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ZWO ASI 462 USB 3.0 Colour Camera


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Recently purchased the above camera, which arrived  this week, I purchased it mainly for photographing the moon and planets, and I am hoping for better results than I was able to achieve with my Canon 6D digital SLR, using eyepiece projection. The ASI 462 is supposed to be an upgraded version of the popular ASI 224, and was recommended by FLO.

I also purchased a new laptop with USB 3, a Dell Inspiron with an Intel i7 processer and 16 GB RAM, which I hope will be fairly fast for processing.

What struck me when I opened the box, was the lack of information regarding how to use the camera, in what appears to be a sign of the times, gone was the set up CD/DVD, which would normally have included a comprehensive manual in PDF format. Instead all that was included was a miniscule Quick Guide (in which the print was too small to read, but I was able to download an print off an A4 version) with instructions to downlead the ZWO camera driver, and then to download SharpCap which I did, but there was little information about how to use it.

I've found a couple of YouTube videos, which I did not find to be very good, can anyone point me in the direction as to where I can find some easy to use instructions. 

ZWO ASI 462.jpg

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Clarkey said:

Most of the information you need regarding set up can be found on the ZWO website.

https://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/

Anything else the forum here is as good a place for information as anywhere.

Thanks Clarkey

Looks like I can use either ASICAP or SharpCap for planetary imaging, not sure which one is best, but very little information on ZWO's website regarding how to use either.

Last year I found a couple of quite good videos on YouTube, and got the hang of using Registax for post imaging processing, but can't find anything similar for SharpCap.

I'm hoping that with the ZWO, unlike with my Canon 6D, I won't need to use PIPP for file conversion. 

John 

Edited by johnturley
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You can also use ASIStudio, which is ZWO's own software and gives you Planetary imaging & live stacking, DSO imaging and DSO stacking, along with a FITS Viewer. It's basic software but may suit to get you going. ;)

There's also a Software User Manual on the ZWO site which will show you the basics for SharpCap and other software, or the SharpCap User Manual itself.

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+1 for FireCapture. It is highly recommended for Luna & planetary imaging. As Craig said above, there are lots of videos on the website/YouTube about features. With all of these capture programs it is a bit of a 'suck it and see', as there are so many variables in imaging set-ups, not to mention seeing conditions. 

Good luck with your new camera,  whichever software you decide to use.

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Hi, here's some quick steps for SharpCap:

1) plug your camera in via USB

2) open up SharpCap

3) pick your camera off the 'camera' drop down menu

4) adjust your exposure in the camera control panel on the right hand side until happy.....plus  from the section above you can adjust capture area, colour space, output file and select capture as an AVI if not already set.

5) focus the object with using your scope

6) Click on the arrow next to Quick Capture (top left)

7) Select the number of frames....say 2000

8 Click on the selected frames to capture.

There are various ways to go about it, but quick capture is probably the simplest. Dare I say, I think I've covered this on Youtube also which is er? a bit awkward 🤔😄

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I use SharpCap with my ASI462MC camera. Quite simple, really:

1) You unscrew the all-sky camera and its adapter (if they won't get removed together). This ultrawide lens can be used for fisheye views or monitoring the sky (there's a tripod screw receptacle above the ZWO logo in your photo for this, if you wondered, so you can mount the camera on a photographic tripod looking towards the sky)

2) You screw the nosepiece/T2 piece on the camera (you can also screw it on your dSLR, if you don't own one already)

3) You screw one 1.25" filter on the nosepiece, either IR cut (suitable for colour subjects, like Planets) or IR pass (suitable for the moon and other colourless subjects)

4) You screw the camera into the visual back (keep at least 55mm distance) or where you prefer (maybe after the diagonal, if you wish). There may be other things in the imaging chain (Barlow, ADC etc)

5) You connect the camera to the laptop/PC via USB. If you haven't downloaded drivers already, you should do now (I did it in house, checking that cabling etc were working, before mounting on the scope).

 

Then you open SharpCap or another program. You select from the drop down menu which camera you will connect to (you should see an "ASI462" selection available), and you should be looking at the video output of the camera in real time. You check focus (you WILL have to change focus after you exchange eyepiece with camera), exposure speed (in milliseconds) and sensitivity (Gain). After you are satisfied with focus, exposure (check the histogram), you press the "Start Capture" button, which will start capturing video. The camera can feed a USB3 connection at up to 136fps or so (using an SSD is quite preferable compared to a mechanical disk - these things produce lots of GB quickly!)

 

Enjoy your new camera,

N.F.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

 

On 22/05/2021 at 22:00, nfotis said:

IWhen you open SharpCap or another program. You select from the drop down menu which camera you will connect to (you should see an "ASI462" selection available), and you should be looking at the video output of the camera in real time. You check focus (you WILL have to change focus after you exchange eyepiece with camera), exposure speed (in milliseconds) and sensitivity (Gain). After you are satisfied with focus, exposure (check the histogram), you press the "Start Capture" button, which will start capturing video. The camera can feed a USB3 connection at up to 136fps or so (using an SSD is quite preferable compared to a mechanical disk - these things produce lots of GB quickly!)

 

Enjoy your new camera,

N.F.

 

Hi Nfotis

Had a go with Venus the other night, I attached the ZWO camera to my Esprit 150, which is easier than attaching it to my 14in Newtonian, because being piggybacked on the large fork mount the drawtube position does not vary too much, and I can then position the laptop on a shelf in my observatory shed. 

I set the frame rate at 30 fps, and made an approximate 2 minute exposure. I found that unlike when I used my Canon 6D SLR, I did not need to convert the MVI file in PIPP, and could go straight into Registax to stack the frames.

With Venus having only a 10 arc sec disc at present, not much detail can be seen, and the image scale is not very large. Hoping for better results with Jupiter and Saturn later this year, I can enlarge the image with a 2x Barlow, and if that is insufficient get a 4x Barlow, or use eyepiece projection as I do with my Canon 6D. Not sure whether you can enlarge the image scale with the ZWO 462. 

John 

Venus Processed.bmp

Edited by johnturley
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Posted (edited)

In general, planetary imaging requires LOTS of focal distance, so catadioptric scopes such as SCTs and Maks have an advantage.

Even at 1050mm focal distance the Esprit 150 cannot fill the frame of the 462 with Venus. If I remember correctly, this sensor has ideal sampling around f/15 to f/20, so a 2x Barlow should be fine. You could even push it to 3x for planetary imaging.

Check with the field of view calculator here (Imaging Mode, then select your target, your scope and camera etc)

 

N.F.

 

FOV.png

Edited by nfotis
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