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Neximage, modify a webcam or buy a modified one

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I had reasonable results with a neximage camera, using RAW mode. There are details of how to make it record RAW data on the celestron website.

They were a lot cheaper on fleabay.

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Any advice folks?

Used to have a Neximage. Bought an Imaging Source DMK .... quite honestly the difference is out of this world.

If you can possibly afford it, get a mono webcam with long exposure circuitry. To make colour images you also need a filter wheel & a set of colour seperation filters, but the effort is worth it. Twice the resolution (or get away with half the focal length) and much more sensitive, especially to UV & IR which may be important for solar work (CaK) or if you intend to use an infra red "luminance" image for planets to make the best of the better seeing at long wavelengths.

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Used to have a Neximage. Bought an Imaging Source DMK .... quite honestly the difference is out of this world.

I agree. I had an unmodded toucampro, then a modded SPC900NC, and finally got an Imaging Source DFK. The last step was a giant leap for my planetary imaging.



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I've just started down this route too. I've now got 2 SPC900NCs (I'm intending to leave one as is, and mod the other - if I break it, then so be it). I chose this way for the following reasons:

  • I've a steep learning curve to go up, both with actually acquiring the images and processing them
  • I wanted colour to start with and not bother with extra expense and hassle of filters/filter wheel etc...
  • Resale value/potential use as a starter guidecam in the future is good.
  • I can tinker and try stuff out (just got the soldering iron out from the garage to give it a once over)

I'd avoid the neximage as it's basically a SPC900 in a different case, but at 2x the price (OK, you can import one from the states at 1.5x the price) unmless you can't get a SPC. The going rate for SPCs on ebay is between £50-£60 (4 have sold there in the last couple of weeks) although you may be lucky to pick one up cheaper than that... Wait, and they will come up - I can't see one on there at the moment (I use Philips webcam to search as some people don't put the SPC900 in the title).

Whilst I'm sure the commercial cameras are far better, they are also more expensive and that's normally a consideration when you are starting out...

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I've got a fair (!!) selection of webcam type cameras including the SPC900/ 840 (RAW) the DSI II and the DMK.

I've had and used modded webcams before and I found the need to have a control link via a parallel port a real PITA! Most new laptops just don't have parallel ports, USB> parallel adaptors don't always work; they're not easy to configure and my new DELL doesn't even take a PCIMIA card!!

So, based on flexiblity of use, I opted for the DSI and the DMK.

My 2c.

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