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bluesilver

ZWO ASI224MC USB3.0 Colour Astronomy Camera

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Hi,  I hope i have got this question posted in the right section,  apologise if i have it incorrect.

Just a basic question that i am sure i am over looking.

I am looking at getting into a bit of astrophotography,  and i was looking at going with the ZWO ASI224MC USB3.0 Colour Astronomy Camera.

The question is,  do i actually need a laptop to run the camera and also to be able to view what i am trying to take a photo of?

Also will this camera take video?

I am planning to start out by taking images of the planets,  and was told for the planets you want to take short videos rather than timed photo exposures.

I am going to be using it on a 16 inch GOTO Dobsonian to start with,  not the best for photography work,  but something to start with.

Any information or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.

 

 

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That's what I use for planetary work. Yes you take avi which you then stack using software like AS!2 and Registax. You will need a laptop to be able to capture the videos. You cannot see what you are capturing without one. My Avatar was taken with the 224.

Peter

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Hi

Yes you need something to capture the images on. Usually a laptop but a tablet will do if it has a usb port and a memory card that can be removed and plugged into a PC..

A dob can take decent lunar and planetary imags although with single frames or very short video. 

Here’s a lunar image taken with a dob using just a smartphone.

 

21EF6A30-E925-4093-BD09-22239167F577.png

Edited by johninderby

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An alternative is to use a microscope camera that just needs to be connected to a monitor as they usually have a memory card slot to capture images. 

Not as good as a proper astro camera but cheap. Hers’s an image taken with a £100.00 microscope camera.

 

96275D6D-8124-4245-B06C-95688FBC2920.jpeg

Edited by johninderby

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Thanks for the replies,  Appreciated.

So basically,  the camera itself doesn't store the images or videos as it doesn't have a memory card,  is this correct?

And also you need a power source to power them?

So therefore you need as suggested,  a laptop or tablet to view the image you are looking at, sore the image or video taken and also to power the camera?

Dose that sound roughly correct?

Sorry if that is a basic explanation,  but really all that i need to know at this stage.

Appreciated.

 

Edited by bluesilver

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I used to have the ASI224MC, and really liked it. It is powered through the USB cable that attaches it to the laptop or tablet. Below are two Jupiter captures with my C8 (on an EQ mount)Jupiter_202355_g4_b3_ap44_2FWRS6-2.jpg.4bb11bb093770798faa6ec7e87484992.jpgJupiter_021413_g4_ap127RS2.png.d2c81575242240c189e00752ceeeacac.png

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1 hour ago, bluesilver said:

Thanks for the replies,  Appreciated.

So basically,  the camera itself doesn't store the images or videos as it doesn't have a memory card,  is this correct?

And also you need a power source to power them?

So therefore you need as suggested,  a laptop or tablet to view the image you are looking at, sore the image or video taken and also to power the camera?

Dose that sound roughly correct?

Sorry if that is a basic explanation,  but really all that i need to know at this stage.

Appreciated.

 

Yep that's pretty much it.

I have the ASI 224 colour camera which i'm still learning with. It's fairly cheap and very capable.  I'm no expert by any means but similar questions to yours provoked the following advice:

You will also need some capture software which is all free. ZWO do their own which if you use a tablet is ideal as they have IOS and Android versions, it's a bit limited but ok. However, it does not support live stacking.

Firecapture and sharpcap are 2 popular ones. Then you will need some stacking software to process the images, then final processing in something like photoshop or GIMP(free)  If you use a MAC your options are a bit more limited. Here is a link to loads of software. choose the free stuff and just p[lay with it.

https://www.theastrogeek.com/dark_sky_journal/the-astro-list/1/2018

I essentially re-commissioned an old windows 7 laptop. Put a new SSD drive and new battery in for less than £100 all from amazon and it works perfectly. I can also use a small 7 inch android tablet too. If using a tablet you need to check that it supports USB OTG (on the go) and you will need an OTG cable from the tablet to plug the camera into again pounds few from amazon/ ebay.

 

Steve

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This member uses a similar camera and a tracking altaz mount. You might want to browse the thread as there are members with tracking dobs too. All trying to get the most from what they have.

Link here

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Thanks again for the replies,

Lots of great information here.

So it sounds like when you mentioned you need some capture software,  Is this  something i have to download into the camera itself to allow it to capture video, or timed exposures?

I read somewhere,  that they tell you to go to their site to download the latest software into the camera,  is this what you are referring to where you mentioned you will need capture software,  or is this capture software something else that is also needed.

I have found some good information in regards to the stacking software to process the images once i have them.

Thanks again for the information and advice,  appreciated.

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, bluesilver said:

Thanks again for the replies,

Lots of great information here.

So it sounds like when you mentioned you need some capture software,  Is this  something i have to download into the camera itself to allow it to capture video, or timed exposures?

I read somewhere,  that they tell you to go to their site to download the latest software into the camera,  is this what you are referring to where you mentioned you will need capture software,  or is this capture software something else that is also needed.

I have found some good information in regards to the stacking software to process the images once i have them.

Thanks again for the information and advice,  appreciated.

 

 

 

The software needs to be installed on the laptop or tablet you are using. Think of a planetary camera like the ASI224MC as a web-cam on steroids: yes there is firmware on board, but this rarely if ever needs updating, the main issue is installing drivers and capture software on your laptop or tablet.

 

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12 minutes ago, bluesilver said:

Thanks again for the replies,

Lots of great information here.

So it sounds like when you mentioned you need some capture software,  Is this  something i have to download into the camera itself to allow it to capture video, or timed exposures?

I read somewhere,  that they tell you to go to their site to download the latest software into the camera,  is this what you are referring to where you mentioned you will need capture software,  or is this capture software something else that is also needed.

I have found some good information in regards to the stacking software to process the images once i have them.

Thanks again for the information and advice,  appreciated.

 

 

 

The capture software resides on your laptop/ tablet. The latest camera software refers to the drivers for the camera. A bit like if you install a new printer to your computer you will need that printers drivers. The drivers allow your camera to communicate with the computer and capture software. It sounds complicated but its just a case of download and hit install.  Plug the camera in and open the capture software and you're ready to go.

Steve

 

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You will also need a UV/IR cut filter - I recommend the Baader Neodymium. You may also find a flip mirror helpful but try without first.

Peter

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1 hour ago, PeterCPC said:

You will also need a UV/IR cut filter - I recommend the Baader Neodymium. You may also find a flip mirror helpful but try without first.

Peter

+1 for the flip mirror, it takes a lot of the fuss out of getting the camera on the chip. You will need a lot of back focus for it to work, however. It is not always available on a Newtonian design

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Just be aware if buying a used Baader Neodynium filter that there are two versions. The original without IR cut and current version with the IR cut. 

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Hi, interesting thread. I too have just brought the camera mentioned above by the OP for planetary imaging. Do I also need to buy filters? I’ll be using either a 2 or 3 x Barlow with a Edge HD. 

Ben 

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9 minutes ago, Benjam said:

Hi, interesting thread. I too have just brought the camera mentioned above by the OP for planetary imaging. Do I also need to buy filters? I’ll be using either a 2 or 3 x Barlow with a Edge HD. 

Ben 

The camera appears to be fairly sensitive to IR, so an IR or IR/UV cut filter probably does make sense.

James

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33 minutes ago, JamesF said:

The camera appears to be fairly sensitive to IR, so an IR or IR/UV cut filter probably does make sense.

James

Thank you James.

So something like these two below? 

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/uv-ir-filters/zwo-1-25inch-iruv-cut-filter.html

or 

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/uv-ir-filters/baader-uvir-cut-filter.html

 

Ben 

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I'd have thought either of those would do the job.

James

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I typically used the ASI224MC with a regular Baader IR/UV block filter, but have also used the ASI224MC with an IR long-pass filter using it as a mono camera. works nicely.

Jupiter_005020_pipp_g3_ap83_Drizzle15RS3scaledcropped.jpg.f5c0f556faa6ca26d8d6eb1b19042c4d.jpg

 

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Thanks again for all the replies.

Makes sense now that everything is explained ,  think i was kind of overthinking the whole thing.

Appreciated.

 

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