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Orion StarShoot Solar System Camera IV

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#1 rustynailz911

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 02:51 PM

I was wondering how this camera is the specs seem good any first hand experance with this one?what eyepiece is the view in this camera comparable to?I want to do a little video astronomy and shoot the planets.I have a 4" F8 refractor with tracking to use with this camera.

Thanks
Russell

#2 ccs_hello

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:01 PM

Russell,

That device is a USB2.0 device and is using a type-1/3" CMOS sensor from Micron/Aptina.
As it's name implied ("Solar System"). This type usually is designed mainly for bright subjects (Lunar, etc.) Suggest you stay away for future growth.
BTW, this forum is mainly for Electronically Assisted Astro, your question is more suitable for Beginner's Imaging subforum.

Clear Skies!

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#3 *skyguy*

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:31 PM

BTW, this forum is mainly for Electronically Assisted Astro, your question is more suitable for Beginner's Imaging subforum.


Huh ... Isn't this the "Video and Electrically Assisted Astronomy" Forum? The Orion StarShoot Solar System Camera IV ... is a video camera!

#4 ccs_hello

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:49 PM

No, it is not.
Product info here.
If link does not work, just search 52175 there.

P.S. that imager is very similar with Meade LPI.

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#5 mclewis1

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:51 PM

Actually it's not a video camera, there's no video output on it ... it's more like a webcam.

It's a solar system imaging camera and as such it would be more appropriate to discuss it in either the beginners imaging or solar system imaging forums where there are folks who have experience with the camera. Around here the chances of having more than a few folks with real experience with the camera is slim.

#6 *skyguy*

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:05 PM

So, a camera that shoots video at 15 frames a second isn't a video camera? Sorry, I don't buy that! Sorta splitting hairs here. It certainly falls under the category of "Electronically Assisted Astronomy". And yes, the OP would probably get more help on the "Solar System Imaging and Processing" Forum.

#7 pdfermat

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 11:32 PM

Maybe a mod could move this thread to the appropriate forum then? I'm interested in this also. I was thinking of using it as kind of a "live video" experience as well. Even though I don't have tracking on my dobs, I thought it would be fun on the moon and planets, and just watch them drift through the field.

#8 mclewis1

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:38 AM

So, a camera that shoots video at 15 frames a second isn't a video camera? Sorry, I don't buy that! Sorta splitting hairs here.

Your right we are just splitting hairs here because many folks will use a webcam/solar system camera like a video camera (or vice versa) but just because a sensor can be read that fast doesn't make the output video ... it's a digital USB connection that requires additional software to create a video stream.

A video camera has a standard video interface (USB isn't one of those) that adheres to a video standard (NTSC, PAL, SDI, etc.). You don't need a PC to convert a video signal to view or store it (just a compatible video monitor or video storage device).

#9 mistyridge

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 05:35 PM

Does a digital 1080P cam with a HDMI output qualifi as a video for this forum or is it analog only?

#10 mclewis1

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:47 PM

From what I understand any type of camera can be discussed in this forum (analog, digital, video, usb, etc.), it just depends on how it's being used (near live viewing vs. single shots saved and then processed). The forum isn't just for video ... after all it's titled "Video and ... "

I think for the original question about the Orion solar system camera the issue is that there would likely be a lot more folks with more experience with the camera in the other imaging forums so the dialog should be a lot better. Lots of folks will indeed use planetary imaging cameras in a way that ends up a lot like video viewing on a PC ... and there wouldn't be a problem discussing that here.

As to whether a 1080p camera with an HDMI output is a video camera, for what it's worth I'd say yes ... since HDMI is a video interface. You could also plug that camera directly into a video monitor that has a HDMI interface. So for example a high end DSLR could be consider both a single shot USB camera and an HDMI video camera.

#11 jbell

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:26 AM

just because a sensor can be read that fast doesn't make the output video ... it's a digital USB connection that requires additional software to create a video stream.


And the mallincam universe is exactly what??

#12 mclewis1

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 11:00 AM

A large sensor USB single shot camera with specialized software to enable "near live viewing" in addition to the traditional usage of multiple shots with post processing.

Just because the camera is from Rock and called a Mallincam doesn't mean it has anything to do with video.

#13 jbell

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 11:11 AM

thank you -- my point exactly.

It seems this forum specifically has a 'bias' that is hard to overcome on what's "IN" vs what's "OUT"

If the universe is fair game to discuss in this forum, so is a starshoot, a lpi, a dsi, a lodestar, etc, etc, etc...

So is an atik, sbig,etc... (now there's fightin' words....)

As long as it's done in near 'real time' in an observing session, that helps your observing... to me its V&EAA.

but..... suggesting this thread doesn't belong V&EAA... hmmm...

#14 mistyridge

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:40 PM

As the technology moves more towards direct viewing be it digital or analog the lines are blurring as to what is in and what is out. Hmmmm :thinking:

#15 *skyguy*

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:55 PM

Check the definition for webcam in any dictionary ... online or paper ... "video camera with PC input".

#16 nytecam

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 05:08 AM

Ouch...Ouch...Ouch...

#17 Raginar

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:19 PM

We're back to this argument again? Good example for a CCD designed for imaging being used 'near live viewing' would be Nytecam's work with a lodestar.

~Chris

#18 YetAnotherHobby

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:32 PM

I have one that I have used to capture planets. I used the Orion AmcAp software that came with the camera and you can see the planet on the screen in a live view fashion. My scope was a 6" refractor and the planet was recognizable but tiny on the screen. The bit of reading I did suggests a 2x or 3x Barlow is really needed to bring the image scale up. The only real "issue" I had was finding focus the first time. There was a very narrow range of focus travel where the software would cough up an image so it took a little while to find the sweet spot. But it works!

#19 Gary Z

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 12:39 AM

I have this camera. I also have used it during the Venus Transit as well as lunar shots using an ETX 80 and Celestron 8 SE. For the moon and sun, it's ok. But I did view your pictures of the moon, and the quality of the shots are good. You will not get this quality from the Orion Imager IV. You could save your money and buy a malincam, or even the higher end cameras available, but you will be disapointed if you use the Orion Imager IV, based on your pictures.

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#20 Skylook123

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:54 PM

I stumbled onto this thread, and have used this device for about a year. Not terribly thrilled with it for anything other than the moon. NO instructions of much use come with it. A dozen adjustable features that need enough twiddling forget about actually LOOKING at things. I needed to buy an Antares 0.5X reducer to work with my 10" SCT, and finally got some decent shots, but with my Lunt, the sweet spot for any settings migrates continuously. The settings are so sensitive that for some, with a 100 to 200 count range, 10 counts off is enough to lose the image. I've spent a few nights trying to get Jupiter or Saturn, and can't get 'em in view at all. HOWEVER, on my 90mm ShortTube refractor, I've gotten some nice images of the moon. Here is one with the 90mm two nights ago without the 0.5x reducer (the SSS has a native 5mm focal length, way overdrives my 10"):

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#21 Skylook123

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:56 PM

And a shot with the reducer. Both are 150 frame/10fps stacks using Sharpcap freeware instead of the provided Amcap, and running the AVI output through Avistack2.

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#22 Skylook123

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:09 PM

Here is a solar shot I took about a year ago. The amount of effort to get the settings to capture an image is quite a lot, but it is a $90 device.

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#23 Skylook123

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:14 PM

Finally, setting the gamma to zero brings out the prominences while wiping out the solar disk, but it was setting behind Sombrero Peak, about 15 miles from my back yard.

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#24 mclewis1

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:56 PM

Jim,

Great shots. I love the Saguaro silhouettes.

Interesting comments about the sensitivity of the adjustments. I've noticed something similar with some video capture apps and a webcam. Changing the app really helped me ... for example using Sharpcap made things quite a bit easier.

#25 Skylook123

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:13 PM

Thanks, Mark. I was a bit surprised at the time to see the relatively close cactus in focus, so I stopped shutting everything down and grabbed 150 or so frames. And Sharpcap not only made the adjustments easier, but it saves a companion text file with the AVI file that gives the settings used. With Amcap, I had to make my own notes in Excel.

Two weeks ago I tried Jupiter with the 90mm, but there was not enough focuser travel outward without the reducer, nor inward with the reducer. Then clouds came in so I couldn't try some extension tricks without the reducer, nor pulling off the diagonal to get more in-travel with the reducer, and I haven't had time to go back and try Jupiter again. But, as with the sun and moon, focus is right up there with the other parameters on all or nothing in the eyepiece. The image at full in-travel was like a basketball, with the two available moons right where they should be, but it would have needed another 1/8" of in travel to get bands on the image in focus. Now we're in three days of rain. Figures.






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