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Astrophotography – The Camera

David Goldstein (dagoldst)


Keywords: astrophotography, equipment, cameras, software, dagoldst

This is the forth part of the series on Astrophotography.

This forth part is to cover cameras and in the case of astrophotography, not just Nikon. While I image with a Nikon D5300 that is modified to better detect Hydrogen Alpha, (HA), emissions, I also use a guide camera that has a dedicated purpose, which is used as part of a guide correction system.

I am briefly going to talk about focusing challenges and what works best for me.  Finally, I plan to cover some basic software around this whole effort to try and tie it all together.

This is my current astrophotography imaging camera.  I tether it to my laptop via USB and utilize a program called BackyardNikon.

Click for an enlargement

 

I bought an inexpensive plastic tripod mount and routed it out enough to allow the USB cable to be secured in the loop you see where it cannot come unplugged from the camera. Also, I do not use batteries to power the camera.  I bought the Nikon adapter for ac/dc conversion.   You don’t want a battery to stop an imaging session after you are hours into it.

Briefly here, I will make my case that you do not need a FF camera for this work.  You certainly can use it if you wish, but I found after going from my D610 to the D5300, a lot of things got simpler, it saved me some money , I took weight off my mount and I got the crop factor advantage, making my 644mm telescope effectively 966mm @f/5.6.

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