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HELP! DSLR pick for full conversion!

Hi,
I am a amateur photographer and already own a D3300
However, I am looking to experiment with UV and IR photography

I was considering using my film camera, however i believe that the film that
was made for this purpose is out of production and is extremely hard to develop.

So my question is this, Which camera/camera brand has the best sensor that allows the widest gamete of light through(farthest in both UV and IR)?
In addition, which camera model is the best camera to go with for a conversion? It has to have 1080P video (Preferably 60FPS).
Also, Full frame or DX/ 4/3’s for something like this?
And advice?

I primary want to do astro-photography, but some areal and nature photography as well.

…and i am a college student…

Also, Mirrorless or DSLR? I Sony has some good stuff in the mirror-less space, but Nikon has always been my go-to.

One thing to keep in mind is that Sony unfortunately still have not fixed their star eater problem. It may not may not affect you depending on what exactly you want to do. But its worth researching and considering it if telephotography is one of your primary goals.

https://www.lonelyspeck.com/why-i-no-longer-recommend-sony-cameras-for-astrophotography-an-open-letter-to-sony/

they are, with that exception, excellent cameras.

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Oh, yea that could be a problem. I was just thinking of them because their sensors are supposed to have very very good performance.

The biggest thing for this project is that I need a camera with a wide sensor (to accept the widest possible range of IR and UV light) :confused:
Would like a D7200 work? Just looking at it’s sheet, it has a wide ISO and Expeed 4 processor. is that ideal?

You mean dynamic range?

Yes, it has a wide dynamic range/ISO.

It’s worth considering as well if you should use a photography camera for astronomy at all. There are some reasonably priced astro cameras you can get and that leaves you open to getting s good mirror less for all your other photography.

That assumes you ahvent a telescope though

Well, I don’t have a telescope, but want to get one of those too. (any recommendations?)
But the thought was that
A: if i’m going to spend 300 on just the conversion, then i’d want to do it on a good camera so i can do the most with it.
and
B: I can then put UV / and or IR blocking filters on whatever lens that use to block out that light when i want to block it out.

Have you shot astro images before? You can actually get a lot out of a normal sensor.
Also you might consider just buying a used and already converted camera for cheap to try it out.

Wide Dynamic Range, isn’t ISO.
Higher ISO decreases the range, but they are not the same thing.

I would look at the Canon 60Da as it has a sensor that is designed with astro-photography in mind.

https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/products/details/cameras/dslr/eos-60da

Also, know that once you convert the camera, it is unlikely that you will convert back.

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The more I think about it… my guess is he means the spectrum of light.

I still think used stuff is the way to go. But I also agree with @DeusQain that you should get rid of the idea to use your astro camera as a general purpose one as well. I have seen a converted Fuji X-E1 once being sold for less than 300,- Euro here in Germany. That isn’t the best sensor ever but for APS-C it is pretty capable even by today’s standards. And you can put any lens on, something you simply can’t with a classic DSLR.

Or one could just jerrry rig something up.

I haven’t herd much about Fuji, as far as digital goes.
I got Nikon crap so what Nikon should I look at?
And why can’t I use a Astro camera as a for other things too?

Should i consider 2 seperate cameras, one for astro, one for full spectrum (Deep UV-to-Deep IR)?

I know that some camera sensors may be better at being more light sensitive in the visual spectrum,
while others may be more sensitive to a wider spectrum, just not as good at picking up dimmer objects.

What exactly? I know most Nikon stuff.

A D3300 and some lenses and batteries

What, some kit lenses?

The sensor of the D3300 is actually not bad. If you are sure about that conversion and you only want to use it for a telescope, you could do that. But for regular use as a camera or even IR stuff please keep in mind: you can’t use an adapter because the of the Nikon mount and you can only use AF-s lenses because the D3300 lacks the auto focus motor and aperture … thing. That is extremely limiting when it comes to lenses. Most AF-S DX lenses are not on the same level compared to the full frame stuff. And if you buy into full frame AF-s lenses you’re only using them partly.

I would think about switching systems to be honest.
Especially if you want to experiment with lenses and stuff.

to which one?

I would point most people to Fuji. You get very nice images right out the camera, you natively have very high quality lenses, you can mount almost any lens using adapters and you have a wide range of camera bodies available, new and used, at almost any price point.

Personally I’m shooting full frame Sony these days (A7RII) and the results are fantastic. But even used those are still kind of expansive cameras and the user experience is way better on the Fuji side.

But of course Sony is the only (reasonable) option to make full use of old lenses since those are designed for film / full frame. A Sony A7 (1st gen) is maybe 500,- bucks and there is not much wrong with it even today. The biggest downside on the Sony system is native glass. It has gotten better but pricing is still kind of crazy for some lenses.

I have no idea what Canon is doing these days, maybe the EOS-M stuff has gotten better too. Don’t buy a Samsung camera, that system is dead. And I have ignored micro 4/3 since in my mind it is more of a video system and you probably don’t want a smaller sensor than the one you already have anyway.

@noenken @DeusQain @Goalkeeper @Eden Hi again :slight_smile: Any recommendations for filters? And what levels of bandpass I should get for a good UV+Ir photo? Like the U360 ?

I have a old coolpix P510 I got into to remove the mfr’s filter, so now whatever I do i need to use 62mm filters. There’s a ebay seller that looks like they got good stock of them: https://www.ebay.com/str/uviroptics

P.s. I plan on eventually getting something more capable, but figured “free” is the best beginner camera :slight_smile:

It really depends on exactly what you want to shoot.
I have a full conversion for a 5D mkii. It’s got a 720nm Filter put in place.

Are you looking to shoot UV & IR or UV+IR Meaning both at the same time?

Which is a bit tricky.

Also, I’m not sure exactly how it will shoot with the filter on.

It’s been a long time since I used a IR filter for a camera, since mine is all done behind the mirror.

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