It's official: DSLRs are more successful than mirrorless cameras for shooting astrophotography – and the Canon EOS 6D is the single most successful camera.
That's according to a detailed analysis of three years of astrophotography competitions, which found that DSLRs accounted for 39% of shortlisted images, while mirrorless cameras only represented 15%.
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Dedicated CMOS and CCD astrophotography cameras accounted for 24% and 21% respectively, while smartphones and tablets unsurprisingly made up just 2% of shortlisters – an "other" category (presumably comprising things like film cameras) makes up 1%.
The information comes from astro website Skies & Scopes, which analyzed the last three years of images entered in the the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Competition operated by Royal Museums Greenwich in the UK.
Among the many fascinating finds in the report, it is notable that Canon (23%), Nikon (22%) and astronomy CCD camera specialist ZWO (22%) each have an almost identical share of successfully shortlisted images, while Sony is a distant forth (11%) and no other big brand manufacturers made up even 1%.
The cameras most used to photograph shortlisted images in the competition are:
Of course, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are ideal for landscape astrophotography images, but deep sky astrophotography is usually dominated by pure CMOS and CCD cameras.
Which makes it interesting to note that not only is the Canon EOS 6D the most used camera for landscape astro, at 20%, but also the second most-used camera for deep sky shooting at 6%, beaten only by the ZWO ASI1600MM at 14%.
Also fascinating is that, despite manufacturers producing a very limited number of specially modified astro bodies like the Canon EOS Ra, the only dedicated astrophotography DSLR or mirrorless camera highlighted by the study is the now-discontinued Nikon D810a.