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 Beginner camera for stars 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:21 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Rochester, NY
Post Beginner camera for stars
What would be a good beginner/intermediate set-up (camera, lens, intervalometer, etc) for night time lapse of stars? I want a set-up that will be good for a beginner and as I become more advanced but don't want to break the bank. Thoughts?


Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:03 pm
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Post Re: Beginner camera for stars
How much? Give us a number that won't break your bank... ;)


Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:27 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:21 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Rochester, NY
Post Re: Beginner camera for stars
I would hope I could get a decent set-up for less than a $1000


Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:16 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:51 am
Posts: 79
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Post Re: Beginner camera for stars
Rustymissel wrote:
I would hope I could get a decent set-up for less than a $1000


I use the 550D since it has the same sensor as the 7D and 60D. But its not weather sealed like the others.

You can also install the Magic Lantern firmware and get intervalometer for free in the camera.


Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:23 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:31 pm
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Post Re: Beginner camera for stars
one lens suggestion might be the canon 35mm 2.0 - around $300 new I believe, probably find a used one cheaper (I like keh.com for used gear)


Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:23 am
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Post Re: Beginner camera for stars
Maybe a T1i body and Sigma 20/1.8 ... that would hit the $1000 mark right on the nose.


Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:49 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:21 pm
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Location: Rochester, NY
Post Re: Beginner camera for stars
ev1te wrote:
I use the 550D since it has the same sensor as the 7D and 60D. But its not weather sealed like the others.

You can also install the Magic Lantern firmware and get intervalometer for free in the camera.


So the main difference between the 550D and 7D/60D is the weatherproofing? I'd prefer to get a body that can handle some weather considering it would be left somewhat unattended for extended periods of time during nighttime lapses.

I guess I could spend a little bit more than $1000 for a set-up that would actually do what I'm looking for. If i need to drop a few more hundred to get the quality I need then so be it.

From my limited understanding, I need a large image sensor and a high ISO for shooting low light conditions (stars). My primary goal is to shoot nighttime lapses as well as long exposure star trails.

I'm still not sure about a lens that would be suitable for this application. What kind of specs should I be looking for? Thanks!


Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:05 pm
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Post Re: Beginner camera for stars
Fast wide lenses F2.8 and under...


Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:35 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:51 am
Posts: 79
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Post Re: Beginner camera for stars
Rustymissel wrote:
ev1te wrote:
I use the 550D since it has the same sensor as the 7D and 60D. But its not weather sealed like the others.

You can also install the Magic Lantern firmware and get intervalometer for free in the camera.


So the main difference between the 550D and 7D/60D is the weatherproofing? I'd prefer to get a body that can handle some weather considering it would be left somewhat unattended for extended periods of time during nighttime lapses.

I guess I could spend a little bit more than $1000 for a set-up that would actually do what I'm looking for. If i need to drop a few more hundred to get the quality I need then so be it.

From my limited understanding, I need a large image sensor and a high ISO for shooting low light conditions (stars). My primary goal is to shoot nighttime lapses as well as long exposure star trails.

I'm still not sure about a lens that would be suitable for this application. What kind of specs should I be looking for? Thanks!


Pretty much yes, the optical performance/quality of these three cameras are the same (ISO/Noise, Dynamic range and resolution), but the 7D can for example take twice the amount of pictures per second for short periods of time (burst rate).

The best for low light conditions is a full frame sensor, but the price of such a camera is generally much higher. For that price you get maybe 2-3 times the light performance compared to a crop camera. So getting a fast lens for a crop camera is equally good as using a slower lens for the full frame.

The lens you are looking for is a wide angle 10-20mm and large aperture which lets through a lot of light (f/1.4-f/2.8). But keep in mind that for star trails you don't need to high ISO or aperture for the lens, since you have such long exposure times, it is more difficult to capture sharp images of faint objects I would say. ;)


Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:39 pm
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Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:59 am
Posts: 352
Post Re: Beginner camera for stars
Doing star time lapse is tough without a camera like a 5D2 or D700, but star trails can be done on any decent DSLR.

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:41 pm
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