Attention star gazers: Canon has a camera just for you

Fans of the night sky who like to snap as well as gaze might be interested to know that Canon has just announced a new camera optimized for taking pictures of outer space.

The 60Da has been specially designed with astronomers and hobbyists in mind, and is the successor to 2005’s 20Da device. The camera, unveiled by Canon on Tuesday, is set to go on sale later this month.

According to a Canon press release, the new device comes with “a modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor with heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity” that allow the camera to capture “magnificent photographs of ‘red hydrogen emission’ nebulae and other cosmic phenomena.” To non-astronomer types, that may sound like alien-speak, but we assume if you’re a regular space snapper this will make at least a modicum of sense.

Essentially, crisper, sharper, clearer images of those far away dust/gas combos (aka nebulae) should be possible with Canon’s new offering, thanks to a hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity about three times higher than that of a regular Canon DSLR camera.

The 60Da incorporates an 18-megapixel sensor, which is more than double the size of the sensor found in its predecessor. It also has a nine-point autofocus system and a 3-inch flip-out LCD screen. Its silent-shooting feature does away with shutter-induced vibration, ensuring maximum stability when using a super-telephoto lens, for example.

ISO speeds on Canon’s new camera reach 6400, expandable to 12800 — another big improvement on the old 20Da, which, in comparison, had a rather paltry top ISO of 1600, expandable to just 3200. Pictures can be taken in both JPEG and RAW formats, and the camera’s Live View stream can be fed through to a TV monitor using the supplied cable.

“The EOS 60Da is a testament to the constant desire to meet the needs of every customer, including those in specialized fields,” Canon’s Yuichi Ishizuka said, adding, “This new camera enables an accurate depiction of a part of our solar system which is hard to achieve with conventional cameras.”

The specialist unit, which comes with a not-too-stratospheric price tag of $1499, could be a real boon for amateur space photographers looking for that special bit of kit to help maximize the beauty of their night-time shots.

[Image: Kevin Carden / Shutterstock]

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