I do prefer the DSLR's Chris. Though I prefer the free EOS Utilities to work with my Canon. Very intuitive, free and gets great results. But no probs if your pref is BYEOS or BYNikon or the Sony equivalent. Lately I haven't been bothering with the ASI224 at all. I used it with the ST80 for narrow field stuff, but lately I've just cropped some of the DSLR images and they come out very well. Less stuff to carry around
I still have yet to use darks! Even in Summer the uncooled Canon seems to cope well, but then I really push shorter exposures. But its not hard to do darks ... tonights forecast is 19 min (summer here already?!) and its the clubs star party. Its blowing 30 knots, but may settle down tonight. If so, I will muck about with darks and post up a comparison. Two methods - in camera jpeg darks which doubles exp time, and AstroToaster darks - for which I'd have to shoot RAW. First ones as easy as clicking it ON in the menu, the second means covering scope and dragging frames into AT for it to create master dark on the fly. Neither is a big deal.
My 700D was $300 3 years ago, after I'd sold the twin lens kit it came with (full price was $440 on gumtree). I've only just picked up a full spectrum modded 650D for $500, and it included some very useful stuff such as 2 batteries, a 240V camera adapter, a 12V cigarette camera adapter, an 18mm to 135mm Canon Japan zoom (f/3.5-f/5.6) with a Hoya UV filter (which I will use on my old 700D unmodded for daytime shots), and a Canon Japan intervalometer. I posted up the difference in color and number of stuff in the modded image on NSN forum recently.
I guess if you were thinking of a large sensor cam then DSLR is a cheap way to try out. I love fine stars and thats where the large MP/size sensor cams come into their own. If you really like shooting long (like 60+ seconds) and really can't stand hot pixels from uncooled, then you can sell it for what you paid for it and buy a ASI1600 cooled. Similar MP and similarly sharp stars and details, perhaps a bit more sensitivity, and cooled. But at least you've not lost on the DSLR trip.
Tempting. I'm looking at ebay. Interested in larger format and can't see any astro cameras that grab me and are reasonably priced.
I got a cheap 450d on IIS that was in bits with no sensor. Got the sensor on aliexpress. Might be OK for something but doesn't have the grunt for video (and i ripped out the ir filter). Maybe as max iso 1600?
What iso do you go up to ? That will help me size up the different cameras - something 2nd hand as you have done. My 2016 astro budget has about reached its limit as I just got an 8"sct.
Hey Chris, ... "doesnt have the grunt for video"? Do you mean planets live view? In the words of an infamous pollie ... "Please explain!" LOL
I use 12800 for 2 or 4 secs to frame the target in the FOV / centre it. Doesnt matter what it is (glob, neb, glx) if you turn on log and inverse on the AT viewer you will 'see' the target in the view image and thus be able to frame it/centre it very fast with two or three or four 2 or 4 sec shots.
I use 6400 for 4 secs (globs), 8secs (nebs), 15 secs (glx) and just do single frames if doing outreach. Has noise, but friends and people watching at the unit complex where I live dont see the noise ... they see the glob massive star width, the nebs colors, galaxy arms. Tip here is quite often I just press the macbooks screen brightness button to 'pop' a glx. It over brightens the background but again no-one cares ... they see arms n stuff of a galaxy so they love that fact. Having said that, I have sometimes 'cheated' and started a stack in the background while we talk about the objects stats. By the time they've heard its distance, and what a ly is in km, and how many stars, what the red and green/blue glow is, etc often 5 frames or more have stacked and they are seeing the image getting better while we talk as the thing stacks live. LOL
I use 800 and 1600 for 15-30-60 secs for everything and stack 9 if EAA'ing for myself. This greatly depends on sky conditions. Moonless v Moon full, dust, high cloud, clarity, amount target is above horizon, etc. As its for me, I may tweak a bit more on some stuff and less on others.
Your 450d noise isn't bad if you check gary honis (dslr mod website guy) and he has actual test images shown to be almost as good as new cams like the 60d (which he really likes).
Re large format ... just remember aps-c sensor is 23mm so behaves like a 23mm 58 degree EP for mag and FOV. If you go full frame 35mm sensors then you are (a) getting less mag and much wider FOV cos it will behave like a 35mm 58 degree EP and (b) they may not come to focus or have bad vignetting due to the OTA's light cone not illuminating the edges of such a large sensor.