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Digital SLR Astrophotography (Practical Amateur Astronomy) 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521700818
ISBN-10: 0521700817
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Editorial Reviews


"...a great "how-to" manual as well as an excellent reference text. If you are serious about astrophotography and are looking for something which will give you a stronger theoretical background on many of the related topics (optics, scope construction, digital signal processing), then you need to make sure you have a copy of Covington's book within easy reach."
Wan Chi Lau

'... Covington has put a lot of effort into this work and it is very comprehensive and well written.' Astronomy Now

'It is a book that could get an amateur from being a complete astrophotography novice to an advanced DSLR imager ... For someone starting out on the road to DSLR astro-imaging it is well worth having.' Astronomy Now

'... so ideal for astrophotographers ...' Spaceflight

'Having used Michael Covington's earlier book, Astrophotography for the Amateur, I was interested to find out whether digital SLR was up to the same standard. I am pleased to report that it is ... Whilst I have been using a Canon 300D for some time, I found this book to be very useful [to] solve some of the difficulties I was having, and can thoroughly recommend this book. it is a valuable addition to the astro-imagers bookshelf.' F.A.S. Newsletter

'You never stop learning about this vast topic, so it's great when a book comes along that's loaded with tips to take your imaging further. ... Covington conveys the information in such a relaxed style that even the techie stuff is pleasant to read. Everything about DSLRs you can think of is covered here and the text is complemented by clear and informative line drawings and black and white photos. Illustrations showing you how to couple a camera and a telescope are particularly good and very helpful for beginners. The text is littered with commonsense practical advice and useful tips ... every DLSR astrophotographer should have a copy of this great book.' BBC Sky at Night

"...an excellent overview of what every digital photographer needs to know before heading into the field to shoot the starry sky. By carefully avoiding camera-specific details, the text will long remain relevant." --Sky & Telescope

Book Description

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Product Details

  • Series: Practical Amateur Astronomy
  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (December 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521700817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521700818
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.3 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading Michael's previous works I was prepared for a good and thorough treatise on astrophotography with digital SLR's. Unfortunately this book doesn't do that. $37 gets you a modest 234 page, soft bound book that could be described as more of a draft outline than a valuable reference work.

Images Plus, possibly the most powerful and economical commercial astrophotographic image processing and camera control program available today only gets briefly mentioned in passing twice in this book.

And there is nothing whatsoever on imaging the sun, h-alpha image processing techniques or solar eclipse techniques and equipment.

Many other subjects are treated rather too lightly to justify the price of this book too.

I believe that Jerry Lodriguss's book "A Guide To Astrophotography with Digital SLR's" is a much more useful work however it isn't exactly worth it's $40 price tag either.

There is more useful and thorough information available on the Internet for free. Start with the Digital Astro Yahoo discussion group and then supplement with Jerry Lodriguss and Paul Hyndman's web sites.
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Format: Paperback
In first place, I bought this book because of it was recommended from Sky and Telescope.
But, when having it on my hands and after reading it I found:
1- Author is making constant references to his other two books, with no further explanations (if you want to know more, BUY my other books).
2- Book is soft cover and pictures are black and white.
3- Has many formulas. Amateurs want a "hands-on" style, not making calculations that show the author as "how much I know", that's not practical.
4- Many parts are really useful, and some others don't.
5- Some parts look like a handful of advices that you can find everywhere on the net.
6- He explains methods, that end up with author saying like "despite of this method I prefer..." and then he mentions another one. A waste of time!
7- Add the book cost, and this is not a deal.
Hope my review can be helpful to other people that as me, thought this book was a real good one (before purchase).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would have preferred to give this book a 2.5 star rating. It is truly unfortunate for this book, being 7 years 'old.' The last seven years in digital astrophotography is a bit like the difference between the Dark Ages and the Technical Revolution. So much has changed in the 7 years since this book was written that much of the book is obsolete. I say 'unfortunate' because Michael Covington writes very well, in non-technical and easy to understand terms.

Probably worth mentioning that any book written and published before 2011 would likely have outdated information or parts. Still, this book is worth 2.5 stars because it has some easy to understand fundamental information and guidance. It should probably not be read by the pre-beginner. Worthwhile for beginners or new intermediates with some knowledge of DSLR astrophotography so that the reader will have some idea of the parts to skim over.

As an example, the latest Canon camera models discussed in the book is their 400D and the 20Da. Although this isn't a major issue, it does come into play when considering other recommendations. For instance, the author recommends an ISO setting of 400, but the general setting of 800 is more common now with the newer Canon models. In addition, the author talks about modifications, but today there are many types of modifications, some which include a cooling chamber for the DSLR camera sensor. Some DSLR sensors are even being debayered to create a DSLR mono camera!

Get the book used or borrow it from a friend. It is worth a read for the beginner and new intermediate who wants to understand more about the function and value of DSLRs in astrophotography. Maybe Mr. Covington would write a new book on the subject. He is an excellent writer!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've found the book useful and comprehensive. A great introduction to the matter for basic astrophotographers (as myselfg) or newbies. Its structure is OK,and is clearly written using tech jargon just when needed. The only thing I will complain about is that in many parts of the book, the author uses to "see Astrophotography for the Amateur for further details about....". So, in some aspect, the book turns into a valuable appendix to the other books written by Mr Covington, and not a standalone material. If you are looking to have a comprehensive guide you would probably need the other astrophotography book by Mr Covington as well as this one to cover the gaps regarding DSLRs... Once I read "the other book" I will be able to give a better picture (pardon the pun!) about both... sadly it is not edited for Kindle!

What really pissed me off was the lousy approach to the Kindle edition. The books has many references in the "see page xxx" format, but Kindle does not have pages!. Image captions are in a minute font... that in bigger illustration does not have zoom at all (hence remain unreadable!). Also images appear within their respective chapters but many pages before the reference (and there is no way of going back and forth to check the image and keep on reading without having to bookmark. And to finish up, all footnotes appear at the end of the book, but without any indication of which chapter they belong to... so you have pages full of "1: xxxxxxx" but you cannot check on the footnote while reading or correlate the footnote later with the chapter.
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