The Best Cameras For Astrophotography
Are you fascinated with the cosmos, its endless fathoms and the vast number of heavenly bodies that fill its void? Then we’re sure you know that there’s nothing like spending a night outside looking at the stars. Now if you’ve ever wished that you could capture that moment and hold onto it just a little longer, then your best option in achieving that is getting yourself a camera for astrophotography. Before we dive into the best cameras, make sure you know what astrophotography is and what you can photograph as an astrophotographer. Once you’ve got that covered, then I’m sure you are ready to shop for your astrophotography camera. We did a lot of research and looked through a lot cameras for astrophotography reviews and found out that there are three options you can choose from. These two cameras are the best for astrophotography.
Celestron NexImage 10MP
Celestron makes really awesome cameras that mount into your telescope and allows you to take some pretty awesome pictures. Among such cameras is the Celestron NexImage 10MP Solar System Imager. But what makes this camera great for astrophotography? Keep reading to find out.
This high speed, high-resolution camera can produce clear images and, depending on the strength of your telescope, can capture really clear planetary images. One of the best things about this stethoscope is that it comes with everything you need to get started so long as you provide your own telescope. It includes software that will pretty do what you want it to do. The software has the capability to analyze each frame, gets rid of any that are fuzzy or unclear, then put what’s left into a clear image with a lot of color and detail. This feature will come in really handy if you live in a place with a lot of light pollution. Best of all, this software is great for anyone new to astrophotography or anyone who has been at it for quite awhile.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to use
- Lens has a Multi coating that prevents reflection, making your images sharper
- You can easily take photos and connect them with your laptop via the USB port
- You can pair the camera with both an IOS and a Windows operating system computer
- Will only fit a 1.25 “opening and a C wire
This planet camera from Celestron is designed to be small, so you can take it anywhere you like. The camera is very compact and is therefore very suitable to take with you anywhere you want to go. It is designed to be used on any telescope with a 1.25 “eyepiece or with a C wire. You can also control the camera by connecting it to your laptop via the 3.0 USB port. You can connect it to an IOS system, but it will also work with a Windows operating system. The camera is easy to use. All you have to do is aim the telescope at an object and make a short film. The program will automatically filter out all blurry photos.
What makes this camera great for astrophotography is its optics. Although the Celestron planet camera may be small, it doesn’t compromise in terms of the quality of the photos. The NexImage captures images with a resolution of 3856 x 2764 in color. This is because the optics incorporated in the camera are equipped with a multi-coating that will ensure a clear image and prevents reflection.
Celestron warrants this camera to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for two years. Celestron will repair or replace such product or part thereof which, upon inspection by Celestron, is found to be defective in materials or workmanship. As a condition to the obligation of Celestron to repair or replace such product, the product must be returned to Celestron together with proof-of-purchase satisfactory to Celestron.
This small and compact camera is a powerhouse in the field of astrophotography. With the help of its powerful software, you will be able to capture clear and sharp images using the Celestron NexImage 10MP Solar System Imager. All you need is a telescope to attach it to, a laptop you can use and you are good to go. Best of all, it isn’t very expensive.
iOptron 5200 iE5100 Planetarium Imager
Another camera that is making headlines in astrophotography is the iOptron 5200 iE5100 Planetarium Imager. The camera offers a versatility that goes beyond extraterrestrial viewing. But what exactly makes this camera great for astrophotography? Keep reading to find out.
The 5200 Planetarium Imager is a great piece of astrophotography equipment. It fits right into a standard telescope eyepiece of 1 ¼ inches. Best of all, you won’t even need an astrophotography camera mount. All you have to do is connect the camera to your computer using a USB cable. It will stream what the telescope captures into your computer screen. Then, all you have to do is download the videos to your computer and capture stills. This is a great way to show a large group of people what your camera can capture. You can show your family, friends, or a classroom of excited students real images from the night sky.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to use
- Clear and sharp image quality
- High resolution
- Requires some fiddling for it to focus better
- Better for bright objects
- Requires technical and programming abilities for Linux users
The iOptron 5200 iE5100 Planetarium Imager is designed to work really great for planetary imaging. By design, it uses a CMOS sensor, that’s 5 megapixels and takes color images. The chip size is 1/2.5 inches according to the official specs, and the pixel size is really small, reaching 2.2 x 2.2 microns. Along with the Digital Clarity technology, this astrophotography camera will get you crystal clear images with almost no noise. It also features a progressive scan feature and the detailed images it renders is at a 2592 x 1944 resolution. This resolution is one of the highest resolutions from all the cameras that a consumer can purchase. This camera is also designed to be used for standard telescopes and standard microscopes as well. It fits in all 1 ¼ inches eyepieces for the telescope and a C-mount for your microscope. It’s also pretty versatile when it comes to the operating systems because it can work with multiple Windows versions, Linux and OS X for Mac. For Linux operating systems though, major coding is needed in order to make the software work.
What makes this camera great is its digital imaging system. The digital imaging system will allow you to capture full-color astronomical images using a standard 1.25″ eyepiece holder. Best of all, the eyepiece adapter accepts most standard 1.25″ filters for advanced imaging techniques. By using a 1/2.5″ 5MP Micron color CMOS sensor (as mentioned above) and connecting to a computer via USB 2.0, you can stream videos or directly to the software included upon purchase of the astrophotography camera. The software pretty much does all the work for you because it allows you to store the images, stack, align, filter, and adjust them, to create a single high-quality picture.
iOptron warrants that the 5200 iE5100 Planetarium Imager is free from defects in materials and workmanship for a limited time of one year. iOptron will repair or replace such product or part which, upon inspection by iOptron, is found to be defective in materials or workmanship. As a condition to the obligation of iOptron to repair or replace such product, the product must be returned to iOptron together with proof-of-purchase satisfactory to iOptron.
To sum it up, the 5200 iE5100 Planetarium Imager from iOptron, creates images that are not only clear but highly detailed. It is also a rare highly rated camera, that won’t cost a lot. That makes it a great and smart investment. What makes the iOptron 5200 Planetarium Imager great is that it is a long exposure camera that takes not only excellent photographs, but video as well. The images straight from your telescope will appear on your computer instantaneously, even video images of planets. So if you want to take up astrophotography, this camera is a great start.
There are lots of cameras suitable for astrophotography, but these two stand out simply because they provide some of the clearest and sharpest images at the most affordable price. So in terms of getting the best value for your money, the iOptron 5200 iE5100 Planetarium Imager and the Celestron NexImage 10MP are leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. So if you are looking to go into this kind of hobby, getting any of the two astrophotography cameras mentioned above will be worth your while. They don’t cost that much, yet they still take high quality images and videos. Best of all, they are very easy to use, which is perfect for beginner astrophotographers.