Canon EOS Ra – Full Frame Mirrorless Astrophotography Camera

The Canon EOS Ra has just been announced! What is the EOS Ra? It’s a mirrorless camera aimed directly at the astrophotography niche. So you bet your jiffy that I’m going to be all over that and seeing what I can see about it. so let’s get focused in on the Canon EOS Ra.

This release was so quiet that I’m struggling whether to find if it was announced on the 5th or 6th November…

I’m about to scrape together what small morsels I can find about this new Mirrorless camera – and do my best to not refer to it as a DSLR. There’s a few images that have been released and an announcement video: which I shall share in due course.

One disclaimer: I don’t own any of the images I’m about to feature. They’re all published from Canon about the EOS Ra.

Canon EOS Ra

Building from the framework that is the Canon EOS R – a full frame mirrorless camera – Canon decided to re-enter the astrophotography camera scene again and have announced the Canon EOS Ra. This is a camera that has a modified IR pass filter already. The IR Pass filter is what we would traditionally open our cameras up to remove. But Canon now has decided to offer one with a pass filter that already has the sensitivity in place.

How much more sensitive? 4 times more sensitive. This means that the reds in your images will be more deeper and lush as Hydrogen Alpha sits in the red end of the spectrum over at about 656nm. The effect is similar to that of what we try to do anyway when we modify our cameras by removing the IR filters and either leaving them ‘naked’ or inserting a modified bandpass IR cut filter usually from Baader or Astronomik.

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Mono Camera: My Initial Feelings

Mono Camera or Colour Camera?

There is a big choice to be made during your astrophotography journey: colour camera or mono camera?

A colour camera uses a sensor with a bayer matrix over it. Light passes through tiny coloured filters and is then read by the sensor. A mono camera has no such filter – the light is read as gray scale. In order to use a mono camera to construct a colour image we have to add filters in front of the sensor ourselves.

Recently I sold my Altair Astro Hypercam 183c colour camera to buy the mono version. Then I bought a filter wheel and a full set of narrowband filters. Since I particularly like the look of narrowband, and whilst it’s possible with a colour camera, a mono camera is more suited to narrowband imaging. I enjoyed the 183 sensor so much that when I saw the mono for sale – I took the plunge.

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