cmos vs dslr

CMOS vs DSLR: Which One to Snap Infinity and Beyond?

As a beginner in astrophotography, selecting the right type of camera is an important step.

Also, a confusing step.

Often there remains a chance that you might get confused while choosing between CMOS and DSLR cameras.

Now, CMOS vs DSLR, which ones are perfect for Astrophotography?

Between CMOS vs DSLR, the CMOS cameras have a cooling system. Thus they can be used for pictures for a longer time than DSLRs. Moreover, the CMOS camera can take more vivid pictures of the sky than the DSLR. However, you will need a desktop to operate CMOS. DSLR can spare you on this.

Still, which camera should you use? Only an explained comparison between these cameras can help you.

In this article, I have done exactly that.

Without further ado, let’s seize the moment!

CMOS vs DSLR: Head-on-Head Analogy

Before selecting the best camera for stargazing, let’s do a head-on-head analysis. This will give us a quick idea about the features of both CMOS and DSLR.

Cooling systemAvailableUnavailable
Best forOnly astrophotographyAll aspects of photography
Intermediate medium to operateNeededNot needed
Power sourceExternalInternal
Light pollution FilterAvailableUnavailable
Weight140 Grams770 Grams
CMOS vs DSLR Chart

These are some of the major specifications of CMOS and DSLR. We will now get into a detailed comparison of where these features will come in handy!

DSLR vs CMOS: A More Detailed View

Technically, both DSLR and CMOS can be used for astrophotography. After all, both of the cameras have that much capability.

both DSLR and CMOS
Source: astrobackyard

Still, in some cases, these cameras have some differences. And only a detailed comparison will clear them out.

Cooling System:

Astrophotography is not that easy. This takes a lot of time and effort. This means you may have to keep the camera open for even days. To take the perfect snap of course.

Now keeping the camera for this long is hard. This way the camera can get heated up and it might get damaged.

This is where the cooling feature arrives. The CMOS is one of the cameras specifically made for astrophotography. Therefore they come with a built-in cooling feature. 

So, even if you keep the camera on for multiple days, it won’t heat up that easily. Thus you can take pictures for a long time.

On the other hand, DSLRs do not come with any cooling system. Hence, you won’t be able to use it for a longer period like CMOS. The camera will heat up eventually.

However, you can use a DSLR for astrophotography too. It’s just you cannot use it as long as the CMOS.

Winner: CMOS

Image Quality:

For astrophotography, the best practice is to take as clear a picture as you can. The clearer the picture, the better the quality.

Surely you can use DSLRs to take pictures of the sky and space. However, here’s a catch. 

The pictures can get noisy. The image may seem as vague as looking at Saturn through binoculars.

It is one of the major issues when using a DSLR for Astrophotography. As it is said previously, DSLRs do not come with any cooler. Thus you cannot take pictures for a longer time.

If you try to take pictures, however, the pictures will become vague. Because of the high temperature of the DSLR. 

And you may see there are too many noises in the picture.

In this case, the CMOS astrophotography camera strikes again. Since these cameras have a cooler, they don’t heat up. Thus, you can take pictures for a longer period. 

And you won’t have to worry about any noises in the image. You can take pictures of the space and sky as clearly as possible.

So, if you need to take any pictures for a longer time, you know what to choose.

Winner: CMOS


One of the distinctive features of CMOS and DSLR is their sensor. Let’s see what CMOS sensor vs DSLR sensor got for us.

The sensor of DSLR is made for versatile use. With the help of this sensor, you can do any type of photography you want. 

Whereas if we see the CMOS, it is made for astrophotography. Its sensor will help you take the best picture of the Nebula. However, if you try to take a portrait, it won’t be possible. 

Apart from that, CMOS allows for taking pictures of certain rays in space. In fact, you can’t take pictures of these rays with a DSLR. 


The reason is the sensor. The sensor of the DSLR filters out these rays while taking pictures. It’s because these rays can reduce the quality of any image.

If you really want to use a DSLR, then you have to use an Astro-modified DSLR.

If you wonder what is an Astro-modified camera, you can look at CMOS. The camera comes with a sensor just for astrophotography. 

Thus, the sensor does not eliminate these rays while taking photos.

Winner: CMOS

User Interface:

Both CMOS and DSLR cameras are good. Still, they have differences. It’s because both cameras have distinctive user layouts.

A DSLR camera is what we know as the camera. It has a body, which has a control panel. You can use it and modify the features while taking pictures. 

Along with the body, comes a lens. This is what captures the picture. The lens can be set on a different focus to take pictures.

CMOS is quite different from DSLR. Basically, it looks like a big lens. There is no control panel. 

And to control the CMOS camera, you have to connect it to a computer. Then with the right software, you can control the camera and take pictures. All you need is a good guide for CMOS!

Although because of its structure, CMOS is easy to carry. However, if you are up to using the CMOS you will need a computer to operate it. Otherwise, you can’t use it.

On the other hand, you won’t need anything else other than the DSLR itself. That gives me relief. 

Winner: DSLR

Pick Up Time!

CMOS Vs DSLR astrophotography is surely one hard comparison. It’s just like finding differences between Apertura AD8 and AD10.

Still, it’s time to pick one between CMOS and DSLR. Technically, both cameras are good for astrophotography.

However, if you are a beginner at taking snaps of the space, you can use a DSLR. It’s easy to carry, and it has its own power source. 

You may not be able to take longer pictures with a DSLR. But you can adjust it with any telescope to take space snaps. Canon EOS 200 D is an excellent option here. You can get it from amazon.

On the other hand, CMOS astrophotography camera is built specifically for astrophotography. So if you wanna buy the best gear at the beginning, go with CMOS. You can take longer pictures. More accurately and clearly as ever!

In that case, you can go with the SVBONY SV305 Telescope Camera CMOS. It has black illuminated CMOS sensor with very low noise.


Here are some of the commonly asked question regarding the topic-

Do I Need to Use a Light Pollution Filter with CMOS?

No. You don’t need to use any light pollution filter for the CMOS. CMOS already contains such a filter. Thus you can directly take pictures of the space of the highest quality. Generally, for a DSLR you may need to use a light pollution filter. It can help you to get rid of the noise of the photos.

Is It Possible to Clean The DSLR Sensor?

Yes. You can clean the DSLR camera sensor. Firstly take the camera and remove its lens. Then take a blower and sensor swabs. Blow air to the sensor. Do this a couple of times. The air will sweep out any dust remaining on the sensor. And you can gather it with the help of the swabs.

Are There Any Differences Between CCD and CMOS?

Yes. CMOS is an advanced version of CCD and is much more complex in structure. However, the CMOS sensor is faster than CCD. As a result, you can easily take videos with large frame rates with the help of the CMOS. Plus it takes less energy than CCD to operate too!


Our journey of selecting the winner of ‘CMOS vs DSLR’ stops here. Now you surely know which camera to use.

However, confusion can occur and you don’t need to worry a bit. Go to any camera experts out there. They can help!

Heard a meteor crashing.

Have to take a picture. Goodbye!

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