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Best Solar CCD


Rossco72
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Well I know there will no doubt be much divided opinion on this, however, I am trying to find out what experienced solar imagers regard as the best solar camera.

My time in front of the scope is short and opportunities limited, therefore to give a little more detail I would prefer a camera which can image the entire solar disc in one go.

My scope will be 80mm ~ 560mm fl

I would also prefer a camera (if one exists) which could do the surface and proms at the same time (I realise the tuning of the etalon will be critical but is there a camera sensative enough?)

Any suggestions?

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On cloudynights there is a group that plans to order new incoming PointGrey camera with ICX674 (2/3" more sensitive than ICX285). That won't be cheap... Others use cameras with ICX445 (1/3" small pixels) or ICX285 (in industry camera or DSI III Pro, Atik etc...) - exview CCDs, and also other lower/cheaper cameras.

Here you can compare non-exview (DMK41) with exview CCD (PGR) on H-a solar imaging (and some images here).

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OTOH the DMK cameras are easily available, cheaper, the software works & the performance is adequate if not leading edge. '31 & '41 probably the best choice for solar (or lunar) work. Get a clear glass "filter" (Astronomik Klar Glas) to keep the dust bunnies away from the sensor surface.

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Don't know if such an animal exists...for your focal length you'd need at least a 6mm chip and ideally a webcam type to get AVI to stack to get the best definition. I use exposures of 1/150 for the surface and up to 1/11s for proms on a DMK41 with a double stack SM60.

For full disk imaging the sun's diameter is roughly 1/100 the focal length.....so you can easy check out the various chip sizes.

I do recommend a "webcam" type camera - the multple frames do give a far better chance of recording that last bit of detail.

Just my 0.02euro

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I am desperately trying to avoid mosaics and stitching together multiple images.

I realise this can be done and provide some enjoyment but the truth is I just don't get the time to spend hours post processing. If it meant paying a little more for a more sensitive camera this would be worth consideration.

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Check this thread: Telescope Reviews: PGR Grasshopper 20S4M-C

2/3" sized CCD (285, 625, 674) have 10.2 mm (H) × 8.3 mm (V) and that's the biggest mono you can get from Sony and they are used in PGR, Basler cameras that do AVIs (and fast through GigE or Firewire 800). It's hard to get anything bigger in industry-camera range. There should be some Aptina CMOS cameras or later this year 1" CMOSIS CMOS sensors with 2048x2048 frame.

DMK41/31 are available and cheap but they aren't the best you can get (and that's why TIS is working on a total upgrade). CCDs used in those cameras aren't exview so they lack a lot of QE in red and infrared (H-alpha). For green (Baader Solar Continuum and white light solar filter) aren't that bad.

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