I’ve upgraded my camera from a Canon 40D to a Canon 7D, having been seduced by the many improvements in the camera ergonomics and much touted additional capabilities. There was a little sticker shock in the upgrade – cameras are pricey!
With the upgrade I have moved deep into a world of over-sampling, where the individual pixels are smaller than the theoretical smallest size of a single point of light in an image. In a seeming paradox, that smallest size is independent of the diameter of the telescope, and is entirely determined by the f-ratio of the scope. My largest scope is f/10, and in order to match the scope to the chip, I should reduce the f-ratio below about f/6.8. There are focal reducers to do that, but I’ll pass on them for the moment – I can’t afford them so soon after the upgrade.
I knew about the diffraction limit going in and took it into account when I made my decision to buy. What I did not appreciate was the difficulty of converting the RAW image produced by the camera into a usable TIFF or even JPEG image needed for processing and display. It seems every new camera requires a radical change in the way RAW images are stored. The manufacturer’s conversions are adequate for terrestrial images, but for astronomical work they (or a more detailed tuned version) must be incorporated into the astronomical image processors. That’s a big ‘Oops!’ because it means that for some time to come I will be limited in how I process my image captures, and when the imaging software does get upgraded I may have to wait a while to save up for a purchase. Sometimes these kinds of upgrades are standalone, and sometimes they get bundled up with other software upgrades. In the first case there is usually no more than a nominal charge, but in the second the cost can be substantial. Ugh! Could be a further sticker shock in my future.