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Daz1969

What is binning ?

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Hi all , am getting further down the road towards astro imaging and keep coming across the term 'Binning' What does that mean ? Have i got it ? or do i need it?

Cheers in advance as always:hello2:

Daz

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Daz,

Binning is the process of combinning (sic) pixels together to make 'super pixels'. If you have a sensor that is 1000 pixels wide and 600 pixels deep and you 'bin' the image 2 x 2 then you end up with the pixels grouping into groups of 4 pixels, each group forming one 'super pixel'. The sensor thus becomes one with 500 pixels wide x 300 pixels deep but the fewer 'super pixels' will be 4 times more sensitive than the original pixels.

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Ah cheers for that Steve! That sounds really interesting , Is it something you do with your capture software settings or is it something you do when you are processing the image?

Daz:icon_salut:

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It's something you do when you're capturing the data. It comes in really handy if you have a mono camera and you want to do colour. What most people do is take the mono with no binning (let's say 60 minutes' worth), then do the colour binned. As the binned pixels are 4 times more sensitive, then you're able to cut the time needed to do the colour data to a quarter. So for an hours' worth of mono, you can take just 15 minutes' of each colour filter rather than an hour for each. The good part is that when you blend the mono and RGB images together, you get the colours without losing the detail of the mono image.

It also helps to get a rough focus on older USB1 cameras as it takes less time to download each image.

Tony..

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Cheers Tony, Thats facinating stuff ! This learning curve is a great one. Would i not use binning with a colour ccd camera as iam yet to buy one and dont know if i should go mono or colour

Have just bought a Heq5 pro mount for my 8" Sct and got myself a cheap 60mm refractor for guiding with.

Daz

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I have used binning with my SXVF-H9C which is a one shot CCD camera - I use this mode when taking Hydrogen Alpha images but I do this in the full knowledge that because of the Bayer Matrix (RGB filters) overlaid on the sensor, I am not getting much advantage from doing so - I do it to destroy the Bayer Matrix and to gain a small amount of extra sensitivity. Binning really comes into its own with a mono camera. However, I also use it with my colour CCD for focus purposes as I get greater sensitivity and a smaller file to download so I can take a faster series of images while I focus.

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Mmmm,A dark science indeed, Very interesting though,Many thanks for all your help.

Daz

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I realise this thread is pretty old but I'm just getting into greater details after getting a ZWO 1600mm cool.

So my question is, if I do 16x300 luminance exposures should I then apply 2x binning with 8x300 or 16x150 for the RGB filters?

Kind regards,

P.

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8 hours ago, piprees said:

I realise this thread is pretty old but I'm just getting into greater details after getting a ZWO 1600mm cool.

So my question is, if I do 16x300 luminance exposures should I then apply 2x binning with 8x300 or 16x150 for the RGB filters?

Kind regards,

P.

It very much depends on your pixel scale. If your binned pixel scale is less than about 4 arcseconds per pixel then it might be worth binning the RGB. (Why 4"PP? No good reason, it's a guess plucked from the air to define the scale beyond which I personally would not bin colour. I don't expect everyone to agree.)

Another factor concerns your processing method. Early on, you'll be happy to apply luminance globally over your RGB data. As you slide into the obsessive processing trap you may want to avoid applying luminance to your RGB stars, in which case you'll want nice unbinned RGB stars! Personally I never bin colour. I want to be able to bring those nice little RGB stars, with unsaturted cores, into my final image.

Olly

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Binning also gets complicated when dealing with CMOS or CCD chips. CCDs can be binned at a hardware level, and given the noise characteristics, this can improve signal to noise ratios. With CMOS chips, it is different, in that most (maybe all, not sure) are software binned only. However, with the low noise of modern CMOS chips, the concern about this meaning binning with CMOS is pointless is lower, but it will not result in a better SNR as I understand things.

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