Jupiter is proving very elusive at our home latitude (33 degrees maximum elevation) re any sort of semi-decent seeing atm but we are soon heading North 20 degrees or so and hopefully we'll get some opportunities then.....
Meanwhile I have been testing a new planetary camera kindly sent to me by Sam from ZWOptical.....this is a cmos sensor-based unit featuring an Aptina MT9M034 chip with high QE, rolling shutter (no problems noticed so far) and variable resolutions from 1280x960 (30fps) down to 320x240 (130fps) from a 1.2Mpx, 1/3" & 3.75uM chip.
There is also a AR0130CS sensor unit that is being considered which might have a slight edge over the MT9M034..!
It operates via USB2 and it is somewhat simpler than the Expresscard with power and FW800 that I usually need to use with my Flea3.....
Sam has generously sent me a colour camera also (ASI 120MC) which uses the same sensor and specs but I have not had time so far to give that unit a run.....but both are very compact and professional-looking units.
I suppose that I should state that I have no commercial or other interests whatsoever in these products or company.....just an interest in trying out new/different imaging equipment!!!
We are still doing trials but it should be stated that the camera's operationality is going ahead in leaps and bounds.
On that score Torsten Edelmann (Mr. FireCapture! ) has been fantastic reading through my (typically long-winded!!! ) test appraisals and adding to his 2.2beta FireCapture builds to accomodate these cameras.....Sam also has been great with constant responses to my reports and changing driver files etc to get things optimal!
As a camera utilising DirectShow we now have, with the latest beta build of FireCapture, far greater control than ever before with these types of webcams: and we are on the verge of complete compatability - thanks once again Torsten!
So what's it like as a planetary imager?
At heart I'm a "nuts & bolts" person tbh.....I want to see what something can do, and I think with the results I've obtained so far the night before last with tiny Mars in seeing that was "fair" at best and 30 degrees elevation there is plenty of room for optimism with this camera!
I understand its' price will be super-competitive, so that in resolving a final issue to achieve complete compatability in FireCapture there should be another option available to us planetary imaging fanatics..!
Here is the Mars image from my C14: an rgb sequence taken over 8 mins 21 seconds (short for 4.83") at 130fps, best 2500 frames processed from AS!2, #1 & #2 wavelets (not linked) in R6, then AstraImage & CS4.
Image shown at capture and 150% & 200% with CalSky simulation - given what I've managed with the Flea3 at slightly larger diameters and similar or higher elevations I'm pretty impressed so far with these results.....