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First Astro Cam


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Hi all,

I currently have the following equipment:

- Skywatcher 120 EDDS Pro Telescope

- Skywatcher EQ6R Pro mount 

- Skywatcher 50 Evo guidescope

- ASI 120mm guide camera

- Canon 600d camera

 

i have had some decent shots from my camera but looking now at the next investment. What the best Astro camera for around £500..?

 

thanks 

I currently have the following equipment:

- Skywatcher 120 EDDS Pro Telescope

- Skywatcher EQ6R Pro mount 

- Skywatcher 50 Evo guidescope

- ASI 120mm guide camera

- Canon 600d camera

 

i have had some decent shots from my camera but looking now at the next investment. What the best Astro camera for around £500..?

 

thanks 

I currently have the following equipment:

- Skywatcher 120 EDDS Pro Telescope

- Skywatcher EQ6R Pro mount 

- Skywatcher 50 Evo guidescope

- ASI 120mm guide camera

- Canon 600d camera

 

i have had some decent shots from my camera but looking now at the next investment. What the best Astro camera for around £500..?

 

thanks 

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First decision you need to make is whether you want colour or mono. There are loads of posts on this subject which you can read if you have time! Similarly there are lots of 'first camera' posts - so worth doing a search for some general info.

Looking at the budget, I would say you are probably looking at OSC and second hand. I think you really want to have set point cooling for an astro camera which makes it possible to have a pre-made dark library.

In terms of specific camera, if you are using a 0.85 reducer flattener for the ED120 something like the 294mc pro would give you a pixel scale of 1.12 which would be OK. Most cameras have very small pixels so you make have to bin with anything smaller. Have a look at the astronomy tools CCD calculator and try different cameras. You will want a pixel scale of 1" to 1.5"/pixel, or even a bit higher.

With the mount and guide scope you have guiding should not be a problem to level you need for the FL of your scope.

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Assuming you mean for deep sky imaging.?

New... nothing that I know of. Cameras at that price have tiny chips and your telescope has a focal length of 900mm (if I'm right?)  This will give you a miniscule field of view at a high resolution, which is also the hardest kind of imaging to do. I would begin by plugging in your scope and potential cameras into this kind of calculator to get an idea of field of view.  https://www.12dstring.me.uk/fovcalc.php Too small would drive you mad and limit you to tiny, relatively obscure targets. If I've missed a sub £500 camera and you can find one with a workable chip size then ignore me.

Used would be much more promising. CCD cameras have dropped in second hand value but remain superb instruments. They include models with larger chips for a better field of view and larger pixels for a sampling rate better adapted to 900mm. So I'd look for a used CCD.

Olly

Edit: Crossed with Clarkey above. I plugged your scope, the ZWO 294 and a 0.7x focal reducer into the calculator in the link. It looks as if you would need a 4 panel mosaic to image M42. That is very limiting... However, check my findings.

Edited by ollypenrice
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I was recently faced with the same dilemma moving on from a mirrorless modified camera. I found a used ASI533mc Pro at a very good price of £650. I've not seen anything lower anywhere.

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Just be aware if you decide mono you'll have to budget around the same price as the cam for a full suite of LRGB and SHO filters, maybe more unless you limit yourself to acquire them slowly over time.

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10 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

Edit: Crossed with Clarkey above. I plugged your scope, the ZWO 294 and a 0.7x focal reducer into the calculator in the link. It looks as if you would need a 4 panel mosaic to image M42. That is very limiting... However, check my findings.

No you are right. I was thinking more in terms of galaxies etc. If you want wide field I think it's probably the wrong scope. Even with a larger sensor the field of view will still be relatively small.

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Great advice. Basically, if I want go better than what I currently have then it wall cost a bit more than I thought..! 
I think I will squeeze the Canon for all it’s worth before looking at upgrading.

(That Calculator tool website is great.!)

Thanks for all your help.

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