I love that Canon does this kind of thing (niche photography markets). They did a similar modification of current hardware a couple of years ago with the Canon 7D Studio version, and with the previous Astrophotography Canon, the 20Da (way back in 2005!). They’re including an AC-Adapter and RA-E3 Remote Controller Adapter (which is necessary for using an intervalometer like Canon’s TC-80N3, though I highly recommend Shuttleboss’ cheaper alternative).
The Canon 60D was announced August of 2010, so the tech certainly isn’t new. I bought my refurb 60D body for about $800 back in October, and the prices have only gone down further, but these accessories that come bundled seem to level out the $1500 price tag. I’m not an Astrophotographer myself, but I like seeing niche cameras. I own the 60D and think it’s a fantastic low-end DSLR (the swivel screen is definitely may favorite feature).
The real change however, is in the sensor’s filter. From the press release:
The improved infrared-blocking filter is a modification suited specifically toward astronomy enthusiasts to achieve a hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity that is approximately three times higher than that of a normal Canon DSLR camera. This produces a 20-percent higher transmittance of Hydrogen Alpha line, or Hα wavelength, allowing astronomers to capture crisp, clear images of reddish, diffuse nebulae.
For a better visual representation, Canon’s official site has some side by side examples, as well as more information. I think the examples are pretty striking—obviously that filter helps out quite a bit!