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Luckythecat

Orion StarShoot G3 Colour

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Hi D4N,

many thanks for your interesting advice.

I took an image with Neb and click "Demosaic and Square" but nothing happened (it remained B&W)

Maybe it is likely that, even if you start with a color image, you nevertheless need to pass through Demosaic and Square for actually seeing a coloured image, but I am nearly sure that I start with a B&W image, as, clicking "(L)RGB Color Syntesis" and then loading a file with "RGB frame", I receive the "Image not a color frame" message.

Eventhogh it seems a simple and "errorproof" operation, I doubt to have made some mistake during the installation of the ASCOM driver (I repeated many times the installation, but I didn't succeed in finding where, provided that, I am making the mistake)

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Did you set the right bayer matrix pattern for your camera?

I believe on that camera it should be CMYG 4x4 0,4 but don't hold m to that as I don't own one.

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Hi D4N,

many thanks again for your kind and appreciated advise, ... together with my apologies (for making you loosing your time) as it was sufficent (for me) to read the manual:

quote

5. Image
Processing
After you have captured your astroimages
(with or without dark frames),
you will need to:
1. Calibrate Raws
2. Convert to Color (only applicable to StarShoot G3 Color)
3. Align
4. Combine
If you are using the StarShoot G3 Monochrome, all of these steps can be performed in the Combine Images window (Figure 16).
For StarShoot G3 Color users, the calibration and color conversion should be done separately before proceeding to align and stack.
unquote

So, it is clear that, in the Orion G3C camera operated with Orion Camera Studio software, the original image, eventhogh containing the "color" data, remains a B&W image if not processed.

As often it comes, got an answer you find a new question: how can I get a color image if I use a software different from Orion Camera Studio? (maybe here your advise comes to be important, but the camera seems to accept only 1x1 or 2x2 Binning, ...)

I will try to get through this by reading the manuals of both APT and Nebulosity4 (and, considering my attitude not to read manuals, I fear that ... it will take some time).

By now, I made some new "daylight" trials (as the sky continues to refuse to provide not even an "acceptable" condition for astronomic observation) and, provided that someone is interested, I can confirm that Orion G3C camera can be connected with both a Barlow (I tested 

2x, 2.25x and 3x) and with a Baader Hyperion Mark III 8-24 Zoom: the quality of the image (obviously) seems to "suffer" but it will be possible to evaluate how significant is the problem only taking actual pictures of the sky (which, hopefully, I will post here).

Have a clean sky

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Manuals are wonderful things sometimes :D

The 4x4 isn't the binning level it is the array size.

In Nebulosity when you ask it to Demosaic a window will pop up for you to put the settings into.

So far as I know for that camera you need to select CMYG, 4 x 4 and an offset of 0,4.

Have you tried opening the images in another application? I find Gimp generally gets the Demosaic right on its own.

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post-18772-0-49838100-1431890396_thumb.j

i have had limited - (ie 'some') success with the colour G3 using deepskystacker 

that may be the 4 the above poster was referring to - the bayer matrix pattern in DSS is CYMG 04 for the orion?

But yeah, i captured in nebulosity and stacked in DSS under cymg 04 in the dropdown camera bayer menu.

Need very long exposures to 'detect' enough stars in DSS as it comes out darker than i'm accustomed to with my dslr  

I would  be interested as an Orion g3 owner to see how the thread develops, if or when it does :p   :)

Thank you to the OP for the info and any other ppl who add to it :)

image - quick test on m42 - 30 x 2min exp's ,  ED80/ reducer x0.5 / G3  (i think the CA and Egg stars are the cheap 0.5x reducer 1.25" )

Edited by Aenima
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Sorry for my long silence, but, in effect, I am sorry twice as, up to now, I had no "minimal" sky condition for traying to "capture" anything (mosquitos excluded)  :confused:  :mad:  :Envy:  :lipsrsealed:

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That's the trouble with astronomy - testing the equipment almost always requires a clear sky and time spare to work on it.

Hope you get a chance to try your camera soon

Clear skies

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Well, here we are, this is my first (vaguely acceptable) capture of the moon (taken, I have to say, in a hurry).

I used my Newtonian SkyWatcher 200x1000 GoTo with (obviously) Orion G3C (Cooling ON) ... fitted with a 2x Balow (as, without, I am not been able to focus: I had to reduce the focus distance, but  I already reached the minimum); software was Orion's Camera Studio.

Capture was taken on sunset (about 8 p.m.), exposure was 0.01 sec.

Pictures (a sequence of 10, captured in automatic sequence) have been processed (only) with RegiStax6 (I am not very "advanced" using this sofware so I just followed "Using RegiStax 6 (Paul Maxson)" at http://www.astronomie.be/registax/previewv6paul.html).

Tracking of mount (normally good) performed very poorly (captured 10 pictures clearly evidenced that, from one picture to the following, ... the Earth rotated) ... but I had no time for considering/solving the issue.

Without any (supposed) modification to the "procedure" that I previously adopted, the Orion Camera Studio performed very well and without any minimal of the previously evidenced problems (even though we have to consider that the whole capturing section lasted only few minutes)

I have no reference for a "good" (nor even "acceptable") quality of the final result, but I guess that, maybe, the exposure should have been longher (1 - 2 sec?)

Any of you comments (and possibly advices) will be highly welcomed

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Nice to see a detailed image coming out :)

I'm not sure what is going on with the horizontal lines though, were the demosaic settings correct?

What filter (if any) did you use?

10 frames isn't much for lunar, I would expect to use hundreds and discard most of them only using the very best in the final stack.

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Hi,

concerning the orizontal lines, me too, I am puzzled: there were plenty of them (in nearly all "white" areas and ... evident) and I reduced them by using Wavelet Filter (Gaussian) of RegiStax 6 (settings as per Mr. Maxon's indications)

I guess that it is there (among others) that I have, motly, to work, but I also have the doubt that my exposure was excessively shorter (I suppose that "the longest the exposure, the richest, in data, the capture", ... am I right?).

Concerning filters, you refer to "optical" filters (for instance I didn't mount the "Moon" filter), or to "electronic" (such as the Gaussian of Registax) or ... whatelse?

For what it concerns the number of pictures, I do not know what to say: I "choosed" a sequence of 10 as my mount was not tracking correttly (first time it appens to me), but, in effect, in practice all 10 pictures look very similar and I discarted none.

Me too I read of "taking hundreds frames" but I though that this was, mostly, related with taking a "movie" (and, by the way, I don't know, provided it is possible, how to take a "movie" with G3C, ...).

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Sorry I forgot the G3 isn't a planetary imaging camera, it's a somewhere in-between I think.

Taking a huge number of frames is a lot more difficult if you are taking them one at a time.

For the moon you need very short exposures, longer exposures will blow out the brighter areas.

It is an amazingly high dynamic range target, when you look at the terminator you have some really dark blacks right next to some really bright whites.

I meant optical filters, but if you didn't use one then that won't be an issue ;)

It is entirely possible that the software hasn't been able to demoisaic the image correctly, hence the repeating lines. It is hard to tell on lunar shots, they don't have a great deal of colour to ring alarm bells with.

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Don't worry to be "excessively" clear with me: I am just a beginner and I have a lot to learn, ... what exactly stand for "planetary imaging camera" :huh::smiley:   (I supposed that G3C was suitable for astronomic photography for the moon, but also for planet and deep sky, am I wrong?).

Coming to optical filters, I have not so many of them (... don't ask me about their actual quality  :grin: ) but I have the "moon", the "blue", the "red" (both for planets, as far as I know, ... ???) and an Omegon "Deep Sky" (for "cleaning" the sky from light pollution, ... :rolleyes: ): do you suggest to use one of them?

Maybe I will have another capturing tentative this evening and, in case, I will take pictures, possibly, at night and without the 2x Barlow (I found a joint that allows to connect directly the camera to the 2" eyepiece holder so allowing a reduced focusing distance): even if not "advanced" I can easily hunderstand that the general quality will be improved (also considering the reduction of magnification).

I would appreciate knowing something more about "demosaic" (forgive my naivety): can you please address me to some "simple" site?

Provided that I find the time (and, mostly, good weather conditions) for capturing the moon tonight, do you have any advice for me concerning how to carry the capture on?

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A dedicated planetary camera normally captures in a video for at and can be at hundreds fps. It is not uncommon to capture 5000 frames and stack only 1000 of them. The idea is that if you take enough fast frames some of them will have periods of perfect seeing where the atmospheric turbulence is just right to give a clear image.

You don't need a lunar filter for imaging. The red filter is handy for the moon or planets in the day as it will remove all the blue scatter.

The deep sky filter will indeed be for light pollution on longer exposures.

Demosaic is the process software has to go through to convert the data from the camera into a colour image. If it is done incorrectly you can get all sorts of weird effects. Remember at the camera sensor itself is just recording how many photons are hitting it not what wavelength they are. The bayer matrix over the sensor is used to determine colour but this has to be interpreted by the software.

Try and get as many images as you can with short exposures, that should help the software find the best ones.

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All very clear, many thanks.

Hopefully I will try to take images (as much as acceptably possible) in different conditions ... and I will post them as soon as possible.

After discussing these subjects, a doubt is rising in my mind (a very bad doubt, indeed, considering the price I paid for the G3C): as I have a "not so bad" Nikon D5200, with a sensor whic is, roughly, from 4 to 6 times (maybe more) larger than the sensor of G3C, which can capture video in HD quality (for sure I don't know at how many frames per second), together with all necessary interfaces to connect it to my telescope, ... is it, maybe, better to use the Nikon for the capture and to downgrade the G3C to an autoguider? What do you think about?

Thanks anyhow again

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So far as I understand it the G3 is designed as an entry level camera for DSO's.

Even if the Nikon only captures at 20 FPS that is about 40 times as fast as you can with the G3. High frame rates really are ideal for solar system imaging, I would suggest you just try it and see.

The Nikon should work fine for DSO's too but you will find it insensitive to Ha (IR) wavelength that is present in most nebulae, the G3 being designed for astronomy will produce much better results here.

Some Nikons have issues with noise reduction that makes stars disappear, it requires a firmware hack to fix this. I have no idea if yours is one of these but it shouldn't effect solar system imaging.

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Well, thanks again for your clear (and useful) statements.

I will try to proceed in both directions (if finally I will have sufficient time and good weather conditions :smiley: ): in general I would prefer to use G3C (as I bought it ... for this  :Envy:) but, at same time I am pretty curious to use the Nikon (using Helicon Remote Software, just received, I should be able to have a "large" and clear image in the screen of the portable,... maybe) and compare the results.

I hope to post some news (possibly interesting :rolleyes: ) as soon as possible.

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I think you are right Lucky, the Nikon will really wipe the floor with the G3 and perform better for planets/lunar imaging and be worth trying on deep sky objects also even unmodified.

The main advantage the G3 has is the lack of IR block filter in front of the sensor and 'possibly' noise levels when cooling is on - this last one might be untrue actually because the horizontal lines are way worse than speckles of read-noise and i see them in mine as well so its unlikely to be caused by a filter or other accessory in the light path. :(

unfortunately it seems Orion are abandoning this camera as they can't even bring themselves to update the dodgy software let alone tweak the defects out of the camera design :(

Try the nikon for deep sky, or with a barlow in video mode for lunar and planets - you'll be pleasantly surprised by how versatile and easy it is compared to the current camera :) 

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I think you are right Lucky, the Nikon will really wipe the floor with the G3 and perform better for planets/lunar imaging and be worth trying on deep sky objects also even unmodified.

 

The main advantage the G3 has is the lack of IR block filter in front of the sensor and 'possibly' noise levels when cooling is on - this last one might be untrue actually because the horizontal lines are way worse than speckles of read-noise and i see them in mine as well so its unlikely to be caused by a filter or other accessory in the light path. :(

 

unfortunately it seems Orion are abandoning this camera as they can't even bring themselves to update the dodgy software let alone tweak the defects out of the camera design :(

 

Try the nikon for deep sky, or with a barlow in video mode for lunar and planets - you'll be pleasantly surprised by how versatile and easy it is compared to the current camera :)

Can’t say as I agree with this since it doesn’t take in to account the many other factors which play a role such as the mount, scope, guiding, PA, etc. - or more importantly - the ability and experience of the individual. To say a DSLR can “wipe the floor” with a G3 is at best a generalization which can’t stand up to close scrutiny in my opinion. Admittedly the G3’s software is notoriously quirky however, the camera itself has produced some acceptable images of DSO’s (at least acceptable to me). Of course I don’t use it for solar system imaging since I have a dedicated planetary webcam for that application. The following images were created from data generated by the G3 monochrome version – 2 using filters and 1 without. The tiny red/blue dashes in the photo of M27 are processing artifacts and are no fault of the camera.

The big advantage of a DSLR is the physical size of the sensor compared to the cost and when used in conjunction with fast optics, they provide an impressive FOV. However, when a more detailed image is the goal, a DSLR can’t come close to matching the G3 (or any CCD for that matter) in terms of sensitivity - especially in the red wavelength. And when used with longer focal length scopes – a DSLR’s one advantage (sensor size) quickly becomes a non-issue due to the narrow FOV offered by the optics. The truth is DSLR’s are designed for daytime photography and must be modified to be very effective at nighttime photography of celestial objects. Just my 2 cents but it certainly seems appropriate to offer a different perspective based on personal experience with the G3 since no one else has come to its defense. I may purchase a DSLR at some point just to get those wide-field shots however, if money were no object - I wish :( - I’d much prefer a full-frame dedicated astrophotography CCD.

Oh yeah - almost forgot - weight can also be a negative characteristic of a DSLR where CCD's are typically much lighter and less cumbersome... :)

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post-37916-0-13170500-1433808045.jpg

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Hi Scorpius, these are great pictures you've taken with your G3 :smiley: I also have a G3, and apart from the buggy Orion software and narrow FOV, it's a good little camera.

What exposure lengths did you take for the above pictures? I am having difficulty getting decent colours from my images. It's probably down to short exposure lengths. 60 stubs @ 60 seconds on average.

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Hi Scorpius, these are great pictures you've taken with your G3 :smiley: I also have a G3, and apart from the buggy Orion software and narrow FOV, it's a good little camera.

What exposure lengths did you take for the above pictures? I am having difficulty getting decent colours from my images. It's probably down to short exposure lengths. 60 stubs @ 60 seconds on average.

Thanks Bigfoot9907   :smiley:

All were taken with Celestron 8” SCT - f/6.3 focal reducer (1280 mm FL) on Advanced VX mount.

M13 was Luminance-40 sec. x 12 subs.

M27 was Luminance-145 x 10/ Red-300 x 2/ Green-300 x 8/ Blue-300 x 2. Ran out of time to capture enough red/blue data and also insufficient darks which most likely caused red/blue artifacts.

M51 was Luminance-6 x 600/ and RGB-3 x 450 each and 2x2 binning. Again ran out of time to get enough RGB but did manage a decent number of darks.

Was all set to have a go at M57 the past couple nights - since the forecast was clear skies for the first time in weeks - however, high altitude winds pushed smoke from Canadian forest fires down the eastern seaboard which left the skies untenable for astro-imaging therefore have not been able to use my gear for nearly a month now.  :clouds1:  :clouds2:

I think the G3 (color or mono) is quite capable of producing nice astro-photos if you’re willing to keep at it which I plan to do until I can upgrade to a CCD with larger sensor and more stable software. Also, I’m in the early stages of constructing a permanent observatory but more on that later once the pier has been set...

Good luck and clear skies!  :icon_salut:

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Thanks for the info Scorpius

I’m in the early stages of constructing a permanent observatory but more on that later once the pier has been set...

Cool, keep us posted with piccies :smiley:

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Wow!

Those are very good pictures from the entry level CCD.

Very impressed especially with the whirlpool Galaxy - I think using the monochrome camera will help a lot as it was the software debayer process as well as the weird colour tones that made the G3 difficult to get good results from :/ with the mono + filters you avoid debayering and have control over colour balance in the final image.

But well done getting those images posted above, really good to see nice results from the G3.

Hope more are to come :)

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