Best Camera For Shooting The Moon

By | 02/11/2022

The best photographic camera for astrophotography in 2022: tools and lenses to shoot night skies

The best camera for astrophotography: tools, lenses and tools for shooting the night sky



The best camera for astrophotography needs to conform to some quite specific requirements. Information technology needs to be able to go along its shutter open for at least xxx seconds – likely longer – and be able to shoot in RAW format for the post-processing, which is a big part of astrophotography. A tripod mount is also a must for those long exposures, as is a lens that’s wide in both discontinuity and angle of view.

So information technology’south quite a specific list. But to be fair, if you lot want to photograph the night sky
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and grab celestial events like the Perseid meteor shower
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or the Northern Lights
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, yous exercise need to do quite a bit of preparation, otherwise you’ll come back with essentially nothing to prove for it. Light is in short supply when photographing the night sky, and and so you lot need to notice ways to maximise it.

In this guide, nosotros’ve not only picked out the best cameras for astrophotography, but the entire suite of gear y’all tin can use to take incredible night-sky images. We start out with our picks of the best cameras for astro shooting, then motility on to the best lenses – for more than choice in this department, cheque out our guide to the best lenses for astrophotography
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.

From there, nosotros pick out tripods and other accessories, similar star-trackers, filters and even telescope mounts for deep-sky astrophotography of star clusters, nebulae and afar galaxies. This is something of a separate chat, as the world of telescopes is an involved and complex ane, but you lot tin can bound to our guide to the best astrophotography telescopes
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to acquire more.

And then, if you’re planning to experiment with nightscapes and capture unforgettable images of the stars, read on as nosotros lay out all the photo gear you need to arrive happen. We have also a guide to handy
camera accessories

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if you lot’re looking for more options, and if you need a bag to put it all in, we’d recommend ane of the best camera backpacks
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.

Read more:
Astrophotography tips
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Cameras

(Image credit: Canon)


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Catechism’due south first ever total-frame astrophotography photographic camera is a winner

Specifications

Blazon:

Mirrorless

Sensor:

Total frame

Megapixels:

thirty.3MP

Lens mount:

Catechism RF

Screen:

3.15-inch vari-angle touchscreen, ii.1m dots

Viewfinder:

OLED type

Max burst speed:

8fps

Max video resolution:

4K UHD at 30/25/24fps

User level:

Enthusiast/professional person

Reasons to purchase


+

Specialized full-frame sensor



+

30x Live View & viewfinder zoom

Reasons to avoid


Cropped 4K video



Single SD bill of fare slot

Christmas came early for astrophotographers when Canon unveiled a fun surprise – the EOS Ra, a mirrorless camera
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specifically optimised for astro shooting, with an infrared-cutting filter capable of enabling iv times the amount of hydrogen 656nm blastoff rays. This means better transmission of deep red IR rays, for clearer and more bright astro images.

The 30x zoom on the rear screen and electronic viewfinder is also handy for astro shooters, and if you pair it with an RF lens (we’ve recommended one below then you can set up to be diddled away past the image quality. The trick lies with the 30MP full-frame prototype sensor (Canon’s previous astro photographic camera, the Canon EOS 60Da, was an APS-C DSLR).

Information technology’s not exactly the cheapest option, but for our money, this is simply your all-time bet for shooting the stars. An absolutely superb astrophotography photographic camera.

(Image credit: Futurity)


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Stunning depression low-cal performance thanks to this terrific total-frame all-rounder’southward insane ISO

Specifications

Type:

Mirrorless

Sensor:

Full frame

Megapixels:

24.2MP

Lens mount:

Sony-Eastward

Screen:

3.0-inch tilting touchscreen, 921,600 dots

Viewfinder:

XGA OLED type

Max burst speed:

10fps

Max video resolution:

4K UHD at thirty/24fps

User level:

Enthusiast/professional

Reasons to buy


+

Highly sophisticated AF system



+

4K video capabilities

Reasons to avoid


Imbalance with larger lenses



No bulldoze or focus mode dials

This isn’t a specialised astrophotography camera (they aren’t very common), but if you want a more general choice that’s equally good at astro as it is at everything else, and so we’d fully recommend the Sony A7 III. This full-frame mirrorless shooter from Sony offers 24.2MP of resolution and an expandable ISO ceiling of 204,800, which requite y’all a broad suite of options in depression calorie-free.

Also, weighing just 650g, this is a relatively light camera, which is handy if y’all’re heading out to remote locations to capture your astro images. Having a 3-inch tilting touchscreen is useful for shooting from low angles, and the selection of E-mount lenses includes loads of nifty options for astro photographers.

While there has been a successor to the A7 III in the form of, inevitably, the Sony A7 IV, we reckon the Three is a better choice for astrophotographers, every bit the 4 is a massively high-spec pick that’south going subsequently serious professionals. Its inflow also means nosotros could meet the price for the A7 III start to drop.

(Image credit: Future)

Delivers high resolution, high-speed shooting and value

Specifications

Type:

DSLR

Sensor:

Full frame

Megapixels:

45.7MP

Lens mount:

Nikon F

Screen:

iii.2in tilting touchscreen, 2.36m dots

Viewfinder:

Optical

Max outburst speed:

7fps

Max video resolution:

4K UHD at 30/25/24fps

User level:

Enthusiast/professional

Reasons to buy


+

Spectacular levels of detail



+

Lovely handling



+

Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid


Pedestrian alive view AF

Mirrorless cameras don’t accept it all their own way. At that place are yet some fantastic DSLRs
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out there for astrophotography and the D850 has to be one of the all-time. It’southward full-frame 45.7MP sensor still delivers some of the all-time images nosotros’ve seen from camera, and while the ISO might not be quite the best around, it’s still very well controlled. Information technology can too shoot at upward to an extended sensitivity range that’s equivalent to 108,400 (Hi2), while there’southward a ISO ceiling of 25,600. The build quality is splendid, while the treatment is excellent – those shooting in poor light will appreciate the illuminated body mounted controls that can easily be switched on, while the large and bright optical viewfinder will make framing upwardly easy. AF performance is stunning, but information technology’s allow down by the clunky focusing speed when using the rear screen. Bombardment life is brilliant though at over i,000 shots per charge – something event the best mirrorless cameras will even struggle to come close to.

(Image credit: Rod Lawton)


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A brilliantly well-rounded mirrorless camera

Specifications

Blazon:

Mirrorless

Sensor:

APS-C

Megapixels:

26.1MP

Lens mount:

Fujifilm X

Screen:

3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, ane.62m dots

Viewfinder:

XGA OLED type

Max burst speed:

15fps

Max video resolution:

C4K & UHD at lx/50/30/25/24p

User level:

Enthusiast

Reasons to buy


+

6.5-stop in-body stabilization



+

Archetype controls and layout



+

60p x-chip 4K internal video

Reasons to avoid


Complex burst & video fps options

Fujifilm’s flagship mirrorless camera, the X-T4 is a brilliant all-rounder that’s a good option for astrophotographers. While you lot might not get much utilize from the 6.5 stop in-body image stabilization system if you’re shooting in a tripod, the clever vari-bending touchscreen will make it a breeze to compose shots in both landscape and portrait orientation. The archetype body-mounted controls on the 10-T4 brand it a joy to use (and that fleck easier to set-up in the nighttime), while the image quality doesn’t disappoint. The 26.1MP APS-C sensor performs very well, while there’s a swell choice of fast primes out there to match with the Ten-T4.

How nosotros exam cameras

Why yous can trust Digital Camera World


Our adept reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you tin can cull the best for you. Detect out more about how we test.

Nosotros exam mirrorless and DSLR cameras both in existent-world shooting scenarios and in advisedly controlled lab conditions. Our lab tests measure resolution, dynamic range and indicate to dissonance ratio. Resolution is measured using ISO resolution charts, dynamic range is measured using DxO Analyzer test equipment and DxO Analyzer is also used for dissonance assay beyond the camera’s ISO range. We use these real-world testing and lab results to inform our comments in buying guides.

Lenses

(Paradigm credit: Hereafter)

The fastest, widest-angle prime lens for nightscapes

Specifications

Mounts:

Full Frame (Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Eastward, Sigma SA)

Elements/groups:

sixteen/xi

Angle of view:

114.two°

Max aperture:

f/1.8

Min aperture:

f/16

Focal length:

14mm

Discontinuity blades:

9

Dimensions:

95.4x126mm

Weight:

1,170g

Reasons to buy


+

Incredibly fast wide-angle



+

Abrupt, make clean and vivid Milky way



+

Very placidity car-focus

Reasons to avert


Heavy and expensive

Is this the all-time lens for astrophotography
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and for shooting the Milky Fashion? Available with mounts for total-frame DSLR cameras from Catechism, Nikon, Sigma and Sony (East-mount), this wide-bending prime lens from Sigma is all near speed. At f/one.8, it’s the fastest wide-bending lens in existence, and in dark weather, that’southward disquisitional. It means that a long exposure shot of the Milky way, something that usually takes about 25 seconds to epitome, can exist washed in virtually 10 seconds. Since stars begin to plain mistiness in such images at 25 seconds, this Sigma makes much brighter, sharper astro-images possible. It’due south also got an first-class (and repose) auto-focus for use in daylight. Nonetheless, this is a heavy lens that only dedicated astrophotographers will want to behave.

(Image credit: Futurity)


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A pro-spec constant-discontinuity f/2.8 ultra-wide zoom for the EOS Ra

Specifications

Mounts:

Canon RF

Elements/groups:

sixteen/12

Bending of view:

110°

Max aperture:

f/2.8

Min aperture:

f/22

Focal length:

15-35mm

Discontinuity blades:

ix

Dimensions:

88.5x127mm

Weight:

840g

Reasons to purchase


+

five-stop Image Stabilizer



+

Smaller than EF equivalent



+

No credible baloney

Reasons to avoid


Edge definition average

If y’all plump for an EOS Ra at the pinnacle of our list (or an EOS R5 or R6 alternatively) and then this is the dedicated lens for you. While you could utilize Canon’s EF to RF adapter if yous’ve got some existing EF glass, this is the lens to go for if y’all’re starting anew. It’due south expensive, but this lens is stunning and makes the nearly out of the new RF mountain. Focusing is fast and serenity thanks to the Nano Ultrasonic AF arrangement, while the build quality is hard to fault. A nice touch is the detachable lens hood, significant yous can nonetheless used front end-mounted filters with this ultra wide-angle lens. Optically, it’due south incredibly sharp, but if nosotros’re beingness picky, border sharpness could be a bit better.

(Image credit: Nikon)


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It may exist over a decade sometime, but this is still the best own-brand Nikon ultra-wide

Specifications

Mounts:

Nikon F

Elements/groups:

14/11

Bending of view:

114°

Max aperture:

f/2.8

Min aperture:

f/22

Focal length:

14-24mm

Aperture blades:

9

Dimensions:

98x132mm

Weight:

1,000g

Reasons to buy


+

Wide viewing angle and fast aperture



+

Useful zoom range



+

Great build

Reasons to avoid


Vignetting and distortion at 14mm

A globe first when it arrived dorsum in 2008, information technology’s built upward quite an impressive reputation since its launch, simply has since seen a number of newer rivals appear on the scene in the shape of the vivid Sigma 14-24mm and Tamron 15-30mm. This is still a swell lens though. Build quality is first-class, with a rubber weather-seal featured on the mounting plate, only just sentinel that large front element though. Optically this lens delivers excellent centre-sharpness, and holds upwards very well in the corners likewise. If you desire even better operation in this surface area, then the Sigma edges it just.

(Image credit: Samyang)


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Groovy prime lens for astrophotography on Canon and Nikon DSLRs

Specifications

Mount:

Canon EF, Nikon F

Total-frame compatible:

Yes

Autofocus:

No

Stabiliser:

No

Diaphragm blades:

9

Max bending of view (diagonal):

114 degrees (Full-frame)

Dimensions (WxL):

87x106mm

Weight:

791g

Reasons to buy


+

Generous viewing angle



+

Superb image quality



+

Good build and treatment

Reasons to avoid


Only for Catechism and Nikon DSLRs

From Korean manufacturer Samyang’s XP stable of premium manual-focus prime lenses for Canon and Nikon full-frame cameras, this 14mm f/2.4 is platonic for astrophotography. The lens is sold every bit the
Rokinon SP 14mm f/two.4

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in North America. The high-quality glass is neatly wrapped in a actually solid casing. The rubberized manual focus ring gives a very assured grip and has a long rotational travel with a fluid feel. At that place’south no atmospheric condition-seal ring on the mounting plate to guard against the ingress of dust and wet. To be fair, though, if you lot’re photographing the Milky Manner, you’ll need clear, dry out and dust-free weather condition.

In our review, we were hugely impressed by how well this lens maintained its image quality when broad open up, which is hugely important for astrophotography. It’south markedly amend than Irix’southward rival 15mm f/ii.4 Blackstone lens or a Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art
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. Sharpness is both very good and extremely consequent beyond the image frame.

How nosotros exam lenses

We exam lenses using both real globe sample images and lab tests. Our lab tests are carried out scientifically in controlled weather using the Imatest testing suite, which consists of custom charts and analysis software that measures resolution in line widths/picture elevation, a measurement widely used in lens and camera testing. We find the combination of lab and real-word testing works all-time, as each reveals different qualities and characteristics.

Accessories

(Epitome credit: Vanguard)


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9. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB tripod

Stable, flexible and packed with features unremarkably institute on higher-end tripods

Specifications

Maximum load:

half dozen.9kg

Maximum height:

173cm

Minimum height:

142.2cm

Folded length:

71.5cm

Number of leg sections:

3

Weight:

two.5kg

Reasons to buy


+

Sturdy



+

Excellent value

Reasons to avert


Heavier aluminium build



Larger folded profile

The best pick for astrophotography and night-time landscapes is a total-size and very sturdy tripod. That’s a shame, considering the hobby commonly requires walking off into the wilderness where equipment is at a premium, but it’s still worth avoiding short travel tripods. That’s especially true if your camera doesn’t have a tilting LCD screen, considering you’re likely to exist pointing the photographic camera upwardly. Nevertheless, you lot also can’t afford for a gust of current of air to ruin a long exposure photograph. Weighing 2.4kg, the

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB tripod

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has three sections (the fewer sections, the better) and a ball head that rotates through 360 degrees. It also includes a quick-release plate and handy bubble levels.

Read more than:
The best tripods correct now
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(Epitome credit: Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)


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This lightweight star tracker is perfect for long exposures with no star trails

Specifications

Mountain Type:

Ultra meaty equatorial tracking platform

Motor Drive:

DC Servo

Tracking Modes:

Sidereal, Solar or Lunar tracking rate for both Northern & Southern hemisphere; time-lapse photography (12hr/4hr/2hr rev)

Auto-guiding interface:

Built-in

Polar finder:

Born

Weight:

650g

Reasons to buy


+

Straightforward assembly



+

Lightweight and portable

Reasons to avoid


Max 3kg payload



Battery life not swell

The rotation of the World means that long exposures of the night heaven are limited to about 30 seconds in length before the stars beginning to trail across the sky. When exposures significantly longer than this are needed to capture enough light from celestial objects, it can be hard to know how to go about shooting them. The solution is a a star tracker
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 like the Skywatcher Star Adventurer Mini, which is portable enough to have to whatever astro-shooting location.

What the Star Charlatan Mini does is tilt your photographic camera to track the stars – one time it’s been aligned with the star Polaris, that is. This can have some practice, but is easy once you get the hang of it – we run through the basics in our practical mural photography guide.

The Star Charlatan Mini is designed for 55mm lenses, though as we discovered in our Star Charlatan Mini review, you can use it with significantly larger and longer zooms, and still go peachy results. In one case you link it up with your smartphone via the Wi-Fi, the tracker is like shooting fish in a barrel to control, fifty-fifty if the app is a little buggy.

(Image credit: iOptron)


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11. iOptron SkyTracker Pro

An alternative lightweight, portable star tracker that’s like shooting fish in a barrel to marshal

Specifications

Mount Type:

Ultra compact single centrality EQ

Motor Drive:

Single-axis DC Servo

Tracking speed:

1X Cel, 1/2 Cel, solar, lunar, N/South

Weight:

i.2kg

Reasons to buy


+

Ultra portable



+

Affordable

Reasons to avoid


1.36kg max payload

Some other star tracker mount much similar the Skywatcher Star Adventurer Mini, the iOptron SkyTracker is some other reasonably affordable way into either long-exposure astro-landscapes, or ‘deep heaven’ astrophotography using a zoom lens. Able to fit directly to regular photography tripods, and able to accept a photographic camera and lens weighing up to 3kg, the SkyTracker Pro has an illuminated polar scope for precise alignment with Polaris, the North Star. It’due south best used with the TS-Eyes Ball Head TS-BH-51AT.

Great targets for DSLR cameras on star tracker mounts include the Andromeda Milky way and Perseus Double Cluster – both ascent in the e in autumn – and winter’s Orion Nebula, just below Orion’south Belt.

Read more:
The all-time star trackers
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(Image credit: Celestron)


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12. Celestron 93419 T-Ring Adapter

A useful addition to your astrophotography tool kitbag

Specifications

Uniform with:

Canon EOS cameras (other varieties exist)

Package weight:

0.05kg

Box dimensions (LxWxH) :

6.9×6.6×1.8cm

Reasons to buy


+

Snug connection



+

Well fabricated

Reasons to avoid


Prepare screws can need retightening

If you lot do have a telescope, or you recall you might have occasional admission to ane, a cheap T-Ring Adapter is a useful addition to your astrophotography kitbag. A standard screw mount for cameras that screws on in place of a lens, it enables a DSLR trunk to be attached to a telescope. The Celestron 93419 T-Ring Adapter, from telescope-maker Celestron, has a T-Ring specifically for Catechism cameras, merely the Celestron 93402 is as well bachelor for Nikon cameras. To attach it to a telescope means adding a T-Adapter uniquely designed for specific telescopes, which a telescope-owner will ordinarily have.

If y’all merely want to photo the moon
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, a great alternative is to but put your smartphone
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upward to a telescope’s eyepiece; it’s easy enough to practice gratis-hand, only the Carson HookUpz 2.0 Universal Smartphone Eyes Adapter makes it even easier.

(Image credit: Hoya)


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13. Hoya Starscape Low-cal Pollution Cut Filter

A slim filter that fifty-fifty works with wider lenses

Specifications

Available sizes:

49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm

Reasons to purchase


+

Reduces color casts



+

Improves contrast and visibility

Reasons to avoid


Large sizes are pricey

A light pollution filter will suppress the emissions generated by bogus lighting, reducing the yellow/greenish color caused by metropolis lights that will stop you lot from capturing the night sky in all its glory. This spiral-on filter is available in a range of filter thread sizes has a dandy depression profile, while it’s compatible with both broad- and super wide-angle lenses. Perfect for shooting both nightscapes and astrological photography at night.

Read more

Best low-cal pollution filters

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(Image credit: K&F)


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fourteen. K&F Concept Natural Night Filter Light Pollution Filter

Coated to be tough, this is a premium filter for cutting unwanted light

Specifications

Available sizes:

52mm, 58mm, 67mm, 77mm, 82mm and 100mm

Reasons to buy


+

Scratch and water resistant



+

Double sided nano blanket

Reasons to avert


Not the cheapest

Non the most affordable option out there, only this light pollution filter from K&F Concept has a number of nice touches. Very slim at but 3.8mm wide, it’s too scratch and water resistant, while the filter is fabricated from aviation grade aluminum blend equally well. Optically, it features a double-sided nano coating to assistance terminate yellowish and orange wavelengths of lite from inbound the lens, with K&F Concept recommending using a transmission white balance setting and selecting a color temperature between 700K and 1,500K.

Read more:
The best light pollution filters

Read more:

  • How to meliorate your astrophotography: tips, tricks and techniques

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  • The best telescopes for astrophotography

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  • The best CCD cameras for astrophotography
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  • The all-time light pollution filters
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  • The best lenses for astrophotography
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  • The best star tracker camera mounts
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  • How to photograph a claret moon
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  • How to capture star trails
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  • All-time caput torch
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Jamie has been writing about all aspects of technology for over 14 years, producing content for sites like TechRadar, T3, Forbes, Mashable, MSN,
Southward People’s republic of china Morning time Post, and
BBC Wild fauna, BBC Focus and
BBC Sky At Night
magazines.

As the editor for www.WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com, he has a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise for all things astrophotography, from capturing the Perseid Meteor Shower, lunar eclipses and ring of fire eclipses, photographing the moon and blood moon and more.

He also brings a great deal of knowledge on activeness cameras, 360 cameras, AI cameras, camera backpacks, telescopes, gimbals, tripods and all manner of photography equipment.

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Source: https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/buying-guides/best-camera-for-astrophotography