huge chip for the money and astro mods are now under £100.

To get a better dedicated astro camera then you talking serious money if you want a chip as large as the Canon. But with astro cameras you can get a mono chip which is better for narrow band plus the pixel size can be matched to the telescope. They are generally cooled with gives cleaner less noisy images but cooled cameras and Lancashire's damp atmosphere are usually a problem. Many cameras rely on silica gel to stop the camera misting/icing up - pretty crude and I wouldn't recommend them for Lancashire. However, several manufacturers are now offering sealed chambers on some of their models which should overcome the misting problem.

You question is a bit like "which telescope should I buy?" - most of us end up with several. I have both types of camera and wouldn't give up either - they are both brilliant in their own way. Just avoid the silica gel types!

Author:  rwilkinson [ Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  re: DSLRs v astro-CCDs

DRatledge wrote:
Many cameras rely on silica gel to stop the camera misting/icing up - pretty crude and I wouldn't recommend them for Lancashire.

I've used a couple of StarlightXpress MX5-type cameras and an Atik 16IC which use peltier coolers (but have much smaller sensors than DSLRs).
I never had any condensation or icing problems with the SX cameras, but the first time I tried the Atik (which I got second-hand) it dewed up within a few minutes. But Atik support sent me details of how to remove its desiccant capsule and heat it in the oven for a couple of hours before replacing it - and I've not had any more dewing problems since then (8 months ago).

But one advantage which these astro cameras may claim over the DSLRs is that there's no mechanical shutter (and flip-mirror) to wear out. Some consumer DSLRs are rated for "only" 40,000 -100,000 shutter cycles - even taking 300 frames per clear night, they should still last years from new, but beware of well-used second-hand ones?

Obviously the astro cameras must always be connected to a computer, whereas the DSLRs could operate stand-alone, but I expect that you'd normally set up a computer connection to the DSLR for focusing and shutter control anyway?

Author:  bbones [ Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DLSR Mod ????

Thanks for your replies, I have borrowed Keith's 1000D which he bought modified to give it a go, weather permitting...

I normally have the laptop connected to the camera so if I went for a dedicated colour camera like the G3 I would still be using the laptop.


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