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Deeko

To mono or not to mono

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Had a look around on the QHY site. Some seriously serious cameras there. Never mind Sony sensors in their amateur level cameras, they are also using E2V sensors like the FLI Kepler cameras.

In any case I think I may hold fire until I see whether Atik manage to bring an IMX 571 camera to market, and whether SX have anything coming up.

My finances also dictate prudence.

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30 minutes ago, Adam J said:

ZWO and QHY cameras dont look much like Altair (Touptek) to me?? I mean they are all round...

Perhaps I'm seeing similarities where there are none, then.  But I see them, nonetheless :D  Or I did, as I've not really been in the market for a new camera for some years and I know the designs for some models have evolved since they came out.  These days I try not to look at what I can't afford...

James

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Convergent evolution and form following function will result in most cameras looking similar from the outside.

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3 hours ago, Adam J said:

The APX60 Is clearly a step head of the ASI and QHY offerings, you can tell just by looking at the thing, very well engineard. The problem is the amount of time it is taking them to bring new CMOS products to the market. I dont see the APX60 for sale anywhere yet including FLO and ATIK are linking to their webpage as a place to buy it. So given that I doubt you will see IMX571 any time soon.

Its SX that I am really worried about, they have some catching up to do when it comes to CMOS cameras. Releasing blue editions of older CCD models almost seems desperate.

Adam

If Atik are taking full page ads in Astronomy Now, I’m presuming the APX60 is not too far away, but it’s outside my budget. An Atik IMX571 based camera really does appeal though, I really should be more patient.

I used to think the QHY offerings were a bit inferior quality wise, but that was just my impression created when first looking at the Astro CCD camera market a few years back. The 263c does look like a real quality item though, and the images being posted back this up.

For sure, the SX range of CCD cameras are solid, well made instruments, but the technology momentum certainly seems to be with the latest CMOS sensors. A change in  the colour of the casing wouldn’t persuade me to buy another CCD camera.

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13 minutes ago, DaveS said:

Convergent evolution and form following function will result in most cameras looking similar from the outside.

Yes, I think that's true to a certain point.  We do seem to be moving from "box" style designs to cylindrical form factors.  I suspect that's because cylinders can enclose the same space for less material, making the design both cheaper and lighter.  It's not as though the electronics take up lots of space and restrict the design.  The biggest component in (DSO) cameras seems to be the heatsink.

James

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So would there be any disadvantage in buying the Altair Camera as opposed to the QHY and ZWO Cameras?  Or is there some reason as to why the latter make more sense for £300 more?

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9 hours ago, smr said:

So would there be any disadvantage in buying the Altair Camera as opposed to the QHY and ZWO Cameras?  Or is there some reason as to why the latter make more sense for £300 more?

I have seen some minor potential issues with the Altair cameras, some of the 12-bit cameras apparently actually output 12-bit files instead of converting them into the 16-bit standard and that can cause issues with some stacking software. But I am not sure if that is still the case or not, seems like something that could be changed in drivers / firmware. 

I have also seen some banding on their Hypercam 1600m pro models. 

However, I have no heard of any consistent issues with their cameras.

Adam 

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The price difference is £369 for the ZWO  variant and £349 for the QHY variant. This is a huge difference in price that I hope would be unpicked by folks far more knowledgeable than me in this space.

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Good question, to which I don't know the answer.

But if ZWO and QHY are similar in price then something has to give to get the Altair verion £350 lower.

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It's not clear to me whether all the cameras have a heated window.  The ZWO model does, but if the specs for the other two claim they do, I missed it.  Is it possible the Altair model just has a sealed argon-purged sensor chamber?

Also, each of the three models appears to have a different size buffer for transferring the image, though even the smallest (ZWO) appears to be plenty big enough unless you're working at a very high frame rate which I'd guess is not the usual use-case for these cameras.

The QHY camera also suggests that there is on-board memory that the user can get at for some purposes, which isn't mentioned for the other two.

There.  Now I've looked at stuff I can't afford.  Fortunately I can't afford it so much that I am unstressed by the experience :)

James

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On 16/09/2020 at 13:22, DaveS said:

How about the to-be-released QHY 268 MONO? Expected Feb now due to delays at the Sony plant.

Can I ask you where you got this information?  I had been hoping to buy this when it was released but this might throw a wrench, perhaps even a monkey-wrench, into my plans.  I have tried to find any mentions of the delay anywhere else but have come up empty-handed.

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I'm not sure I can be specific as it was in a private email exchange with a supplier I've bought a lot of very expensive kit from in the past, I was enquiring about technicalities. The information was that QHY were ready to go but there was a delay from Sony in providing the sensors.

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On 19/09/2020 at 23:48, JamesF said:

Yes, I think that's true to a certain point.  We do seem to be moving from "box" style designs to cylindrical form factors.  I suspect that's because cylinders can enclose the same space for less material, making the design both cheaper and lighter.  It's not as though the electronics take up lots of space and restrict the design.  The biggest component in (DSO) cameras seems to be the heatsink.

James

Interesting thread... Thinking about replacing my old SBIG 8300 chipped camera and really not sure about the change to CMOS so this all helps. As I already have the setup for LRGB + NB, I am looking to stay with mono though.

James, I think the use of cylindrical cameras might be for hyperstar configurations

Gordon

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