Canon 60Da Sample Star Photographs

Yesterday Canon announced a new DSLR geared specifically towards taking pictures of stars, the 60Da. For $400 more than the original retail price of the standard 60D, avid astrophotographers can purchase a camera that offers a “modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor with heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity” for shooting “‘red hydrogen emission’ nebulae and other cosmic phenomena”. If you have no idea what that means, Canon has helpfully published a number of sample photographs captured with the camera. The side-by-side comparison above shows how the camera’s results differ from the standard 60D.

Here are a few additional sample shots:

Canon 60Da Sample Images (via Canon Rumors)

  • LOL

    Yea, but any info about the glass that they used? I doubt the standard kit lens could bring such detail.

  • Jake Doe

    special infraredglass as far as i know

  • Ollie Williams

    Well it’s OBVIOUSLY not the standard kit lens, because it doesn’t have that kind of very high magnification.

  • Joey Duncan

    Probably a telescope on an adapter. Still impressive. I’d like to see if there is a difference in viewing the Milkyway 

  • Joey Duncan

    Followed a few links, i was right, it’s a telescope.”
    astronomical telescopes reflector 115mm”

  • Robert Fitzgerald

    Well I just got to get me one of those telescopes to go with it. Thanks for the research Joey.

  • Airick

    Unless looking directly at another galaxy through a telescope, all of the stars in the visible sky are in the Milky Way.

  • David Thunander

    Save some money and add som saturation to your 60D shot… would look the same, wouldnt it?

  • jdm8

    I just tried, nope, even saturating just the red channel on the 60D image doesn’t make the image look similar to the 60Da image.

  • Jeff

    saturation wont do it. the 60da is sensitive to light the 60d is designed to cut out.

  • Jeff

    you can as an alternative, send your 60d to one of several places that will remove the ir cutoff filter and replace the filter glass with a special filter that allows the hydrogen alpha light to pass undisturbed to the cmos. that’ll run you around $300 + shipping. if you do much astro imaging it is well worth the trouble

  • Ken

    Initial thoughts:  If you want to use a DSLR for astrophotography, get a cheaper camera with less megapixels, bigger individual pixels, and get the $300 modification done to it.   For the price of a 60da, you could get a dedicated astrophotography CCD purpose built for use on a telescope, with a higher quantum efficiency.

    Oh, and all the naive comments are quite entertaining.  All DSLR’s come with a built in filter that blocks some red light, not just the standard 60d.  You can’t just saturate something that the camera didn’t detect.  Of course a telescope was used, a standard kit lens would show quite a bit of distortion and would capture a much bigger piece of the sky. Even Andromeda looks small in a kit lens.

  • Erik Lauri Kulo

    With a couple of extenders… aw yeah.

  • Erik Lauri Kulo

    I wonder how it looks when shooting normally. 

  • Guest

    Or you could just shoot film. No IR filter or sensor pixel overheating (which digital camera makers always neglect to mention). Just open the shutter, lock it and come back in 30 minutes. 

  • Mantis
  • adam

    hmm, the 60D image looks better. :O

  • adam

    hmm, the 60D image looks better. :O

  • John Pidal

    I guess what he means is the Milky Way as in the band of light across the sky.

  • Kristopher D Staller

    I’ve obtained better images with a Canon T2i ($450) and an Astronomik CLS filter ($125).  The T2i has the same iso settings, and you can modify the camera with peltier cooling and Ha IR filtering for another $350.  Essentially the same capability (or better with the peltier upgrade) at one-third to half of the price. If they were going to make it for astrophotography, why not slim down the case to make it more friendly with the fastar or hyperstar lenses?

  • Nick Steel

     Hey Kristopher, I have heard of alot of people modding their cameras with the peltier cooling and Ha IR filtering, but I am unfamiliar with where i should get it done. Is there a specific company that does these mods? I doubt i have the know how to do it myself. At the moment i am using just a t2i with an O-III filter, but ive been wanting to get the mod done for a while. thanks for any help!

  • Gueststar

    you still need a equatorial mount with a clockdrive to get these kinds of photos, especially for a shot like Andromeda as seen in the samples. Don’t get this camera if you thinks its just point and shoot with a beefy telelens

  • jakcst


  • st7276

    Bigger pixels than what the 60Da offers aren’t necessarily desirable. 60Da sized pixels offer better sampling and resolution for imaging with focal lengths under 600 mm depending, of course, on seeing