Modern D-SLRs are now available from $1000, which represents a much lower cost than most of the cooled astro cameras. They are multipurpose cameras usable for both daytime and nighttime imaging. They are well suited for gaining experience in the fascinating world of deep-sky imaging because they can provide stunning results on many of the brighter deep-sky objects and all in a simple one-shot color technique. However, the higher noise (compared to most dedicated astro cameras) must be compensated for by more effort and expertise in the image processing stage. In my opinion, astronomical cameras will always be some steps ahead in terms of sensitivity and versatility, especially for narrowband imaging, but at a much higher investment cost.
Useful related links
Yahoo Group DIGITAL_ASTRO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/digital astro/
FAQ-Digicams for Astronomical Use: http://www.szykman.com/Astro/AstroDigiCamFAQ.html
10D Spectral Sensitivity Charts (French): http://astrosurf.com/buil/us/digit/spectra.htm
S/N comparisons by Roger Clark: http://clarkvision.com/astro/canon-10d-signal-to-noise/
ImagesPlus Image Processing Software: http://www.mlunsold.com/
Al Kelly's guide to Acquiring and Processing: http://www.ghg.net/akelly/procccd.htm
DSLRFOCUS for Canon DSLRs: http://www.dslrfocus.com
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