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Skyraider-ds Color vs. B/W


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I've had a few email exchanges with Rock on the Mallincam Skyraider-ds.  I'm trying to determine whether I want the B/W or the color model.  I'm leaning strongly toward B/W, but I want to be sure before I order.  My thinking is that the B/W will be more sensitive, and have higher resolution.   The cost, of course, is losing color, unless you want to use filters.  I'm happy to start my EAA in B/W, and start seeing lots of DSO's only in B/W.

 

But Rock told me that about 98% of people buy color.  He says it's easier.  I would think that only applies to One Shot Color vs. stacking B/W images taken with color filters.  I would think that if I'm ok with deferring trying to do anything color, there is no reason why starting with B/W should not be the easiest approach.

 

Is there something I'm not understanding here?

 

Dana

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Hi Dana

I can't speak for that particular camera but I have both a mono and colour Lodestar and nowadays I use the mono almost exclusively. If I want colour, as I often do for star clusters or nebulae, I use filters, which is very easy with a filter wheel and appropriate software (LodestarLive). I understand the comment about colour being easier to use than mono+filters, but in practice -- with the right software -- I don't find it much of a hassle to collect and combine short exposures from the filters even in near-live EAA. I much prefer the colour rendition I get via the mono camera. If you're considering narrowband at any point (very useful when the moon is bright) then the mono is the one to go for.

Why do 98% buy colour? Difficult to say. Perhaps many are just grateful to see some colour at last! I started in colour myself. And for outreach type activities colour is probably less hassle for the instant wow factor without having to play with filters. So I would say it depends on your main interests or planned usage. If, like me, your interests lie in teasing out faint detail in galaxies, or just finding very faint objects, then I would suggest mono is the way to go and ultimately the more flexible (and sensitive) solution.

good luck

Martin

 

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Hi Dana,

Welcome. You will enjoy observing with a camera either way but here is my 2c.

You are right about the mono. You will be able to go deeper and get better resolution and detail although with the 829 color sensor the loss is not as great as with other RGB matrix based color sensors/cameras.

As Martin said the mono offers more flexibility but it comes at a price... Namely a steeper learning curve.

Getting color from mono takes more effort but gives you more control on mixing the channels and hence the results will be better vs. a OSC camera assuming you know what you are doing. Getting the color balance right takes effort and time.

Plus if you add up the cost of the filter wheel and LRGB filters and adapters you can afford a color camera and a mono.

Finally my approach. I have been imaging for many years and have done a lot of LRGB imaging using mono cameras and am very comfortable with it. But I still prefer using separate mono and color cameras for EAA due to the ease of use and speed. Using a mono with LRGB you may save exposure time but other things will take longer like processing and balancing.

End of the day you cannot go wrong with mono. And if down the road you feel comfortable enough you can invest in a filter wheel and filters or just buy a OSC camera.

Hiten

P.S. Note that the Mallincam SW does not support LRGB or narrowband imaging or stacking with the mono SkyRaider.

Edited by Astrojedi
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But if you only want to view in B/W, the learning curve is no steeper than color.  The learning curve is only steeper if you want to use the mono camera to produce color pictures.  Right?  Odd thing is that it seems that when I say I want to buy a mono camera, people assume I'm going to go immediately to produce color images.  Actually I'm going to spend some time getting my feet wet strictly in B/W.  When I'm ready to start dabbling in color, I may either buy a color camera, or I may work with filters.  That's TBD.

 

Dana

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43 minutes ago, thomehm said:

But if you only want to view in B/W, the learning curve is no steeper than color.  The learning curve is only steeper if you want to use the mono camera to produce color pictures.  Right?  Odd thing is that it seems that when I say I want to buy a mono camera, people assume I'm going to go immediately to produce color images.  Actually I'm going to spend some time getting my feet wet strictly in B/W.  When I'm ready to start dabbling in color, I may either buy a color camera, or I may work with filters.  That's TBD.

 

Dana

That's a good way to look at it, Dana.  You won't be disappointed viewing mono images, and the mono camera will be easier to learn.  It will be more sensitive and it will produce great narrowband Ha images if you want to take that step.  You really can't go wrong with mono.

Don

Edited by HiloDon
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1 hour ago, thomehm said:

But if you only want to view in B/W, the learning curve is no steeper than color.  The learning curve is only steeper if you want to use the mono camera to produce color pictures.  Right?  Odd thing is that it seems that when I say I want to buy a mono camera, people assume I'm going to go immediately to produce color images.  Actually I'm going to spend some time getting my feet wet strictly in B/W.  When I'm ready to start dabbling in color, I may either buy a color camera, or I may work with filters.  That's TBD.

 

Dana

Dana,

Correct. If you only want to do mono you will not face a steep learning curve. I do recommend that you start with mono.

Also no one is assuming anything. In your original post you wanted help deciding between a mono or color camera so I and Martin assumed color matters to you and you may want a path to color imaging. If you want to do mono then I don't see why you even posted the question as it is a moot point.

Hiten

 

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