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Point Grey Flea 3 with ICX618 is the new how thing for planetary imaging, superior to any existing planetary cameras. In Europe competiting product is Basler Ace which I'm testing :D Both have ICX618 and both can do 12 bit images. Flea is 9-pin firewire with 120 FPS, and Ace is ethernet camera with 100 FPS.

Main advantage is the new CCD - 2-3x more sensitivie than ICX098 family (webcams, DMK, DBK, DFK) and ICX424 (Lumenera, Atik Titan). It also has smaller noise :D The cameras also have the circular artifacts fixed so you can use maximum possible speed for imaging (where for D*K21 max 30FPS to avoid artifacts).

You check my results on Basler cameras here. Basler is new product and currently can be preordered via some resellers like avicon.pl. It costs slightly more than DMK21, and the price may change with exchange rates.

Edited by riklaunim
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Add taxes and duties for Flea 3 as it's made outside UE. Also 9-pin firewire - IEEE 1394B is currently use nearly only on Macs, so either you will need a SMARTCARD/PCMCIA adapter for that firewire standard (no possible in netbooks) or use a reduction for the slower FireWire 400. So people in Europe are looking at Ace mainly.

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IEEE 1394 interface - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Am I mis-reading this? It seems to suggest I can still use my existing 6 wire Firewire connection from my laptop ( 4 pin on the pc plus additional power supply) which I currently use on my DMK21 af?

Sure I'd need a "conversion" adaptor ( Lindy have them) and the transfer rates will be slower but I'd still get the benefits of the new chip?? Yes/No???

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With the double stacked SM60 Ha solar scope, I usually need around 1/11 sec for the proms and 1/40- 1/70 sec for the surface using the DMK21.

The increased sensitivity of the 618 chip would help!

Ken

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I was going to buy a DMK21, I think I will hold off and wait for the outcome of your research.

There may be more D*K cameras on the second hand market soon - when Basler will be able to supply enough cameras and / or some Point Grey reseller will also kick in with Flea stock. :D If you want ultimate planetary/lunary/solar camera then those industry cams may be the Holy Grail. (and Atik still didn't released "obsolete" Titan :D)

Edited by riklaunim
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Well, Point Grey replied to my request, not cheap when you consider the additional shipping, VAT, Sales tax and the compulsary purchase of the Development Kit:

IEEE 1394b 640x480 Flea

®

3 Camera:

Part Number Part Description Price

FL3-FW-03S1C-C 648 x 488 Color Flea3 Camera $595.00 USD

FL3-FW-03S1M-C 648 x 488 BW Flea3 Camera $595.00 USD

DEVKIT-01-0001 Flea3 Development Kit with PCI 1394b card $100.00 USD

DEVKIT-01-0002 Flea3 Development Kit with PCI Express 1394b card $100.00 USD

10 pack cameras $5250.00 USD

IEEE 1394b 640x480 Flea

®

3 Camera:

Part Number Part Description Price

FL3-FW-03S3C-C 648 x 488 Color Flea3 Camera $845.00 USD

FL3-FW-03S3M-C 648 x 488 BW Flea3 Camera $845.00 USD

DEVKIT-01-0001 Flea3 Development Kit with PCI 1394b card $100.00 USD

DEVKIT-01-0002 Flea3 Development Kit with PCI Express 1394b card $100.00 USD

10 pack cameras $7450.00 USD

*NOTE: First time Flea3 users are required to purchase a Flea3 Development Accessory Kit

in addition to purchasing the initial camera. Flea3 cameras are not sold with optics.

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Anyone know about who is writing software to drive these things?

I like the look of the Chameleon, DMK41 pixel count, slightly smaller pixels, but nice EXView sensor for low noise and sensitivity. 18fps, not much more than the DMK. At these speeds I guess the PC speed counts too. I am looking for a lunar/solar camera... DMK is cheap, but a bigger one would be better?

Cheers

PEterW

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Basler has generic WDM drivers and most of astro software like Metaguide, EQAlign, PHD works with Basler Ace camera. FireCapture for capturing needs work - Torsten will get Ace soon and he will be able to push a stable release. As for PG cameras - they are already supported by the firewire generic driver in FC or you can use Coriander on Linux (which is used by few people)

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Chameleon camera quoted at $400 (excluding tax/shipping (want to fedex for $100)etc), so comparable to the current alternatives, hopefully someone will become their agents. Is 18fps enough for lunar/solar?

Thanks

PEterW

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ICX445 has small pixels and optimal focal ratio is about f/13.6 (so you won't have to use a Barlow in maks, SCTs etc.). It's slightly less sensitive than ICX285, but much more than webcamish cameras (+DMK, +Lumenera). And yes - it can be very good at lunary and solar imaging.

There are also Basler cameras with this CCD so you have local product with no extra taxes and local support.

Also there is Opticstar DS-335C £ 399.00 uncooled, and £ 699.00 cooled but that is different, bigger and color CCD:

  • Sony ICX262AQ, 3.3 Megapixel 1/1.8"
  • Colour CCD: 2140 x 1560 pixels
  • Pixel size 3.45µm x 3.45µm
http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Imagers-Opticstar.asp?p=0_10_0_50_200

http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Imagers-Opticstar.asp?p=0_10_0_50_202

Edited by riklaunim
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