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Astro cam for Evostar 80ED?


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Posted (edited)

Good evening all, 

With a 30th birthday gift on the way in the form of a few grand, I'm having no trouble spending it mocking up shopping carts on FLO! I think I'm pretty much settled on the mount, so my attention turns to the camera. Following much of the advice on a previous post of mine, I'm ditching the idea of a DSLR and going straight for a dedicated astro cam. 

I feel like I understand a few of the basics; lights darks flats, exposure time, gain, binning, filters etc, but still trying to learn and get my head around image scale, sampling, pixel size and the like. With that in mind, there must be a camera quite well matched for use with the 80ED. A member on here did some looking for me a little while back and suggested the ASI294MC Pro would be a good fit. Looking into this a little, it seems its pretty much the same as the 533, just the sensor size is 4/3 and 1/1 respectively? I don't really 'like' square images, but can get over myself if this camera would be a good match. I'd like to shoot in colour, though down the line I'm sure I'll try out mono. 

I was out with my local club a few nights ago and was very impressed with the ASIAir someone was using. Add to that the issues that another member was experiencing using a laptop, it's a nice thought to have this, though that would somewhat restrict me to ZWO cameras? I do have a laptop which would be more than enough to run any capturing, guiding or alignment software.

I'd like to spend in the region of £1,300 for a camera and any necessary accessories. I suppose it's also worth mentioning I'm a complete novice and this will be my first venture into the hobby. 

Thanks for reading 👍

Edited by OK Apricot
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49 minutes ago, barbulo said:

The ASI294MC plus the 0.85 FR/FF would be around  £1.210. Not much left for a filter. 

I will have a reducer/flattener by the time I purchase the camera 👍

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2 hours ago, OK Apricot said:

I was out with my local club a few nights ago and was very impressed with the ASIAir someone was using. Add to that the issues that another member was experiencing using a laptop, it's a nice thought to have this, though that would somewhat restrict me to ZWO cameras? I do have a laptop which would be more than enough to run any capturing, guiding or alignment software.

I'd like to spend in the region of £1,300 for a camera and any necessary accessories. I suppose it's also worth mentioning I'm a complete novice and this will be my first venture into the hobby. 

Thanks for reading 👍

The Asiair ties you into the ZWO ecosystem - so only supports ZWO cameras, focusers and electronic filter wheels. This can be an advantage as everything should 'just work', but does restrict what equipment you can buy.  The one exception is it will trigger DSLR cameras via the electronic shutter control. 

As a complete novice, my advice would be to start off with your DSLR - this will give you time to decide what targets you like to image as well as deciding whether or not imaging is for you. If it is, you will then have a better idea of what camera you might want to get - the ASI533 and ASI2600 are newer sensors and don't have any amp glow - others with more experience may comment on whether they produce cleaner images. The ASI2600 is APS-C sensor sized - if you decide this is the one to go for, you might also want to look at the Rising Cam version of this sensor which seems to have had a good reception and is considerably cheaper. There is a thread in the camera section on this.

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2 minutes ago, Shimrod said:

The Asiair ties you into the ZWO ecosystem - so only supports ZWO cameras, focusers and electronic filter wheels. This can be an advantage as everything should 'just work', but does restrict what equipment you can buy.  The one exception is it will trigger DSLR cameras via the electronic shutter control. 

As a complete novice, my advice would be to start off with your DSLR - this will give you time to decide what targets you like to image as well as deciding whether or not imaging is for you. If it is, you will then have a better idea of what camera you might want to get - the ASI533 and ASI2600 are newer sensors and don't have any amp glow - others with more experience may comment on whether they produce cleaner images. The ASI2600 is APS-C sensor sized - if you decide this is the one to go for, you might also want to look at the Rising Cam version of this sensor which seems to have had a good reception and is considerably cheaper. There is a thread in the camera section on this.

Things 'just working' would be ideal for sure. 

I wasn't clear, but I don't have a DSLR. My route to imaging would be to buy either a DSLR or an astro camera. Following advice I decided on the latter. 

Maybe it doesn't count, but when out observing I can't help but try to get pictures on my phone, so I feel very ready for the challenge - I've wanted to do this since I was young! 

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3 minutes ago, OK Apricot said:

Things 'just working' would be ideal for sure. 

I wasn't clear, but I don't have a DSLR. My route to imaging would be to buy either a DSLR or an astro camera. Following advice I decided on the latter. 

Maybe it doesn't count, but when out observing I can't help but try to get pictures on my phone, so I feel very ready for the challenge - I've wanted to do this since I was young! 

The ZWO electronic focuser fits the 80ed so if you're buying a ZWO camera then Asiair control seems like a way forwards. 

I have the ASI533 and it is a good match for the 80ed - the square sensor isn't really an issue, and you can always crop the image for aesthetic reasons if required. If you aren't desperate to buy the camera now, ZWO has had a Black Friday sale for the last couple of years with around 10% off cameras. Last year they also had a summer sale starting in July. 

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42 minutes ago, Shimrod said:

The ZWO electronic focuser fits the 80ed so if you're buying a ZWO camera then Asiair control seems like a way forwards. 

I have the ASI533 and it is a good match for the 80ed - the square sensor isn't really an issue, and you can always crop the image for aesthetic reasons if required. If you aren't desperate to buy the camera now, ZWO has had a Black Friday sale for the last couple of years with around 10% off cameras. Last year they also had a summer sale starting in July. 

Might go old fashioned with a Bahtinov mask to start with for focusing, though no doubt I'll end up with autofocus. 

Good point on being able to crop afterwards, I hadn't thought of that, would be losing data though. I feel the 4/3 ratio looks more natural. With regards to amp glow, am I going to notice much of a difference? 

Hopefully they do the same this year - I'll be looking to make the camera purchase around July/August. Mount early June, Camera early August, accessories early September 🙂

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I had the same dilemma regarding the 294 vs 533. I went with the 533 in the end, even though I wasn't sure about the square sensor. After 2 months with the camera, I find rectangular images strange😂 

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Posted (edited)

If it were me, I'd go for the 294mc pro and get some quality of life stuff with it.  You can get the more expensive camera if you do your planned upgrade to mono down the line.

Have you budgeted for guide camera setup as well?  If you have got the 80ed pro pack you get a finder scope which I think you can get an adapter for to use for tracking.

You might want to consider getting an evoguide 50 and field flatener as well.

I suggest this because it'll give you a short focal length to practice your setup without having as big an impact as you would with the 80ED so you can produce morale boosting images with nice stars sooner and not get frustrated. Also you be able to do wider angle shots at any time without having to mosaic with the 80ED.  You can use the finder for guiding with the evoguide.

I'll add for clarity that I don't have a scope or mount but I'm looking to get into astro.  The route I've chosen is kind of similar, getting the 80ED, but I'm using a DSLR and 200mm lens for initial astro and the 200mm lens for learning.  The reason being it'll just make things easier to learn with the shorter focal length and be more forgiving.  I'm still going to get the 80ED, but I'm getting a couple lenses and going to do some visual with it till I get up and running.

I've noticed that astro and visual guys generate the same amount of content, just the astro guys tend to post more about problems getting everything to work whilst the visual guys post about looking at stuff.

With your timeline you might as well hold off on the asair Vs laptop till you try with the laptop.  You've got it already so get the guide camera before the Asair.  If you find you don't like the laptop or find it inconvenient then you can get the Asair.  If you like the laptop you can use the Adair money to get something else.

Edited by Ratlet
Forgot the pro
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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, OK Apricot said:

With regards to amp glow, am I going to notice much of a difference? 

I have the 294 mc pro and the amp glow is easily calibrated out, I've had no issues with this. I was like you too with 533 v 294 and there's many threads on it here in the forum but the bigger sensor won me over and I've seen some amazing images with an 80ed and 294mc pro. 

Regarding my earlier post about the AAP, I belive your looking for easier set up that just works. From my experience with my AAP it's a no brainer. Yep you're tied into zwo but I find that a comforting thing and not bothered by it. 

Also worth looking in flo clearance offers thread some good discounted items 👍

Cheers

Lee 

Edited by AstroNebulee
Grammar
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Amp glow easily calibrates out on the 294mc pro as below. I don't really spend as much time processing as I should and it maybe shows but I think the amp glow is gone....

As an aside this is an 80mm scope view of the North America Nebula....

1794986623_NANebula2.thumb.jpg.cd4a543c67c182a726814512114b8bd6.jpg

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Seems like it's coming down to preference of sensor size. Processing will obviously be the more significant learning curve, however I'm sure with video tutorials I'll get my head round it.

I believe I'll need an adaptor of sorts to thread the camera onto the scope? 

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10 minutes ago, OK Apricot said:

Seems like it's coming down to preference of sensor size. Processing will obviously be the more significant learning curve, however I'm sure with video tutorials I'll get my head round it.

I believe I'll need an adaptor of sorts to thread the camera onto the scope? 

The camera should hopefully screw onto your FF reducer 

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