Canon builds on its iconic full-frame range and EOS R System line-up with the launch of the EOS Ra, which is its first full-frame camera for astronomical photography.
The EOS Ra, unlike other full-frame astro cameras, is portable and has no need for external power and connection to a computer, resulting in exceptional image quality of visible reality, but also of deep space photography with a wide range of optical devices.
The camera shares features with the September 2018-launched EOS R. The EOS Ra inherits the camera’s fast autofocus, the ability to focus in light conditions as low as -6EV, a 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor with approximately 30.3 million effective pixels and a DIGIC 8 image processor. While boasting this advanced and cutting-edge optical technology, the EOS Ra is a modified EOS model – developed in direct response to the specific needs of astrophotographers looking to capture the vivid colour of deep space and constellations.
Featuring a new infrared blocking filter (IR filter) allowing even higher hydrogen-alpha (Hα) light to reach the imaging sensor, it enables four times as much of this hydrogen-alpha light to be transmitted compared to the EOS R. Photographers can capture, both crisply and clearly, the distinct red colour of nebula – an interstellar cloud of dust made up mostly of hydrogen and helium – impossible to capture on a traditional camera where the UV/IR cut filters block the IR light that gives these nebulae their red colour.
With its mirrorless design and full-frame sensor, the EOS Ra is a camera for photographers looking to capture images of deep space. With no mechanical mirror system, vibrations are minimised ensuring sharp images. What’s more – the high performing Canon-developed sensor offers a mix of high ISO performance, impressive resolution, fast readout and exposure latitude, helping to create interstellar images of exceptionally high quality.
With Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus (AF), the EOS Ra features a range of AF and MF focus functions ensuring images are of high optical excellence – including shots captured in low-light conditions. Retaining the -6EV AF from the EOS R, low-light performance with RF lenses and existing EF lenses is possible. When astrophotographers use it with a telescope, focus assist functions like focus peaking and magnification up to 30x – that’s three times more than the EOS R – ensure focusing with any optical device is fast. What’s more, with its 4K movie and 4K time-lapse capabilities the EOS Ra is also the first astro camera on the market with a 4K movie function.
Sharing the same mount as the EOS R, the EOS Ra has been designed to enhance lens design possibilities. The RF lens mount enables a radical new optical design – the 20mm flange back and wide 54mm mount diameter has made it possible for Canon engineers to design new lenses that weren’t achievable before. The camera, and system is also compatible with three lens mount adapters, giving photographers a wide choice of lenses and telescopes to use with EOS Ra. More than 70 EF and EF-S lenses can be used with Canon’s innovative EOS R System, adding new functionality to existing optics, while maintaining the excellent levels of performance and functionality previously seen with EOS DSLRs. As when attached to an EOS R, the Canon mount adapter enables users to maintain their setup whether using RF or EF and EF-S mount lenses.
The EOS Ra’s compact and lightweight design makes it easier to attach to a telescope – suitable for photographers shooting for long periods of time. Combining existing EOS ergonomics with new controls the camera provides maximum control with familiarity. The Vari-Angle touch screen makes the camera comfortable for photographers shooting in many positions, with the benefit of having up to 30x magnification to check focus. The EOS Ra’s electronic viewfinder means photographers can really shoot what they see, with the ability to view their subjects clearly in the dark.
The EOS Ra, like the EOS R, supports connection via EOS Utility and the Canon Camera Connect application. This allows remote camera control for still and video via USB or via wireless. The software can be downloaded free of charge from the Canon support website – enabling remote shooting, for example from indoors on a cold evening, and time-lapse operation.
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