Canon Adds Next-Gen Astronomers' d-SLR

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Lake Success, N.Y. -

Canon U.S.A.

has introduced a next-generation d-SLR that is optimized for use by astronomers.


The EOS 60Da ($1,500 suggested retail) is the successor to EOS 20Da, which was developed as a specialized d-SLR for capturing images through telescopes.

The 60Da is said to offer a modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor with heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity. This allows the camera to capture photographs of "red hydrogen emission" nebulae and other cosmic phenomena.

"The EOS 60Da is a testament to the constant desire to meet the needs of every customer, including those in specialized fields," stated Yuichi Ishizuka, Canon USA imaging technologies executive VP and general manager. "This new camera enables an accurate depiction of a part of our solar system which is hard to achieve with conventional cameras but should be enjoyed and celebrated."

The Canon EOS 60Da features an 18-megapixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor, up from the 8.2-megapixel sensor in the 20Da.

Canon said the new camera's improved infrared-blocking filter is a modification suited specifically to astronomy work for enhanced hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity that is approximately three times higher than that of a normal Canon d-SLR camera.

This produces a 20 percent higher transmittance of Hydrogen Alpha line, or Hα wavelength, allowing astronomers to capture crisp, clear images of reddish, diffuse nebulae, Canon said.

The result is the capture of crisp star and planet images, viewable through the camera's 3-inch 1,040,000-dot Clear View LCD screen.

The flip-out vari-angle screen design is said to enable adjusting for optimal viewing comfort when the camera is mounted to a telescope via a third-party T-ring adapter.

The camera is also said to be ideal for stargazing with friends or in educational settings. It can connect to a TV with the provided AVC-DC400ST stereo A/V video cable and display the night sky on a TV monitor using the camera's Live View mode.

The Live View mode includes a silent shooting feature that eliminates shutter-induced vibration for maximum camera stability when mounted to a telescope or super-telephoto EF lens.

Enhanced noise reduction on the EOS 60Da sensor offers the ability to experiment with an array of ISO settings and increased ISO speeds up to 6400 expandable to 12800. Other features include an intelligent nine-point autofocus system, full manual controls, and RAW, JPEG and RAW+JPEG image recording capabilities.

The camera is compatible with Canon's range of EF and EF-S lenses and other EOS accessories. It ships with an RA-E3 remote controller adapter, enabling use of a Canon Timer Remote Control such as the TC-80N3 (optional accessory).

The TC-80N3 will control time exposures longer than 30 seconds and will enable capture of consecutive time exposures that can be composited during post-processing for improved image quality.

This is especially useful when the camera body is connected to a telescope or an EF super telephoto lens.

Also included is an AC adapter kit to enable powering the camera through an AC wall outlet or a battery-powered inverter. This is useful for long exposure images or video capture at home or in the field.

The EOS 60Da will be carried starting this month only by select authorized dealers.


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