Best DSLR or ILC for Night Sky Imaging?

Started Nov 8, 2017 | Questions
bclaff Veteran Member • Posts: 8,680
Re: Best DSLR or ILC for Night Sky Imaging?

Warkari wrote:

Why is nobody mentioning the Nikon D810A, which I thought was specifically designed for astrophotography and supposedly "records the red tones of H-alpha emission nebulae with 4 times more sensitivity to the 656nm wavelength compared to a standard DSLR"?

Review here:

https://www.ephotozine.com/article/nikon-d810a-dslr-review-28371

You might also find Nikon D810A Photographic Dynamic Range (PDR) Shows Increased Red Sensitivity interesting.

-- hide signature --

Bill ( Your trusted source for independent sensor data at PhotonsToPhotos )

rnclark Senior Member • Posts: 3,777
Re: Best DSLR or ILC for Night Sky Imaging?
2

Warkari wrote:

Why is nobody mentioning the Nikon D810A, which I thought was specifically designed for astrophotography and supposedly "records the red tones of H-alpha emission nebulae with 4 times more sensitivity to the 656nm wavelength compared to a standard DSLR"?

Great camera. But the answer here is one can make great nightscapes with any camera. If you want a specific astro mod for H-alpha fine, but some want more natural color. And any camera that can be modified can do equally well.

Most stock digital cameras have reasonable H-alpha response. The main problem is usually post processing that kills the reds. This is very common, even among experienced astrophotographers.

See: http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/do_you_need_a_modified_camera_for_astrophotography/

Here, for example, see this guy's work with a Nikon D800e and sigma art 50 mm f/1.4:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/75706432@N02/34817738812/in/photostream/

Plenty of H-alpha and stunning images.  The lens is the key.  Second is post processing that doesn't kill a signal you want.  Third is good dark clear site away from light pollution.  Fourth might be the camera.

Roger

landscaper1
OP landscaper1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,550
Re: Best DSLR or ILC for Night Sky Imaging?

rnclark wrote:

Warkari wrote:

Why is nobody mentioning the Nikon D810A, which I thought was specifically designed for astrophotography and supposedly "records the red tones of H-alpha emission nebulae with 4 times more sensitivity to the 656nm wavelength compared to a standard DSLR"?

Great camera. But the answer here is one can make great nightscapes with any camera. If you want a specific astro mod for H-alpha fine, but some want more natural color. And any camera that can be modified can do equally well.

Most stock digital cameras have reasonable H-alpha response. The main problem is usually post processing that kills the reds. This is very common, even among experienced astrophotographers.

See: http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/do_you_need_a_modified_camera_for_astrophotography/

Here, for example, see this guy's work with a Nikon D800e and sigma art 50 mm f/1.4:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/75706432@N02/34817738812/in/photostream/

Plenty of H-alpha and stunning images. The lens is the key. Second is post processing that doesn't kill a signal you want. Third is good dark clear site away from light pollution. Fourth might be the camera.

Roger

"Great camera. But the answer here is one can make great nightscapes with any camera."

Thanks, Roger. That was the essence of what I was trying to learn in the OP. Mind you, I'm not complaining about the turns this thread took, even if I barely understand much of the technical discussion herein.

It's always gratifying the pose a OP question that leads others to jump off on fascinating side discussions of their own. I can't help but wonder how long it might've been before some of this technical and very informative give-and-take would've taken place if I hadn't posted my original question.

-- hide signature --

Landscaper

 landscaper1's gear list:landscaper1's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Rokinon 24mm F1.4 Aspherical +10 more
Trollmannx Senior Member • Posts: 5,524
Re: Best DSLR or ILC for Night Sky Imaging?
2

Why not just use what you have and get the feet wet.

Guess the most important factor to succeed in nightscapes and astrophotography is practice, practice, practice...

You have a great Canon camera, you have a tripod and most likely a timer remote too. Just get ouside, enjoy the night and have fun and experiment wildly.

For a humble start: Wide angle lens, full aperture, ISO1600 and 1 to 30sec exposures. Choose your own road from there...

In my case beeing outside is the most important factor (love the night), grabbing those precious images come second. Getting both is great!

Moon and earthshine - starting out with moonscapes is a simple way to get into starscapes.

landscaper1
OP landscaper1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,550
Re: Best DSLR or ILC for Night Sky Imaging?
1

Trollmannx wrote:

Why not just use what you have and get the feet wet.

Guess the most important factor to succeed in nightscapes and astrophotography is practice, practice, practice...

You have a great Canon camera, you have a tripod and most likely a timer remote too. Just get ouside, enjoy the night and have fun and experiment wildly.

For a humble start: Wide angle lens, full aperture, ISO1600 and 1 to 30sec exposures. Choose your own road from there...

In my case beeing outside is the most important factor (love the night), grabbing those precious images come second. Getting both is great!

Moon and earthshine - starting out with moonscapes is a simple way to get into starscapes.

You mean like this ...

or this ...

or this?

I think my feet are fairly wet already.  My OP was aimed at learning whether a different camera might lead to some improvement.  Now I know better.

-- hide signature --

Landscaper

 landscaper1's gear list:landscaper1's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Rokinon 24mm F1.4 Aspherical +10 more
Trollmannx Senior Member • Posts: 5,524
Re: Best DSLR or ILC for Night Sky Imaging?

OK - convincing photos.

See you point - no need for more comments from here! 

Guido FORRIER Senior Member • Posts: 1,793
Re: Best DSLR or ILC for Night Sky Imaging?

"Why not just use what you have and get the feet wet."

exactly , why buying an other camera system ? most cameras will do the job .when you like to specialize in astro-work look for good scopes and cooled camera's , but that will be expensive .

-- hide signature --

Guido
retired pro

landscaper1
OP landscaper1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,550
Re: Best DSLR or ILC for Night Sky Imaging?

Guido FORRIER wrote:

"Why not just use what you have and get the feet wet."

exactly , why buying an other camera system ? most cameras will do the job .when you like to specialize in astro-work look for good scopes and cooled camera's , but that will be expensive .

As I wrote above, I asked the question because I didn't know better.  Now I do.

-- hide signature --

Landscaper

 landscaper1's gear list:landscaper1's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Rokinon 24mm F1.4 Aspherical +10 more
a7sastro Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Re: one reason a7s is singularly different for ease of AP>
2

On that basis, it seems to me there is really no point in acquiring the Sony A7s no matter how affordable it might be. Does anyone disagree with that assessment? If so, please explain.

I would disagree in that you need to expand the basis.

Here's a review video that jumps (eternal link set to timecode) to a very demonstrable point of why the Sony a7s is singularly different:

Go to timecode 2:30 if viewing inside DP:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mctD-hu4s9U#t=2m30s

^Can you do this with your Canon? Would this be helpful to your workflow?

[ie FOCUS AND FRAMING SHOT WYSIWYG at highest ISO and largest aperture of lens, then stop down for sharpness and lower ISO for DR and low noise for real exposures]

Also, the Sony line allows 4K photo review output from the HDMI. Maybe most don't take advantage of such feature, but I do. I wouldn't buy another camera without it.

For my purposes I quickly see on location (with a powered 32"4K display) pixel level issues I can correct or resolve. Sure wifi or SD download to a laptop, open the files, and zoom in to a particular region of a photo will be an alternative, but without a 4K display you cannot see the entire photo. And enjoy the extra complication of opening each photo v. scrolling quickly (faster than any image software) with the jog wheel of the Sony camera....

I can plug the camera in to a 4K display via a HDMI cable (micro HDMI interface of camera) and see photos in 4K resolution immediately without software, without zooming in. Yes the 12MP might seem limited to some pixel peepers, depends on your requirements....

The point of ease of WORKFLOW is very relevant, determine your requirements also based on efficiency of time under clear skies....

 a7sastro's gear list:a7sastro's gear list
Sony a7S Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Rokinon 24mm F1.4 Aspherical Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM +9 more
a7sastro Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Re: Best DSLR or ILC for Night Sky Imaging?

As I wrote above, I asked the question because I didn't know better. Now I do.

See my other reply buried in thread view least you miss it not viewing thread in flat view. Such advantages were not mentioned by others...

 a7sastro's gear list:a7sastro's gear list
Sony a7S Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Rokinon 24mm F1.4 Aspherical Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM +9 more
sharkmelley
sharkmelley Senior Member • Posts: 2,168
Re: one reason a7s is singularly different for ease of AP>

a7sastro wrote:

[ie FOCUS AND FRAMING SHOT WYSIWYG at highest ISO and largest aperture of lens, then stop down for sharpness and lower ISO for DR and low noise for real exposures]

I wholeheartedly agree.  It's quite astonishing what can be seen in A7S liveview.  It makes focusing and framing the shot so easy, even in complete darkness.

Mark

 sharkmelley's gear list:sharkmelley's gear list
Sony a7S Nikon Z6 +1 more
landscaper1
OP landscaper1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,550
Re: one reason a7s is singularly different for ease of AP>
1

a7sastro wrote:

On that basis, it seems to me there is really no point in acquiring the Sony A7s no matter how affordable it might be. Does anyone disagree with that assessment? If so, please explain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mctD-hu4s9U#t=2m30s

^Can you do this with your Canon? Would this be helpful to your workflow?

[ie FOCUS AND FRAMING SHOT WYSIWYG at highest ISO and largest aperture of lens, then stop down for sharpness and lower ISO for DR and low noise for real exposures]

In point of fact, I don't know of any DSLR equipped with Live View that won't do that very same thing.  Nothing remarkable about the A7s in that regard.

Also, the Sony line allows 4K photo review output from the HDMI. Maybe most don't take advantage of such feature, but I do. I wouldn't buy another camera without it.

For my purposes I quickly see on location (with a powered 32"4K display) pixel level issues I can correct or resolve. Sure wifi or SD download to a laptop, open the files, and zoom in to a particular region of a photo will be an alternative, but without a 4K display you cannot see the entire photo. And enjoy the extra complication of opening each photo v. scrolling quickly (faster than any image software) with the jog wheel of the Sony camera....

Well, if you're shooting video I suppose that is useful. I don't, and don't expect I ever will.

-- hide signature --

Landscaper

 landscaper1's gear list:landscaper1's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Rokinon 24mm F1.4 Aspherical +10 more
a7sastro Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Re: one reason a7s is singularly different for ease of AP>

In point of fact, I don't know of any DSLR equipped with Live View that won't do that very same thing. Nothing remarkable about the A7s in that regard.

I guess you didn't watch the video.

In point of fact, I think you are confusing the concept of difference of degree.

I've never seen anyone's 6D, 5Dm4, or 810a do anything similar out at dark sites, when I loaned them my fast Canon or Nikon lenses to compare performance side by side.

 a7sastro's gear list:a7sastro's gear list
Sony a7S Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Rokinon 24mm F1.4 Aspherical Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM +9 more
1llusive
1llusive Senior Member • Posts: 1,572
Re: one reason a7s is singularly different for ease of AP>

a7sastro wrote:

In point of fact, I don't know of any DSLR equipped with Live View that won't do that very same thing. Nothing remarkable about the A7s in that regard.

I guess you didn't watch the video.

In point of fact, I think you are confusing the concept of difference of degree.

I've never seen anyone's 6D, 5Dm4, or 810a do anything similar out at dark sites, when I loaned them my fast Canon or Nikon lenses to compare performance side by side.

I guess that's useful if you can't see the Milky Way, but as I have access to dark sites, I did just fine with my Nikon.

jammeymc Contributing Member • Posts: 650
Re: one reason a7s is singularly different for ease of AP>
1

sharkmelley wrote:

a7sastro wrote:

[ie FOCUS AND FRAMING SHOT WYSIWYG at highest ISO and largest aperture of lens, then stop down for sharpness and lower ISO for DR and low noise for real exposures]

I wholeheartedly agree. It's quite astonishing what can be seen in A7S liveview. It makes focusing and framing the shot so easy, even in complete darkness.

Mark

There is nothing like it indeed;  you can literally see a black cat in a cave.  In addition to it being the king of low noise @ hi iso's, this is it's stand out feature.  Being able to frame up your DSO's @ 2000MM, with a C8, @ F10, is something special!

landscaper1
OP landscaper1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,550
Re: one reason a7s is singularly different for ease of AP>

a7sastro wrote:

In point of fact, I don't know of any DSLR equipped with Live View that won't do that very same thing. Nothing remarkable about the A7s in that regard.

I guess you didn't watch the video.

In point of fact, I think you are confusing the concept of difference of degree.

I've never seen anyone's 6D, 5Dm4, or 810a do anything similar out at dark sites, when I loaned them my fast Canon or Nikon lenses to compare performance side by side.

Actually, all I did was watch the video because, for whatever reason, I couldn't pick up the audio track so I can only guess what the narrator was saying.

I used high ISO Live View on my 6D to frame and focus and am doing so now with my 5Div.  I'm glad you're so happy with your A7s, but I fail to see that there would be enough of a difference in my work flow to justify the cost of even a used A7s and a Metabones adapter.

-- hide signature --

Landscaper

 landscaper1's gear list:landscaper1's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Rokinon 24mm F1.4 Aspherical +10 more
Selene Senior Member • Posts: 1,259
Re: one reason a7s is singularly different for ease of AP>
1

Hi Landscaper, I want to thank you for starting this thread, as I have learned a lot from it. I am just getting started with astrophotography and also have a 5dmkIv. I think I have done reasonably well with it and have seen others who have gotten wonderful astro shots with it (at the level of milky ways, star trails, auroras, etc--not talking about deep sky). My friends have gotten wonderful shots with 6ds and Nikon 810s.  I am sure the Sonys are great cameras, but I am happy with the camera I have and am more concerned about camera lenses. Have been using a 16-35 2.8 mk III and a 15 2.8 fisheye. The latter is wonderful, but I am not all that wild about the fisheye effect.

In any case, I have learned a lot from this thread, and I really appreciate the way you started it and kept it going.  I know way more now than I did before I started reading it.

landscaper1
OP landscaper1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,550
Re: one reason a7s is singularly different for ease of AP>

Selene wrote:

Hi Landscaper, I want to thank you for starting this thread, as I have learned a lot from it. I am just getting started with astrophotography and also have a 5dmkIv. I think I have done reasonably well with it and have seen others who have gotten wonderful astro shots with it (at the level of milky ways, star trails, auroras, etc--not talking about deep sky). My friends have gotten wonderful shots with 6ds and Nikon 810s. I am sure the Sonys are great cameras, but I am happy with the camera I have and am more concerned about camera lenses. Have been using a 16-35 2.8 mk III and a 15 2.8 fisheye. The latter is wonderful, but I am not all that wild about the fisheye effect.

In any case, I have learned a lot from this thread, and I really appreciate the way you started it and kept it going. I know way more now than I did before I started reading it.

Selene, it's always nice to hear from someone who's gotten something out of the thread besides myself.

I agree with you about the fisheye effect.  I don't even care for the pronounced curvature you get from some ultra-wide lenses.  You might consider investing in some wide angle prime lenses.  I own the Rokinon 24/1.4 and 35/1.4.  They're less expensive than the Sigma Art offerings because they're strictly manual focus and aperture.  I don't find that to be a problem since autofocus is pretty much useless at night.

-- hide signature --

Landscaper

 landscaper1's gear list:landscaper1's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Rokinon 24mm F1.4 Aspherical +10 more
RustierOne
RustierOne Veteran Member • Posts: 4,314
Re: Linking to other Posts in a Thread
1

a7sastro wrote:

As I wrote above, I asked the question because I didn't know better. Now I do.

See my other reply buried in thread view least you miss it not viewing thread in flat view. Such advantages were not mentioned by others...

Just a suggestion:

You can open another DPReview session, navigate to your other reply & copy that URL. Then reply as you have above and insert the link you have just copied (use the chain symbol in the tabs above the text window). That will help us find your other reply.

Here's an example of how that's done:

Link to original post in this thread

Important - For that to work properly one must edit the copied URL to remove the "s" in https.

Just a suggestion.

I have enjoyed all the comments offered in this thread. Lots to absorb.

-- hide signature --

Best Regards,
Russ

 RustierOne's gear list:RustierOne's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye +4 more
Trollmannx Senior Member • Posts: 5,524
Re: one reason a7s is singularly different for ease of AP>
2

Selene wrote:

Hi Landscaper, I want to thank you for starting this thread, as I have learned a lot from it. I am just getting started with astrophotography and also have a 5dmkIv. I think I have done reasonably well with it and have seen others who have gotten wonderful astro shots with it (at the level of milky ways, star trails, auroras, etc--not talking about deep sky). My friends have gotten wonderful shots with 6ds and Nikon 810s. I am sure the Sonys are great cameras, but I am happy with the camera I have and am more concerned about camera lenses. Have been using a 16-35 2.8 mk III and a 15 2.8 fisheye. The latter is wonderful, but I am not all that wild about the fisheye effect.

Fish eye lenses have a trick up the sleeve - the contellations appear undistorted all over the field. Ordinary wide angle lenses distort the sky severely towards the corners.

So if wanting super wide vistas with easy recognizable constellations the fish eye lens might have something to offer. Love mine for that reason.

In any case, I have learned a lot from this thread, and I really appreciate the way you started it and kept it going. I know way more now than I did before I started reading it.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads