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Gear Rumors

Canon to Answer D810a, Release Own Full Frame Astro Camera in 2016

By Anthony Thurston on May 28th 2015

Nikon has stirred up quite a buzz in the astrophotography circles with the announcement of and soon to be available D810a, the first full frame DSLR specifically for astrophotography. It seems Canon has taken notice, and could respond with their own next year.


According to the new report over on Canon Rumors, the next Canon astro-focused camera will, in fact, be full frame – a departure from their previous APS-C offerings – in an effort to challenge the D810A. At this point, it is unclear which full frame model is getting the astro-makeover.

I would think that the next 5D model would be available by 2016, so possibly the 5D Mark IV A, but I doubt that. I think it is more likely the 6D gets the astro-treatment, as it is already known as a great low light camera and better high ISO performer than the 5D. That said, who knows, maybe Canon goes all out with an EOS 1DA.

What are your thoughts on this rumor? Do you see yourself adding an astro-camera to your kit, and if so, are you going with a D810A or waiting until Canon responds? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

[via Canon Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dave Haynie

    What would be REALLY cool — literally so — would be a 6DA or 6DmkIIA with a peltier or some other cooling device on the sensor. That would lower dark current noise, which would be a big deal in astrophotography, or really anything that counts on long exposures.

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  2. Aidan Morgan



    “Hi, could I speak to the D810A?”

    “Who’s calling, please?”

    “Uh, Canon?”



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  3. Walid Isar

    Waiting for the next gen of D800 series which can record 4K. Is there any chance for this dream to come true?

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Instead of waiting you can get a cheap Panny GH4. You can’t shoot in 4K while you’re waiting around.

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    • Walid Isar

      I’m more into photo than video. I have a D7100 at the moment which shoots better than cheapo GH4, so no thanks to GH4.
      My next primary camera is going to be D810 or a newer model. And we know D810 is not cheap. So I want something extra for the amount of coins I pay, e.g 4K recording.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Well then shoot 1080p until the mythical 4K D800 comes out…

      In any case, if you’re not that serious into video why do you need 4K? Because someone on a forum told you that you need it?

      I’ve seen feature films shown in movie theaters that were filmed at 1080p. If a real filmmaker can make a movie using a Canon 5D at 1080p I don’t see why you need 4K to shoot home videos or whatever.

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    • Walid Isar

      In 2 years, we all will look at 1080p and lough out loud. Who wants his 3700$ camera to be outdated probably in the next 4-6 months? I mean, 4k is gonna be the standard next year and that movie you watched in 1080p is gonna look like my nightmare.

      In addition, if a film maker doesn’t care about the quality of the picture, it doesn’t mean others should follow his steps. Everybody has got his own taste.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      My point is that you have options to shoot 4K. You choose not to take advantage of those options, so don’t complain about it.

      In addition, these filmmakers you are talking about are actual working filmmakers, not some camera forum dude that thinks if he gets a 4K camera he will magically make a good film.

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    • Dave Haynie

      The “cheapo” Panasonic GH4 shoots better video than any Nikon, or any Canon under around $13,000. It also has no video time limits, variable frame rate up to 96fps in HD mode, and if you need it, the YAGH add-on with XLR and timecode inputs and SDI output. And of course, it’s an EVF camera, which is better for video: zebra stripes and focus peaking right there in the viewfinder. This is 1:1 video at 4K, no line-skipping, and your choice of QuadHD or DCI formats, which is not typical in other low-cost 4K cameras today. It also shoots higher quality HD than DSLRs, given its 200Mb/s AVC-Intra mode and AVC-IPB up to 100Mb/s.

      If you’re just casual about video, most any DSLR will do the job, and of course you should optimize for still photography. Just don’t expect most DSLR companies to be leading edge on video. Nikon’s just never been all that interested in video — even though they had the first video DSLR, it was Canon that won over video shooters by delivering full HD and 24p. Canon’s not going to offer 4K, either, as long as people are buying enough 1D C and Cinema EOS models.

      Not to suggest Nikon ignores video entirely… the D810 was an improvement over the D800. The D800 had terrible moire, the D810 pretty much matches the Canon 5D mk III on moire without getting as soft as the Canon. But it’s no match for the Canon in low-light — the main reason you’d even care about a full frame DSLR for video. And it would be a pretty interesting move for Nikon to put 4K in a DSLR, since they know Canon’s not likely to be ready to match that yet, even at a traditional flagship price-point. Of course, Nikon’s got to rely on Sony for that sensor, and could be they just don’t have a 36Mpixel sensor capable of 4K readout. Sony’s only 4K (outside of their cinema camera line, of course) is the Alpha A7s, which employs a 12Mpixel sensor.

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    • Walid Isar

      Thanks for your informative reply, Dave.

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  4. Graham Curran

    While you can use ‘A’ DSLRs for everyday shooting the modified IR low-pass filter lends a reddish color cast and they are better just used for astro in which case all the fancy features of a high-end camera are wasted. Really you just need a good sensor and long-exposure performance as you are most likely attaching it to a telescope on a tracking mount.

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  5. adam sanford

    Agree: it won’t be the 5D4. That will be its own announcement and generate it’s own buzz of interest.

    Prior Canon astro models used established body designs that were not best in class. Canon (rightly on wrongly) sees he ‘A’ astro designation as a chance to breathe new life into an aging system. So an astro 6D (like it or not) is a reasonable guess.

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