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This self-cooling Nikon is perfect for taking photos of the stars

A modified version of the Nikon D5500 DSLR, called the “D5500a Cooled”, has launched with a self-cooling system to help you take long-exposure shots with low noise.

What does that mean? Well, it should make taking pictures of the night sky, traditionally something cooled CCD cameras are known for excelling at, a lot easier with a DSLR.

Developed by Italian astrophotography company PrismaLuceLabs, the cooling system is mounted on the back of the D5500 to chill the sensor and reduce the amount of noise in long-exposure photos.

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PrismaLuceLab CEO Filippo Bradaschia spoke to PetaPixel about the modded camera, saying: “It’s the first ever cooled Nikon camera for astrophotography.”

A computer isn’t required to use the D5500a Cooled, unlike most CCD astro cameras, with a 12V adapter powering the cooling system and a 9V output that can be used to power the DSLR through the battery compartment.

That means the whole modded system, including the camera, can be used with just the 12V adapter and no batteries.

Nikon D5500
The standard D5500

The cooling system itself is mounted on the LCD screen section of the camera’s back while the screen is flipped out to the side.

The double Peltier cell in the setup can cool the temperature by as much as 27°C (~80.1°F) while an anti-dewing system uses targeted heat to stop dew drops appearing on photos.

Finally, a special filter has been placed in front of the D5500’s sensor to increase sensitivity in astrophotography.

If you’re intrerested in checking out PrismaLuceLab‘s modded camera, you can get it direct from the company for €2,190 (about £1,980). The standard D5500 costs around £679.

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Let us know what you think of the D5500a Cooled in the comments.

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