Is using an astrophotography camera for regular photography crazy?

Started 8 months ago | Questions thread
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AudiiDudii Regular Member • Posts: 308
Is using an astrophotography camera for regular photography crazy?

I live in central Arizona, where it gets very hot during our three-to-five summer months -- local meteorologists are predicting record heat early next week, with a peak of 121 degrees forecast for next Tuesday! -- and it remains hot throughout the night, which is when I do 95% of my "serious" photography.

I am presently using a Sony A7R -- not an A7RII, which despite its many improvements, I found to be somewhat lacking in its overall performance as compared to an A7R back-to-back -- with a Cambo Actus and three Sigma Art lenses.

My experience since 2015 has shown that when the ambient temp rises past 80 degrees or so, the number of visible hot pixels increases significantly and the A7R sensor's thermal noise signature also becomes visibly worse. My attempts at addressing these issues satisfactorily during post-processing have been largely unsuccessful (i.e., I can't deal with those issues while also preserving the same amount of detail I get when photographing during cooler temps) so as my third summer of working with an A7R is upon me, I have started pondering alternatives.

One of which is using a camera designed for astrophotography that has a cooled sensor. Specifically, I've been looking at the QHY367C, which reportedly uses the same sensor as my A7R, except it's actively cooled to -35C below ambient, and it also doesn't suffer of the restrictions and limitations of Sony's firmware when it comes to long exposures. (The latter two points are potentially huge plusses for my purposes!)

I'm reasonably handy when it comes to working with metal and hacking cameras, so I don't think getting it mounted to my Actus will be a problem.

Is it even practical to consider such a camera for non-astronomical photography? (I'm asking, because I know next to nothing about cameras for astrophotography use.)

I get that it needs a 12vdc battery and computer to operate (presumably one of Microsoft's Surface Pro Tablets will work?) as well as filters on the lenses to limit its spectral response to visible light.  And that at $4,399, it's not inexpensive (although it's not impossibly expensive, either, if it really will do a better job for me and my type of photography.)

I'm already using a 12vdc battery to power an external HDMI monitor -- see the photo below -- which I can easily swap for a tablet in order to also operate the camera, so that's not an issue for me.

What am I overlooking here? Is this really as crazy an idea as it seems?  Or does it actually make some amount of sense considering my circumstances?

I will greatly appreciate any input anybody may have about this ... thanks!

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