One of the most common debate in amateur astronomy is this one! Which is best a dedicated ccd camera or a DSLR?
Well Canon added fuel to this debate a long time ago now when it produced its first camera for astronomy, the 20Da. Since then a lot of people have started to modify their camera's by removing the IR filter. The industry responded by producing a replacement filter that improved the camera's IR sensitivity whilst also maintaining its auto-focusing system for day light photography. The list of modifications is increasing more and more each day, with cooler boxes and complete replacement cooled aluminium housing now being made!
Canon is even planning to produce a new camera soon!
DSLRvsCCD_API.pdf 1.55MB 2406 downloads
The question is why? Since a DSLR cannot hope to match a dedicated cooled ccd camera, can it? No, but its closer than you might think as indicated by the above article and given the decreasing costs of DSLR's it is an attractive proposition with only a minor modification.
Personally I believe the real scenario is as follows although not many of us will admit it!!!
1) Imagine you have just gone out to your favorite astronomy outlet and spend the families saving on a dedicate ccd camera for your hobby costing 3-5k€ .Now you need to explain to your wife / partner that you have just bought a camera that you can only use on clear Moonless nights when attached to your telescope? Do you think they will understand! Good luck with that one.
2)You have just gone out to your favorite camera shop and bought the latest Canon DSLR (If anything can a Canon can! ) and you secretly have it modified by a reputable supplier, now her in doors need never know since with a custom white balance nothing appears to be different and you can now take pictures of the family and scenery on your holidays as well as stars and nebula's - its a win win scenario as we say in marketing...
Whichever way you go, you should find the attached article very interesting.