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DSLR recommendations for photometry

Mark Blackford's picture
Mark Blackford
Online
Joined: 2011-01-15

Hi All,

my Canon 450D DSLR has served me well for photometry for about 18 months but the USB connector has broken. The Canon service engineer will attempt a cheap repair but suspects it may require a new main circuit board. If so it would be more than half the cost of a new 600D body.

I would appreciate comments (positive and negative) from anyone using a 600D for photometry. Has anyone measured the spectral response of this model?  

What other camera models are people using? Is there a preferred one, and why?

Thanks for your help.

Mark

Hi, Is the USB connector
Bikeman's picture
Bikeman
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Joined: 2010-07-30

Hi,

Is the USB connector that essential?  Remote-Timers attach via a different jack, right? And the images can be read via a cheap USB card reader.

Anyway. I'm not claiming to be an expert on Canon DSLRs but I would be interested to hear from others who are whether the higher pixel count (and therefore smaller pixel size) of the EOS 600 is making it actually less attractive for photometry perhaps. Some people I know recommend the EOS 1100d as a work horse for astronomy with an excellent price/performance ratio, but I haven't tried it myself.

 

Cheers 

HBE

I use EOS 1000D, this is
FRF's picture
FRF
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Joined: 2010-08-09

I use EOS 1000D, this is perfect for me.

USB connector
Mark Blackford's picture
Mark Blackford
Online
Joined: 2011-01-15

Hi Bikeman,

the USB isn't necessary for some types of observing, for instance a few images of slowly varying targets like cepheids where accurate time stamps are not critical. If my 450D can't be repaired I'll use it for this type of observation.

However USB allows accurate time stamping from the computer's clock (synched to a time server) and direct saving to the hard drive. For eclipsing binary time series where I typically record many hundreds of images over several hours I think USB would be essential. I also use BackyardEOS for much of my imaging caputuring and it uses USB.

I was concerned about the smaller pixels of the newer DSLR models too. However, Neil Butterworth here in Australia has been getting excellent photometric measurements using an 18 megapixel Canon 550D so I guess that isn't too big a problem. I'm looking at the 600D which uses the same CMOS sensor so I'm hoping to hear positive or negative comments from anyone using this camera.

The 1100D is a cheaper option with 12.2 megapixels (possibly the same CMOS chip as my 450D but I'm not sure). Cheers,

Mark

New DSLR
Mark Blackford's picture
Mark Blackford
Online
Joined: 2011-01-15

Hi All,

Thanks to everyone who responded to my questions, both online and privately.

The USB connector on my Canon 450D could not be (cheaply) fixed so I bought a new 600D body. My wife didn't even flinch when I told her it was necessary, however it did take a bit of convincing that a new Canon 200mm f2.8 lens was also "necessary". Now all I need is an AC adapter and spare battery.

Anyway, the marriage survives and I'm just about ready to start observing again - but of course rain is expected for the next few days.

First step is to check linearity then determine transformation coefficients. I'll also try to measure the spectral response curves. I'll post results on the Photometry Forum in case anyone is interested. Cheers,

Mark

Sounds good!! I got myself
Bikeman's picture
Bikeman
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Joined: 2010-07-30

Sounds good!!

I got myself a new lens as well recently ( http://amzn.com/B006MI1UQM , but for Oly) and I will now have to go thru all the charecterization and flat-field calibration etc again, so I would be interested in hearing about your procedures.

CS

HBE

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