Canon 60Da: An Astrophotography DSLR

Canon has announced the new 60Da, a DSLR geared towards astrophotographers and the successor to the 20Da. So what’s different about this camera? A “modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor with heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity” which allows it to capture photos of “‘red hydrogen emission’ nebulae and other cosmic phenomena”:

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 H α wavelength, allowing astronomers to capture crisp, clear images of reddish, diffuse nebulae.

The basic specs remain unchanged from the original 60D: an 18MP APS-C sensor, 9-point AF, and a 3-inch articulated screen. Also included with the camera is a remote controller adapter and an AC adapter kit. Stargazers will be able to snag one later this month for $1,499.

(via Canon)

  • Zta

    Why didn’t they add this into the 5DmkIII?  What’s the downside of this heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity and low-noise sensor? 

  • Zefanya Hanata

    Everything will be red.

  • Zta

     So this camera *only* works for capturing night sky?

  • Richard Collett

    I’m sure there’s filters you can get to cancel out the H-Alpha sensitivity so that you can use the camera for ‘normal’ use.

  • Jackson Cheese

    I’ve been looking for a new camera with heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity for all the weddings and portraits that I shoot.

  • Jim

    This camera may not be for you.

  • Jackson Cheese

    Or is it?

  • Francois

    Well if you consider the price increase (60D vs 60Da) and the small market, it is not worth putting in production something like a 5DmkIIIa. Also in astronomy you very rarely have enough focal length ;-) So the smaller sensor is better.
    But if you really want to use a 5DmkIII it is possible: you just have to remove the IR filter that is in front of the sensor.

    You can of course use it during the day time and you will get the typical IR look to your pictures. To get regular images you would have to clip in some IR filters. The “only” problem is that such filters do not exist for full frame sensor, so if you remove the IR filter from the 5DmkIII you can forget about “normal” photography. 

  • Stephan Zielinski

    All I know is never ask the bride if she’s a Cepheid variable unless you already know the answer.