I thought it might be interesting to see the difference between one of my early images of the Horsehead Nebula with a more recent image of the same object. The difference in the two images is striking. Some of the difference is based on the learning curve (although I was quite pleased with the older image) and some is due to the remarkable improvement in equipment.
The first image was taken with the SBIG ST-7 camera with a 512 x 768 pixel sensor. The telescope was a Meade LX 200 f6.3 telescope with a focal length of 1600 mm. This combination results in a very tiny field of view.
The second image was taken with a Canon EOS Ra color Digital camera with a 6720 x 4480 pixel sensor. The telescope was William Optics FLT120 telescope with a focal length of 780 mm. The field of view is much larger because of the much shorter focal length and much bigger sensor.
I have seen marked improvement in both the technology and the quality of astrophotography equipment. Because of my experience, I thought it would be useful to share some of that knowledge with others who want to start out in the field of astrophotography. I plan on doing regular reviews of equipment, starting with what I have experience with. I will try to give unbiased reviews of astrophotography mounts and telescopes as well as other gear that can make the learning curve much more favorable to beginners in this hobby.