Best DSLR or ILC for Night Sky Imaging?

Started Nov 8, 2017 | Questions thread
rnclark Senior Member • Posts: 3,755
Re: Best DSLR or ILC for Night Sky Imaging?

kiwi2 wrote:

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

I have used a Nikon D70, Canon 20D, 40D, Nikon D800e, Sony A&r, Sony A7r2, Sony Nex 6, Fuji XE1, XT1, XT2.

Nice write-up. "Best" of anything is subjective as most things have their pluses and minuses.

Fuji XT2 is an excellent astro camera. If you use the DPR comparison tool you will see the XT2 is one of the lowest noise APSc cameras. The Xtrans colour filter array is designed to reduce luminance noise by using a bigger block of pixels for creating an individual image pixel and its features are fabulous. Dual axis tilting screen, a cleaner EVF at high ISO for focusing, small and light and cheaper, it can use any lens (non Fuji need adapters), It has a built in intervalometer. It allows exposures up to 15minutes without having to use an external intervalometer. The Samyang 12mm F2 is cheap and wonderful for widefield nightscapes. Hard to fault this camera. Poor battery life is one negative. Same with Sony unless its A7r3. A7s to me has poor colour output, suffers from the star eater issue the most due to the larger pixels and is not really that useful for day photography with the lack of resolution. So Sony made a nightscape camera and then crippled it with poorly thought out noise suppression firmware.

You echo how I feel about my X-T2. I knew when I bought it that it wasn't going to be technically the best astro camera around. But as an overall package and a general use day to day camera as well, it was going to be the best to me for bang for the buck.

The thing is, it doesn't have hardly any colored chrominance noise. It mainly has luminance noise, so it looks more like old film grain and can clean up very well in post without all that digital looking colored noise lurking in the shadows...

Boy you guys are still at it.  Don't be fooled: many things change in those dpreview comparisons.  XT-2: aps-c 3.93 micron pixels, 5DII: full frame 6.4 micron pixels, 80D: aps-c 3.7 micron pixel size, a6000: aps-c 3.92 micron pixels.  They change the lens between formats, and it looks like they change the focal length within formats too.  They keep f-ratio constant to keep exposure the same, but that means absolute light levels change, which means photon noise levels change.  Then the demosaicking algorithm changes between cameras. Small tweaks of settings in the raw converter will make huge changes in results.  Or a different raw converter, like rawtherapee will make huge improvements in results.

And the noise is not representative of the noise in a night sky image, which is dominated noise from the sky.

The only real issue between camera bodies are which ones have banding issues at the ISO used for night sky photography, and dpreview does not show banding. (The ancient generation 5DII has banding issues.)

No one should be doing night sky photography at iso 12800.

The differences between cameras in short exposure night sky images as by far more affected by the lens and exposure time (e.g. 20 versus 30 seconds).  The differences between modern cameras given the same lens is on the order of less than 1/3 of a stop.

OK, rant over--go back to obsessing over camera bodies.


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