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I'm looking at buying a ZWO ASI 294MC camera ( https://www.firstlightoptics.com/zwo-cameras/zwo-asi-294mc-usb-30-colour-camera.html )

I currently use a Canon EOS 1300D with my setup - EQ6R Pro, SW 200PDS and soon to be 80 ED.

My question is will this prove to be a good upgrade from my Canon?

I've used https://astronomy.tools/calculators/ccd_suitability?fbclid=IwAR0EfnyU7ldmrNVsGUAo20ugqSbpWJfzgdkF_eLmlKMOwGLW2S00E_cNqzA and it is coming out as a very good match for my setup.

Thanks in advance.

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Yep, if you are looking to upgrade, then really you do need the cooled version. That camera gets good reviews but be aware that some people report online that there are issues with taking calibration pictures and getting them to work with images.

I recently moved from a unmodified DSLR to the ZWO ASI 071 and it really was a big step up in quaility. If you can do the man maths to justify the higher price, it is well worth it. The next step up after that would be the ZWO ASI 2600 if you can bear the higher price again.

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Thank you for the replies so far.I really wanted to keep the camera around £800 or less, however its looking like no CMOS/CCD will be a good upgrade from my DSLR in this budget?

Thanks for the ASI533MC suggestion Star101.  That's coming in at £900, would that be a big improvement over my DSLR?

Also another reason for the change is so I can image through my laptop so even if I could find a CMOS/CCD around £500 of the same quality of my DSLR I would look at that.

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4 minutes ago, Diddykong said:

Thank you for the replies so far.I really wanted to keep the camera around £800 or less, however its looking like no CMOS/CCD will be a good upgrade from my DSLR in this budget?

Thanks for the ASI533MC suggestion Star101.  That's coming in at £900, would that be a big improvement over my DSLR?

Also another reason for the change is so I can image through my laptop so even if I could find a CMOS/CCD around £500 of the same quality of my DSLR I would look at that.

Forgot about the 533 to be honest, gets good reviews again. Only thing to be aware of is that is has a square sensor rather than your normal rectangular sensor in your DSLR.

A cooled dedicated astronomy camera has big advantages, mainly around temperature control and sensitivity to hydrogen alpha emissions (present in a lot of nebula). It is more complex to control and setup but I wouldnt go back now to DSLR imaging on my main setup after going for a cooled CMOS camera.

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6 minutes ago, Diddykong said:

Also another reason for the change is so I can image through my laptop so even if I could find a CMOS/CCD around £500 of the same quality of my DSLR I would look at that.

Can you not fully operate the 1300d through a pc?  When I was using my 1000d and 40d, I controlled then entirely though APT.  How do you currently control it?

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40 minutes ago, Diddykong said:

For some reason my laptop won't read my Canon. Not sure if it's the cable or camera! 

 

I just use a remote shutter control.

Sure try it on another PC or laptop or a different cable and that will rule out that problem.  Totally opens up everything if you get that sorted - platesolving, viewing images on screen, easier focusing.  Bit mad you arent trying to get that working tbh!

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Started thank you for that! Needed to disable WiFi, but no mention of that in the instructions. 

So i guess my final question is: would my Canon EOS 1300D yield very similar results to any CMOS I can buy for under £800?

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9 hours ago, Diddykong said:

So i guess my final question is: would my Canon EOS 1300D yield very similar results to any CMOS I can buy for under £800?

If you were to go for the uncooled ZWO 294 MC Pro (approx £700) then you would have similar sized sensor and a lot more sensitivity to hydrogen alpha emissions. But further down the line you would probably kick yourself you didnt go for a cooled camera. The other option around this price has cooling but a smaller sensor giving a smaller FOV (183MC Pro)

The other option is to modify your existing camera to increase sensitivity to Ha -similar to a dedicated camera, but this proces cant be reversed.

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23 hours ago, Star101 said:

There is also the ZWO ASI533MC with no Amp Glow! Decent price too.

Just checked doing a comparison on astronomy tools between 533mc and 183mc. The FOV re almost the same except that the 533 is square'ish'. Are u sure its got no am glows? I was about to order a 183mc, but stopped after seeing your post. No harm in saving 100 USD if 533 is better off than 183 in terms of amp glow.

Please advice

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8 minutes ago, Pankaj said:

Just checked doing a comparison on astronomy tools between 533mc and 183mc. The FOV re almost the same except that the 533 is square'ish'. Are u sure its got no am glows? I was about to order a 183mc, but stopped after seeing your post. No harm in saving 100 USD if 533 is better off than 183 in terms of amp glow.

Please advice

In almost all cases the 533 will be the better camera. I assume you mena MC Pro as I dont think there is a non pro version of the 533 without cooling, at least not yet.

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2 minutes ago, Adam J said:

 

In almost all cases the 533 will be the better camera. I assume you mena MC Pro as I dont think there is a non pro version of the 533 without cooling, at least not yet.

Yes. 533 MC PRO COOLED COLOR (USD 1088) and 183 PC PRO COOLED COLOR (USD 985). Prices and specs checked on FLO.

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9 hours ago, Diddykong said:

Started thank you for that! Needed to disable WiFi, but no mention of that in the instructions. 

So i guess my final question is: would my Canon EOS 1300D yield very similar results to any CMOS I can buy for under £800?

You be amazed what results a modded DSLR can yield. 

Instead of spendings loads of money on a dedicated astro camera, why not just image with your dslr for a while until you feel that you cannot achieve what you want, then move to a dedicated CCD or CMOS astro camera.

When for many years imaging with a DSLR the only thing I regretted was my DSLR did not have cooling. Otherwise I would have not bothered moving to a cooled camera.

With your canon I would use a capture software like BackyardEos, much simpler to use then APT in my opinion. Especially if your a new comer to imaging.

 

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3 hours ago, Pankaj said:

Just checked doing a comparison on astronomy tools between 533mc and 183mc. The FOV re almost the same except that the 533 is square'ish'. Are u sure its got no am glows? I was about to order a 183mc, but stopped after seeing your post. No harm in saving 100 USD if 533 is better off than 183 in terms of amp glow.

Please advice

They say on their website "no Amp Glow". If you play the video at the bottom of that website page, move to 5mins in and he say No Ampglow. Having not used one myself, I could not confirm. However a couple of comments from users on Astrobin say they have not had any problems, which I assume means Amp Glow. 

For a colour cooled camera and regarding the Amp Glow, I would choose the 533. IMHO,  Amp Glow, if not calibrated out correctly, can be a pain.

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I chose the ASI-533MC-Pro because of the square sensor which is more forgiving about edge aberrations than a rectangular sensor.  I also like the way most objects frame in the square field...there is a lot less wasted "real estate".  Some scopes may not even need a flattener or coma corrector with the ASI-533.  The camera having little or no amp glow is a big plus and it also has a 14bit ADC, 50Ke well depth, cooling and very low read noise.  It came with a "cloud curse" (at no added cost) so I have not had much chance to use it yet.  Once the Covid thing goes away I am anxious to get out to the dark site to properly try it out.   I sold an ASI-1600MC-Cool to get the ASI-533MC-Pro even though the sensor is a bit smaller.

This test shot of M3 is 60 x 10 seconds with an old Ultima 8 SCT @ F10 no darks or flats. taken from my Bortle 5 "garden".

My $.02

John Love
CCD-Freak
WD5IKX

M3-60x10s-Test-3x3-2.jpg

C8 on Ultima-17.JPG

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