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Moravian g2 8300 mono. Is it still supported?


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Hi all. 

I have been gradually upgrading my gear and am now looking into cameras. I have been looking on astrobin and the people using my scope (orion optics ct8) are producing amazing images with either the sbig 8300 or the moravian g2 8300. 

This appears to be a fairly old camera and I was wondering if it was still supported by image capture software like nina, if it still runs OK on modern Windows versions and, if not, is there a modern day equivalent that is better supported. 

Thanks

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Ok I don't use Nina.. so I got sidetracked with googles.. there is a bit of noise on cloudy nights about driver support & here.. might be worth seeing if @tomato managed to get it sorted with Nina

 

 

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I resolved the driver problem successfully to run the G2-8300 with NINA, I confess I can't remember how  but I'll check to see which driver (native or ASCOM) I was using. Anyway it will work fine with SIPS, the free camera control software supplied by Moravian Instruments, which is still supported.  I agree with Olly, it may be 'Old Tech' but it's a solid performing camera IMHO.

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I have just connected the camera through NINA, here are the details:

image.thumb.png.3bc7b516803ccffc7d2ded9278c13596.png

If you have the camera with the integated filter wheel, you will need to connect to this separately on the FW screen.

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2 minutes ago, tomato said:

I have just connected the camera through NINA, here are the details:

image.thumb.png.3bc7b516803ccffc7d2ded9278c13596.png

If you have the camera with the integated filter wheel, you will need to connect to this separately on the FW screen.

Thanks for the info. I havent got the camera yet. I'll check if it has the filter wheel. Thanks

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I have used both the Atik and Moravian mono cameras, they are both solidly built and perform flawlessly. I'm sure the QSI would get the same assessment. The Atik might be available cheaper but you would  need a separate filter wheel. Steer clear of the OSC versions, though I think  they are quite thin on the ground.

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25 minutes ago, Wonderweb said:

Would you consider the atik or QSI cameras to be better than the moravian? 

They all have a good reputation. I haven't had a Moravian, I know some QSI users who wanted another additional QSI but couldn't justify the cost went down the Moravian route as it worked out cheaper with filter wheel & guider. I've got Atiks but not a KAF8300 based one & I've had a QSI683wsg8 for 7 years, it's a lovely made thing I still "caress" when I go into the obsy :). You can also get away with 1.25" filters as they got the sensor so close with the integrated FW. It's been the main permanent camera on my automated obsy rigs & I'm only now thinking I should swap it out for a larger sensor cmos (ASI2600MM) for next season, just because I already have one & should make more use of it! They all have a good reputation & QSI are now owned by Atik anyway. I've also had experience of Atik servicing my QSI & Atik which I can't fault. I have found the KAF8300 a pretty forgiving & easy to use sensor.. it looks horrendous when you look at a dark but with dithering I don't really need to use darks anyway. The prices on the secondhand market have crashed with CCD since CMOS amp glow became less of an issue so you should be able to pick these up at a decent if not silly prices when you know how much they were new! The other "advantage" is that you can get away with a modest computer to capture & process compared to the file size & sheer number of subs that CMOS is now demanding. If you're happy with 5 minute LRGB or 15/20 plus min subs for NB I still think these cameras have plenty of life in them. I say that as an automated obsy owner. If you're up against the UK weather & setup every night then maybe the faster CMOS & faster optics combo is better. Amazingly for a sensor that is over 10 years old the Atik & QSI are still available new too!!.. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/atik-cameras/atik-383l-plus.html    https://www.firstlightoptics.com/qsi-cameras/qsi-683-83mp-monochrome-ccd-camera-currently-on-sale.html

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Just found this thread so I may have missed something, but when you now in 2022 decide to upgrade why would you look for an old CCD when virtually everyone are going for CMOS? CCDs for amateur astrophotography are not produced anymore and I am happy that I sold my ATIK460 in time, about two years ago, when I still could get some money for it. With the new generation CMOS cameras you have more sensitivity, less noise, less dead pixels, no dead columns, and immediate downloads, so you can focus and frame in real time. And large sensor sizes are no longer astronomically expesive.

Edited by gorann
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@gorann has a point, sales of new CCD cameras must be dwindling, but on the other hand there are an awful lot of outstanding CCD  images out there and I’ve made the point before that these cameras don’t suddenly stop being able to produce quality results just because CMOS has come along.

So here is maybe another topic for discussion: are CMOS cameras a better choice for folks buying a dedicated Astro camera for the first time? Personally I find the processing stage the more challenging aspect of the process with either type of camera, and the approaches to capturing the data are different, but if you are on tight budget I would still seriously consider a used CCD.

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Yes, if buying new I'd also point to CMOS & larger sensor but the OP was asking about KAF8300 CCD's & particularly Morovian support/software because of results with a particular scope combination on Astrobin. As is usual one question will inevitably open up others.. ok CCD has given way to CMOS but it doesn't mean its going to stop working or producing great results. It's more than likely the underlying operating system will stop the Apps from supporting them at some point before the camera dies. But then again how many are still running Windows 7 quite happily let alone Win 10 which they still work under. Then you start down the path of how long the hardware running that version of the O/S is available & so on..  plenty more Q's & plenty more threads to be had out of this if one desires.. that's why we're all on here after all :) 

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On 13/04/2022 at 22:59, gorann said:

Just found this thread so I may have missed something, but when you now in 2022 decide to upgrade why would you look for an old CCD when virtually everyone are going for CMOS? CCDs for amateur astrophotography are not produced anymore and I am happy that I sold my ATIK460 in time, about two years ago, when I still could get some money for it. With the new generation CMOS cameras you have more sensitivity, less noise, less dead pixels, no dead columns, and immediate downloads, so you can focus and frame in real time. And large sensor sizes are no longer astronomically expesive.

To be honest I was looking at getting a zwo2600mc pro until the price went up by £400 overnight so I decided to have a look on astrobin what people were matching up with the scope i have. People are producing fantastic images with the g2 8300 (or variants with the same sensor) so if I am able to set up a system that takes great images, should I really be bothered if its totally cutting edge? My main concern was spending money on a camera that was not supported by the image capture/scope control software that i use. The pixel size of the 8300 gives a very nice pixel scale for my setup so I felt it fit well and the images on astrobin sold it for me. While I appreciate cmos is taking over from ccd, I dont want to buy gear with a resale value in mind, I want a camera that fits my rig, doesn't break the bank and will work with my image capture software. 

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2 hours ago, Wonderweb said:

To be honest I was looking at getting a zwo2600mc pro until the price went up by £400 overnight so I decided to have a look on astrobin what people were matching up with the scope i have. People are producing fantastic images with the g2 8300 (or variants with the same sensor) so if I am able to set up a system that takes great images, should I really be bothered if its totally cutting edge? My main concern was spending money on a camera that was not supported by the image capture/scope control software that i use. The pixel size of the 8300 gives a very nice pixel scale for my setup so I felt it fit well and the images on astrobin sold it for me. While I appreciate cmos is taking over from ccd, I dont want to buy gear with a resale value in mind, I want a camera that fits my rig, doesn't break the bank and will work with my image capture software. 

Are you sure about the price on the ASI2600MC (one shot colour)? It's still listed as £1,899 on the main astro dealers websites. Maybe you accidentally looked at the ASI2600MM (mono version) which retails for £2,389? 

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5 hours ago, Wonderweb said:

While I appreciate cmos is taking over from ccd, I dont want to buy gear with a resale value in mind, I want a camera that fits my rig, doesn't break the bank and will work with my image capture software. 

With those points driving your decision, I think a used KAF 8300 CCD is a sensible way to go. There is a Moravian G2-8300 currently on ABS UK.

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1 hour ago, tomato said:

With those points driving your decision, I think a used KAF 8300 CCD is a sensible way to go. There is a Moravian G2-8300 currently on ABS UK.

The Moravian might be a better example of the KAF 8300 CCD, but I think I saw an Atik version for <£600 on ABS a while ago.

This must be close to the best value 2nd hand camera available - although the ZWO 1600MM or QHY163M are probably to be had for the same price - and I'd guess that choice is down to personal preference.

Edited by rnobleeddy
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Agreed that’s a great price for a used 383, way below the 67% rule of thumb for good quality used Astro equipment. The ASI 1600 would give you the same FOV as the 383 but they might be holding their second hand price a bit more than the CCD cameras.

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17 hours ago, tomato said:

Agreed that’s a great price for a used 383, way below the 67% rule of thumb for good quality used Astro equipment. The ASI 1600 would give you the same FOV as the 383 but they might be holding their second hand price a bit more than the CCD cameras.

Would i be better off going for the moravian g2 8300 with the bigger pixels than the 1600mm pro? Or am I getting hung up on pixels scale (G2 8300 1.2"/pixel - 1600mm 0.8"/pixel). Will i notice any difference if my guiding is good? 

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Something I really like with CMOS (like the ASI1600) is the virtually instant downloading time, which makes framing or focusing so much easier.

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Just out of interest, here is a sort of (unscientific) side by side comparison of CCD vs CMOS, M33 taken with the same scope from the same location:

Esprit 150/Moravian G2-8300 mono LRGB 160 mins

F96FB36B-6407-4F93-8AFE-ABFEB083D1E6.thumb.jpeg.5ec54512250a18f3d9750dbc5fdd2078.jpeg

Esprit 150/IMX 571 CMOS OSC 210 mins:

C5950463-A267-4EC6-A39A-9E8BA5DD5191.thumb.jpeg.1a2a6453c602f92f40427764d8fc531b.jpeg

I actually prefer the CCD image…

 

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On 15/04/2022 at 19:46, tomato said:

Agreed that’s a great price for a used 383, way below the 67% rule of thumb for good quality used Astro equipment. The ASI 1600 would give you the same FOV as the 383 but they might be holding their second hand price a bit more than the CCD cameras.

I've always assumed the 67% rule applied to things that are current or don't get superseded over time? Eventually technology will move on and all the cameras mentioned here will be worthless, much like the early starlight express CCDs are now.  So the rule has clearly got a time limit!

 

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