Last night I finally had a little bit of time to start testing the CP80-EOS DSLR Cooler. For this first test I wanted to make a “real life” comparison between dark frames shot with and without the help of the DSLR cooler. For this reason, I set up the Temperature Controller to 10 C which was just above dew point. I am assuming that most of us do not want to have to deal with condensation especially if you are imaging (like me) from a remote site where it takes a couple hours drive to get to and that you really, really do not wish to waste.
My testing procedure was very simple.
In both instances, I used Backyard-EOS to shoot dark frames, I set up a simple plan of Five (5) 300 seconds Darks at ISO1600. For the “no cooling” test I just started recording the ambient temperature with my TC-08 temperature data-logger and then started shooting darks. For the “DSLR cooled” test, I first started the CP80-EOS and waited till the temperature stabilized at the desired 10C. It took just 15 minutes, I am also posting a the Temperature Vs. Time chart here for those interested. After 15 minutes I started the same Dark Frames plans with Backyard-EOS.
For the comparison, I used the very last shot of each series. I’ve done a 100% crop (640 x 480 px) on each frame and copied them in a common file which was then converted to JPEG. As you can see the difference is quite dramatic. There is a 15 C difference between the ambient temperature in each instance but the EXIFs recorded a difference of only 10 C (28 C Vs. 38 C). I am guessing that this discrepancy is due to the added convection within the CP80-EOS DSLR cooler which makes the sensor reaches the equilibrium temperature much faster. Reciprocally it would mean the sensor in the “no cooling” test would not be quite to its equilibrium temperature even after 30 minutes of Dark Frame shooting. I hope I will be able to confirm this later.
This test proved positive from my perspective. My goal was to be able to substantially reduce Noise without having to deal with any of the condensation issues that can arise with active DSLR cooling.
The image below is a Noise comparison of the T1i with and without the CP80-EOS DSLR cooler.
Camera Settings for this comparison:
300 Seconds Dark Frames
100% center frame crop (640 x 480 px)
Read more about the CP80-EOS project: here