Digital Camera Astronomy

Webcams have color CCD or CMOS chips with tiny high-resolution pixels that shoot continuous digital video. They work very well for high-resolution planetary imaging, but not very well for deep-sky imaging.

Digital SLR% cameras have become popular for deep sky imaging because they offer complete creative control over aperture, shutter speeds and ISO. They have large digital sensors. Their lenses can be removed and replaced with an adapter that allows them to be hooked up directly to the telescope where the scope acts as the camera lens.

Deep-sky astrophotography requires a very different type of camera, one that can take long exposures of a couple to dozens of minutes with low noise. Dedicated astronomical CCD cameras reduce noise by cooling the camera many dozens of degrees below the ambient temperature. DSLR cameras can also be used for deep-sky imaging if they have low inherent noise and many short exposures are combined together to further reduce noise.

Inexpensive CCD cameras with extremely small chips can be purchased for $300. A good astronomical CCD camera with a decent sized chip can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

A good low-noise DSLR camera can cost from $500 to $2,000.


T-Rings have been around for decades, a legacy standard as outdated as 300 baud modems. They exist not because they are the best solution for imaging, but because they are the best solution for manufacturing. After all it's much easier to spin a standard thread on all adapters, regardless of telescope port size or camera brand. The T-Ring may be convenient but it is simply out of its league on a scope with a 2" eyepiece port.. especially with a camera that can take advantage of it.

True-2 is a true 2" prime focus adapter that takes you directly from the bayonet mount to a 2" barrel with as few wasted photons as is possible, adding as much as 10mm more clear aperture over legacy adapters! The largest clear aperture of any adapter on the market. And it costs no more than you would spend on a T-Ring and a quality 2" T-adapter. Baffled to reduce reflections and threaded for 2" eyepiece filters. Now also available with or without an undercut on the barrel (hey some people love them, some hate them). Don't choke the photons out of your camera with an inferior adapter..

Visit our astronomy observing site to see information on the hobby. Most popular is out selecting a telescope section.
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