Astrophotography: MILCs On The Raise But Canon EOS 6D Still Most Used

Eos 6d

Here are some interesting statistics about cameras used for astronomy photography. Canon cameras rule here too.

In the last three years Skies & Scopes has analyzed approximately 400 images listed for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. The results are not what I would have expected.

  • The Canon EOS 6D is the most successfully used astrophotography camera overall, with Canon the best performing brand.
  • The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is the third most used camera for astrophotography
  • The number of shortlisted images using mirrorless cameras has increased each year and Sony models dominate this section of the market.

The venerable Canon EOS 6D is the most used camera by astro-photographers. More statistics (emphasis mine):

From the three years of shortlisted astrophotography images, there is a split of 55% using DSLR or mirrorless cameras (205 images), and 45% using dedicated astronomy cameras (CCD/CMOS) (169 images)

Moreover, not only is the Canon EOS 6D the most used camera but Canon is also the most used brand (23%), followed by Nikon (22%), ZWO (22%) and Sony (11%).

The six most used cameras are:

  • Canon EOS 6D (10%)
  • ZWO ASI174mm (6%)
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (4%)
  • ZWO ASI160mm (4%)
  • Nikon D750 (4%)
  • Nikon D850 (4%)

Head over to Skies & Scopes to see all statistics.

Interview With Astrophotographer Tony Hallas About The Canon EOS Ra

Canon Eos Ra

If you never heard about the Canon EOS Ra, it’s a modified EOS R camera and Canon’s full frame mirrorless offering for astrophotography enthusiasts.

The EOS Ra was built off the EOS R system combining new features, such as four times greater transmittance of hydrogen-alpha Hα rays (656.3 nm wavelength) through an infrared cutoff filter, which helps capturing high-precision images of the deep-red wavelengths emitted by nebulae in vivid color, without any special camera alterations. On board is also a 30x live view mode for highly precise manual focusing.

The video below by CanonUSA on Youtube features an interview with astrophotographer Tony Hallas about astrophotography itself and his experience with the EOS Ra.

More Canon EOS Ra reviews and information are listed here.

Canon EOS Ra: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA

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Canon EOS Ra Review – A Mighty Fine Camera (and not just for astrophotography)

Canon EOS Ra Review

Here is a Canon EOS Ra review. The Canon EOS Ra is a special EOS R camera dedicated to astrophotography.

What sets the EOS Ra apart? The Canon EOS Ra has approximately four times the transmittance of hydrogen-alpha light (656 nm) as the EOS R (see the press release here). Photographs of subjects that reflect a lot of infrared light will therefore appear redder than they actually are.

The Phoblographer posted their full Canon EOS Ra review. From their conclusion:

The Canon EOS Ra is a mighty fine camera. The build quality is fantastic, overall image quality is excellent, the camera is weather-sealed, has a wonderful LCD and EVF, and the images that come from the camera during daytime use are great too.

[…] The Canon EOS Ra is a serious piece of kit. It has been designed for photographers who are passionate about astrophotography, more specifically, deep space photography. If you plan on getting a telescope to attach the EOS Ra to, or if you already own one and the required T-adapters and mounts, you will get the most out of it. If you are just going to do regular wide-angle astrophotography, though, you’re better off looking elsewhere because the specialized Ha filter will be lost on you.

Read the review at The Phoblographer

While the Canon EOS Ra is not the best tool to take pictures in daylight, it delivers “surprisingly great image quality when set to daytime white balance“.

More Canon EOS Ra review stuff is listed here.

Canon EOS Ra: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA

Canon EOS Ra Review On An Astrophotography Road Trip

Canon EOS Ra Review

Here is a Canon EOS Ra review for all the astrophotography enthusiasts out there.

If you never heard about the EOS Ra, it’s a modified EOS R camera dedicated to astrophotography. The EOS Ra was built off the EOS R system combining new features, such as four times greater transmittance of hydrogen-alpha Hα rays (656.3 nm wavelength) through an infrared cutoff filter, which helps capturing high-precision images of the deep-red wavelengths emitted by nebulae in vivid color, without any special camera alterations. On board is also a 30x live view mode for highly precise manual focusing.

AstroBackyard‘s Trevor Jones took the Canon EOS Ra on a road trip to see if it is worth for astrophotographer, which is pretty much the only category of photographers interested in the Canon EOS Ra. For this Canon EOS Ra review, Trevor used a Canon RF 85mm F/1.2L lens under semi-dark skies (Bortle Scale Class 4) for some wide-field shots of the night sky. Enjoy the video.

Canon EOS Ra: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA

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How To Shoot Astrophotography Panoramas (video tutorial)

How To Shoot Astrophotography

Are you into astrophotography? Or did you just get the Canon EOS Ra and want to start with the craft? Here is a short how to shoot astrophotography tutorial.

The rather in-depth how to shoot astrophotography panoramas video was made by motion control gear company Syrp together with astrophotographer Charles Brooks:

Charles Brooks is a true expert at astro panoramas. He runs Opus Expeditions in New Zealand, taking adventurous photographers to the most breathtaking locations around the country. He has mastered the art of Astro and in this filmmaking guide, he shares all of his best-kept secrets about how to shoot a multi-row panoramic Astro image.

Anyone can take a good photo of the stars, but not everyone can get that mind-blowing effect that you’re about to learn.

In this video, Charles walks you through the process of taking amazing Astro panoramas. This is a very in-depth tutorial that goes from the gear he uses and location-scouting right through to post-production.

The 30 minutes video (below) covers various techniques and general tips about astrophotography. it discusses gear, location, setup, and post production.

About location:

As 83% of the world population lives under light-polluted skies, it can be really hard to escape these bright areas, as traces of light can persist for miles.

[…] Charles uses a website called Dark Site Finder to find the perfect spot for this shoot and Photopills to find exactly where the Milky Way is going to be at during this time of the year, thanks to their Planner and 2D Milky Way modes. The best season is different for the Southern and Northern Hemisphere.

And here is the video:

More photography tips and tricks are listed here.

[via DIY Photography]

Canon EOS Ra For Astrophotography Official Announcement

Canon EOS Rs Rumor

Well, possibly the quietest Canon announcement ever.

Canon officially announced the Canon EOS Ra, a modified EOS R camera dedicated to astrophotography. The Canon EOS Ra will be available mid December at $2,499, preorders are open.

America: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA
Europe & UK: Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon IT, Wex Photo Video, Canon DE, Canon UK

Here is a B&H Explora article about the Canon EOS Ra.

Press release:

Capture The Beauty Of The Night Sky With Canon’s First Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera For Astrophotography

Introducing the EOS Ra Camera with Specialized Filtration that Delivers Four Times Greater Hydrogen-alpha Wavelength (656.3 nm) Transmittance Compared to the EOS R

MELVILLE, NY, November 5, 2019 – In the words of poet Quintus Ennius, “No one regards what is before his or her feet; we all gaze at the stars.” Helping to gaze and capture the beauty of the stars and beyond, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the company’s first full-frame mirrorless camera for astrophotography, the EOS Ra. This new camera was built off the EOS R system combining new features, such as four times greater transmittance of hydrogen-alpha (Hα) light of 656.3 nm compared to the original EOS R. For astrophotographers and hobbyists who enjoy capturing the detailed splendor of the night sky, the new EOS Ra will be an ideal camera to shoot with.

“Since the introduction of the EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera system last fall, Canon has remained committed to launching a line of impressive and innovative EOS R models and a strong variety of RF lenses and accessories to meet the needs of every skill level of photographer,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “As a group of photographers who are passionate about capturing what we can’t see with our naked eyes, the new EOS Ra is designed for astrophotographers looking to capture vivid imagery of the night sky.”

Targeting the needs of astrophotographers, the new EOS Ra full-frame mirrorless camera incorporates many advanced features of the EOS R, such as RF mount design, a 30.3MP CMOS sensor, high-precision electronic viewfinder, high-sensitivity, low-noise performance and 4K time-lapse shooting. Optional accessories include an AC adapter kit, which allows the camera to be powered through an AC wall outlet or a battery-powered inverter, a BG-E22 battery grip and three EF-EOS R mount adapters to accommodate the entire range of over seventy EF & EF-S lenses.

Other features include:

  • Enhanced transmission of Hα rays (656.3 nm wavelength) through an infrared cutoff filter, helping to capture high-precision images of the deep-red wavelengths emitted by nebulae in vivid color, without any special camera alterations.
  • A 30x maximum magnification, allowing users to make extremely precise manual focus adjustments*.
  • Support for all Canon RF, EF and EF-S lenses (with the use of an optional EF-EOS R mount adapter), including more than 70 lenses from the EF series as well as RF series lenses, which deliver superb image quality. The variety of lenses, such as the large-diameter f/1.2 lenses, ultra-wide-angle lenses, and super-telephoto EF lenses, among others, are all well suited to help photographers to choose the best match for their specific astrophotography purposes.

Availability and Pricing

The Canon EOS Ra full-frame mirrorless camera is scheduled to be available in mid-December 2019 for an estimated retail price of $2,499.00 for the body only