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ZWO ASI294MC-PRO & SW Evostar 80ED?


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After much research I'm about to click the 'Buy it' button on a ZWO ASI294MC-PRo for my Skywatcher Evostar 80ED. I just wanted to have people's opinions on whether it's a good choice and matched to my scope. I know everyone has their own views on what's their favourite cameras, etc., but just wanted to see if it's a good choice.

I only really image deep sky and have been using an unmodified Canon 650D so far. Budget-wise my limit is £1,000.

I've looked at the 533 and although I love the lack of amp glow, I'm just not sold on the square format.

Thanks.

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I have a 294MCPro & I'm v happy with it (use it w DSLR lenses, & 50mm & 102mm aperture scopes). You can also check "CCD Compatibility" on astronomy.tools for pixel size & the focal length of your scope.

Edited by vineyard
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294 followed by 533 - not much in it really.

I use a 294 with my Samyang 135mm and am very happy with the results - search on Astrobin to see what imagers are achieving.

I also use my 294 with a 6" RC (1370mm) and I am delighted with the results.

 

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For me - it is really simple reasoning - you get more sensor for your money with ASI294.

Amp glow calibrates out. Sensor area = speed (when paired with adequate optics).

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I bought the ASI533MC a year ago and spent a lot of lockdown capturing loads of DSOs with the SW ED80 that are remarkably well framed in the square format. It actually also simplifies the orientation of the camera - no issue with rotating landscape to portrait and back again. I really appreciated the images I obtained after about an hour per target (at -15° and gain 100 - effectively unity gain). My earlier camera was an astromodified EOS550D and the improvement especially in summer temperatures was staggering. 

I tackled some mosaic captures for larger DSOs which worked remarkably well, but being conscious of the limitations of clear sky time, and my advancing age I suppose I might be missing out on sensor area for some wider area targets. However the 533 and ED80 is a great combination for many, many DSO targets. 

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I have been using my 294MC Pro with my SW ED80 Pro for the past year and a half, and happy with it.

I do not understand why amp glow is ever mentioned as an issue. We take Darks when doing AP, and the AG is cancelled out, with the rest of the dark noise etc...never was an issue.

I've also heard good things about the 533.

I've also seen some very nice images  on Astrobin with the 294, 533 and even the 183 OSCs.

I think you will be pleased with either one you choose.

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Well, I pushed he button and got myself the 294MC-Pro!

Having spent the last 2 years using a DSLR and creating my workflow, I think there will be an initial learning curve using the new camera and the ASIAIR PRO and the app on my tablet...hopefully it'll be worth it. Fingers crossed! I've not had a chance to try the camera yet...as soon as it arrived the clouds came over! :(

And thanks for your help/advice above.

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Seeing as it's cloudy, you could start getting used to the camera and how it works with your software by creating your Darks library. :D

With my ASI294MC Pro I use -10°C for the cooling ( I may go to -15° for this season) and created a folder with 20 darks for each exposure time I'm likely to use, then I put them all through DSS to create the master dark for each exposure time. Then you can simply re-use the master darks, no more taking darks at the end of every session! :D

I used the same master darks I made in January, right through to now. I'll create a new library soon as I want to increase the cooling to -15° and change the offset from the ZWO driver default of 8 to about 20. Then I'll use those for next season, or until I decide to change the cooling or offset again. ;)

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Il be watching this with interest as I've recently started gaining some interest in this camera myself, I also have an SW 80 ED DS Pro :) 

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20 hours ago, Budgie1 said:

Seeing as it's cloudy, you could start getting used to the camera and how it works with your software by creating your Darks library. :D

With my ASI294MC Pro I use -10°C for the cooling ( I may go to -15° for this season) and created a folder with 20 darks for each exposure time I'm likely to use, then I put them all through DSS to create the master dark for each exposure time. Then you can simply re-use the master darks, no more taking darks at the end of every session! :D

I used the same master darks I made in January, right through to now. I'll create a new library soon as I want to increase the cooling to -15° and change the offset from the ZWO driver default of 8 to about 20. Then I'll use those for next season, or until I decide to change the cooling or offset again. ;)

Thanks for the suggestion of creating a darks library...sounds like an excellent idea to keep me busy during the cloud and rain!

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4 hours ago, Rustang said:

Il be watching this with interest as I've recently started gaining some interest in this camera myself, I also have an SW 80 ED DS Pro :) 

I thought you were "Mono Man" now? 🤣

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  • 1 month later...
On 17/06/2021 at 12:23, Sterrenland said:

Well, I pushed he button and got myself the 294MC-Pro!

Having spent the last 2 years using a DSLR and creating my workflow, I think there will be an initial learning curve using the new camera and the ASIAIR PRO and the app on my tablet...hopefully it'll be worth it. Fingers crossed! I've not had a chance to try the camera yet...as soon as it arrived the clouds came over! :(

And thanks for your help/advice above.

new_camera3_reduced.thumb.jpg.45c4c3e8030c7117ac08f7f2aeee8d18.jpg

 

scope_2021_reduced.thumb.jpg.53f59723211ab4b5b134aeb8d152159e.jpg

I'm about to hit buy on the 294 myself for my 80ED.  Are you happy with your purchase?  Also may I ask which spacers you are using, and do they come supplied with the camera?

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32 minutes ago, scitmon said:

I'm about to hit buy on the 294 myself for my 80ED.  Are you happy with your purchase?  Also may I ask which spacers you are using, and do they come supplied with the camera?

Despite buying it over a month ago I only managed to try it out a couple of nights ago. So far I've only managed one stack of pics - I think it'll be a case of getting used to all the settings in the software for guiding, dithering, etc. Previously I never did any of this when I used my DSLR. All the required spacers are included in the box and from the first pics the spacing seems to be OK ( though I do seem to have some 'gridding' in the background...I suspect this may need eliminating via Pixinsight and it's not a fault with the camera! ). I did get myself a power adapter so I could plug the camera into the mains as it's recommended for running the cooling. When I get something worth showing I'll let you know - though you may beat me to it! :)

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