Canon cameras that I’m told are coming in 2021

usern4cr

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Well, there is actually more to it than that.


If you want to stay Canon, the Ra is probably the best one for astro and probably superior to the newer ones, more technology in a lot of cases also means more noise.

If you want the best long-exposure performance it is the Panasonic S1, wIth Sony A7III or Z6 not that far behind.

Star tracking will not work without a factory compatible or built-in GPS (calibrated for all three axis) , so if that's what you want, Pentax is the only one to go for, Canon might never implement that, neither does any of the mirrorless competition.

But the main takeaway is that the newest camera is not the best for astrophotography and the Ra is a good option as far as Canon goes.
Thanks for the link, Padam.

It looks like Canon might be selecting the best R sensors to be put into the Ra, or somehow generating / retaining less heat for it, but it is hard to tell. Either way, the R5 is well known for generating more heat and the better weatherproofing keeps more heat in, so that the R5 would probably not be a good choice to convert via a company swap of filters to a R5a equivalent. It also implies that a R5a might not be a good a choice for a future R version from Canon. It also might be a bad decision to alter the superb R5 sensor as the result might drastically harm daylight use much more than one would hope, as well as not perform as well as the Ra.

I didn't know the star tracking/tracer required GPS, so it makes sense that the Ra doesn't have it.

The Ra is $2,500 US new. It's certainly worth considering after all. Looks like it's time to consider all the other alternatives as well - namely dedicated astro cameras and lenses that they can use.
 

Michael Clark

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Isn't most planetary imaging done from video? Stacking hundreds of frames to even out atmospheric distortion, get the best resolution, etc? In that case I'd have thought higher resolution video modes were of benefit, although it may be that small sensor webcams are still better for that purpose.

Which is why I specifically mentioned planetary work as an exception to the rule...
 
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Michael Clark

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Thanks for the link, Padam.

It looks like Canon might be selecting the best R sensors to be put into the Ra, or somehow generating / retaining less heat for it, but it is hard to tell. Either way, the R5 is well known for generating more heat and the better weatherproofing keeps more heat in, so that the R5 would probably not be a good choice to convert via a company swap of filters to a R5a equivalent. It also implies that a R5a might not be a good a choice for a future R version from Canon. It also might be a bad decision to alter the superb R5 sensor as the result might drastically harm daylight use much more than one would hope, as well as not perform as well as the Ra.

I didn't know the star tracking/tracer required GPS, so it makes sense that the Ra doesn't have it.

The Ra is $2,500 US new. It's certainly worth considering after all. Looks like it's time to consider all the other alternatives as well - namely dedicated astro cameras and lenses that they can use.

If you've got a good astronomical tracking mount, you don't need a camera that can do tracking internally (for fairly limited periods of time). Internal sensor shift is only good for, at most, a few minutes of tracking. A good tracking mount can run all night without needing to reorient the camera.
 
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usern4cr

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If you've got a good astronomical tracking mount, you don't need a camera that can do tracking internally (for fairly limited periods of time). Internal sensor shift is only good for, at most, a few minutes of tracking. A good tracking mount can run all night without needing to reorient the camera.
Yes, that's true. But the whole point of having the camera self-track is exactly for the purposes you mentioned, which is a few minutes of tracking on the camera tripod. So you don't need all the big equipment. Now, granted it's a much lower IQ technique compared to real astro cameras & equatorial tracking mounts, but it fills a niche when you only have your camera & tripod.

I've been looking into cooled monochrome astro cameras, telescopes & EQ mounts. It's amazing what you can do if you have a lot of $ to spare. What would be spectacular (but won't happen) is for Canon to do a joint venture with an astro camera maker to design a big boxy astro cooled monochrome camera with electronic shutter & 2" filter wheel embedded tight enough to have a RF mount to use all the RF (& EF etc) lenses. Imagine putting your (future) RF 600 f4 (or whatever) lens on it with a tracking mount, or using a 2"-to-RF adaptor with a nice telescope on it. Then pop the same RF(etc) lens on your Rx camera for daytime use. Well, I can dream, can't I?
 

Michael Clark

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Yes, that's true. But the whole point of having the camera self-track is exactly for the purposes you mentioned, which is a few minutes of tracking on the camera tripod. So you don't need all the big equipment. Now, granted it's a much lower IQ technique compared to real astro cameras & equatorial tracking mounts, but it fills a niche when you only have your camera & tripod.

I've been looking into cooled monochrome astro cameras, telescopes & EQ mounts. It's amazing what you can do if you have a lot of $ to spare. What would be spectacular (but won't happen) is for Canon to do a joint venture with an astro camera maker to design a big boxy astro cooled monochrome camera with electronic shutter & 2" filter wheel embedded tight enough to have a RF mount to use all the RF (& EF etc) lenses. Imagine putting your (future) RF 600 f4 (or whatever) lens on it with a tracking mount, or using a 2"-to-RF adaptor with a nice telescope on it. Then pop the same RF(etc) lens on your Rx camera for daytime use. Well, I can dream, can't I?

The problem with that idea is that refractive lenses provide nowhere near the benefit per dollar that reflective optics do for astro work. When was the last major observatory constructed with a refractive primary? Over a hundred years ago?

For the cost of an RF 600/4 one can buy one hell of a Newtonian reflector or even a very good Schmidt-Cassegrain or Maksutov with a much larger aperture than 150mm. In astronomy, aperture is everything.
 
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SteveC

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The problem with that idea is that refractive lenses provide nowhere near the benefit per dollar that reflective optics do for astro work. When was the last major observatory constructed with a refractive primary? Over a hundred years ago?

For the cost of an RF 600/4 one can buy one hell of a Newtonian reflector or even a very good Schmidt-Cassegrain or Maksutov with a much larger aperture than 150mm. In astronomy, aperture is everything.

In addition to the greater expense, it's probably simply impossible to build a lens much larger than the 40" Yerkes lens without having it suffer from distortion sagging under its own great weight. And that really can't be designed for since the lens itself could be held at any orientation between vertical and horizontal, depending on what one is observing. (Of course I could imagine some sort of computer correction being applied...but then, your original point triumphs; refractors are expensive.

It's possible for amateurs on a comparatively low budget to buy 40 inch reflectors on Dobsonian mounts (that mount is a huge moneysaver). (I've personally seen them. They gather so much light looking at Mars will ruin your dark adaptation.) No way for refractors.
 
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Michael Clark

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In addition to the greater expense, it's probably simply impossible to build a lens much larger than the 40" Yerkes lens without having it suffer from distortion sagging under its own great weight. And that really can't be designed for since the lens itself could be held at any orientation between vertical and horizontal, depending on what one is observing. (Of course I could imagine some sort of computer correction being applied...but then, your original point triumphs; refractors are expensive.

It's possible for amateurs on a comparatively low budget to buy 40 inch reflectors on Dobsonian mounts (that mount is a huge moneysaver). (I've personally seen them. They gather so much light looking at Mars will ruin your dark adaptation.) No way for refractors.

It's not only that, though. Front coated mirrors do not suffer from chromatic aberration.

No.CA.At.All. None.

No corrective lenses neededfor the primary. None.

That's the biggest advantage.
 

usern4cr

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The problem with that idea is that refractive lenses provide nowhere near the benefit per dollar that reflective optics do for astro work. When was the last major observatory constructed with a refractive primary? Over a hundred years ago?

For the cost of an RF 600/4 one can buy one hell of a Newtonian reflector or even a very good Schmidt-Cassegrain or Maksutov with a much larger aperture than 150mm. In astronomy, aperture is everything.
That's not my point. My point is that I might (well, I wish) already have something like a RF 600/4 for existing photo use. It'd be nice to be able to use it for high IQ astro work (monochrome cooled sensor with filter wheel) if it was possible. Last I heard, I don't have the money to buy a major observatory. Do you? They have nothing to do with the topic I'm bringing up.

I would also like to disagree with your general statement. There is no 1 focal range, or 1 type of lens/scope, that is ideal for all astro work. There is a whole wide range of focal ranges that are ideal for the various sizes of astro subjects. Some of those ranges are exactly in the range that a 600mm lens is ideal for. Some are ideal for the range that other RF/EF lenses just happen to be. And in those ranges, there is nothing better than a very fast high quality refractive lens. They have no central obstruction, and their contrast, corner to corner sharpness, fast f#, and small & portable size are supreme for the wider focal lengths that they cover. And you might already have purchased them on your tight budget.

I also mentioned that a possible R mount cooled monochrome astro camera with electronic shutter and filter wheel could have other types of astro tubes attached with a 2+"-to-R converter. So you could use your guided SC or RC tubes (etc) with them and save the cost of buying a separate cooled monochrome sensor, filter wheel, electronic focuser etc.
 

Michael Clark

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That's not my point. My point is that I might (well, I wish) already have something like a RF 600/4 for existing photo use. It'd be nice to be able to use it for high IQ astro work (monochrome cooled sensor with filter wheel) if it was possible. Last I heard, I don't have the money to buy a major observatory. Do you? They have nothing to do with the topic I'm bringing up.

I would also like to disagree with your general statement. There is no 1 focal range, or 1 type of lens/scope, that is ideal for all astro work. There is a whole wide range of focal ranges that are ideal for the various sizes of astro subjects. Some of those ranges are exactly in the range that a 600mm lens is ideal for. Some are ideal for the range that other RF/EF lenses just happen to be. And in those ranges, there is nothing better than a very fast high quality refractive lens. They have no central obstruction, and their contrast, corner to corner sharpness, fast f#, and small & portable size are supreme for the wider focal lengths that they cover. And you might already have purchased them on your tight budget.

I also mentioned that a possible R mount cooled monochrome astro camera with electronic shutter and filter wheel could have other types of astro tubes attached with a 2+"-to-R converter. So you could use your guided SC or RC tubes (etc) with them and save the cost of buying a separate cooled monochrome sensor, filter wheel, electronic focuser etc.

Who said anything about one perfect focal length?

Here's the thing. A 600/4 in the Canon world currently costs $13,000. For a fraction of that sum, somewhere around one-twentieth, one can get a pretty good 600mm f/4 Newtonian reflector that's just as sharp for astro work. Not to mention it is user friendly when it needs to be collimated. Try doing that yourself with a 17 element EF lens!

It's like saying I've got a $250,000 tractor trailer, I might as well use it to haul my sister's sofa and bedroom furniture from her old apartment to her new apartment. Never mind the fact it only gets 6.5 mpg at $2.80/gal for diesel fuel and costs about .40 cents per mile in regularly scheduled maintenance and tires. Then there's the required $2M in liability insurance...

The only thing the EF lens can do that a good Newtonian reflector costing 1/20 as much can't do is AF, IS, and focus closer. None of those things matter much for astro work (other than possibly the Sun, Moon, or large planets).
 

Michael Clark

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I also mentioned that a possible R mount cooled monochrome astro camera with electronic shutter and filter wheel could have other types of astro tubes attached with a 2+"-to-R converter. So you could use your guided SC or RC tubes (etc) with them and save the cost of buying a separate cooled monochrome sensor, filter wheel, electronic focuser etc.

EF mount adapters are readily available for astro cameras. They're just not made by Canon.
 

SteveC

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It's not only that, though. Front coated mirrors do not suffer from chromatic aberration.

No.CA.At.All. None.

No corrective lenses neededfor the primary. None.

That's the biggest advantage.

And yet, there are people who prefer refractors. So there must be some advantage to it or no one would ever bother.

(Personally I own a 6" newtonian, and I'm contemplating a Maksutov-Cassegrain.)
 

usern4cr

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I am ONLY talking about a possible astro cooled monochrome body with filter wheel & R mount to use for:
1) the Canon lenses you already have for photo/video use.
2) for any other (non-Canon) telescopes & mounts you want to buy (having nothing further to do with Canon).
 

SteveC

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Hallelujah!!!

The whole push towards that aspect ratio only happened because that's what TVs used and thus it was cheaper to just do the same thing.

But then Microshaft put the vertical space hogging ribbon onto its Orifice Suite, and all sorts of places would add toolbars and the like.

It's OK for a large screen but for a dinky laptop it's awful. Even my desktop, though, is 16:10 and that extra bit is very useful to me.
 
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Aussie shooter

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They can give a five-year warranty in Australia because most cameras get carried off by the labrador-sized spiders long before then.
Bah!! Our spiders aren't that bad
FB_IMG_1603517986616.jpg
 

Michael Clark

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Apr 5, 2016
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I am ONLY talking about a possible astro cooled monochrome body with filter wheel & R mount to use for:
1) the Canon lenses you already have for photo/video use.
2) for any other (non-Canon) telescopes & mounts you want to buy (having nothing further to do with Canon).

And I'm saying all of that is already available. Just not made by Canon. You can already adapt EF lenses to existing dedicated astro cameras with color wheels. You just can't buy the adapter, the camera, nor the color wheel from Canon.
 
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