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TSRobot

Which cam

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TSRobot    43

Hi. I've been looking at FLOs website at the astro cams and I'm not sure how to tell which ones are suitable for video astronomy. Is it something I'm missing? The Infinity obviously can do video but is silly beginner money.

Thanks

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furrysocks2    712

What scope will you be using? (aperture and focal length).

You can do a bit of maths to determine the resolution in arcsec/pixel and field of view, given a particular camera's pixel size and resolution.

I tried to work it out here...

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TSRobot    43

Hi. I have a 130pds and SW st120 and a 80mm f6 achro. No goto, but I may be getting the sw azgti at sometime in the future. Current reading is the Ashley Joseph book about video astro, but all the advice is about analogue CCTV type cams such as the revolution R2 and similar which are hard to source in the uk. That's why I'm wondering about the usb cams at FLO as I already have a portable laptop which can easily display live images without me buying a new screen though I could use a 7 inch portable dvd play from the car as the display if I could source a CCTV camera in the UK.

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furrysocks2    712

You could go down the analog route... you might be looking for sensup/integration and 3dnr - some Watec models are very sensitive.

I just sold my ST102 but I was starting out on that with a DatysonT7M, essentially an ASI120MM. You'll need to "do the math" on field of view but I was finding 1/4 and 1/3 sensors really restrictive. You might want a focal reducer.

Sharpcap can do on-the-fly dark subtraction and live-stacking and histogram tweaking - if you can tolerate a laptop being out with you (or operating remotely), then perhaps options are greater going USB, or even USB capture card for analog.

Dunno, just some thoughts. Lodestar x2 gets a lot of use.

 

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ronin    3,755

I think all the ZWO's do video, as in N frames per sec, and long exposure, as in 20 second exposures.

Not sure what the output format is, guess .avi but check/ask. Does that depend on the software doing the capture ?

The ASI 120 appears to be video at 35 fps and single exposure up to 1000 sec.

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TSRobot    43

I watched the videos of the Revolution Imager R2 which seems as close to plug and play as you can get. Can the USB cams with Sharpcap or similar become a simple system also? This is to show my 4yr old something more than a faint smudge in the eyepiece one day.

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furrysocks2    712

Personally, I'd put the effort into learning a PC-based software workflow and then you can upgrade your camera when you get dissatisfied with your first purchase.

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Doug64    11

Hi,

I use a computer, Sharpcap and a mono GPCam which is great but the newer GPCam's get good reports.

Doug

 

 

 

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stash_old    180

Being perfectly blunt - "you pays your money" bu understand completely where you are coming from - it can be an expensive hobby.  Yes video cams such As120mm USB3 (plenty of rebadged versions) version will work out of the box with Sharpcap and has stacking but without some form of motorised mount (AltAZ or EQ) stacking is off your list (IMHO). Not that you could see the brighter objects M45 etc. But it depends what you want to see! Start looking at the Moon your 4yrd should still be wowed (or bored out its mind - Astro is not for ever body) > maybe until you get your AZ mount you could just be a Phone holder so that you can take a picture of what is in the eye piece. It does really matter what you use so long as you are getting something out of it - be warned once you start and if you get totally "hooked" hide your Credit cards etc or have deep pockets. There will be others more experienced in EAA that will come up with better suggestions - until then clear skies.

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TSRobot    43

Been looking at the GPcams this arvo and think that might be a good start. Can't really tell if the GPcam2's with Sony sensors might be better. Would a rookie be able to tell the difference? Thanks for all the help though:happy7:

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TSRobot    43

Does any folk know if all the cams with the sony Exmor IMX224 c are all a bit similar? Would i go for the cheapest of the lot (GPcam2). I guess that it's the electronics that's added and what you do with it that makes a difference. 

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Robrj    98

I like the USB cameras (I have a ZWO ASI224MC and a Lodestar X2M).   I think they're simpler to set up than the analog cameras.  Just one cable from the computer to the camera.  They get their power from the USB cable and a tablet/laptop computer would act as your screen.  Plus all adjustments are done on the computer.  The IMX224 cameras will also be better for planetary imaging as they have a high frame rate.

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Robrj    98
On 12/2/2017 at 05:08, ronin said:

I think all the ZWO's do video, as in N frames per sec, and long exposure, as in 20 second exposures.

Not sure what the output format is, guess .avi but check/ask. Does that depend on the software doing the capture ?

The ASI 120 appears to be video at 35 fps and single exposure up to 1000 sec.

Sharpcap will save as AVI (8-bit per color channel only) or SER (8 or 16 bit).

http://docs.sharpcap.co.uk/2.9/#Camera Basics

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shirva    257

My views are this.

The only scope I can see you using on the skywatcher az gti is your 80mm f6, the az gti in my personal view is too flimsy,, I have the ed80 ) focal reducer and a DSLR on mine and any movement ,is focusing just bounces the image about,, and it's quite annoying.. I also use the zwo 178 in place of the DSLR and thought it's better, to be honest it's better with just the DSLR and 300mm lens..

Now if you have a live view Canon or Nikon DSLR I would buy backyard eos and use astrotoaster software.

As old stash says it's a money pit at times.

Revolution is available in UK at modern astronomy I'm positive,

Phil dyer may still be selling full analogue set ups as well.

I would go for an eq3 pro to be honest,, my first eq got , still have it.

The allview is another mount I have and is sturdier than the az gti

 

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TSRobot    43

Hi. I really appreciate all the above help. I have Wanted ads here on SGL and Astrobuysell for GPcams v1 or v2 , but i guess the ZWO's or Toups can do the job too. This is to keep my dabbling cheap. Once i get my hands on a suitable cam for dabbling i'll learn to use it and sharpcap before choosing a mount. This will be in on my Porta 2 just to learn how poor it is for video, but i'll try it on my microscope too.  My 80mm f6 achro is built like a tank as it's the old revelation CNC version, but if this makes video astro as portable as possible then it might be just the ticket. All i need is to get a viable starter cam and i'll begin to understand. Mistakes are welcome as is advice. 

Thanks all the same.

Tim

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furrysocks2    712

The Datyson T7 (M or C) can be bought on aliexpress for £80-odd - I got the mono - precisely for "low cost dabbling". It was the first cam I had capable of "long" exposures, and taught me that I wanted more. So I gave up trying and sold my ST102. Kept the camera though, for decent-frame-rate planetary/lunar.

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TSRobot    43

Hmm. The T7 looks possible. Do you actually just shove the whole thing into a 2 inch focuser? Looks like from the pics on aliexpress.

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furrysocks2    712
Just now, TSRobot said:

Hmm. The T7 looks possible. Do you actually just shove the whole thing into a 2 inch focuser? Looks like from the pics on aliexpress.

It's 1.25"... both the nosepiece and the camera barrel itself, with a depth-limit ring... it can insert quite a way in, which is good if you're putting a focal reducer on the front, which requires more in-focus than some focusers may allow. Be aware of the "aliexpress" caveats such as delivery time, warranty, import, etc.

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furrysocks2    712

Just to be clear, this is not a camera I would recommend you to use for EAA, live-stacking, etc... and I imagine that there may well be a "more sensitive" option at "lower cost"... indeed there will be more sensitivity and larger sensors, etc at higher cost, but that's not your intention to begin with. Perhaps purchasing a T7 will set you back it's purchase price when you come to purchase another... equally, you may then find that you can use it as a guide cam, or an all-sky cam, or planetary cam, or whatever.

All that said, it I could just fit M33 into frame on my ST102, f/5... the focal length (500mm) determines the pixel scale as per my graph above. I'm sure you could get some globulars and such but I never got tracking working particularly well, let alone goto, so my experience was limited pretty much to a couple of targets. It was fun (for me) to live-stack M33 though.

 

1 hour ago, TSRobot said:

... I have Wanted ads here on SGL and Astrobuysell for GPcams v1 or v2 , but i guess the ZWO's or Toups can do the job too. This is to keep my dabbling cheap. Once i get my hands on a suitable cam for dabbling i'll learn to use it and sharpcap ...  All i need is to get a viable starter cam and i'll begin to understand. Mistakes are welcome as is advice.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that was responding directly to the above... it's a ZWO-like camera (specifically, very closely related to the ASI120MM I believe, and the driver reports as such), was relatively cheap imo compared with other options, was bought fully expecting it to be replaced at some point, but was a starter for me to begin to understand. All that said, it wasn't a mistake, just not super-suited.

I'm not back tracking - I still think you'd get a lot out of it in terms of experience and process, but you'll want something more pretty soon.

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R26 oldtimer    16

If you decide to go down the analog path, the cheapest choice is an Effio-a with icx811 sensor board camera from cctv or drone fpv. It cost as much as 25-30€ and is pretty much the same as the proven Ri2.

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Edited by R26 oldtimer
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London_David    23

Personally I’d recommend the the ASI224 colour too. It’s the best bang for your buck in terms of sensitivity at the moment, so you can use shorter exposures and stack rather than having to worry about your mount so much (though a motorised tracking mount of some sort alt az or eq is still pretty essential). 

You can also use it on planets as a video camera into  which will give you a live feed off the sensor. 

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TSRobot    43

Hi. The ASI1224 colour £235 sounds good then. Thanks. It this going be the same as the cheaper Altair GPcam2 224c at £189? For the same price as the ASI1224c i could get the Altair GPcam2 290c with even smaller pixies to catch the little quatum devils from deep space. Am I standing at the edge of the astro imaging money pit here? Hold me before i fall in :happy11:

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stash_old    180
1 hour ago, TSRobot said:

Hi. The ASI1224 colour £235 sounds good then. Thanks. It this going be the same as the cheaper Altair GPcam2 224c at £189? For the same price as the ASI1224c i could get the Altair GPcam2 290c with even smaller pixies to catch the little quatum devils from deep space. Am I standing at the edge of the astro imaging money pit here? Hold me before i fall in :happy11:

But remember the support - ZWO at least have a support forum and update the software do Altair as they as middle men(rebadgers OEM) but ZWO are the manufactures  - important when things (hopefully not) go wrong. Just a thought

How can we catch you we are already going down the endless pit.:lol:  Clear Skies

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TSRobot    43

Do these types of tech go wrong often? I have 5 non astro digital cameras starting with a 1.3 mega pixie with no screen even and it works just fine taking just one aa battery. I understand that tech support is a must for many other issues though including the learning curve with new kit. Do Altair lack a little in folks opinion?

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stash_old    180
3 hours ago, TSRobot said:

Do these types of tech go wrong often? I have 5 non astro digital cameras starting with a 1.3 mega pixie with no screen even and it works just fine taking just one aa battery. I understand that tech support is a must for many other issues though including the learning curve with new kit. Do Altair lack a little in folks opinion?

Its tech stuff and if you start connecting it to Astro software there can be problems with drivers. Non astro camera's are just point and click and at most may have file sharing etc. Astro comera drivers are controlling the camera remotely and are setting various parameters via USB leads on different OS (they do a good job to support kit on the whole) - so may need help sometimes. I am not implying anything wrong just read about the different Astro forums on "REAL LIFE" use to see have they have worked.

So,for instance,if you are going to use Sharpcap make sure the camera is fully supported by Shapecap on your OS (Windows in this case). Thats one of he beauties of Analogue astro camera's you dont need to use a PC/IPAD etc - lots of CONS as well - nothing is simple.

So in a nutshell the Hardware should last years but you need to make sure they are supported by software BEFORE you buy - IMHO

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