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ST8300C imaging / processing

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#1 BlueGrass

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 11:01 PM

Well I finally got a chance to get out with my AT106LE and ST8300C last night. Because I spent a lot of time testing and checking the setup for balance and tracking, I didn't capture many images. I did capture 6 images with CCDSoft of the HH region, but don't understand how these images can be converted to color and then stacked for processing. The version of CCDSoft that shipped with the camera does not directly support OSC cameras, offering only to extract and then combine the channels of each image to convert them to color. CCDOps does permit a direct conversion of the images, but only one at a time and then only offers to save the result as a TIF file. I know this camera is very new and hasn't been out in the hands of users long but was hoping to get some tips on how to process and stack these images. I'm probably just not thinking the sequence through properly. There are a fair number of settings that can be set for each image during capture and maybe I've missed something. Thanks in advance!

#2 Jeff OM

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 11:21 PM

Hi George,

I used to own a ST-2000XCM (one shot color version) and went through exactly the same thing you are going through now. Handling, the one shot color data with the SBIG supplied software is somewhat tedious. My suggestion - get CCDstack! You will not regret it, I haven't.

cheers,

Jeff

#3 BlueGrass

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 11:40 PM

Jeff, thanks for the tip. You're right about the tedium in the image conversion / processing. I'll take a look at CCDStack. Also, in the Stark Labs forum on Yahoo, Craig talks about using Nebulosity to acquire and process images from the 8300C and apparently it's possible, but you have to manually override the color reconstruction so I'll try that next time since I already have a copy of Nebulosity. The 8300C reports itself as an ST-402 class camera and current software assumes it's mono only. He also said he's in contact with SBIG about this so hopefully, he'll have an update in a future release. I like using Nebulosity for imaging with my Canon, it does a great job capturing and processing and it would be ideal if it also could process images from the 8300C in OSC mode.

#4 Astronomy.FM

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:36 AM

I use a ST-2000XCM and use MaximDL to convert to color. I have not tired CCDStack yet, I need to take a look at it.

I was reading on the SBIG site that you can take mono images with 8300C if you bin 2 or 3

The ST-8300C single-shot-color version of this camera can be used in high resolution mode (only) for color images, or binned 2x2 or 3x3 for monochrome imaging.

so I wonder if you could put CFW on it and use it for both color and mono. use a blank/clear filter for color and then bin 2 and do Ha, SII, OIII all with just one CCD

#5 BlueGrass

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:20 AM

Sounds reasonable to do both mono (binned) and OSC (unbinned)... although if I understand it correctly, you'll lose resolution but gain sensitivity. Just tried CCDStack on my 6 images. It allows you to select your Bayer pattern for color conversion and seems to work well. Need to do more testing of the stacking though. If it does all the conversion, stacking and processing, it looks like a solid solution.

#6 justabob

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:41 AM

George I am using Maxim dl for capture and guiding and maybe for stacking and calibration. But in the past I have always used dss with good results.

#7 JerryWise

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 08:04 AM

Whew. I was embarrassed to post on this thinking it was just my setup. I've been fighting it for two weeks now. I emailed SBIG and they said set the camera up as an ST 402 and software vendors were likely to come out with upgrades soon. I've tried ImagePlus, Nebulosity and the CCDSoft version with the camera. Nothing "seamless" yet for multiple image acquisition and Bayer Matrix conversion. Sure hope you folks find a magic bullet and report back here.

#8 hewholooks

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 09:38 AM

Deepskystacker is free and it is what I have always used with good success.

#9 JerryWise

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 10:10 AM

I might be over complicating things or spoiled by the DSLR world but there seems to be a number of Bayer Matrix "DeBayering" filter/algorithms that are chip specific. The only setting I've found so far that works well is the "Color Process" in CCDops. I'd like to have an application that you could specify time, temperature, number of exposures and automatic color processing with images saved to FIT or TIF files for the 8300c. We could then stack and process with software we are familiar with.

I guess the question still vague in my mind is would all 8300c chips use the same Bayer Matrix and color decoding algorithms?

#10 lawrie

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 05:38 PM

What do the guys with the Q8 use?

#11 BlueGrass

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 06:47 PM

Not sure but I don't think DSS will convert the FIT files to color before / after stacking so while it will stack the images, you're still not getting the conversion done. The CCDStack testing I did last night worked. It allows you to convert all images opened in the stack to color and then do basic processing on the result. That's what I expected from CCDSoft. An all-in-one stacker and conversion utility. We all use our own post-processing app, i.e. Photoshop, Gimp, etc. so that is not the problem. It's getting from the acquired images to a stacked, color result that's the problem.

Jerry, take a look at CCDStack. Like PemPro, you can run it for 30 days as a trial. I think you'll find it's what you're looking for. If you do give it a try, please post back with your results... Thanks....

#12 JerryWise

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 10:34 PM

Will do George. Thanks.

#13 mega256

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:48 AM

Im in the boat the max iv been able to stack is 3 frames with CCDops..I understand that Craig (Nebulosity)is Talking to Sbig about this..This is the best color I could do so far..

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#14 hewholooks

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 01:35 PM

DSS works with the FITS files that come directly from my ST4K, no problem.

#15 JerryWise

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 06:30 PM

CCDops is what I used on this too. 5 images at 5 minutes. The camera has gobs of potential. Just need to get Nebulosity working with it and I'll be happy. I'd like to use Nebulosity with Craig's integration with PHP autoguiding.

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#16 mega256

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:10 PM

Wow yours looks alot better than mine..How did u combine
5 pics in ccdops?I need to do that,
I think you have to do it b4 color, is it under utilities?

#17 JerryWise

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 06:54 AM

What I did was color process each image in CCDops and save in a Tiff file. Then used Nebulosity to combine them. Then used Paint Shop Pro to stretch the images. The exposure was made through a TOA 150. I think these cameras are going to really shake up the market. The resolution is there.

#18 mega256

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 08:16 AM

Thanks Jerry,one more, did you -dark in CCDops b4 color conversion then ddp or rgb ? For each file ,Then move to nebulosity for combine..The camera has LOTs of color,I pushed this...but the data is there.The camera is going to do well.
thanks
Bob

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#19 JerryWise

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 11:21 AM

Yes Bob. I had CCDops do the dark subtraction. Interesting how much detail is there in the raw image before the color processing. I've been doing some reading and on many images I don't think we are going to lose that much resolution over the mono version when used on many OTAs.

#20 justabob

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 11:50 AM

Great shot Jerry! No first light here yet. But I have made a dark library and know how to capture guide and dither with maxim.

As Hunter mentioned dss should work fine with the raw fits files these cameras produce.

#21 lawrie

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 01:27 PM


DSS would be a good choice but I think the Bayer matrix for the ST8300 has to be added to the program, the st2000 it on the list so it can be used.
Hopefully SBIG gets this info out so these programs (nebulosity,dss,ip) can be used.

#22 justabob

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 05:30 PM

Lawrie, dss works with the st4k and it is not on the list. It also works with my 1000d and it is not listed under cameras in dss.

#23 lawrie

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 09:09 PM

Ok, good to know, thanks Bob.
I thought maybe the configuation of the filters may be a problem.
Maybe someone could run a stack thru DSS and see.

#24 JerryWise

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 09:56 PM

Here is a stack of raw fits files through DeepSkyStacker 3.2.2. Clicked on recommendations and used the recommended Bayer Matrix. I think we will need to let the experts take a look at their software and "fits" this new camera into the lineup.

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#25 BlueGrass

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 10:06 PM

My results appeared the same Jerry. From my testing, DSS treated the raw 8300 fits as mono.






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