To be honest, even if I did buy myself a nice new DSLR, I'd be reluctant to remove the IR filter, as it sounds like the process is irreversible, or practically so. I'd prefer it as a toggle at the push of a button, thanks very much. Am I being too demanding? (Based on neufer's post re seeing through clothing, it could be called "pervert mode", to serve as a warning to the innocent user.)
My wife's Nikon D5100 is a great camera, especially at high ISO. The 23x15mm sensor is really well suited to my 1500mm focal-length, f/10 alt-az goto SCT. It is the perfect match to frame the whole moon in a single exposure at impressive resolution ... as well as so many of the brighter deep sky thingies, with single exposures of no more than 30 seconds.
Because I spend a lot of time in front of a computer in the daytime, I'd rather spend my nights outside under the stars (in my comfortable suburban backyard), than inside stacking frames. As such, I've really come to appreciate the noise from my high ISO (3200 - 10000) deep sky images, and I try to push them to the limit of my sky glow as fast as possible. (There is also a limit to the tracking accuracy of a small, unguided alt-az mount, but mine is impressive enough for me.)
The one thing lacking from the D5100 (apart from magic IR filter toggle) is the ability to record movies at 1:1 pixel resolution (which many Canons appear to have). The D5100 can only use all 16 mega pixels (rather than a small portion of the sensor) to record HD videos, meaning that the resolution is down-sampled by about a factor of 5. This makes it not very good for imaging the planets, which dashed my hopes somewhat. Thus far (and I've only been doing it for less than a year) I've become rather the expert at taking blurry shots of the planets.
If anyone has any affordable solutions for recording movies at 1:1 pixel resolution, which does not require taking a laptop/tablet into the field, I'd be interested to hear. The range of DSLRs on the market is frankly too baffling for me, and all the people employed to market them should take a good look at themselves. (I'd also like to avoid a dedicated astro-camera if possible, as that will tempt me to buy a bigger telescope ... then an observatory ... and I might miss my family.)
Last edited by Nitpicker on Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.