updated 08:30 am EDT, Tue April 3, 2012
Canon focuses on star photography with new DSLR
Canon on Tuesday updated its astronomy-friendly DSLR offering for the first time in several years by launching the EOS 60Da. The new version, a modification not seen since the EOS 20Da, takes the 18-megapixel camera and gives it both a changed infrared filter and improved sensitivity to hydrogen-alpha light. The upgrades give it about three times better performance overall for photographing a nebula cloud and other star formations.
Also new is the inclusion of Canon's RA-E3 remote controller adapter to ease hooking up a timer or other controls. An AC adapter kit also included in the box can keep the camera powered for long periods, such as during a time-lapse photo session.
The camera is otherwise functionally similar to the regular EOS 60D, although Canon has noted that certain features make more sense for starfield photography. The silent shooting mode, normally meant to avoid startling wildlife, can help by reducing the amount of vibration during a long-exposure telephoto shot.
Only some stores will carry the EOS 60Da when it ships later in April. The changes and the extras raise the price to $1,500, or about a $500 premium over the regular DSLR.