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Camera thoughts (ZWO ASI2600MC Pro or ZWO ASI294MC Pro AND ZWO ASI533MC Pro)


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After procrastinating for ages over which OSC camera to buy I upped my original budget and I'm now saving (slowly) for a ZWO ASI 2600MC Pro as everything I have read about this camera and the images produced are great. However, part of me still thinks this is a big old chunk of cash for a camera when there are cheaper alternatives available. The one thing I keep coming back to is that I could buy the 294MC Pro AND the 533MC Pro and still have a fair few quid in change in my pocket over the cost of the 2600 plus I would have two camera with very different fields of view which I like the idea of.  Does this seem logical or does the big increase in resolution of the 2600 make this irrelevant as I could simply crop any image produced to match the field of view of the other two cameras (specifically the 533 for smaller imaging targets)?

I'm kind of just thinking out loud here but it would be interesting to know what SGL would do? :)

Thanks,

Stu

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Well besides everything I've said above, you could also just say sod it and just buy it, you can't spend money when your dead! 😊

I've just moved from a modded EOS 1300D to the ASI294MC Pro Cooled. I was lucky enough to get it second hand from a member on here, otherwise I'd still be using the modded DSLR. It's different to

I have checked cloudy nights and Astrobin and actually I hear of people complaining about random gradients that are not taken out when using calibration frames links below. This appears to be when usi

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There's all the equipment compatibility etc, choice of field of view etc etc that needs considering but from a spending point of view here's my thoughts. I think there is a certain situation with this hobby were spending more doesn't necessarily give you more. If you have the money sitting around then I guess you could just buy what ever it is, you have the best, your set for a long time, job done! There is a certain point to buying well first so you don't lose money etc but there's another side to that. If your like me, you dont have a lot of spare cash then you see things differently. I've been looking around at scope's and dedicated cameras myself recently and it also has got me thinking alot. Ive been seeing a few nice looking scopes come up second hand for a price i could probably afford but double the cost of my current, in theory they should be better but when i actually look into it, there's a good chance there are not going to give me anything better and they still come with their own issues. Ive seen some stunning images with my current SW80 ED DS PRO and a dedicated camera, some recent examples from two different people with the AS11600mm so not even one of the top models!, so why when I'm looking to get a dedicated camera would I need to change my scope right now!? In regards to your situation with choice of camera, the 294 will probably be more than enough, I dont know all the tiny in's and out's of these cameras so I cant speak on a technical level but from what Ive seen and read it appears to be an awesome camera. Not having money to throw at this hobby means Ive worked with what I have, and had alot of frustration but also satisfaction out of that. I've had to work my DSLR really hard to get my recent images, DSLR's come with their issues/quirks which need work and still show in images but with what Ive been producing recently shows what they are capable of. It's also down to the user, no offense to anyone but Ive seen some terrible images recently with people using these great dedicated cameras so from that aspect, its also going to be alot to do with what you put in not just having the latest, best camera!. I hope you kind of get what I mean by all that. Most of the time its down to how you feel about your images, how they can be improved and what it's going to take to do so. I personally try not to get too involved in all the tiny details, perfect stars in the corners, colour's of stars etc  at the moment but that's me, depending on how critical you wont to be with your astrophotography will also sway your decision making on new equipment.

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Have you considered the QHY 268C? Might be a better alternative to the ZWO camera.

The thing you have to consider is PIXEL SCALE. If you have a wider FoV at the same scale then you can always crop in for selection or framing. I think the QHY and ZWO also support ROI so you could crop in camera.

What telescope are you thinking of attaching it to?

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I have the same problem which camera to buy mono or OSC and I am eyeing up ZWO range as well! I like Rustang’s comment here about spending more and not necessarily getting more I think that’s a true point and wondering now if I need to spend more for a dedicated camera or not! My DSLR has got noise issues but I can get most of these out in post and I am still happy with the images. Having said that I think if it were me I would buy a new scope and a camera instead of the 2600 only. I still have the issue of mono or OSC though...

 

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39 minutes ago, Rustang said:

I think there is a certain situation with this hobby were spending more doesn't necessarily give you more. If you have the money sitting around then I guess you could just buy what ever it is, you have the best, your set for a long time, job done! There is a certain point to buying well first so you don't lose money etc but there's another side to that. If your like me, you dont have a lot of spare cash then you see things differently. I've been looking around at scope's and dedicated cameras myself recently and it also has got me thinking alot. Ive been seeing a few nice looking scopes come up second hand for a price i could probably afford but double the cost of my current, in theory they should be better but when i actually look into it, there's a good chance there are not going to give me anything better and they still come with their own issues. Ive seen some stunning images with my current SW80 ED DS PRO and a dedicated camera, some recent examples from two different people with the AS11600mm so not even one of the top models!, so why when I'm looking to get a dedicated camera would I need to change my scope right now!? In regards to your situation with choice of camera, the 294 will probably be more than enough, I dont know all the tiny in's and out's of these cameras so I cant speak on a technical level but from what Ive seen and read it appears to be an awesome camera. Not having money to throw at this hobby means Ive worked with what I have, and had alot of frustration but also satisfaction out of that. I've had to work my DSLR really hard to get my recent images, DSLR's come with their issues/quirks which need work and still show in images but with what Ive been producing recently shows what they are capable of. It's also down to the user, no offense to anyone but Ive seen some terrible images recently with people using these great dedicated cameras so from that aspect, its also going to be alot to do with what you put in not just having the latest, best camera!. I hope you kind of get what I mean by all that.

If i was going to get an OSC I would want it to be a large sensor like the 2600. However, I feel that there are other options appart from ZWO in this instance that are just as good.

https://www.modernastronomy.com/shop/cameras/cooled-ccd/qhy-cooled-ccd-cameras/qhy268c-photo/

and cheaper, in some ways maybe better (camera rotator).

I dont feel that the ZWO features such as USB hub and shorter backfocus are as relevant to OSC as you dont have a filter wheel.

I say this as a happy ASI1600mm pro owner too.

Adam

Edited by Adam J
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54 minutes ago, Simon Pepper said:

I have the same problem which camera to buy mono or OSC and I am eyeing up ZWO range as well! I like Rustang’s comment here about spending more and not necessarily getting more I think that’s a true point and wondering now if I need to spend more for a dedicated camera or not! My DSLR has got noise issues but I can get most of these out in post and I am still happy with the images. Having said that I think if it were me I would buy a new scope and a camera instead of the 2600 only. I still have the issue of mono or OSC though...

 

Dont worry, alot of people are going through that same dilemma, including me! 😄 Mono - more time, faff and money for probably better images but better how!? Is it a personal choice on whats "better" !? details gained, correct colour's etc etc? Mono will require alot more dedication to gain the data needed for that style of imaging, OSC much more straight forward to still get some cracking images so how much time you are you willing to dedicate to your images, do you wont a project taking time over a few nights with a "better" result at the end or a still a really decent image in just one night!? This means personal circumstances and choices also play a big part in the whole Mono or OSC decision. Whether its street photography, photographing animals etc, or astrophotography its all a form of 'art' to a point so first and for most get what you wont out of it it terms of what you wont to achieve then choose wisely on what can improve it.

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22 minutes ago, Rustang said:

Dont worry, alot of people are going through that same dilemma, including me! 😄 Mono - more time, faff and money for probably better images but better how!? Is it a personal choice on whats "better" !? details gained, correct colour's etc etc? Mono will require alot more dedication to gain the data needed for that style of imaging, OSC much more straight forward to still get some cracking images so how much time you are you willing to dedicate to your images, do you wont a project taking time over a few nights with a "better" result at the end or a still a really decent image in just one night!? This means personal circumstances and choices also play a big part in the whole Mono or OSC decision. Whether its street photography, photographing animals etc, or astrophotography its all a form of 'art' to a point so first and for most get what you wont out of it it terms of what you wont to achieve then choose wisely on what can improve it.

OSC it is then I reckon! Next question as OP has stated which one lol. I’m leaning towards the 294 because of FOV and lower amp glow compared to 183. Also not convinced in the square FOV from 533. Not sure like OP I can justify going up to the 071 or 2600 plus FOV with these are much greater which is not what I want...

Edited by Simon Pepper
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16 minutes ago, Simon Pepper said:

OSC it is then I reckon! Next question as OP has stated which one lol. I’m leaning towards the 294 because of FOV and lower amp glow compared to 183. Also not convinced in the square FOV from 533. Not sure like OP I can justify going up to the 071 or 2600 plus FOV with these are much greater which is not what I want...

I like my Polaroid SX-70 photographs but I'm not a fan of square astro images! I would rather the choice to crop! Amp glow can be taken care of with the correct calibration frames apparently. Weigh up what your budget is, check a few technical details incase there's something important you need to consider then just choose one. I dont think you will be upset with any of the choices. Look at a few images on ASTROBIN also to get a feel for things. If I go OSC i will probably get the 294 and get an L-extreme flter, mono will be a tricky decision because there's more you need to buy.

Edited by Rustang
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Thanks for all the input everyone. As a bit of background, I'm currently imaging with a modded 450D and although I'm pretty happy with my results I'm fed up with the constant battle against noise that is inherent with DSLRs. I'm imaging with a SW 72ED and a WO Redcat V1.5 and to a lesser extent a couple of sub 150mm focal length camera lenses.  I really like the idea of staying with an APS-C sensor as I like really wide fields of view and that is one of the main reasons I'm drawn to the 2600 along with all the great reviews I've read. I will probably add another OTA at some point in the 6-700mm focal length range. 

@DaveS I have looked at other brands but I wanted to ensure compatibility with my ZWO guide camera so I could connect the guide camera>main imaging camera > laptop and I'm not sure if this is possible with the other brands? I haven't looked at pixel scale a great deal if I'm honest but I will do before I buy. 

@Rustang Money is a factor and is probably the main reason I keep going back forth between camera choices, but I also want to ensure that whatever I get is going to last me a fair few years. However, If I could basically get two cameras for the price of one and have way more options when it comes to shooting different targets then it's a no brainer. I'd also be able to buy a 294 way sooner than buying a 2600 :)

I have also thought about the fact that I can get a fully functioning mono setup for the price of the 2600 but I don't want the associated faff and then the added cost of buying better filters so OSC it is for now. I also keep looking on Astrobin and although there are some great images taken with the 294 the ones taken with the 2600 just look better in my opinion (at east to my eyes). 

I'm probably just overthinking all of this and would more than likely be really happy with the 294MC Pro if it meant I cured my noise problem :)

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Stuf1978 said:

Thanks for all the input everyone. As a bit of background, I'm currently imaging with a modded 450D and although I'm pretty happy with my results I'm fed up with the constant battle against noise that is inherent with DSLRs. I'm imaging with a SW 72ED and a WO Redcat V1.5 and to a lesser extent a couple of sub 150mm focal length camera lenses.  I really like the idea of staying with an APS-C sensor as I like really wide fields of view and that is one of the main reasons I'm drawn to the 2600 along with all the great reviews I've read. I will probably add another OTA at some point in the 6-700mm focal length range. 

@DaveS I have looked at other brands but I wanted to ensure compatibility with my ZWO guide camera so I could connect the guide camera>main imaging camera > laptop and I'm not sure if this is possible with the other brands? I haven't looked at pixel scale a great deal if I'm honest but I will do before I buy. 

@Rustang Money is a factor and is probably the main reason I keep going back forth between camera choices, but I also want to ensure that whatever I get is going to last me a fair few years. However, If I could basically get two cameras for the price of one and have way more options when it comes to shooting different targets then it's a no brainer. I'd also be able to buy a 294 way sooner than buying a 2600 :)

I have also thought about the fact that I can get a fully functioning mono setup for the price of the 2600 but I don't want the associated faff and then the added cost of buying better filters so OSC it is for now. I also keep looking on Astrobin and although there are some great images taken with the 294 the ones taken with the 2600 just look better in my opinion (at east to my eyes). 

I'm probably just overthinking all of this and would more than likely be really happy with the 294MC Pro if it meant I cured my noise problem :)

 

 

Again, no offense to anyone but make sure your looking at the more experienced people using these cameras because Ive seen some very noisy images taken with dedicated camera's aswell, enough to put you off but these were more so with the ASI1600, you may not get so much of an issue with the 924/2600. I'm thinking its just user experience though, as with the DSLR, Ive manged to improve on the noise a bit myself, it wasnt great at the start, its been 3 years of learning and its improved so I appreciate it does take some time to get to grips with things. I appreciate your thoughts on Mono vs OSC, I'm not 100% sure yet if I wont the faff/dedication/expensive needed for mono but then I'm not going to be leaving this hobby anytime soon!. Ive gone totally the other way at the moment and Ive got an old 135mm manual lens coming in the post for some simple widefield imaging as I'm not quite financially ready for the next step and it also gives me more time to ponder. If they could bring out decent, none noisy and not stupidly expensive DSLR then I think i would be set!

Edited by Rustang
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49 minutes ago, Rustang said:

Again, no offense to anyone but make sure your looking at the more experienced people using these cameras because Ive seen some very noisy images taken with dedicated camera's aswell, enough to put you off but these were more so with the ASI1600, you may not get so much of an issue with the 924/2600. I'm thinking its just user experience though, as with the DSLR, Ive manged to improve on the noise a bit myself, it wasnt great at the start, its been 3 years of learning and its improved so I appreciate it does take some time to get to grips with things. I appreciate your thoughts on Mono vs OSC, I'm not 100% sure yet if I wont the faff/dedication/expensive needed for mono but then I'm not going to be leaving this hobby anytime soon!. Ive gone totally the other way at the moment and Ive got an old 135mm manual lens coming in the post for some simple widefield imaging as I'm not quite financially ready for the next step and it also gives me more time to ponder. If they could bring out decent, none noisy and not stupidly expensive DSLR then I think i would be set!

I agree with this completely and a part of me thinks (especially with regards to the images I've seen on Astrobin) are the better images I've seen with the 2600 simply due to the fact that beginners (of which I still class myself) are more likely to go for the 294 due to its price point over the 2600.

I've no intention of leaving this hobby either so that's why I wanted to push myelf budget wise and go for the 2600 as it's up at the top of the pile for OSC. I have also got to the stage where  I can generally deal with most of the noise in an image (see image below taken with my trusty old 450d, still some banding evident) but I do love the idea of this being not so much of a problem with a cooled camera :)

 

HNoStars Int Process Final.jpg

Edited by Stuf1978
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I've just moved from a modded EOS 1300D to the ASI294MC Pro Cooled. I was lucky enough to get it second hand from a member on here, otherwise I'd still be using the modded DSLR.

It's different to the DSLR and takes a bit of getting used too, but I'm getting there with more imaging time.

There is a great difference in the general noise level in the images, compared to the DSLR, which requires minimal post-processing. The sensitivity of the sensor plays a part, as does the ingestion time, seeing, mount condition/balance, PA and focus. The camera gain setting and sensor cooling also play a part in getting a good clean image, finding that sweet spot for your camera can save time in post-processing. 

What I do like about the OSC is being able to create the calibration frames when I want too and build my library of darks, flats & dark-flats when it's cloudy. The ASI294MC does have amp-glow from the sensor, which the ASI533MC apparently doesn't suffer  from, but the dark frames take that out when stacking. I did learn that if you use Bias frames with the ASI294, they affected the amp-glow reduction, so the advice is not to use Bias frames with this camera, which seems to work for me.

Overall I'm impressed with the camera, could I improve on it? Sure, but I'd be looking at upgrading my mount before a different camera. One upgrade I do want to get is the L-eXtreme filter, so I can image during the full moon. I'm lucky to live in a Bortle 2 area, so I currently only use a UV/IR cut filter and nothing else.

In my short time using the ASI294MC I've had some great results, poor results and some surprises.

The great - M81 & M82 - Nice clean image with good detail in the galaxies.

M81-M82-31012021.png.2951767646418cb88c854dfd94ceeee9.png

The not so good - IC422 - plenty of ingestion time but not much detail in the nebula.

2123409630_IC443-11022021.png.b64ebb76da34d5dd6af4c5f608126930.png

The surprise - M31 - 15x180s subs and discovered I forgot to turn on the camera's cooling, then went off to do another target. Processed the stack anyway and came up with this. Sure, the centre is blown out and the stars look a bit bloated but I was quite pleased with it, seeing as I was going to bin the subs because the cooling wasn't right!

1953156982_M31-12022021.png.46d75f3b095869683708c89194f8656f.png

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4 minutes ago, Budgie1 said:

I've just moved from a modded EOS 1300D to the ASI294MC Pro Cooled. I was lucky enough to get it second hand from a member on here, otherwise I'd still be using the modded DSLR.

It's different to the DSLR and takes a bit of getting used too, but I'm getting there with more imaging time.

There is a great difference in the general noise level in the images, compared to the DSLR, which requires minimal post-processing. The sensitivity of the sensor plays a part, as does the ingestion time, seeing, mount condition/balance, PA and focus. The camera gain setting and sensor cooling also play a part in getting a good clean image, finding that sweet spot for your camera can save time in post-processing. 

What I do like about the OSC is being able to create the calibration frames when I want too and build my library of darks, flats & dark-flats when it's cloudy. The ASI294MC does have amp-glow from the sensor, which the ASI533MC apparently doesn't suffer  from, but the dark frames take that out when stacking. I did learn that if you use Bias frames with the ASI294, they affected the amp-glow reduction, so the advice is not to use Bias frames with this camera, which seems to work for me.

Overall I'm impressed with the camera, could I improve on it? Sure, but I'd be looking at upgrading my mount before a different camera. One upgrade I do want to get is the L-eXtreme filter, so I can image during the full moon. I'm lucky to live in a Bortle 2 area, so I currently only use a UV/IR cut filter and nothing else.

In my short time using the ASI294MC I've had some great results, poor results and some surprises.

Thanks, that's great info, and that's a really really nice M81. The jellyfish is a stinker of a target (I've failed twice on it) and that M31 is surprising with the lack of cooling. I've read all about the calibration issues with the 294 but as you've mentioned they're quite easy to sort out as long as you do you calibration frames correctly. 

I'd kill for Bortle 2 skies, I'm in a 7/8 zone at home so it probably makes more sense to go mono but I feel I'd never get an image finished as clear nights are few and far between. I'm currently using a clip in L-enhance but will move to a 2" L-extreme once I have the new camera.

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38 minutes ago, Stuf1978 said:

I agree with this completely and a part of me thinks (especially with regards to the images I've seen on Astrobin) are the better images I've seen with the 2600 simply due to the fact that beginners (of which I still class myself) are more likely to go for the 294 due to its price point over the 2600.

I've no intention of leaving this hobby either so that's why I wanted to push myelf budget wise and go for the 2600 as it's up at the top of the pile for OSC. I have also got to the stage where  I can generally deal with most of the noise in an image (see image below taken with my trusty old 450d, still some banding evident) but I do love the idea of this being not so much of a problem with a cooled camera :)

 

HNoStars Int Process Final.jpg

That's a stunning image mate and proves the capability of a DSLR when worked well. Looks great even on a big screen. Yeah the good old banding issue, astro pixel processor seemed to get rid of it in the stack but ive used up my free trail with that so still on DSS which doesnt remove it!. I can just about handel it in PS but depends how bad it is. Sounds like you know what one you wont to go for! 👍

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16 minutes ago, Rustang said:

That's a stunning image mate and proves the capability of a DSLR when worked well. Looks great even on a big screen. Yeah the good old banding issue, astro pixel processor seemed to get rid of it in the stack but ive used up my free trail with that so still on DSS which doesnt remove it!. I can just about handel it in PS but depends how bad it is. Sounds like you know what one you wont to go for! 👍

Thank you. Yeah the banding is an odd one, sometimes it is there and can be processed out, sometimes it's not and sometimes it's there and so bad there's nothing you can do 😂 . There is a debanding algorithm in Siril that's pretty good at dealing with it most of the time. 

My heart is set on the 2600 it's just the cost is hard to swallow. 

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54 minutes ago, Budgie1 said:

I've just moved from a modded EOS 1300D to the ASI294MC Pro Cooled. I was lucky enough to get it second hand from a member on here, otherwise I'd still be using the modded DSLR.

It's different to the DSLR and takes a bit of getting used too, but I'm getting there with more imaging time.

There is a great difference in the general noise level in the images, compared to the DSLR, which requires minimal post-processing. The sensitivity of the sensor plays a part, as does the ingestion time, seeing, mount condition/balance, PA and focus. The camera gain setting and sensor cooling also play a part in getting a good clean image, finding that sweet spot for your camera can save time in post-processing. 

What I do like about the OSC is being able to create the calibration frames when I want too and build my library of darks, flats & dark-flats when it's cloudy. The ASI294MC does have amp-glow from the sensor, which the ASI533MC apparently doesn't suffer  from, but the dark frames take that out when stacking. I did learn that if you use Bias frames with the ASI294, they affected the amp-glow reduction, so the advice is not to use Bias frames with this camera, which seems to work for me.

Overall I'm impressed with the camera, could I improve on it? Sure, but I'd be looking at upgrading my mount before a different camera. One upgrade I do want to get is the L-eXtreme filter, so I can image during the full moon. I'm lucky to live in a Bortle 2 area, so I currently only use a UV/IR cut filter and nothing else.

In my short time using the ASI294MC I've had some great results, poor results and some surprises.

The great - M81 & M82 - Nice clean image with good detail in the galaxies.

M81-M82-31012021.png.2951767646418cb88c854dfd94ceeee9.png

The not so good - IC422 - plenty of ingestion time but not much detail in the nebula.

2123409630_IC443-11022021.png.b64ebb76da34d5dd6af4c5f608126930.png

The surprise - M31 - 15x180s subs and discovered I forgot to turn on the camera's cooling, then went off to do another target. Processed the stack anyway and came up with this. Sure, the centre is blown out and the stars look a bit bloated but I was quite pleased with it, seeing as I was going to bin the subs because the cooling wasn't right!

1953156982_M31-12022021.png.46d75f3b095869683708c89194f8656f.png

There appears to be enough to faff around with even with an OSC then! 😁

Edited by Rustang
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2 minutes ago, Stuf1978 said:

Thank you. Yeah the banding is an odd one, sometimes it is there and can be processed out, sometimes it's not and sometimes it's there and so bad there's nothing you can do 😂 . There is a debanding algorithm in Siril that's pretty good at dealing with it most of the time. 

My heart is set on the 2600 it's just the cost is hard to swallow. 

Well besides everything I've said above, you could also just say sod it and just buy it, you can't spend money when your dead! 😊

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32 minutes ago, Rustang said:

Well besides everything I've said above, you could also just say sod it and just buy it, you can't spend money when your dead! 😊

My sentiments exactly...... though the wife may disagree 😂

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I have checked cloudy nights and Astrobin and actually I hear of people complaining about random gradients that are not taken out when using calibration frames links below. This appears to be when using narrowband filters such as lextreme which is annoying as I think the 294 suits me better, however these threads are making me think again as I have been using the lextreme a lot recently... 

 

https://www.astrobin.com/forum/c/astrophotography/other/flat-frames-l-extreme-asi294mc/

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/661685-word-of-warning-asi294mc-pro-and-opt-triad-and-nb/page-2

 

 

 

 

Edited by Simon Pepper
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2 hours ago, Simon Pepper said:

I have checked cloudy nights and Astrobin and actually I hear of people complaining about random gradients that are not taken out when using calibration frames links below. This appears to be when using narrowband filters such as lextreme which is annoying as I think the 294 suits me better, however these threads are making me think again as I have been using the lextreme a lot recently... 

 

https://www.astrobin.com/forum/c/astrophotography/other/flat-frames-l-extreme-asi294mc/

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/661685-word-of-warning-asi294mc-pro-and-opt-triad-and-nb/page-2

 

 

 

 

Makes interesting reading 🤔

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3 hours ago, Simon Pepper said:

I have checked cloudy nights and Astrobin and actually I hear of people complaining about random gradients that are not taken out when using calibration frames links below. This appears to be when using narrowband filters such as lextreme which is annoying as I think the 294 suits me better, however these threads are making me think again as I have been using the lextreme a lot recently... 

 

https://www.astrobin.com/forum/c/astrophotography/other/flat-frames-l-extreme-asi294mc/

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/661685-word-of-warning-asi294mc-pro-and-opt-triad-and-nb/page-2

 

 

 

 

Yeah that doesn't sound good does it, good find! 

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19 hours ago, Stuf1978 said:

Thanks for all the input everyone. As a bit of background, I'm currently imaging with a modded 450D and although I'm pretty happy with my results I'm fed up with the constant battle against noise that is inherent with DSLRs. I'm imaging with a SW 72ED and a WO Redcat V1.5 and to a lesser extent a couple of sub 150mm focal length camera lenses.  I really like the idea of staying with an APS-C sensor as I like really wide fields of view and that is one of the main reasons I'm drawn to the 2600 along with all the great reviews I've read. I will probably add another OTA at some point in the 6-700mm focal length range. 

@DaveS I have looked at other brands but I wanted to ensure compatibility with my ZWO guide camera so I could connect the guide camera>main imaging camera > laptop and I'm not sure if this is possible with the other brands? I haven't looked at pixel scale a great deal if I'm honest but I will do before I buy. 

As an alternative how about a colour APS-C CCD instead which come up relatively frequently e.g. U.K. Astronomy Buy & Sell (astrobuysell.com - (I have no links to seller!)  This gets you a colour APS-C camera for about a halve-third of the cost of a new 2600.  For someone that is just jumping into CCD/CMOS then this might be a more cost effective option and allows you to test the water.  The pixel size is more appropriate for longer focal lengths as well and was a type of camera that has been a work horse for years.  There's also a mono for the same price (if you changed your mind on this as I think this is more future proof and the saving does then let you spend on filter wheels/filters etc). 

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  Reading this thread it is evident that stuf1978 has his heart set on the 2600, may I offer a few points for thought. I have owned several OSC cameras SX,Atik and QHY and only the ZWO-071 remains from what I would class as my CCD and 1st gen Cmos OSC cameras. My other OSC is the QHY268C, same sensor as the 2600 in a different package. The QHY doesn’t have the built in USB hub, as already said not a problem for OSC. The QHY does offer different modes for data management and comes with a useful rotator/coupler, this does increase the camera back focus to 23.5mm, again not a problem for OSC. There is no doubt the IMX455/571 sensor is a game changer, when you read Olly Penrice talking up OSC you know times have changed.

A real benefit of OSC cameras for inexperienced imagers is the ability to capture enough data in one-2 sessions to create a colour image, which improves satisfaction and builds confidence. New data can be added as, when available and the image reworked. This is especially beneficial in the U.K. where you never know when the next opportunity to image will come.

That said, there are many cameras that will deliver exceptional images in the right hands and the time has never been better for picking up a good used bargain. Is this the time to make the move to mono? I have seen several complete mono kits (camera,FW & fitters) going for barging prices. Whatever you decide there is plenty of choice at this time.

 

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On 15/02/2021 at 13:23, Simon Pepper said:

OSC it is then I reckon! Next question as OP has stated which one lol. I’m leaning towards the 294 because of FOV and lower amp glow compared to 183. Also not convinced in the square FOV from 533. Not sure like OP I can justify going up to the 071 or 2600 plus FOV with these are much greater which is not what I want...

if anything the amp glow in the 294 is worse...its the 533 that has none at all.

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