Unmodded DSLR Test - California Nebula

Taken with 80mm ED Scope and Unmodded Canon Xsi
NGC 1499 - The California Nebula
Canon Xsi unmodded

(54) 3 Min Frames @ iso 1600
Stacked with Darks in DSS, Processed in PS CS5

When I shot the North American Nebula, my astro-buddies said things like "Wow your unmodded Xsi picks up a lot of red" and I thought, hey, maybe I can hold off on an expensive and intrusive mod to my precious Canon.  All of those thoughts disappeared as I began to process my photo of NGC 1499 yesterday. 

This nebula doesn't even EXIST with an unmodded dslr!  I suppose the photo above shows a pleasant mix of coloured stars and faint pink nebulosity, but if you've ever seen a REAL photo of the California Nebula, you will understand my predicament;)  So here's the plan:  Since I do not want to rip apart my 450D just yet, as I use it A LOT for daytime photography, I will wait until boxing day, at which point I will buy a new dslr, then either mod the 450D myself, or fork out the cash to do it right at KW Telescope.

UPDATE: Dec. 14, 2012

ngc 1499 - California Nebula
California Nebula with Unmodified DLSR
I decided I would give this object a fair kick in the can.  I added about 2 hours of data under dark skies at the CCCA.  It was a nightmare to process however.  Becasue I stretched it to its limits, I revealed light pollution, amp glow, gradients... you name it!  I don't usually like to stretch images this far.  Needless to say, I won't be imaging the California Neb until I modify my 450d!