Celestron Nightscape 8300 CCD camera now shipping

Last month Celestron announced their new Nightscape 8300 that is described as "the most affordable feature-rich KAF-8300 camera" for shooting the night sky. The Celestron Nightscape is now available for $ 1,419.00. Detailed features and some sample images after the break:



Celestron Nightscape 8300 camera features:

  • Uses the famous KAF-8300 CCD that imagers have grown to love, due to the high resolution, low noise, great sensitivity and affordable cost.
  • A large 22.5mm diagonal CCD chip offers 8.3 megapixels of resolution. That means capturing a larger swatch of the sky with greater detail than similarly priced CCD cameras.
  • Nightscape 8300 is the most affordable feature-rich KAF-8300 camera readily available, retaining all of the advanced features found in more expensive cameras to obtain stunning astrophotos.
  • Regulated thermoelectric cooling and adjustable fan dramatically reduces thermal noise, producing superior images.
  • AstroFX software - takes you step-by-step from taking images to processing the final result.
  • The TEC and 16-bit A/D conversion provide lower noise and greater bit-depth than DSLR cameras, making the Nightscape 8300 an ideal upgrade for DSLR imagers who want to advance to CCD imaging and capture greater detail in every shot.
  • Internal mechanical shutter makes dark frame acquisition easy – no need to cap the telescope.
  • Internal 32MB SDRAM full frame memory buffer, ensures accurate and reliable image downloads
  • Specially designed IR-cut optical window with anti-reflection multi-coatings provides 94% (or greater) transmission of Hydrogen Alpha wavelength and maximum overall light transmission.
  • Celestron’s design combines form and function: Elegant industrial design, innovative heat-sink and air-flow system for efficient cooling, and cylindrical body is Fastar-friendly.
  • Removable 2” nosepiece is threaded for 2” filters.
  • ASCOM drivers are included for use with many other popular imaging software programs.
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  • Whoohoo, now I can capture noise free images of my girlfriend in the dark.

    Hang on, the product based is on a Kodak sensor – didn’t Kodak stop making sensors?

    • Kodak pretty much stopped making anything, but all the good stuff got picked up by companies with better business sense. Leica is still making cameras with the KAF-18000, and seem to intend to keep on doing it for quite a while. Thankfully.

    • Maybe they purchased the sensors before Kodak sold the division?

  • Ronan

    VERY nice, but i’ll stick to attaching my camera to my telescope.

  • Art K.

    I don’t get it. How does it work? Where’s the lens?

    • Remedy

      Your telescope is the lens. WTF mate?

  • Camaman

    Is that a fan on the back of it?
    It looks like Nikon saw this with and went to patent some Fan coolin of their own.
    Hopefully THAT don’t get released any time…

  • esp4D

    Hmm would it be possible to attach MFT lenses to this with an adapter like the following? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003EAVUO8/

    • esp4D

      Err, nevermind. I guess it would require a new type of adapter.

      • If you want a higher bit depth go for a larger sensor and better lenses. Whatever arguments they may have about CCD being better than CMOS weaken as the size of the latter increases. Heck, you do better than this one even if you shoot film that’s big enough.

        • Sky

          Yea, I’m quite sure all astrophotographers are going to jump into large format film photography just because you say it supportingly gives better results then this thing.
          And remind me again how much do the companies ask for modern full frame digital CMOS camera? Cause I’m quite sure it’s nowhere near $1,499.00. Cheapest Full Frame at the date of release up to today was Sony’ A850 running for 1999$, and that’s still 500$ more then the nightscape.

          • Your argument is not valid because out of no where you assume that esp4D was budget-minded.

          • Sky

            I don’t assume that anything above 1000$ is budget-minded. Especially for such a very specific use.

            But if my argument is not valid, because you say so – so be it. lol.

          • Moopheus

            30 years ago I was working with a CCD camera that produced 256 x256 pixel, 8-bit, monochome images, cost $50,000 and sat in a liquid nitrogen bath (it was not my personal property!). So really, $1500 for this thing is not so bad. The comparison to DSLR’s is kinda pointless, unless you find one that has similar noise characteristics and a thermoelectric cooler.

          • @Moopheus

            The comparison to DSLR’s is kinda pointless, unless you find one that has similar noise characteristics and a thermoelectric cooler.

            When even film can be compared against digital, there’s no reason why the sensor you mentioned can’t be compared against a digital sensor. I don’t know how good that sensor was and how big it was, but I bet the improvements in quantum efficiency in sensors and the increase in the light gathering area compensates greatly for the lack of the said liquid cooling.

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