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I'm sorry...yet another "which camera should i get" thread


Olsin
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Hi all..
I'm trying to settle on a dedicated astro cam but keep going around in circles. Just when i think I've made the right choice, i'll discover a new bit of info that detracts from the camera or be swayed by negative online feedback.
My choices have been down to asi533, asi183, asi294...all OSC cams.
Despite rave reviews from many sources I've now dumped the 533. To little real estate and to few pixels. I'd like to have the possibility of printing shots out . The 533 at 300dpi would only give a 10 inch square print.
The 183 has very small pixels which astronomy tools ccd suitability calculator suggests would be over sampled with my ed80.
And now I've been frightened off the 294 by all the negative posts i can find regarding calibration frames and blotchy colour noise. I just want a camera to work without having to jump through a field full of hoops or being worried about "am i going to be one of those who experience a world of frustration!?"
I've become so frustrated that I'm actually considering going for an asi 1600 mono together with filter wheel although it's annoying to feel i have to double my budget just to get something that will work with my scope and not give me to many headaches.
The whole refocusing with every filter change and additional time consumption plus the fact that i have absolutely no idea how you would process this kind of data to a colour picture...has me hesitating.
I should probably say that I've stuck with zwo simply because of the boxed accessories that as far as i can read would allow me to meet the 55mm backfocus i need for connecting to my .85 reducer/flattener.
There has been a couple of Altair Astro cameras that looked kinda ok but their availability is limited. #1 was the HC269CProTec and HC294CProTec.
Astronomy tools suggests the 269 would be very compatible while the 294 with its larger pixels would lean slightly more towards under sampling. As far i i can see, none of these cams offer extra's that would give me 55mm backfocus ending in a 2" mount to reducer/flattener.

Up to now I've been using a Nikon D5200 unmodified. It gives me terrible colour gradients, blotchy noise and weak washy colours as well as needing hours integration time for some of the more H-alpha rich emission nebs.......hmm, perhaps that actually negates my assumed worry that i will need much more time on a mono setup. Doesn't help with actually knowing what I'm doing with such a camera though.

Can it be true that there isn't an easyish colour camera to use around the 1000 pound limit that would marry well with a skywatcher ed80?

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Took me a long time to take the plunge from my unmodded Canon 450D to a dedicated astrocam, not helped by the fact that my Canon gave acceptable results for many years.  I’m an occasional astrophotographer who has to set up each time. So (for me) this pretty much ruled out mono. I wouldn’t let not knowing how to do things put you off though. It’s always possible to find out how to do something using YouTube videos, tutorials, books and forums. In the end I concluded that what I wanted was a cooled camera, with about the same sized sensor as my Canon (no point in going to full frame with the ED80), with increased sensitivity in the red. The best match for me, including on price, was the ZWO ASI2600 colour camera. I’ve been using it for a while now and am pretty pleased with it. Much lower noise than my Canon, no amp noise, more sensitive, picks up the red. Moreover, I’ve really enjoyed using it.  Worth adding perhaps that at the same time I also moved over to using an ASIair to control my set up.  This has been a real pleasure to use compared with the frustrations of using a laptop to control the mount and data gathering. The ASIair just works seamlessly with the ASI2600 and ZWO guider … simple as. Hope my completely biased opinion helps. :) 

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The problem in astrophotography is not getting more resolution by having smaller pixels, it is matching your pixel size to your telescope so that you are not chasing resolution you will never achieve and, in so doing, putting too little light on each pixel.  As for printing, you will still get a reasonable result by resampling your image upwards using an option which preserves details. The print will not contain more detail than it did at its standard size but you are likely to look at it from a greater distance. 

Plug your potential camera and scope into a calculator like this: https://www.12dstring.me.uk/fovcalc.php

If you are using a mobile setup you will be very unlikely to be able to resolve real details with any sampling rate below 2 arcsecs per pixel.  Using pixels which give a lower value in arcsecs per pixel is OK but will not allow you to make a better large print than resampling a smaller print upwards. Note that 'resolution' is carelessly and inaccurately used in the daytime camera wold. People assume it can be measured from the megapixel count of the camera but it can't be defined this way. It is the pixel size and focal length which matter. The field of view is controlled by the chip size in mm.

For mobile imaging, one shot colour does make sense and is cheaper.

Olly

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Out of all 3 if I wanted a osc it would be the 553... If blotchy colours are annoying you the 294c will also do as it's known for it.. the 183 has known starburst which will calibrate out with darks..The 553 dont share the same issues... All these cameras have a smaller sensor than your Nikon and all according to the astromany tools cc'd are within sampling ( which I'd take with a grain of salt, it's not the Bible and definitely not accurate) the qhy 268, the ASI 2600 share the same sensor (571) it's APS-C in size and by far knocks spots off them all.. another consideration is the 553 is about to have a mono version released...couple of other things , you say  your 5200 isn't sensitive for emission nebulae, that's because of the ir filter ( unmodded) 

Another step you will have to do is to debayer, which I don't think you do with the Nikon 

Sorry to add to your confusion 

Edited by Same old newbie alert
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If you like the 533, but it's too small size, you have either the 294MC sensor or the IMX571 sensor to go upwards in size.

The 294 needs extra work if you want good results, but it's a step above the 533 in size and resolution. SVBONY is beta testing their version, if cost is a problem (405CC)

The price of the ASI2600MC (the ZWO implementation of the IMX571) is quite steep, but there are cheaper alternatives like the RisingCam version (discussed in other threads)

N.F.

 

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+1 vote for the Rising cam IMX571. Its a bit more expensive than the altair 294 but the newer tech is worth it IMO. If calibration issues worry you, you dont have those problems with the 571 based cameras (mostly). Also true for the 533 by the way.

I would also urge you to forget about the higher resolution estimates given by astronomy.tools and focus on getting closer to the lower estimates so 2" per pixel or more. Dont forget that binning allows you to change shooting resolution at will (by multiples of original resolution).

From several thousand subs i have shot so far most are oversampled at 1.84" per pixel where i work and i can safely say none of them come close to 1" resolution in real detail and that is with a 200mm aperture.

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I have a 533 and it’s superb. Virtually no noise making processing much simpler. And v sensitive too.

 I changed from a 294 to the 533 due to the amp noise in the 294.

Edited by fwm891
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2 hours ago, ONIKKINEN said:

+1 vote for the Rising cam IMX571. Its a bit more expensive than the altair 294 but the newer tech is worth it IMO. If calibration issues worry you, you dont have those problems with the 571 based cameras (mostly). Also true for the 533 by the way.

I would also urge you to forget about the higher resolution estimates given by astronomy.tools and focus on getting closer to the lower estimates so 2" per pixel or more. Dont forget that binning allows you to change shooting resolution at will (by multiples of original resolution).

From several thousand subs i have shot so far most are oversampled at 1.84" per pixel where i work and i can safely say none of them come close to 1" resolution in real detail and that is with a 200mm aperture.

I have heard lots of complainst about the ZWO ASI2600MC Pro and oil leaks but and oddly hardly a bad word said about the much cheaper Rising Cam version of the IMX571 or the QHY for that matter. I have heard of issues with the 1600 equiverlent though the other way around with the ALTAIR / RISING CAM etc having issues with pattern noise, even so if i was looking for a OCS APS-C camera I would be really tempted by the rising cam. simply because there is a known issue with the ZWO. I have heard of some people having to return it multiple times.

 

15 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

No one mentions this camera in similar price range:

https://www.altairastro.com/altair-hypercam-269c-colour-camera---tec-cooled-1097-p.asp

I wonder how it would stack up given that it is modern Sony 4/3 sensor for £899.00

Its front side illuminated and so the QE is presumably quite a bit lower in the 269c.

Adam

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1 hour ago, fwm891 said:

I have a 533 and it’s superb. Virtually no noise making processing much simpler. And v sensitive too.

 I changed from a 294 to the 533 due to the amp noise in the 294.

A friend may have found a work around by using higher gain on the 294 it seems to allow for better caliration when using gain 200 in comparison to the often used gain 120.

Adam

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