Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) Camera Observing Manual

The DSLR Observing Manual version 1.4 (translations below) is a downloadable pdf guide to using a DSLR camera to make variable star observations. If you are a first-time beginner- to intermediate-level DSLR observer, this manual is for you! Even if you are an advanced observer, you may find the content useful.

Consumer-grade imaging devices are rapidly evolving, so this manual is as general as possible. Software and camera-specific discussions are in the AAVSO DSLR forum

The AAVSO DSLR Observing Manual is sponsored by the AAVSO & NSF award DRL-0840188. The manual was inspired by the great interest in DSLR photometry during AAVSO’s Citizen Sky program.



French (Version 1.4) (translated by Bernard Candela)

Polish (Version 1.4) (translated by Ewa Stokłosa & Ryszard Biernikowicz)

Greek (Version 1.3) (translated by Stelios Kleidis)

Spanish (Version 1.1) (translated by Sebastián Otero)

Ukrainian (Version 1.4) (translated by Maksym Pyatnytskyy)


Additional Material

Photometry Software Calibration and Photometry Tutorials (V 1.0) 

Data Reduction Spreadsheet (V 2.6) and Instructions


Please send any suggestions for the manual to