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350 Replacement?



I looking for a replacement for the Canon 350D that I bought used a few years ago. The 350D has several limitations compared to newer cameras. When the time comes to replace my Vista computer, I doubt there will be a driver for such an old camera. Focusing is tedious without live view. The ADC is only 12-bit. (New cameras are 14-bit.) Highest ISO is 1600. I'm not that concerned about its 8 megapixel resolution. With my 4 inch refractor, image scale is 1.7" per pixel. It would be 0.75" per pixel with an 18 megapixel camera.


Two candidates from B & H are the SL1 ($400 including 16GB memory card and 60D ($480 without card). The SL1 goes to a higher ISO (25600 vs 12800). The 60D shutter speed is faster (1/8000 vs 1/4000). The SL1 is Digic 5 while the 60D is Digic 4. Overall, I suspect the 60D is a better camera whose price has been reduced due to its age. However, that may not matter for astrophotography.


Are there any gotchas I should worry about with either camera? I should mention that I want to continue using the two Canon zoom lenses I bought 15 years ago for use with a 35 mm film SLR. One is labeled EF 28-105mm 1:3.5-4.5 and the other EF 100-300mm 1:5.6 L. I use the longer one at 300 mm for DSOs too big to fit within the frame with my refractor. The 60D works with both EF and EF-S lenses whereas the SL1 works only with EF-S. I don't know what that implies for my lenses.

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The 60D is a Better Camera because of the Better Sensor - very similar to that of the T2i / T3i but with a bit better Noise Control as well as Faster Shutter and Higher ISO (neither of which is a true benefit for AP Imaging).  The 60D also has the 640x480 Center Crop Movie Mode at 60fps - which beats even the BYE 5x LiveView for Planetary Imaging.  The downside of the 60D is that a significant percentage have had  a mysterious Failure Mode that requires sending it back to Canon to replace a Board (see the Sticky about the 60D / 60Da Lockup Issue).


If you are looking for a moderately priced Canon DSLR then the T3i and T5i are currently the Best Candidates...

Look through Gary Honis's various Canon DSLR AP Imaging Noise Reviews


Also note that his experience with the SL1 was such that he simply Returned the Camera for a Refund.

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I would recommend  you do not get the T4i (650D) as it has an issue with live view, in that it struggles to get over 10 frames per second, whereas the other cameras S3igell has recommended above (and I believe all other models) can easily do double this. 


This limitation with the T4i has been discussed a number of times since it came out, in all other respects it works fine. This would affect your efforts in using planetary mode. 



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Thanks for the advice. It looks like the T3i will do what I need. The differences between it and the T5i appear to be irrelevant to astrophotography.


In reading the Imaging Noise Reviews, I was impressed by the 6D's performance. I don't know if it is enough better than the T3i to make it a "must have". I can afford one but only because it's always been my habit to avoid high cost / low benefit expenditures. A very good astrophotographer in my local club has no plans to upgrade his 450D.

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I understand the T3i in not being manufactured any longer and is hard to find.

Look to any of the several Reputable Refurb Sellers, including B&H / Adorama / Canon...

Or, even consider a Used / Non-Refurbed T3i if the Price is Right and the Seller Reputable...


You can even look at a "Broken" T3i if the "Broken Feature" is the AutoFocus or the Kit Lens - or even the Playback LCD or the SD Card.  Just make sure that you can get a Full Refund if any of the AP Imaging "Necessary Functions" (Actually Taking RAW Pictures, Making AVI Videos, or USB Tethering...

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I upgraded from a 600D to a 6D and it's a large difference between them. The difference in noise makes it a good choice if you can afford it, but remember that your optics might struggle to give a fully corrected FOV for the large sensor.

Before i had the 600D i used a 450D and there is a difference between them, but far from the large difference up to the 6D.


Here's a single 30sec exposure taken at ISO 1600 through a 8" f/5 newtonian with the 6Da.


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