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Author Topic: Beginner in DSLR very unsure how to use camera  (Read 916 times)

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Offline rogermunns

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Beginner in DSLR very unsure how to use camera
« on: 19:12:55, 01 December, 2015 »
This post is a request for help in a very unusual situation.
About 18months ago a close friend was killed in a road accident. He had, for several years, been helping me get into astroimaging. Indeed, he was probably in the top league of French amateur astronomers. It was a great shock when he died and his early death left a hole in my astro work.
The only astrophography that I had done was using Phillips and Trust webcams for planetary work and also lunar and planetary work with my Canon 550D - (in fact, it's a T2i). So, really, I'm a beginner.
Now I have been given a Canon 350D by his widow. He had spoken of it a few times, I think he hadn't used it for some time - he was into much more advanced CCD astro work.
I'm fairy sure the filter has been removed from the camera. But the main 'change' from a standard camera is a small cable (two wires) about a metre long, coming out from near the 'video' hole and ending in a 2-way jack plug. There is also, in the box, a lead with one end a USB to a 3-way jack plug at the other end.
This camera uses compactflash cards, so I'm unsure how to use the camera now - I want to get into deepsky work.
Sorry if this is a bit of an odd request, but could someone point me the way to go? Thanks.
Vixen VC200L on NEQ6, Vixen 102M on Vixen SP, Orion 80mm short-focus refractor.  Philips Toucam, Philips SPC900, Canon 550D, SC1.5 (still unused). Inexperience. Fond memories of ETX125.

Offline Einari

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Re: Beginner in DSLR very unsure how to use camera
« Reply #1 on: 19:37:31, 01 December, 2015 »
Maybe could have been some sort of remote control ?
But, may I ask if you could use 550D to start ds imaging.
Even if it's not modded I think it could be better because it being newer generation.

Celestron C8, C9.25" & Hyperstar, iOptron CEM60-EC, TS 80 triplet,  Coronado PST, SXV-694,  ASI120MM/ASI174MC Cool

Offline Darkstarshado

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Re: Beginner in DSLR very unsure how to use camera
« Reply #2 on: 01:00:20, 02 December, 2015 »
I don't know what the wire coming from near the video socket could be, but the USB cable with a 3-way 2.5mm jack plug will almost certainly be a USB remote control adapter cable.
Plug the USB cable into a PC and it will appear as a serial (COM) port which can be controlled with software like DSLRshutter by Craig Stark (freeware.)  Plug the 3-way jack plug into the remote shutter socket near the USB port on the camera.  When you start DSLRshutter, you will need to select the correct COM port.  To see which port the USB remote adapater is using, look at Device Manager in Windows - it will probably have 'Prolific' or 'FTDI' in the name.  Link to DSLRshutter:
You'll need to put the 350D into bulb mode to enable DSLRshutter to take long exposures (ie longer than 30s.)  It is also usual to enable 'mirror lock' in the camera settings too.
Let us know whether that helps and feel free to ask about anything which isn't clear.  ;)

Edit: just had a thought - the other wire may be from a DC adapter, which replaces the battery.  Open the battery door and see if the wires go to a battery-shaped plastic adapter like this:
If you don't have the other part which plugs into the mains or a car-lighter socket, you will need to buy a new adapter set like the one above or use a Canon NB-2L battery and a Canon CB-2WLE battery charger.
Paramount ME, Orion Optics(UK) VX14, Skywatcher150p, Skywatcher ED100. Canon 450D,350D, Atik One 6.0, Lodestar X2, QHY5LII, DMK21, Roll-off obs.


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