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bomberbaz

A starter camera

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Hello all.

I have done video astronomy before with a large F5 dobsonian before, it didn;t end well. The long focal length made my life difficult and in the end I gave in and sold the camera.

Anyway, now I have a new scopes, one of which is a F6 80mm frac, much more user friendly to use with camera.

Just looking for a few pointers on a reasonable priced bit of kit for videoing usual the moon, planets and maybe brighter dso's if it is doable.

Not looking to bust the bank, up to around a couple of hundred quid initially with a view if it takes off and works ok I may upgrade.

Oh, and I can only do short bursts for stacking as I am on a AZ mount, limitations I know but thats for me to work with.

TIA for any help.

Steve/baz

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HI Steve. I am by no means an expert but have been dabbling a little in EAA (electronically assisted astronomy). I can recommend the Altair Astro GPCAM 2 which retails at about £150 and sharp cap which when you get the pro licence (which you get free with the GP CAM for a year) will do live stacking and you can use short exposures as it automatically aligns each frame so the AZ mount will not be a problem. I hope this helps.

Dave

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5 hours ago, D Wright said:

HI Steve. I am by no means an expert but have been dabbling a little in EAA (electronically assisted astronomy). I can recommend the Altair Astro GPCAM 2 which retails at about £150 and sharp cap which when you get the pro licence (which you get free with the GP CAM for a year) will do live stacking and you can use short exposures as it automatically aligns each frame so the AZ mount will not be a problem. I hope this helps.

Dave

Thats great Dave, I will have a ead up on it but it looks as though its the sort of thing i am after

much appreciated

steve

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Before accepting anyones advice on which camera, you need to learn how to very quickly and easily check that you don't get caught again with too much, or too little magnification. 

Cameras behave very differently depending on their sensor diagonal size. They actually behave very similarly to an eyepiece of the same mm rating. Ie a camera like the altair suggested ... check the manufacturer or retailer websites and you'll see the sensor is about 5mm diagonal. It does not have to be exact dimension - near enough is good enough so if they quote the horizontal and vertical dimensions in mm there's no need to get out the calculator and use pythagorus to cal the diagonal to the nearest 2 decimal places ... just use the bigger dimension ie the horizontal one in mm. So the amount of magnification and therefore the field of view or how large or small objects appear for that camera with its 5mm sensor will be very, very similar to using a 5mm eyepiece in any scope you own no matter what its focal length. If you get a suggestion of DSLR you'll look up the sensor dimensions to find thats about 23mm diagonal. So it will yield a very similar FOV, magnification, size of object as using an eyepiece of 23mm in any scope.  And so on ... anyone suggests a ZWO ASInnn ... or any camera ... check the sensor dimension specs and you'll immediately get the idea of whether it'll work in one of your scopes.

As I suspect you found with your old VA and the large F5 dob ... those old VA cameras had 5mm sensors so would show you the same FOV/mag as using a 5mm highly magnifying eyepiece in your DOB. If that dob was 1500mm focal length then you effectively had a 5mm eyepiece in a 1,500 focal length scope ... very high mag, very small FOV, unable to find stuff when the goto is off, unable to image big stuff. It would, however, been great for planets! :)

Or an alternate method is to google "12dstring fov calc" and go to that online resource. Its a visual checker with 110 Messier objects and all the solar system objects with hundreds of scopes and cameras from hundreds of manufacturers to see if a camera will work with your scope. The only thing it won't tell you is (a) if the camera will reach focus in your scope(s); (b) if the camera will get vignetting in your scope(s); (c) if you can get a reducer to make it work better with your scope(s) - as you can enter barlows and reducer values in that online tool to check planetary vs DSO scale. To get those questions answered once you find a scope and camera and reducer/barlow combo which works ... is to post questions on the forums, or get money back guarantee from the supplier if it doesnt work with your scope.

Cheers

Edited by Howie_Oz
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I use the calculation field of view on Flo's website,, when I want a new camera

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Once you have the chip size you can enter it into Stellarium along with your scope details. This works similarly to entering eyepiece details to get an AFOV, except that the outline is now rectangular. 

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Thanks guys, all great tips. Not in a rush so will be looking at all the options in detail.

Have to say a starter as mentioned above seems a good idea. 

I had a similar one like I said a few years back but the scope being used didn't match very well.

This time I will take my time.

cheers, steve

 

 

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