Our Picks for Great Astrophotography Cameras

Point these cameras at the night sky for a closer look at the cosmos


March 29, 2021
Night sky in full detail.
Turn the nighttime sky and beyond into a canvas with an astrophotography camera. Pixabay

Do you think astrophotography is a phenomenon only conceived in the age of the Hubble Space Telescope? Man’s fascination with capturing images from the cosmos likely dates back centuries, but astrophotography itself was born in 1840 when American scientist John William Draper took a detailed photo of the moon using a polished silver surface and mercury vapor (known as a daguerreotype). Fast forward to today and amateur photo buffs with an eye to the sky have the luxury of using cameras specifically designed for astrophotography. We’ve scoured the online universe for astrophotography cameras that are all-stars to us. Here are the models we recommend.

ZWO ASI183MC Pro 20.18 MP CMOS Color Astronomy Camera with USB 3.0 # ASI183MC-P

Fast transfers

Compact in size and lightweight and durable enough to withstand long hours of field use. ZWO

The cooled color astronomy camera allows you to capture high-resolution images of deep-sky objects. This includes nebulae, supernova remnants, and more when used with the proper equipment. The camera has an advanced CMOS sensor and allows you to snap imagery at a resolution of 20.1-megapixel resolution. The ZWO Camera offers fast USB 3.0 transfers with rates of up to 19 frames per minute (even at maximum resolution).

Celestron 95507 Skyris 236M CMOS (Black)

200 frames per second

Sensitive to near-infrared, making it a good choice for planetary imaging. Celestron

This camera is capable of capturing as many as 200 frames per second in the right circumstances. This camera from Celestron uses USB 3.0 technology to transfer data quickly with no external power required. This camera is priced attractively while remaining competitive with costlier astrophotography options.

Canon EOS Ra Astrophotography Mirrorless Camera, Black - 4180C002

Full-frame image sensor

A modified infrared-cutting filter allows enhanced nighttime imagery. Canon

The EOS Ra offers magnification up to 30X allowing you to explore star trails and moons that are far away with ease. The full-frame image sensor makes it possible for wide-angle photography. Additionally, this Canon camera features 3.69 megapixels creating impressive detail in the images created. The 3.15 inch LCD touchscreen allows you to compose shots from a variety of angles creating a much easier framing process.

Orion StarShoot USB Eyepiece Camera

Includes video capture software

Offering an affordable entry into the world of astronomy, this option allows users to capture real-time images and videos. Orion

While not the best for deep-space imagery, this camera is well suited for lunar and planetary imagery. It is versatile enough to fit any telescope with a 1.25-inch focuser or with an adapter that converts it to 1.25 inches. Users can easily share images from their telescopes with their friends and family thanks to the Orion AmCap video capture software.


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