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Best Cameras for Astrophotography

Expert Reviews & Buying Guide

quadcopter reviewsBest Cameras for Astrophotography

Our Recommendations

In a hurry? Here are the best products at a glance.

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How to Choose the Best Astrophotography Camera

There’s nothing like spending a night outside looking at the stars. If you ever wished that you could capture that moment and hold onto it just a little longer, then maybe you should consider looking into the best cameras for astrophotography. We did a lot of research and looked through a lot of telescopes to put together these cameras for astrophotography reviews. Before we get started, let’s get familiar with some of the features you need to know.

Best Cameras for Astrophotography

Type: There are few different kinds of cameras on our list, including SLR, DSLR, and CMOS. These are high def cameras that take beautiful pictures. We also found so awesome cameras that mount inside your telescope to capture things close up.

Best Cameras for Astrophotography

USB: A USB port is a pretty easy way to transfer images and video from your camera to your computer. That’s why most of our picks are USB compatible. And get this: they even come with a cable!

How to Choose the Best Astrophotography Camera

WiFi: USBs may be a pretty easy way to transfer your images, but WiFi is the easiest way by far. Some of these cameras are equipped with WiFi, allowing you to wirelessly transfer your video and images.

Best Cameras for Astrophotography

Flash: You don’t really need a flash when you’re doing astrophotography. After all, your subjects are pretty far away. But if you want to be able to use your camera for other things, a flash might be a good idea.

Best Cameras for Astrophotography

Mountable: You can get some pretty spectacular shots with the right camera mounted to your telescope. Some of these were specially designed just for that reason. If you’re hoping for deep space photos, this is what you need.

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Warranty: Warranties are always important, especially when it comes to electronics. Make sure you read your warranty carefully so you know what if covered, what isn’t, and for how long. You don’t want any surprises down the line!

Top 10 Products

Now that you know a little more about the key features of these cameras, let’s get into our reviews. Here’s the deal: the first 2 items on our list are our top pick and budget pick. This is the best place to start if you don’t have a lot of time. You’ll get some idea of what’s out there. Of course, the rest of the items on our list are pretty great, too, so stick around if you can. Okay, let’s go!

Canon EOS Rebel T5 SLR

Top Pick
Our top pick is also the best Canon astrophotography camera. The powerful 18-megapixel image sensor combined with the impressive image processor shoot amazing HD video and take beautiful high-resolution photographs. This camera comes with several lenses, including the best Canon lens for astrophotography. It actually comes with 4 lenses, including 2 telephoto lenses and a wide-angle lens. This camera is really sensitive to light which helps it to capture the nighttime sky. To help with those long exposure shots, this camera comes with a tripod so you don’t have to worry about staying perfectly still while taking the photo. You get a lot of other nice accessories with this camera, too, like a cleaning kit, 3-piece filter-kit, LCD screen protectors, and lens caps. We think this is the best Canon camera for astrophotography.
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Orion StarShoot USB Camera

Budget Pick
Onto our budget pick, the telescope-mounted Orion StarShoot USB Camera. It’s pretty impressive. Obviously, because it’s telescope mounted, it gives you an amazing view of the stars, moon, and everything else you see in the night sky. Here’s the deal: it captures the images and sends them to your computer. Or, just show them on your computer screen for your family, friends, or even classmates see. Then, download files, create digital movies, and save beautiful stills. One of the best things about this camera is that it fits into any 1.25-inch telescope focuser which makes it really versatile. It’s actually powered using a USB cable that attaches from the camera to your computer. What does that mean for you? You never have to worry about batteries when you use this camera.
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Nikon D5300 SLR Camera

Review
If you’re looking for the best digital camera for astrophotography, take a closer look at the Nikon D5300 SLR Camera. This is an easy camera to get the hang of because it’s designed well and logically laid out. You can choose from manual, semi-manual, and automatic modes so you have as much control over the shot as you want. If you’re new to photography, automatic mode will fine tune things for you. If you’ve been at it awhile, you’ll like that you can make adjustments on your own in manual mode. As for video, we liked that it records 5 frames each second when you’re filming continuously. That’s not all, this best DSLR camera for astrophotography is also equipped with WiFi for quick and easy picture sharing and a GPS for mapping and geotagging your photos.
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iOptron 5200 Planetarium Imager

Review
With the 5200 Plantarium Imager, iOptron has made a great piece of astrophotography equipment. It fits right into a standard telescope eyepiece of 1 ¼ inches. You don’t even need and astrophotography camera mount. How does it work? You connect the camera to your computer with a USB cable. The life stream of what the telescope captures then plays right on your computer screen. Then, simply download the videos to your computer and capture stills. This is a great way to show a large group of people what your camera can capture. Show your family, friends, or a classroom of excited student real images from the night sky right in your backyard! All the software that you need to use is included and, don’t worry! It’s incredibly easy to use and really fun to use.
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Orion 52031 Astrophotography Camera

Review
The Orion 52031 is a good camera for astrophotography if you’re looking for one that mounts to your telescope. It’s highly sensitive and efficient for some clear, sharp images. We really like how compact this camera is. It’s really slim and lightweight and slips right into your telescope’s eyepiece. In addition to being an awesome camera, this one was actually designed to for precise auto guiding. What exactly do we mean by that? It will actually help you capture better photos. Because its frame rate is 200 frames per second, you won’t miss an instant of what is happening. And here is the best part. You can even deep space images with this camera because it’s maximum exposure time is 10 minutes. The included software is awesome, too, and lets you change things like the exposure and gain settings.
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Celestron Solar System Imager

Review
Celestron has a really awesome camera that mounts into your telescope and lets you take some pretty awesome pictures. This high speed, high-resolution camera produces really clear images and, depending on the strength of your telescope, can capture really clear planetary images. One of the best things about this stethoscope is that it comes with everything you need to get started so long as you provide your own telescope. The included software is pretty amazing. It actually analyzes each frame, gets rid of any that are fuzzy or unclear, then puts what’s left into a clear image with a lot of color and detail. Something like this comes in really handy if you live in a place with a lot of light pollution. This software is great for anyone new to astrophotography or anyone who’ve been at it awhile.
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Sony a7R II Mirrorless Camera

Review
For the best mirrorless camera for astrophotography, there’s the Sony a7R II Mirrorless Camera. Simply put, it’s awesome. This is the first camera in the world that has a full-frame CMOS sensor. What does that mean? CMOS sensors are more sensitive than the kind used in DSLR cameras, so a CMOS camera will produce clearer, crisper images. Its ability to take amazing photos is the thing we loved about this one the most. That it as WiFi is the second thing. This makes it so easy to connect to your smartphone and use the app to store and share your work. The shutter vibration suppression is a great feature, too, because you can take long exposure shots that won’t be ruined by the slightest of movements. One more thing. It also records video in ultra-high def 4K.
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Astromania Telescope CMOS Camera

Review
We already know that a CMOS camera gives you the highest definition photos, even more so than a DSLR. If you’re looking for a CMOS camera you can mount on your telescope so you can get amazing images of deep space, well, this is the camera for you. The Astromania Telescope CMOS Camera’s sensor is super sensitive and fast. Plus, you can do long time exposures with it which is important when you’re doing astrophotography. The software that comes with this camera is really good, too. It can do video previews, processing, and dark field correction. But, it’s been designed to easily work with a lot of the other astrophotography software out there. It fits on standard 1.25 inch telescopes and has a convenient port where you can connect and auto guide if you want to.
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iOptron Planetarium Imager

Review
This iOptron Planetarium Imager is capable of producing some really awesome photos. It has a 5 megapixel CMOS sensor so it’s equipped with some of the best technology around. It also has special digital clarity technology to reduce any noise. One thing we really liked about how this one creates images is how it stacks the photos into one image. Basically, it captures a lot of images, chooses the best ones, and compiles them into one. This lens is mountable and fits telescopes of 1.25 inches. It connects to your PC or laptop with a USB cord and the included software is easy to use. If you’re a computer person, you might be interested to know that the included software is compatible with Linux. Don’t worry, you can also use it with more popular operating systems, too.
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Orion 52175 Solar System Camera

Review
The Orion 52175 Solar System Camera is a telescope mountable camera that’s great for someone who is just getting into astrophotography. This is a CMOS camera that produces really clear images. It fits into standard 1.25 inch telescopes and makes it super simple for you to get great photos of the moon, stars, planets. Listen to this. When you use it at 1280 x 1024 resolution, it captures up to as many as 15 frames per second. Then, to create a more detailed image, these images are stacked on top of each other. Another cool thing about this camera is that it has a filter that blocks UV and infrared light, which can really change the quality of an image. The included software is really great, too, and the files are easy to transfer using the included USB cable.
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