The Perfect Sunrise

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I want to switch to a system camera, preferably one from the Micro Four Thirds or Four Thirds systems. Since I also want to do experimental technical setups like time lapse or astrophotography, I have a set of requirements that are not easy to check for on the manufacturer's websites.

Can you recommend a camera with

  • flexible remote control software (I'd like to have at least a live preview and controls for shutter, focus, f-stop, sensitivity and shutter speed)

    • Edit: Alternatively, a connector for an external monitor and a programmable remore control would also work for me. To put it another way, I don't need a computer in my setup, but I want the ability to control the camera without touching it.
  • the ability to provide a video stream like a webcam (ok, that's more of a bonus item, no hard requirement)

  • good manual controls (preferably two separate control wheels for f-stop and shutter speed)

  • low sensor noise

  • overall good usability

I suppose that adapters for M42, which is the standard connector on telescopes, are generally available. If I'm wrong, this becomes another "hard" requirement.

The cost of the body should not exceed $750, but in order to keep the answers relevant for everyone, please also list models costing more.

MTIA for all hints!

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Indeed your question is complex and I recommend splitting it into smaller ones. Concentrate on the remote control software because that is the sticky point. I can tell you that the webcam feature is not available on any such cameras. Then again, there are only 5 models with 2 or more control-dials: neocamera.com/search_camera.php?commanddials=2:min&size=sld –  Itai Oct 19 '11 at 13:41
    
I've just clarified the question a bit and started a bounty. If anyone feels the question is too complex, feel free to only address the parts that you can answer. –  jstarek Oct 21 '11 at 12:05
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted
+50

I would take a look at the Canon 60D. It is not a micro four thirds camera, it is an APS-C sensor sized camera. The reasons I suggest this include:

  • Larger sensors as opposed to the micro four thirds format should provide lower noise typically
  • The 60D has great manual controls, including an index finger wheel near the shutter release and a full size wheel on the back
  • Available remote control software(example1,2)
  • Not an extremely large body

It does not sound like you have a hard requirement for micro four thirds, only for cost, remote control software, noise performance, and usability. I think you will find all of this and more in the canon 60D for right around $750. The 50D would also be an option to save a bit of money.

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While I was hoping to get away with something smaller, it seems the 60D is indeed a good overall match to my requirements. Since there were no further answers and my own research has not yielded anything, I'll assume that the Micro Four Thirds system has no tetherable cameras yet. –  jstarek Oct 26 '11 at 20:48
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