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Not stupid at all. The high st webcams vary widely - you need one with the best chip in it. Most folk have an SPC900NC or SPC880 (flashed to look like a 900). This use the same chip as the Celestron Neximage cam but infinitely cheaper.

Cheap Philips SPC880 webcam - 49269 - discounts & offers

That page has everything you need including an adaptor to fit the cam in the scope focuser tube. There's also a uv/ir filter - not compulsory but some like to use it, and any filter will help protect the chip from dust, and drivers for the cam.

The idea is to run a film for a few mins (eg on the moon), then take the recorded frames and stack the good ones together and reject the bad ones. Registax (free download) will do that for you automatically:

RegiStax- Free image processing software

To get the frames you'll need webcam software that's astronomer friendly - there are many - I like wxAstroCapture:

wxAstroCapture - Windows and linuX Astronomy Capture

If you order the cam from Morgans - pay a couple of extra quid and get them to pre-flash it for you - saves a bit of time and a little grief. Hope that helps and welcome to the "dark art" of astro photography lol :hello2:

Edited by brantuk
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Good advice there from brantuk. I know it's really hard to believe, but images of the moon and planets with a £15 Phillips webcam (+ barlow) are better than a £500 DSLR. It's horses for courses; DSLRs are great for single long exposures of wide fields, the webcam is great for smaller fields (such as closeups of planets) where hundreds (or thousands) of separate short-exposure images are stacked to create the final image.

It's a complicated process. A dark art indeed, but rewarding.

Edited by lukebl
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Good advice there from brantuk. I know it's really hard to believe, but images of the moon and planets with a £15 Phillips webcam (+ barlow) are better than a £500 DSLR.

I've recently realised that one.

Have a Canon 7d (which is awsome for pictures). But the Phillips webcam for plants, is just unbelieveable

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