Z6 or Z7 for IR wit astro and deepsky?

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
EricTheAstroJunkie Contributing Member • Posts: 813
Re: Z6 or Z7 for IR wit astro and deepsky?

Brueghel wrote:

EricTheAstroJunkie wrote:

The Z6 and Z7 have virtually identical read noise levels at ISO levels above their dual gain application point (ISO 400 for the Z7 and ISO 800 for the Z6), there's no reason to shoot above the dual gain ISO setting and both cameras are within a half stop of dynamic range of each other across the ISO curve (nothing you would ever see in a picture). If you are interested in landscape photography of any kind and astrophotography (especially deep space with a tracking mount) the Z7 should be your choice, the gain in resolution along with not having an Anti-Aliasing filter provides greater detail and greater flexibility. I've shot both, I've personally modified my Z6 (which I've since sold), the Z7 is a better camera for landscape and astrophotography. Here is the read noise chart comparing the Z6 and Z7:


Here is the dynamic range chart comparing the Z6 and Z7:


The Z6 has larger pixels with a higher full well capacity and a slightly higher quantum efficiency, but the Z7 image can be downsampled and will provide nearly identical noise performance when compared at the same resolution as the Z6. If you are concerned about maximum detail with low noise and high dynamic range your first choice should be the Z7, not the Z6, even in low light conditions (like astrophotography). I've done a whole bunch of nightscape stuff with the Z7 and a little bit with the Z6, you can surf through my flickr and see lots of pics there:


On Astrobin, you will see much more pics taken with a Z6 than with a Z7. What does this prove ? Nothing but it gives an indication...

The Z6's lowlight performance is often mentioned as its strong point. Much less so for the Z7. Again, what does it prove ? Nothing but it gives an indication...

I do suggest posting the question on Cloudy Nights. I have learned to trust the CN people when a consensus takes shape.

If one is going to fully modify the camera, why pay for a Z7 ? More pixels ???

But this is not a judgement on what you wrote. And I certainly wont get into a fight over this

(one thing to consider is the quality of the pairing: camera & scope)

Believe me, I spend a whole lot more time on cloudynights than I do here, I'm an astrophotographer and it's really the only kind of photography I care about. The reason the Z6 gets more mention as a better low light performer just goes back to the old time idea that bigger pixels = better for night photography. It just isn't the case anymore, not in the era of higher quantum efficiency cameras, dual gain sensors with extremely low read noise and high dynamic range, and the reality that comes with ISO invariance. As I've said, I've used both the Z6 and Z7 for astrophotography, I've even ripped open my Z6 and h-alpha modified it, believe me when I say I know what I'm talking about here. The Z7 is better for astrophotography for the reasons I mentioned.

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