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Upgrading from my QHY5LIIc - help appreciated!

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Hi, this question has probably been done to death here, but can I ask the community to help me decide on a new camera?

After struggling with my very glitchy QHY5LIIc camera for a while, as well as having a forced break from astronomy, I have decided to get a new camera. After all the problems I've been having with the QHY, I really don't want to use this manufacturer again. I know lots of people use them quite happily, but once bitten ...

I have been looking at the ZWO cameras - OSC, as I haven't the time, clear skies, or patients to do LRGB imaging!

I have about £250 to spend, which I may be able to push to £300 if I wait a bit. ? So I've been looking at the ASI224MC, ASI290MC and the ASI178MC cameras.

I mainly do planetary/Luna imaging, but I have also dabbled in a bit of DSO and would like to continue with both. I have a C9.25 and a ST80 guide scope. I know these aren't ideal for DSOs but please humour me!

I think from the specs/information that the 224 is probably the best option. Although the resolution and QE are the worst of the three, the well depth and read noise are the best and the fps is pretty good too.

I don't know if there are better/cheaper cameras using the same chips, such as Altair's range. I just don't want to make the same mistake that I did with the QHY!n

Any help/advice you can give will be much appreciated.?

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On 27/04/2019 at 15:41, Stargazer33 said:

 have about £250 to spend, which I may be able to push to £300 if I wait a bit. ? So I've been looking at the ASI224MC, ASI290MC and the ASI178MC cameras.

You are not the first person I have heard complain about that exact camera. I would probably go with the ASI224mc if it was me it's a big step up from the QHY. 

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I have the same qhy camera and I would agree with your comments I don’t think it’s so much a hardware issue more a software issue and I too will move on to zwo when the time comes. 

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Thanks for your comments/thoughts. I was going to buy a 224MC off UKAB&S but the guy couldn't wait for the end of the month and my pay day and sold to someone who had the funds ready to go! Shame because it was a good deal. 

My wife and I are going to New York in September so I might see what I can pick up in NYC! I don't think they do the Zwo brand in BH Photo or Adorama, but I'll have a look if I get time.

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None of the options you are looking at are cooled cameras. So on that basis I'd suggest another uncooled camera, an OSC one ...... a modded DSLR.

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Hi, no the cameras mentioned are not cooled, but as stated in my original post, I only have about £300 to spend. A cooled camera would be considerably over my budget.

I have got a modified Canon 1100D which I have made a coolbox for. Again, as stated in my OP, I am unhappy with my current high frame rate camera and I'm looking to upgrade that as I mainly do planetary/luna imaging, but also want to try imaging some of the brighter DSOs.

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Just got confirmation of dispatch of a Zwo ASI385MC from Zwos Ali Express web site! 😬😱

It's $369.00 or about £294.00 so just under my upper limit. Here come the clouds! 😉☁🌩🌧




Edited by Stargazer33
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I was looking at the ASI385MC too, for planetary, and have just looked at the listing on Aliexpress.  Any idea whether you'll get clobbered with import duties?  I'll be fascinated to hear your thoughts on the camera.

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Hi, still waiting on the camera. I have to say that the tracking information from AliExpress is pretty poor. It doesn't update for days! The last information I have is that it is awaiting customs clearance; which was posted on 25th - now 29th!!! Not sure if I'll have to pay import duty or not, or how much it might be. I will post more when I receive it.

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Hi, camera arrived today. A little over 3 weeks from order. I paid £297.35 for the camera; I had to pay £24.00 import duty/tax and I had to pay £12.00 to Royal Mail for a 'handling fee'!!!

So a total of £332.35! I saved myself a grand total of £2.65 and have had to wait 3 weeks and have worried all that time about the authenticity of the site, delivery etc.

Conclusion: in future I will buy from Flo; get it next day or the day after and have full peace of mind that if there is anything wrong then I can return it easily.

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