When looking for a beginner camera for astrophotography, I’d recommend going with a DSLR. Reason being is that you can go from very wide milky way shots all the way into going very deep with the right accessories and telescope. Going with a DSLR increases the flexibility and eases the learning curve as you begin your journey. My recommendation after a few years of use is the Canon EOS Rebel t7i.
If this review is helpful, feel free to comment at the bottom!
Update as of November 11th, 2021: This review is on the list for an update as part of the website revamp. Check back soon to see the updated version!
Price & Features of the Canon EOS Rebel t7i:
Starting out with this review of the Canon EOS Rebel t7i, there are plenty of things that Astrophotographers look for. So, we will hit the points you might want to know about first.
- It has a flip out, rotatable screen. This is super useful when your camera is pointed at weird angles on your mount or tracker.
- Screen is dimmable, and when you are ready to shoot, flip it around to hide the screen to keep things dark!
- USB Control – useful for when using the ASI AIR or a laptop with programs such as PHD2
- Performs well for nightscape images.
- Large list of lenses to choose from due to APS-C being a popular lens mount.
- It’s also very easy to find a telescope adapter ring.
- Mirror lockup is easily changed for long exposures, which helps to reduce vibrations.
- ISO goes from 100 to 25600 by default, great for framing shots at high ISO then go with the intended ISO (at least that’s my process)
- The signal to noise ratio is very good compared to other cameras in this price range.
Non-Astrophotography Pros of the Canon EOS Rebel t7i
- It has built in Wifi so you can control it with a phone app, but I recommend using an intervalometer for astrophotography.
- If not astro-modified, it’s a great beginner camera in general for daytime photography
- It is lightweight for a camera in this price range.
- Very helpful screens to help beginner photographers understand each mode.
- The 24.2 megapixel sensor is great for daytime photography, but don’t use this as a factor for astro. Megapixels doesn’t matter as much in astrophotography.
- Multiple shooting modes for every situation.
- If you choose to record video, there is a microphone input.
- Speaking of video, Canon has software which enables the camera to be used as a webcam, which is useful for Zoom calls or streaming.
- The large list of lenses I mentioned are also generally cheaper than full frame equivalents.
- As with most DSLR’s, the batteries aren’t designed for astrophotography.
- I highly recommend getting an AC adapter or an adapter to use a power bank. That way you are not switching batteries constantly.
- Here is the USB adapter I use for a power bank:
- If you have access to power, here is the AC adapter I use
- The body of this camera is NOT weather sealed, which can cause problems on dewy nights.
- Like all other DSLR’s, it does not come with cooling, which limits the length of time for long exposures on deep sky objects. Keep it under five minutes, unless it is really cold out!
- The USB cable is Micro USB-2.0, which is a technology that is fading away. The cables are getting harder to find, so grab multiple at a time!
- For those planning on sports photography, burst shooting is slower than equivalents in the same price range.
- If you do use it for video at all, it is limited to 1080p with the highest framerate being 60fps, so you will not be able to record in 4k.
If you would prefer, you can check out my video review on YouTube:
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