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Cameras

 

Canon XSi 450D

 

    For deep sky imaging, I currently use a Canon Rebel XSi, also referred to as a 450D.  I chose this camera for several various reasons, one being the ability to use it for more than just astro-photography.  For me this was a huge step up from my little Kodak 4mp one-shot camera, but after thoroughly reading through the operator's manual, I was taking some decent photos and astro-photos in no time.  

    For astro-photography with the 450D, you need some kind of image capture software, I use MaximDL for the capture process. There are several different software programs for DSLR's available on the market, most will allow you to try the software for 30 days before you commit to buy.

    My reasons for purchasing this cam for use in astro-photography were based on these primary factors.

  1. 12.2 megqapixels, giving me the ability to crop, if I need to.
  2. Live View Focus, Canon Utilities allows me to do this easily.
  3. 14 bit A/D conversion, for high bit depth.
  4. Number of supporting programs.
  5. Affordability.
  6. The quality of images produced.

     

    IN SUMMARY:

    So far, this camera has allowed me to try my hand at astro-photography.  The next step for me will be to remove the I/R filter in front of the imaging sensor to allow for the transmission of H-alpha wavelengths, thus allowing me to capture more detail in nebulae and galaxies.  All in all, I like this camera, it feels good in my hands, it's not excessively heavy and it takes some great pics.

    NOTE:

    I have since 'self-modified' my Canon 450D by replacing the I/R pass filter with one that allows the transmition of more light in the Ha sprectrm.  The best results of this modification can be seen by visiting my Nebula Gallery Page.

    I am exremely pleased with the modification and highly recommend buying one already modified, (Canon now offers the 60Da available at Optcorp,) or if you have the savvy, by doing the modification yourself.  The tutorial that I used on how to do this can be found here.

http://ghonis2.ho8.com/rebelmod450d17.html

 

 

 DMK21au04 video camera

 

    Before I purchased the Canon XSi, I had a Meade DSi Pro II CCD camera.  I had tried a couple of times with it to take some planetary images with unsatisfactory results.  After a little research, I decided to try an Imaging Source DMK21au04.AS monochrome video camera for planetary imaging.  I'm glad I did...

    This little cam takes some great images.  It comes with "IC capture" image capture software, that is very user friendly, and for processing the AVI files, it works well with "Registax," a fairly advanced AVI file image stacking and processing program.  

    The learning curve isn't very steep with this cam, IC capture or Registax, and after my first few times out, it was actually fun to use.  I would recommend this camera to anyone with an interest in imaging the Moon or planets.

    I have since upgraded to the Imaging Source's latest and greatest mono imaging cam, a DMK21au618.as.  This camera boasts a higher sensitivity in the Ha (red) spectrum, which aids in helping bring out a little more detail, especially with Jupiter and in solar images.

    I use this video camera in conjunction with a Orion unmotorized filter wheel and Baader Planetarium RGB filters.

    Be sure to visit the planetary gallery to see some examples of the images this little cam can take.  If you would like to know some specs on this camera please visit the "Links" page, or follow this link.

http://www.theimagingsource.com/en_US/

 

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