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Recommendations needed

lee g

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I would like to use my scope to view better live images (eaa) I have a Celestron cpc800 8”sct on alt az mount which I have no plans of upgrading I also have a f6.3 focal reducer.

i was looking at the zwo cameras but I don’t know where to start. 
whatever I get I want something that won’t need upgrading after I’ve Learned to use it.

I need something that will at least allow me some views of DSOs without an equatorial mount as well as show me planetary views.

so basically a good all rounder.

i see this step as more of an upgrade to compensate for the ever growing light pollution I have to deal with.

basically I would like the kind of live view results that the folks on nightskies network have.

thanks kindly in advance 


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Look at the postings from Bill S and Martin M in the EEVA reports to get an idea of what can be achieved with an 8" scope. They both use a lodestar x2 guide camera, capturing the images with Starlight Live (SLL) but then using Jocular to view them/adjusting as required. A mono camera is more sensitive than a colour camera. SLL and Jocular are very easy to use. They enable me to concentrate on the viewing rather than getting diverted onto technical aspects.

If it is DSO objects that you wish to concentrate on then in simple terms you need a camera with big pixels as big pixels tend to be more sensitive. (the more technical folk will be able to give you more detailed advice).

An 8" scope can 'see' thousands of objects, even down to pinprick mag 19 galaxies. No need to stick with the Messier objects or the brighter NGCs. We can give you all sorts of interesting lists.

I mainly use a C11 and an ultrastar (mono) guide camera. Sometimes I use a 7" Mak Cas.

All the best


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cheers mike just took a look at your suggestions in the eeva reports section and wow that's really got me excited. To begin with all I would be interested in is live views at the scope and then once I had mastered that then maybe I would process the odd image. I just want to use my scope to its maximum potential and cut through that damn light pollution.


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Hi Lee,

you will almost certainly want to use the 0.63 focal reducer - the wider field will make it a lot more easy to capture dso's.

I have tried the ZWO ASI290MM mini (which I had bought as a guide camera), but it has quite small pixels and small size. I recently changed to a ZWO ASI174MM mini - which has a larger sensor and bigger pixels.  You can see some pics I took with this camera on the EEVA Reports area here.

I've not done any comparisons with the Starlight Express cameras, but they give great results too.


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I would suggest getting the biggest chip camera you can afford. Even with the focal reducer the field of view is still quite small. I use a 294mc pro with my 925 and i find the fov fine for most small/medium dso's like M16 but to fit larger nebulae like M42 you will need hyperstar or a small refractor mounted on your cpc. The new 533 looks a good eea camera with decent size pixels and no amp glow. It also works very well with the 0.4x night owl being a 16mm square chip and you can use roi feature for planetary to obtain higher frame rates for lucky imaging.

Here are 2 images below showing the 174, 178 and 294 with the 0.63 reducer and a 533 with the 0.4 night owl with M16 and M42





Here is the link for the fov tool so you can have a play and help you make a decision


Here is a link to some of my images with the 294 and 925 on the evo mount ( alt/az ) with the .63 reducer in bortle 8-9 skies ( your fov would be slightly bigger )

It also may be worth keeping an eye out in the 'for sale' section for a decent bargain on a camera.

Good luck.

Edited by barkingsteve
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