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Canon EOS Ra camera

Why I Bought the Canon EOS Ra

|Camera|20 Comments

In early May 2020, I decided to purchase a Canon EOS Ra camera from B&H photo. This is Canon's latest astrophotography camera, and it has some seriously impressive specs (like a  full-frame 30.3 MP astro-modified sensor). For a complete rundown of the Canon EOS Ra, you can read my full review from January of this year. Essentially, it is a clone of the popular Canon EOS R mirrorless camera, with a specialized IR cut filter optimized for astrophotography. In this article, I want to discuss why I purchased the EOS Ra, and share my results from the backyard.  Is the Canon E…

Canon EOS Ra Review

Canon EOS Ra Review

|Camera|18 Comments

The Canon EOS Ra camera is Canon's first full-frame mirrorless camera dedicated to astrophotography. It is suitable for deep-sky imaging with a telescope, and night sky photography with a camera lens. Based off of the extremely popular EOS R, the EOS Ra boasts unique features such as 30x magnification (viewfinder and Live View) for precise focusing, and roughly 4x more transmission sensitivity to the hydrogen-alpha (Hα) wavelength. Name: Canon EOS Ra Based on: Canon EOS R Release Date: November 2019 Type: Mirrorless System Resolution: 30.3 MP Sensor size: Full-Frame…

star trackers

Choosing a Star Tracker for Astrophotography

|Equipment|24 Comments

When it comes to astrophotography, a star tracker allows you to take better images. Your exposure lengths are no longer limited to 30-seconds or less due to a moving sky, and you can dial back camera settings like ISO and F-stop. Equatorial camera mounts are designed to align with the polar axis of the night sky so you can take long-exposure images that are free of star trailing. Astrophotography demands long-exposure tracked images to collect as much signal (light) as possible, and that is exactly what a star tracker allows you to do. I recommend the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer 2i (Pro Pack…

Andromeda Galaxy Astrophotography Tutorial

|Galaxies|16 Comments

In this post, I'll walk you through the image processing steps I used to create the image of the Andromeda Galaxy shown below. This astrophotography tutorial uses Adobe Photoshop to bring out the intense colors and detail of a galaxy that was photographed using a DSLR camera and a small telescope.  You can follow along and process the exact same data I did (download here), or you can try these techniques on your version of the Andromeda Galaxy taken using your own equipment. If you choose to download my data and process it, you can skip straight to the Photoshop portion of this tutoria…

The Impressive Optolong L-eNhance Filter

In this post, I'll share my results using the Optolong L-eNhance filter for deep sky astrophotography in the city. The L-eNhance is a dual band pass filter that ignores artificial light, yet collects a strong signal emitted by certain nebulae. This light pollution filter was designed for color cameras, whether it's a DSLR (a modified camera is best) or a one-shot-color dedicated astronomy camera like the one used (ASI294MC Pro) for the images in this post. As many of you know, I mostly shoot from the city. I love to travel to dark sky locations, but imaging from home is a lot more practi…

Your Astrophoto Skills

Your Astrophoto Skills

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This section of the AstroBackyard website is here for you to hone your astrophotography image processing skills. It is very interesting to see different takes on the same data set, using a variety of software to get the job done.  Astrophotography images require careful image processing techniques to reveal the faint and beautiful details that lie within the image data. By observing how others approach the same data, we can get a well-rounded point of reference for the subject. In my opinion, there is no singular "right way" to process your astrophotos, nor is their a superior softw…

Triad Ultra Filter Review

OPT Triad Ultra Filter

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I've been lucky enough to test the OPT Triad filter (Radian Telescopes) for astrophotography in the backyard. This is a 2" quad-band narrowband filter that collects light in 4 bandpasses, Ha, OIII, SII, and H-Beta. The "Ultra" version of the filter improves upon the previous tri-band version, now with an even narrower band-passes, and the inclusion of Sulfur II (SII). In theory, this creates images with more contrast and better separation between the H-beta and OIII channels.  Video: My results using a DSLR Camera The Triad Ultra filter was designed to be used primarily with color ca…

RedCat 51

William Optics RedCat 51 Review

|Telescopes|35 Comments

William Optics is a company known for creating high-performance apochromatic refractors and constantly updating and refining their designs. The RedCat 51 Petzval APO is the latest creation from the company that can't sit still, and it is bound to shake up the industry once more. I am fortunate enough to have been granted early access to this exciting Petzval apochromat that debuts in early March 2019. What makes the William Optics Redcat 51 so special? The 4-element Petzval design, unique focal length, and helical focuser. The sleek red finish of the RedCat 51 signals its individuality a…