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Next suitable range of Cameras for EAA???

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Hi All,

New member to SGL but have been a visual observer for a while.

I'm planning on doing some EAA with the pupils I teach and thought I should check the current options for cheap CCTV/cameras suitable for the job. I am well aware of the famous CCD webcams and box cameras (Phillips SPC 900, LN 300, SCB 2000 and SCB 4000). I own two SCB-2000 with IR window removed but i've never quite liked the quality of the video.

In looking for a cheap alternative to the Revolution Imager (fantastic product with the kit) as I am here in the UK and it might cost me a bit to have it shipper over (coming to ~£250), i came across the actual body of the camera (for those looking to go without the full kit and need the camera only as some of us already own reducers/UTC remotes etc):



I also managed to come across some interesting cameras sporting the Sony 178 CMOS sensors. These are the same specification as being offered with the new range of QHY5L-IIIs and the CCTVs themselves have a USB port on the back (finally):



The specs of this next camera are very interesting. It suggests an incredibly sensitive camera (1/3" Super Sony HAD II) that is on paper is much better than the Revolution Imager/LN300 (1/3" Sony 811 CCD):




1.What do you guys think of these options listed above?

2.Are the CMOS sensors approaching the sensitivity and dark noise of the previous Sony HADs?

3.At the price of £130 compared to +£300 for the QHY5L-IIIs, is this a bargain or is the internal circuitry unable to provide the clever control required for EAA (can this be overcome with processing?).

Lastly, how can one know/tell if a CCTV camera has sense-up option? is it the electronic shutter or something that the manufacturer has to mention in the specs specifically?


Many thanks in advance for your contributions.



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Cheap is not the answer to be honest. particular for EAA on DSO it may be better to hold on and save a bit more money

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I will beg to differ with 2Star, in this case, as you are trying to get kids interested in Astro. Nothing worse for kids to be shown something that's out of reach. How about looking for 2nd hand that way you could pick up  something that gives better quality than SCB/LN200 without the price tag. I did see an older Lodestar(not X2) on Astro Buy and Sell but may have gone. Perhaps put a wanted in the B&S saying its for school and maybe something will turn up that fits your bill. An alternative maybe to use something like Astrotoaster(Uses DSO to live stack) , a normal DSLR (most schools have one hopefully a Canon ) and APT to control the DSLR(iso,exp etc) - this will give "live" viewing of many of the brighter DSO's.

Also look at Cloudynights http://www.cloudynights.com/page/index.html as they do a lot of reviews of "cheap" and innovative DSO camera's - some of the people on SGL appear there too - which may help. Anything to stir the little minds and get them interested. 

And thank you for adding value to your school kids knowledge - may just plant the seeds for the future.

Hope you get what you want.

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