Astronomers, your camera is here: Canon EOS 60Da announced


posted Monday, April 2, 2012 at 11:58 PM EDT

Canon's EOS 60Da digital SLR. Photo provided by Canon. Click for our Canon EOS 60D review!Canon has just announced the EOS 60Da, a followup to the EOS 20Da model released way back in 2005, incorporating improvements made in the many intervening years. Like that camera, the EOS 60Da is aimed at astronomers, and is closely related to an existing model: the Canon EOS 60D.

Beyond the new model number, the most notable difference from the standard model is a modified infrared cut filter that has greater transmittance of H-alpha (Hα; 656.28 nanometer wavelength) light than that of the EOS 60D.  According to Canon, this should allow H-alpha light sensitivity approximately three times higher than that of the EOS 60D.

Translation? Better pictures of reddish, diffuse nebulae...

(Note: While Canon USA's press release seems to imply that the sensor itself also has improved hydrogen-alpha sensitivity, we see no mention of this in Canon Japan's press materials, and believe this inference isn't intentional.)

EOS 60Da

A comparison of the Rosette Nebula shot with Canon EOS 60D and 60Da digital SLRs.
Photos provided by Canon.

As with the EOS 20Da before it, note that while the Canon EOS 60Da can certainly be used for shooting regular pictures as well, they will tend to have something of a reddish cast, and hence it's not really recommended to do so. The EOS 60Da makes more sense as a secondary body to accompany your existing Canon SLR, rather than as your primary body.

The Canon EOS 60Da should go on sale later this month, with only limited numbers available from select dealers. Estimated retail pricing is around US$1,500, around US$400 above list pricing for the standard EOS 60D.

Three low-res sample images shot with the Canon EOS 60Da can be found on Canon Japan's website. More details in the press release below.

Canon's EOS 60Da digital SLR. Photo provided by Canon. Click for a bigger picture!

Canon's EOS 60Da digital SLR.
Photo provided by Canon.


Press Release

New Canon EOS 60Da DSLR Camera For Astronomy Enthusiasts Captures The True Colors Of The Cosmos

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., April 3, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today introduced the EOS 60Da Digital SLR Camera, a long-awaited successor to the EOS 20Da that is optimized for astrophotography. This DSLR caters to astronomers and hobbyists who enjoy capturing the beauty of the night sky by offering a modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor with heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity. These modifications allow the camera to capture magnificent photographs of "red hydrogen emission" nebulae and other cosmic phenomena.

Canon's EOS 60Da digital SLR. Photo provided by Canon. Click for a bigger picture!

Canon's EOS 60Da digital SLR.
Photo provided by Canon.

"The EOS 60Da is a testament to the constant desire to meet the needs of every customer, including those in specialized fields," said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A., "This new camera enables an accurate depiction of a part of our solar system which is hard to achieve with conventional cameras but should be enjoyed and celebrated."

The Canon EOS 60Da camera packs a powerful 18-megapixel CMOS sensor (APS-C) that produces sharp and high-contrast images of astronomical objects, a major enhancement over the EOS 20Da model's 8.2-megapixel sensor. The improved infrared-blocking filter is a modification suited specifically toward astronomy enthusiasts to achieve a hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity that is approximately three times higher than that of a normal Canon DSLR camera. This produces a 20-percent higher transmittance of Hydrogen Alpha line, or H α wavelength, allowing astronomers to capture crisp, clear images of reddish, diffuse nebulae.

Canon's EOS 60Da digital SLR. Photo provided by Canon. Click for a bigger picture!

Canon's EOS 60Da digital SLR.
Photo provided by Canon.

Enhanced Features
Crisp images of the stars and planets can be viewed on the EOS 60Da's improved 3.0-inch Clear View LCD screen with 1,040,000 dots for detailed focusing. The flip-out Vari-angle screen allows photographers to adjust the screen for easy viewing without straining even while the camera is mounted to a telescope via a third-party T-ring adapter. Optimized for stargazing with friends or in an educational setting, astronomy enthusiasts can connect the camera to a TV with the provided AVC-DC400ST Stereo AV Video Cable and display the night sky on a TV monitor using the camera's Live View mode. Moreover, the EOS 60Da's Live View mode is equipped with a Silent Shooting feature that eliminates shutter-induced vibration for maximum camera stability when the camera is mounted to a telescope or super-telephoto EF lens.

Enhanced noise reduction on the EOS 60Da sensor offers photographers the ability to experiment with the wide array of ISO settings and increased ISO speeds up to 6400 expandable to 12800. Other features include an intelligent nine-point autofocus system, full manual controls, and RAW, JPEG, and RAW+JPEG image recording capabilities.

Canon's EOS 60Da digital SLR with TC-80N3 Timer Remote Controller. Photo provided by Canon. Click for a bigger picture!

Canon's EOS 60Da digital SLR.
Photo provided by Canon.

The EOS 60Da helps capture the wonders of the night sky with its use of Canon's award-winning EF and EF-S lenses along with other EOS accessories. Additionally, the EOS 60Da is packaged with Canon's RA-E3 Remote Controller Adapter, providing the ability to connect a Canon Timer Remote Control such as the TC-80N3 (optional accessory). The TC-80N3 is ideal for controlling time exposures longer than 30 seconds as well as capturing a series of consecutive time exposures that can be composited during post-processing for improved image quality. This is especially useful when the camera body is connected to a telescopei or an EF super telephoto lens.

Canon has also included an AC adapter kit with the EOS 60Da, allowing the camera to be powered through an AC wall outlet or a battery-powered inverter, ideal for long exposure image or video capture at home or in the field.

As a specialized product, the EOS 60Da is only available to order from select authorized dealers. The estimated retail price is $1,499.00 and it is expected to be available this month.

Canon's EOS 60Da digital SLR. Photo provided by Canon. Click for a bigger picture!

Canon's EOS 60Da digital SLR.
Photo provided by Canon.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With approximately $45.6 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents registered in 2011† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting


† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.

Availability, prices, and specifications of all products are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.

i Independent third-party accessories are required to connect the EOS 60Da DSLR or any Canon EOS camera to a telescope.