How much better are cameras?

Cameras, CCDs, prisms, grisms, etc., are all some of the instruments that can go on top of telescopes to help us see things better. We haven't really increased the size of telescopes so much as we have the quality and ability of the apparatus that go atop them. Take a look at various pictures I've stolen off the web, all taken by (avid) amateur astronomers in different years. The pictures are of M81 and M82, two galaxies in a group that make up possibly the nearest cluster of galaxies outside of the local group. (The closest is either the M81 group, the Centaurus group, or the IC 342 group.) Let's begin:

1996:

2000:

2006:

2008:

So if you're going to buy me a telescope, that'd be totally sweet, but don't skimp on the camera!

More like this

"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the Universe around him and calls the adventure Science." -Edwin Hubble I promised you, this week, we'd be taking a look at the power of the Hubble Space Telescope. Yesterday, we looked at Eta Carinae, but today, I decided to look a little farther. Have…
"Not even light can escape such hollowing, this huge mass in a small space. Even the Milky Way with its open arms is said to have a black hole at its heart." -Susan B.A. Somers-Willett Our Milky Way is home to us all. With its hundreds of billions of stars, massive spiral arms, dust lanes, and…
"The lessons of science should be experimental also. The sight of a planet through a telescope is worth all the course on astronomy; the shock of the electric spark in the elbow outvalues all theories; the taste of the nitrous oxide, the firing of an artificial volcano, are better than volumes of…
"When you look at the stars and the galaxy, you feel that you are not just from any particular piece of land, but from the solar system." -Kalpana Chawla Welcome to this week's Messier Monday, where I pick a new object out of the original catalogue of 110 "faint fuzzies" designed to help comet-…