DLSR cameras: here to stay?

The D810A is Nikon's first foray into the astronomical DSLR market

The biggest change in astronomy surely has to be the surge of interest in photographing the night sky, especially given how recent advances in the imaging capability of smart phones are enabling almost everyone to try their hand.

So does this mean the end is in sight for the use of DSLRs in astrophotography?

I don’t believe so, and as a case in point in the latest issue we take a look at Nikon’s D810A, which is an astro-customised version of their popular D810 DSLR (view a 360° image here).

Canon have normally been at the forefront of serving astrophotographers’ needs in the past. They understand that normal DSLRs have a filter that cuts out some of the red end of the spectrum in order to produce a natural, daylight-balanced photo.

However, this does also cut out much of the nebulosity that astrophotographers love to image, and so in the past it was Canon with their 20DA and recently their 60DA models that catered best for astroimagers.

Now Nikon have joined them, brining a bit of competition to the market. In the May issue, one of our new reviewers Nigel A Ball sees what the Nikon D810A can really do.

Meanwhile, it seems eyepieces are all the rage, with new models coming out every few months. In this month’s issue, Steve Richards takes a look at the latest offering from Vixen - the SSW range with their flashy looking coloured bodies - and gives us his verdict (360° image here).

Of course, there is always room for the humble achromat refractor, and in the May issue I have fun exploring the virtues of Altair’s Starwave Classic 102mm (360° image here).

For the latest reviews, practical astronomy tips, this month's Sky Guide and more, make sure you pick up a copy of the May issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine, out 21 April.

Paul Money is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's reviews editor.


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