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Advice Requested: First Time Imaging with ASI120MC

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#1 anemec

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

I have been imaging with a DSLR for a couple of years but am completely new to solar system imaging and processing with a webcam/from video.

After much research I decided to purchase the ASI120MC which I received today.

So, now I have installed the drivers, FireCapture and SharpCap, and the real questions start -
What do most people use for capture with these cameras, FireCapture?
What are the typical settings for say capturing Jupiter with the camera? What are the most important settings to consider?
Does everyone use Registax? Or something else?

I use both PS and PixInsight for processing on the DSLR side. Any tips for processing things like solar system bodies which are so much brighter than galaxies or nebulae?

What am I missing? I am sure I am missing plenty.

I will be using my 8" LX200 for imaging. Which I guess brings up a good question. I assume I don't really need to worry too much about super accurate alignment while doing this do I? I typically drift align, or iterative align every night I'm imaging with my dslr.

Any other tips, tricks or dire warnings from you guys will be much appreciated.

#2 anemec

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

Forgot to mention that I capture on a PC, but process on a Mac. So if there is a Mac alternative to Registax (or a Mac version I am unaware of) that would be great. I know I can run parallels, but would love to not have to.

#3 wenjha

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:36 PM

Sharpcap can works well with the color model.Firecapture need more computer resource to runs well but more powerful.
my setting for jupiter: exposure 20-25ms gain 50-70 choose a suitable resolution like 420X320 or 512X400 you can get 40-50fps capture speed.
capture 3mins you will get around 6000-7000 frames.
AS!2 is the best stack software. but seems Emil only provide windows version.
Is your scope 8"F10? a 2X barlow is suggested if so.

#4 anemec

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:44 PM

Thanks Sam. Yes. 8" F/10. I've got a 2x barlow so that should work.

#5 zAmbonii

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:47 AM

Adam,

I do a drift align. I know it is a PITA, but when you are imaging at 4000mm (2x barlow), if it isn't reasonably aligned, Jupiter can drift out of the FOV of the camera rather quickly. Plus, I like to string together a bunch of different captures to make animations and want to avoid field rotation over time.

Give FireCapture a try, if you have problems give the latest beta version a try.

Before you go out, hook the camera up and get familiar with the recording program.

Because of my mount's bad PE and not perfect alignment, I set the ROI to 640x480. This allows Jupiter to drift around a bit before it hits an edge. I then use a Cut-out slightly larger than the planet so it keeps the file size small. I have cat-5 to my laptop outside, and when capturing I am inside controlling the laptop using TeamViewer. I also have my laptop connected to my mount, with PHD guiding open so I can send manual corrections to the mount to keep Jupiter on the chip when it starts to drift too far.

As for capture, make sure you have high speed selected. Keep Gamma at 50. I try to get max framerate out of my camera and for 640x480 that is 70fps == 14.28 ms exposure. I then open up the histogram and set the gain to ~80. On Jupiter you can turn on auto WB and then turn it off to get the WB in the driver close, but I then turn on the detailed histogram and manually adjust it so that the R = G and B = G in the histogram.

Then it is a point of focus and good seeing and capturing the images.

For stacking, I use Autostakkert2! Its the best. For wavelet sharpening, I use Registax6 after stacking. I then to go Photoshop to maybe make final tweaks to color balance and some cleanup on the image and usually pull a slightly downward curve adjustment to give Jupiter some depth.

#6 anemec

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:24 AM

Thanks zAmbonii. Good to know. I have never imaged at 2x. In fact normally when I am imaging with that particular scope I have a f/6.3 FR on. So that makes sense. No shortcuts on alignment.

#7 Mert

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

If more or less acurate polar aligned, Firecapture can
easily Autoguide your mount to keep Jupiter on the ROI
centered! ( I tried at 4200mm FL and at 6400mm FL )
Last night I had to go out and left my setup running
with Autorun for 60 images and Autoguide. ( 4200mm FL )
When I came back after 3 hours all was done and
Jupiter still centered on the ROI!

#8 anemec

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:28 PM

Mert, that's great. I have not done that directly from my computer before. I usually use a SSAG (Starshoot Autoguider) on a guidescope with PHD for my guiding.

Is there a particular USB 2.0 to RJ-12 cable which you use? At least I'm assuming that that is the kind of cable I would need.

#9 Mert

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:33 PM

Not quit sure, but the cable should be able
to connect the pc with your mount.
I think it is ASCOM compatible so when activating
Autoguiding in Firecapture, you need to set some
parameters like RA agresiveness etc and use the ASCOM
telescope selector.

In my particular case I use CDC as planetary program,
then my OS is W7 x64.
I have to startup CDC as Administrator, connect the scope
and then start Firecapture also as administrator.
Then Firecapture uses the same channel to the mount and
all setup.
I don't know the caracteristics of your mont but it sure
pays off to experiment with the setting for a while.
If your mount is a GEM like mine, then after a meridian
flip you have to reverse direction of RA in the parameters
for Firecapture Autoguiding to work correctly.
Hope to hear how it goes! :waytogo:






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