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Introducing the EOS 60Da DSLR, made for astrophotography

UPDATE: The new Canon EOS 60Da can be pre-ordered at B&H starting from now (click here).

There is a new camera by Canon, a modified version of the highly popular EOS 60D. And Canon kept the secret very well, until today.

The camera comes with a modified IR filter and a low-noise sensor with more hydrogen-alpha sensitivity, so you can “capture the true colors of the universe”. This means the sensor is able to get more information-signal at a specific frequency (i.e. at 656nm, that’s the emission frequency of hydrogen). Without that you can not shot things like gas clouds (nebulae) in outer-space. It’s a 18MP cam that takes the heritage of the EOS 20Da of 2005. Limited numbers available and sold only by authorized dealers, price is around $1,499. Get ready to shot aliens, black holes and supernovas. Jokes beside, this is a camera that the many astronomers (hobbyist and pros) out there were waiting for. Now it is here and will be available this month. From the CPN presentation of the 60Da:

To open up the possibilities for quality astrophotography Canon has modified the infrared (IR) blocking filter in the EOS 60Da. This modification enables the EOS 60Da to allow three times more Hα light than the EOS 60D through to the camera’s sensor. Hα light is often the brightest in stellar photography making the EOS 60Da well suited to capturing the reddish colours seen in diffuse nebulae (a cluster of stars within an intricate cloud of gas and dust).

Automatic price-check for the EOS 60Da: Amazon USA, Amazon CA, B&H Photo, Adorama, Digitalrev, KEH Camera, eBay US, Canon USA, Canon CA, BestBuy Automatic price-check for the EOS 60D: Amazon USA, Amazon CA, B&H Photo, Adorama, Digitalrev, KEH Camera, eBay US, Canon USA, Canon CA, BestBuy

Canon’s Press-Release…:

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., April 3, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today introduced the EOS 60Da Digital SLR Camera, a long-awaited successor to the EOS 20Da that is optimized for astrophotography. This DSLR caters to astronomers and hobbyists who enjoy capturing the beauty of the night sky by offering a modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor with heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity. These modifications allow the camera to capture magnificent photographs of “red hydrogen emission” nebulae and other cosmic phenomena.

“The EOS 60Da is a testament to the constant desire to meet the needs of every customer, including those in specialized fields,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A., “This new camera enables an accurate depiction of a part of our solar system which is hard to achieve with conventional cameras but should be enjoyed and celebrated.”

The Canon EOS 60Da camera packs a powerful 18-megapixel CMOS sensor (APS-C) that produces sharp and high-contrast images of astronomical objects, a major enhancement over the EOS 20Da model’s 8.2-megapixel sensor. The improved infrared-blocking filter is a modification suited specifically toward astronomy enthusiasts to achieve a hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity that is approximately three times higher than that of a normal Canon DSLR camera. This produces a 20-percent higher transmittance of Hydrogen Alpha line, or Hα wavelength, allowing astronomers to capture crisp, clear images of reddish, diffuse nebulae.

Enhanced Features

Crisp images of the stars and planets can be viewed on the EOS 60Da’s improved 3.0-inch Clear View LCD screen with 1,040,000 dots for detailed focusing. The flip-out Vari-angle screen allows photographers to adjust the screen for easy viewing without straining even while the camera is mounted to a telescope via a third-party T-ring adapter. Optimized for stargazing with friends or in an educational setting, astronomy enthusiasts can connect the camera to a TV with the provided AVC-DC400ST Stereo AV Video Cable and display the night sky on a TV monitor using the camera’s Live View mode. Moreover, the EOS 60Da’s Live View mode is equipped with a Silent Shooting feature that eliminates shutter-induced vibration for maximum camera stability when the camera is mounted to a telescope or super-telephoto EF lens.

Enhanced noise reduction on the EOS 60Da sensor offers photographers the ability to experiment with the wide array of ISO settings and increased ISO speeds up to 6400 expandable to 12800. Other features include an intelligent nine-point autofocus system, full manual controls, and RAW, JPEG, and RAW+JPEG image recording capabilities.

Accessories

The EOS 60Da helps capture the wonders of the night sky with its use of Canon’s award-winning EF and EF-S lenses along with other EOS accessories. Additionally, the EOS 60Da is packaged with Canon’s RA-E3 Remote Controller Adapter, providing the ability to connect a Canon Timer Remote Control such as the TC-80N3 (optional accessory). The TC-80N3 is ideal for controlling time exposures longer than 30 seconds as well as capturing a series of consecutive time exposures that can be composited during post-processing for improved image quality. This is especially useful when the camera body is connected to a telescope or an EF super telephoto lens.

Canon has also included an AC adapter kit with the EOS 60Da, allowing the camera to be powered through an AC wall outlet or a battery-powered inverter, ideal for long exposure image or video capture at home or in the field.

Availability

As a specialized product, the EOS 60Da is only available to order from select authorized dealers. The estimated retail price is $1,499.00 and it is expected to be available this month.

Full specification list:

IMAGE SENSOR
Type 22.3mm x 14.9mm CMOS
Effective Pixels Approx. 18.00 megapixels
Total Pixels Approx. 19.00 megapixels
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Low-Pass Filter Built-in/Fixed with fluorine coating
Infrared blocking filter optimised for Hydrogen-alpha (Hα) light (656 nm) transparency.
Sensor Cleaning EOS integrated cleaning system
Colour Filter Type Primary Colour
IMAGE PROCESSOR
Type DIGIC 4
LENS
Lens Mount EF/EF-S
Focal Length Equivalent to 1.6x the focal length of the lens
FOCUSING
Type TTL-CT-SIR with a CMOS sensor
AF System/ Points 9 cross-type AF points (f/2.8 at centre)
AF working range EV -0.5 – 18 (at 23°C ISO100)
AF Modes AI Focus
One Shot
AI Servo
AF Point Selection Automatic selection, Manual selection
Selected AF point display Superimposed in viewfinder and indicated on top LCD panel and Quick Control screen
Predictive AF Yes, up to 8m¹
AF Lock Locked when shutter button is pressed half way in One Shot AF mode or AF-ON button is pressed.
AF Assist Beam Intermittent firing of built-in flash or emitted by optional dedicated Speedlite
Manual Focus Selected on lens, default in Live View Mode
EXPOSURE CONTROL
Metering modes TTL full aperture metering with 63 zone SPC
(1) Evaluative metering (linked to all AF point)
(2) Partial metering (approx. 6.5% of viewfinder at centre)
(3) Spot metering (approx. 2.8% viewfinder at centre)
(4) Centre weighted average metering
Metering Range ‘EV 0-20 (at 23°C with 50mm f/1.4 lens ISO100)
AE Lock ‘Auto: In One-shot AF mode with evaluative metering exposure is locked when focus is achieved.
Manual: By AE lock button in creative zone modes.
Exposure Compensation ‘+/-5 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments (can be combined with AEB).
AEB 3 Shots +/-3 EV 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments
ISO Sensitivity* Auto (100-3200), 100-6400 (in 1/3-stop or whole stop increments)
ISO can be expanded to H: 12800
SHUTTER
Type Electronically-controlled focal-plane shutter
Speed 30-1/8000 sec (1/2 or 1/3 stop increments), Bulb (Total shutter speed range. Available range varies by shooting mode)
WHITE BALANCE
Type Auto white balance with the imaging sensor
Settings ‘AWB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White
Fluorescent light, Flash, Custom, Colour Temperature Setting.
White balance compensation:
1. Blue/Amber +/-9
2. Magenta/ Green +/-9.
Custom White Balance Yes, 1 setting can be registered
WB Bracketing +/-3 levels in single level increments
3 bracketed images per shutter release.
Selectable Blue/Amber bias or Magenta/ Green bias.
VIEWFINDER
Type Pentaprism
Coverage (Vertical/Horizontal) Approx. 96%
Magnification ‘Approx. 0.95x¹
Eyepoint Approx. 22mm (from eyepiece lens centre)
Dioptre Correction -3 to +1 m-1 (dioptre)
Focusing Screen Interchangeable (3 types, optional). Standard Focusing Screen Precision Matte Ef-A
Mirror Quick-return half mirror (Transmission: reflection ratio of 40:60, no mirror cut-off with EF600mm f/4 or shorter)
Viewfinder Information AF information: AF points, focus confirmation light.
Exposure information: Shutter speed, aperture value, ISO speed (always displayed), AE lock, exposure level/compensation, spot metering circle, exposure warning, AEB.
Flash information: Flash ready, high-speed sync, FE lock, flash exposure compensation, red-eye reduction light.
Image information: White balance correction, Card information, monochrome shooting, maximum burst (2 digit display), Highlight tone priority (D+).
Composition information: Electronic level (Horizontal only), Battery check
Depth of field preview Yes, with Depth of Field preview button.
Eyepiece shutter On strap
LCD MONITOR
Type Vari angle 7.7cm (3.0″) 3:2 Clear View TFT, approx. 1040K dots
Coverage Approx. 100%
Viewing Angle (horizontally/vertically) Approx 160°
Coating Dual Anti-reflection
Brightness Adjustment Adjustable to one of seven levels
Display Options ‘(1) Quick Control Screen
(2) Camera settings
(3) Electronic Level
FLASH
Built-in Flash GN (ISO 100, meters) 13
Built-in Flash Coverage up to 17mm focal length (35mm equivalent: 28mm)
Built-in Flash recycle time Approx. 3 seconds
Modes Auto, Manual flash, Integrated Speedlite Transmitter
Red-Eye Reduction ‘Yes
X-sync 1/250sec
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 3EV in 1/2 or 1/3 increments
Flash Exposure Bracketing Yes, with compatible External Flash
Flash Exposure Lock Yes
Second Curtain Synchronisation Yes
HotShoe/ PC terminal Yes/ No
External Flash Compatibility E-TTL II with EX series Speedlites, wireless multi-flash support
External Flash Control via camera menu screen
SHOOTING
Modes Auto, No Flash, Creative Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Movie, Program AE , Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual, Custom
Picture Styles Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Defined (x3)
Colour Space sRGB and Adobe RGB
Image Processing Highlight Tone Priority
Auto Lighting Optimizer (4 settings)
Long exposure noise reduction
High ISO speed noise reduction (4 settings)
Auto Correction of Lens Peripheral illumination
Basic+ (Shoot by ambience selection, Shoot by lighting or scene type)
Creative filters (Grainy B/W, Soft focus, Toy camera, Minaiture effect) – during image Playback only
RAW image processing – during image Playback only
Resize to M or S1, S2, S3
Drive modes Single, Continuous L, Continuous H, Self timer (2s+remote, 10s +remote)
Continuous Shooting Max. Approx. 5.3fps. (speed maintained for minimum of approx 58 images (JPEG)¹ ³, 16 images (RAW)) ² ³
LIVE VIEW MODE
Type Electronic viewfinder with image sensor
Coverage Approx. 100% (horizontally and vertically)
Frame Rate 30 fps
Focusing Manual Focus (Magnify the image 5x or 10x at any point on screen)
Autofocus: Quick mode, Live mode, Live Face detection mode
Metering Real-time evaluative metering with image sensor Active metering time can be changed
Display Options Grid overlay (x2), Histogram, Multi aspect ratios
FILE TYPE
Still Image Type JPEG: Fine, Normal (Exif 2.21 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system (2.0),
RAW: RAW, M-RAW, S-RAW (14bit, Canon original RAW 2nd edition),
Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
RAW+JPEG simultaneous recording Yes, any combination of RAW + JPEG, M-RAW + JPEG, S-RAW + JPEG possible.
Image Size JPEG 3:2: (L) 5184×3456, (M) 3456×2304, (S1) 2592×1728, (S2) 1920×1280, (S3) 720×480
JPEG 4:3: (L) 4608×3456, (M) 3072×2304, (S1) 2304×1728, (S2) 1696×1280, (S3) 640×480
JPEG 16:9: (L) 5184×2912, (M) 3456×1944, (S1) 2592×1456 (S2) 1920×1080, (S3) 720×400
JPEG 1:1: (L) 3456×3456, (M) 2304×2304, (S1) 1728×1728, (S2) 1280×1280, (S3) 480×480
RAW: (RAW) 5184×3456, (M-RAW) 3888×2592, (S-RAW) 2592×1728
Movie Type MOV (Video: H.264, Sound: Linear PCM, recording level can be manually adjusted by user)
Movie Size 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps)
1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps)
640 x 480 (59.94, 50 fps)
Movie Length Max duration 29min 59sec, Max file size 4GB
Folders New folders can be manually created and selected
File Numbering (1) Consecutive numbering
(2) Auto reset
(3) Manual reset
OTHER FEATURES
Custom Functions 20 Custom Functions with 59 settings
Metadata Tag User copyright information (can be set in camera)
Image rating (0-5 stars)
LCD Panel / Illumination Yes / Yes
Water/ Dust resistance Yes¹
Sound Memo
Intelligent Orientation Sensor Yes
Playback zoom 1.5x – 10x
Display Formats (1) Single image with information (2 levels)
(2) Single image
(3) 4 image index
(4) 9 image index
(5) Magnified view
Slide Show Image selection: All images, by Date, by Folder, Movies, Stills, Rating
Playback time: 1/2/3/5/10 or 20 seconds
Repeat: On/Off
Histogram Brightness: Yes
RGB: Yes
Highlight Alert Yes
Image Erase/Protection Erase: Single image, All images in folder, Checkmarked images, unprotected images
Protection: Erase protection of one image at a time
Menu Categories (1) Shooting menu (x4)
(2) Playback menu (x2)
(3) Setup menu (x3)
(4) Custom Functions menu
(5) My Menu
Menu Languages 25 Languages
English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese
Firmware Update Update possible by the user.
INTERFACE
Computer Hi-Speed USB
Other Video output (PAL/ NTSC) (integrated with USB terminal), HDMI mini output (HDMI-CEC compatible), External microphone (3.5mm Stereo mini jack)
DIRECT PRINT
Canon Printers Canon Compact Photo Printers and PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge
PictBridge Yes
STORAGE
Type SD card, SDHC card or SDXC card
SUPPORTED OPERATING SYSTEM
PC Macintosh Windows XP (SP2/SP3) / Vista inc SP1 (excl. Starter Edition) / 7 (excl. Starter Edition)
OS X v10.6-10.7
SOFTWARE
Browsing Printing ZoomBrowser EX / ImageBrowser
Image Processing Digital Photo Professional
Other PhotoStitch, EOS Utility (inc. Remote Capture), Picture Style Editor
POWER SOURCE
Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion Battery LP-E6 (supplied), built in for date settings
Battery life Approx. 1100 (at 23°C, AE 50%, FE 50%) ¹
Approx. 1000 (at 0°C, AE 50%, FE 50%)
Battery Indicator 6 levels + percentage
Power saving Power turns off after 1, 2, 4, 8, 15 or 30mins.
Power Supply Battery Chargers AC Adapter Kit ACK-E6, Battery charger LC-E6, Car Battery charger CBC-E6
PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Body Materials Aluminium and polycarbonate resin with glass fibre
Operating Environment 0 – 40 °C, 85% or less humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 144.5 x 105.8 x 78.6mm
Weight (body only) Approx. 755g (CIPA testing standard, including battery and memory card)
ACCESSORIES
Viewfinder Eyecup Eb, E-series Dioptric Adjustment Lens Focusing Screens Ef (with Grid Ef-D, Super Precision Matte Ef-S), Angle Finder C
Case Leather case EH21-L
Wireless File Transmitter Compatible with Eye-Fi cards
Lenses All EF and EF-S lenses
Flash Canon Speedlites (220EX, 270EX, 270EX II, 320EX, 420EX, 430EX, 430EX II, 550EX, 580EX, 580EX II, 600EX, 600EX-RT, Macro-Ring-Lite, MR-14EX, Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX, Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2, Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT)
Battery Grip BG-E9
Remote Controller/ Switch Remote Switch RS-60E3, Remote Controller RC-6/RC-1/RC-5
(Compatible with N3 type remote controls when used with supplied adapter RA-E3)
Other Hand Strap E2
Predictive AF ¹ With EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM at 50kph
Magnification ¹ With 50mm lens at infinity, -1m-1 dpt
Continuous Shooting ¹ Large/Fine(Quality 8) resolution
² Based on Canon’s testing conditions, JPEG, ISO 100, Standard Picture Style. Varies depending on the subject, memory card brand and capacity, image recording quality, ISO speed, drive mode, Picture Style, Custom functions etc.
³ Maximum fps and buffer capacity may be reduced depending on the cameras settings and light level
Water/ Dust resistance ¹ Memory card and battery door only
Battery life ¹ Based on the CIPA Standard and using the batteries and memory card format supplied with the camera, except where indicated
All data is based on Canon standard testing methods except where indicated.
Subject to change without notice.
* Recommended Exposure Index
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