Digital cameras (digicams) are now dominating the sales for general-purpose photography. In the past 2 years, besides the point-and-shoot cameras, digital SLRs have been replacing film SLRs, and at competitive prices. All types of digicams have begun to be used for shooting the Moon, the planets and the Sun (with appropriate filter) - and with great success. However, these objects can all be imaged with short exposures similar to those for daytime imaging. The use of digicams for deep-sky imaging has been very limited due to the fact that these cameras have uncooled CCD/CMOS chips. This design is very good for standard shooting conditions under available daylight but has proved very problematical for real long-time exposures. Most of the point-and-shoot cameras are limited to exposure times between 4 and 30 seconds. Even the presence of a "bulb" mode does not help much as the noise overwhelms the signal for most cameras. So only bright objects could be imaged successfully at that time.
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Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.