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Which Dedicated Astro Camera - Help Needed :)


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1 hour ago, DaveS said:

When I moved from a DSLR I was living in West London and went straight to mono, didn't even pause to consider OSC, just a no-brainer.

If I had a permanent setup I'd 100% go mono. However, as it is I have to set up and strip down every night or transport my gear to our caravan in a bortle 4 area so not sure I want all the associated faff...... but the option of shooting narrowband in full moonlight is hard to ignore. This is such a hard decision!!

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Yeah I've seen some very good OSC images from under heavy light pollution with  a decent amount of integration time and using the likes of the Radian Triad Quadband (stupidly priced) and Optolong L ex

In a "sport" that aims to make every photon count, you want to crop your sensor and throw away captured photons? Sacrilege!

First things first - don't worry about under sampling. Two reasons for that - first is that under sampling is not a bad thing in itself. It is just a working resolution and lower working resoluti

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3 hours ago, Stuf1978 said:

If I had a permanent setup I'd 100% go mono. However, as it is I have to set up and strip down every night

You can leave the filter wheel (and possibly an oag) attached to the camera, and put it in a padded plastic container when not in use. It's just as easy as an osc camera. Even if you want to shoot broadband (rgb) a mono camera has advantages. Most RGB filters have a gap between G and R, so as not to pick up light from the most common lp sources, sodium and mercury. They also have an overlap between G and B, so as to pick up Oiii. And if you replace the L filter with a light pollution filter, you can shoot RGB or LRGB. Processing mono isn't more complicated than osc. And finally, mono imaging is more tolerant to chromatic aberration, because you can refocus between filters.

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8 hours ago, Stuf1978 said:

Must admit that's a very nice image 👍

 

9 hours ago, CCD-Freak said:

I went with the ASI-533MCP and have not regretted it.   Low noise, No amp glow, deep well depth etc...what's not to like.  I even like the square sensor because it frames most objects without a lot wasted real estate.  The attached M42 image is only 60 x 1 minute.

John Love
CCD-Freak
WD5IKX

B33-Sigma-crop-GR-CB-Curves 2x2-1.jpg

Nice but op is in class 8, what about you?

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The ASI-533MCP is a great  camera with very good specs which should be able produce good images with the right techniques under Bortle 8 sky or Bortle 1 where my image was shot.   Most of my imaging is done portable under Bortle 2 to 4 sky.

I just wanted to show what it is capable of.

 

John Love
CCD-Freak
WD5IKX

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8 hours ago, wimvb said:

You can leave the filter wheel (and possibly an oag) attached to the camera, and put it in a padded plastic container when not in use. It's just as easy as an osc camera. Even if you want to shoot broadband (rgb) a mono camera has advantages. Most RGB filters have a gap between G and R, so as not to pick up light from the most common lp sources, sodium and mercury. They also have an overlap between G and B, so as to pick up Oiii. And if you replace the L filter with a light pollution filter, you can shoot RGB or LRGB. Processing mono isn't more complicated than osc. And finally, mono imaging is more tolerant to chromatic aberration, because you can refocus between filters.

Good arguments if there was a mono version of the ASI2600 or similar APS-C camera. But as far as I know all affordable mono-CMOS cameras still have smaller sensors, so sadly more of the photons collected end up outside the sensor. If there are any credible signs that an APS-C sized mono CMOS camera is oround the corner, it would be worth waiting for.

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The mono QHY268 should be with us in Feb.

For a long time my telescope and camera was on a tripod mounted HEQ5, and I brought the OTA and imaging train in together without dismantling them. It takes no longer to set up than if you have a DSLR or OSC.

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Thanks all, nobody is making this choice easy 😂😂. All the info is appreciated though. 

I have a little while to think about it yet as I'll probably not be buying until after Christmas. I'm not concerned with the processing of mono data as I've already had a go at this and it wasn't any harder than OSC data to be honest. It's the though of shooting different calibration frames for each filter that puts me off... daft excuse I know. 

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3 hours ago, Stuf1978 said:

Thanks all, nobody is making this choice easy 😂😂. All the info is appreciated though. 

I have a little while to think about it yet as I'll probably not be buying until after Christmas. I'm not concerned with the processing of mono data as I've already had a go at this and it wasn't any harder than OSC data to be honest. It's the though of shooting different calibration frames for each filter that puts me off... daft excuse I know. 

You need a dark library for each combination of exposure time, gain and temperature. Otoh, darka last a long time. And you don't need flats for every filter. Dust bunnies on filters are so far from the sensor that they rarely matter, in my experience. Dust that interferes is located on the sensor or the camera cover glass.

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29 minutes ago, wimvb said:

You need a dark library for each combination of exposure time, gain and temperature. Otoh, darka last a long time. And you don't need flats for every filter. Dust bunnies on filters are so far from the sensor that they rarely matter, in my experience. Dust that interferes is located on the sensor or the camera cover glass.

Thanks, that's good to know. I'm guessing you can build up your darks library at any time as well so once you have it no need to do it again? That's an immediate gain in imaging time straight away as I'm shooting darks every session at the minute which is time consuming. With which filter would you shoot flats with or doesn't it matter? I've been looking at the ASI 1600MM pro package from FLO with filter wheel and LRGB, Ha, OII and SIII filters.

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6 hours ago, DaveS said:

The mono QHY268 should be with us in Feb.

For a long time my telescope and camera was on a tripod mounted HEQ5, and I brought the OTA and imaging train in together without dismantling them. It takes no longer to set up than if you have a DSLR or OSC.

If Dave is right I would suggest you hold your horses until February - a mono camera with that Sony IMX571 back-illuminated sensor (same as in ASI2600) would be so much better than the old ASI1600 (of which I own two) with its lower sensitivity, rather high noise, microlensing artefacts (you can forget doing the Pleiades with an ASI1600), and amp glow.

Edited by gorann
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15 minutes ago, gorann said:

If Dave is right I would suggest you hold your horses until February - a mono camera with that Sony IMX571 back-illuminated sensor (same as in ASI2600) would be so much better than the old ASI1600 (of which I own two) with its lower sensitivity, rather high noise, microlensing artefacts (you can forget doing the Pleiades with an ASI1600), and amp glow.

Sounds good, but at what cost? I won't be buying until after Christmas anyway so I can always hold out to see what's coming out 😃

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8 minutes ago, Stuf1978 said:

Sounds good, but at what cost? I won't be buying until after Christmas anyway so I can always hold out to see what's coming out 😃

Googled it and found this site suggesting around 2000 GBP, so about the same as the ASI2600 (colour version of the same chip):

https://cloudbreakoptics.com/products/268m

Edited by gorann
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Yes, that is the drawback with going mono, but at Bortle 8 skies (if I remeber it right) mono and NB is probably you best option. Of course if you go for the ASI1600 you can use smaller filters but then not use the fulll imaging circle of your lenses/scopes. But if you move out on the dark courtryside, an ASI2600 OSC would be your dream camera - I bet it would outperform an ASI1600 even if you do NB imaging with it.

Edited by gorann
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Yes, but if you start searching for good used items now, I am sure you will have a full set by the time the new generation CMOS mono cameras are available. You might want to consider 36mm of 2” filters for the new cameras.

 

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1 minute ago, gorann said:

Yes, that is the drawback with going mono, but at Bortle 8 skies (if I remeber it right) mono and NB is probably you best option. Of course if you go for the ASI1600 you can use smaller filters but then not use the fulll imaging circle of your lenses/scopes. But if you move out on the dark courtryside, an ASI2600 OSC would be your dream camera.

Yeah bortle 8 at home, although I do have a caravan in a bortle 4 zone about 45 minutes away but it's not always convenient to go to, especially at the drop of a hat. I guess I just have to weigh up what is important with regards  to image quality and make a decision from there. I definitely have a lot to think about over the next month or so 😃

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4 minutes ago, Xsubmariner said:

Yes, but if you start searching for good used items now, I am sure you will have a full set by the time the new generation CMOS mono cameras are available. You might want to consider 36mm of 2” filters for the new cameras.

 

That's very true 👍 

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It seems like we all, and maybe especially you in the UK, will get a lot of time for thinking the coming months🥴....... But hopefully also time for some imaging:hello2:

Edited by gorann
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5 minutes ago, gorann said:

It seems like we all, and maybe especially you in the UK, will get a lot of time for thinking the coming months🥴....... But hopefully also time for some imaging:hello2:

Yes we will unfortunately. However it does have it's advantages as enforced working from home means it's not so problematic staying up all night we get the occasional clear night 😁

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16 hours ago, CCD-Freak said:

The ASI-533MCP is a great  camera with very good specs which should be able produce good images with the right techniques under Bortle 8 sky or Bortle 1 where my image was shot.   Most of my imaging is done portable under Bortle 2 to 4 sky.

I just wanted to show what it is capable of.

 

John Love
CCD-Freak
WD5IKX

I hear you but the 533 cant come close to producing the image you posted if under bortle 8. Even if it is more capable than previous generation OCS cameras.

Edited by Adam J
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It is possible to get good OSC images under Bortle 8 sky but it requires much more total integration time than my image and filters can help too.  I have seen very impressive OSC images taken under heavy light pollution....I fortunately can get to Bortle 2 sky in about 3 hours.

It still doesn't change the fact the ASI-533MCP is a great camera.   If I lived undet Bortle 8+ sky I would probably go mono and shoot narrow band.

 

John Love
CCD-Freak
WD5IKX

Edited by CCD-Freak
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24 minutes ago, CCD-Freak said:

it requires much more total integration time than my image

According to an article by Jerry Lodriguss, you need to multiply integration time by 2.5 for every magnitude you lose due to light pollution, in order to get the same snr. And from Bortle 1 to Bortle 8 is at least 4 magnitudes difference, or 40 x longer integration time. So, 40 hours integration time to get results similar to yours. In theory. And not taking into account any gradients that may be difficult to remove. Imo, life is just too short for this.

31 minutes ago, CCD-Freak said:

If I lived undet Bortle 8+ sky I would probably go mono and shoot narrow band.

That's what I would do too.

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42 minutes ago, CCD-Freak said:

It is possible to get good OSC images under Bortle 8 sky but it requires much more total integration time than my image and filters can help too.  I have seen very impressive OSC images taken under heavy light pollution....I fortunately can get to Bortle 2 sky in about 3 hours.

It still doesn't change the fact the ASI-533MCP is a great camera.   If I lived undet Bortle 8+ sky I would probably go mono and shoot narrow band.

 

John Love
CCD-Freak
WD5IKX

Yeah I've seen some very good OSC images from under heavy light pollution with  a decent amount of integration time and using the likes of the Radian Triad Quadband (stupidly priced) and Optolong L extreme filters. I'm currently using an L enhance with my dslr and to be fair it's pretty effective 😃

This was about 3.8 hours integration with the l enhance from my bortle 8 garden with a dslr

 

 

IC1396 Final.jpg

Edited by Stuf1978
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3 minutes ago, wimvb said:

According to an article by Jerry Lodriguss, you need to multiply integration time by 2.5 for every magnitude you lose due to light pollution, in order to get the same snr. And from Bortle 1 to Bortle 8 is at least 4 magnitudes difference, or 40 x longer integration time. So, 40 hours integration time to get results similar to yours. In theory. And not taking into account any gradients that may be difficult to remove. Imo, life is just too short for this.

That's what I would do too.

I completely agree, I wouldn't want to spend 40 hours on an image. I'd only manage about 2 images per year at that rate 😂

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