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#26 nytecam

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:13 AM

Yes. The Hicksons are easy with a Mallincam. And no computer frippery is required if you don't want it. ;)

Rod - precious few examples [=images] of what the Mallincam can do on faint stuff on this forum beyond hearsay me thinks :shocked:

Maurice gets some absolutely amazing images off of that camera/software combination (the best I've ever seen) but that little un cooled camera isn't quite in the same league as the cooled models or the video based Mallincams, particularly when using longer exposures (as he clearly states).

Cooling does start to benefit images at well under 60s exposures. It certainly helps those longer exposures but it's one of the main requirements for a continuous read video setup like in the Mallincams (who's sensor generates tons more heat at any exposure than the single exposure imaging cameras). Mark

Mark - not convinced cooling is essential [for my 'cool' running Lodestar] at <60s exp [get saturation in <2m @ f/3.6] but removing my severe orange LP via software does take a hit on data. LP filters before cam [which I've tried] needs increased exposure so a no-win option.

What we need is a Mallincam v Lodestar/others unbiased head-to-head on same DSO, same exposure and similar scope but don't think, on this forum, unbiased is going to happen :grin:

#27 norden

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:19 AM

Thanks for all the thoughtful responses! But remember I am a simple visual amateur without much knowledge of CCD cameras. I must say that I am interested in Orion G3. but can i use this camera with my CPC1100 telescope without a wedge? Can I take pictures of maximum 30-50 seconds without any problems? These are important questions for me. So should I buy a Mallincam VVS+ or Orion Star Shoot II. That is the question.

#28 jgraham

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:14 AM

The challenge with your telescope is that it has a very long focal length and most inexpensive cameras have a small chip giving a very small field of view. The G3 uses a Type 1/2 chip which is pretty small. A really neat option would be to mount the G3 on a small telescope riding piggyback on your CPC. I once built such a system with a little camera that used a Type 1/3 chip and a 35mm f/4 lens from a binoccular. This gave a field of view similar to the 6" f/5 Newtonian that I mounted it on. Another interesting option if you really wanted to mount a camera on your CPC would be a Canon DSLR and Backyard EOS. I wasn't a huge fan of using DSLRs for real-time observing, but things have greatly improved significantly after Canon released the XSi (450D) and Backyard EOS became available. The live view mode works well with bright objects like the moon and planets while the still frame mode gives you many options for deep sky. The large APS-C chip, high gain, and in-camera noise reduction would work well with you scope. I've been using a Canon T2i (550D) for over a year for both imaging and observing and I've really enjoyed it. The camera body only was $495 (I didn't need any lenses) which made it very economical as compared to some other options.

Food for thought...

#29 rmollise

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:20 AM

Rod - precious few examples [=images] of what the Mallincam can do on faint stuff on this forum beyond hearsay me thinks :shocked:


OK, if you don't feel inclined to take my word for it, or are worried I might be joshing or even fibbing, for god's sake, here's an image for you. :lol:

This was done with a Stellacam II at 10-seconds, and my Xtreme can easily best this. I just haven't been back to the Hickons. ;)

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#30 mclewis1

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:32 AM

Mark - not convinced cooling is essential [for my 'cool' running Lodestar] at <60s exp [get saturation in <2m @ f/3.6] but removing my severe orange LP via software does take a hit on data. LP filters before cam [which I've tried] needs increased exposure so a no-win option.

What we need is a Mallincam v Lodestar/others unbiased head-to-head on same DSO, same exposure and similar scope but don't think, on this forum, unbiased is going to happen :grin:

Maurice,

I agree, not essential but the cooling does make life a lot easier noise wise. Your work clearly shows the benefits of one alternative approach (stacking) to reducing image noise.

The physical filter issue is just one of the many realities of imaging. It's interesting that a number of Mallincam owners are pushing the exposure capabilities to enable some form of viewing under severely light polluted skies. Instead of 15-60s exposures they are going with multiple minutes. The filters are not the general LP type but rather very restrictive narrow band models. They of course now need good accurate tracking from their mounts but the results have been very surprising. The cameras are being worked very hard (and in a manner that Rock never originally designed them for but he has been gradually increasing this capability with each new model). In order to handle this more demanding type of viewing/imaging the cooling capabilities have been further improved (with the X2 model with it's improved cold finger and upgraded cooling control).

This is of course all very similar to the multiple filter narrow band imaging many folks with traditional imaging cameras are doing.

Yeah I'd also love to see some good well managed head to head comparisons.

#31 A. Viegas

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:13 AM

Hickson 50 - on the Mallincam Website: Hickson 50

as the caption describes, SCT 10" 15 seconds. no processing whatsoever.

And here is another image, from this forum using 10" Newtonian and 56sec exposure, but under a full moon: Hickson50 under full moon

So... lets see the lodestar with same factors, 15 seconds and 56 seconds, no processing or tweaking.

:gotpopcorn:

Al

#32 ccs_hello

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:37 AM

... The new Orion G3 camera ...

Please note that G3 when it first showed up in the market, the software isn't mature enough and got a few negative feedbacks. I think for "imaging", the situation has improved. For LiveView (it's part of the product description), there is no user feedback up to this day. So the result can go one way or the other.

Clear Skies!

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#33 ccs_hello

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:56 AM

I do not recommend any head-to-head comparison that one side is a picture published in a website while the original picture publisher has not given the chance to defend himself, nor all info are disclosed.

We need scientifically provable/repeatable apple-to-apple comparison.
- under the same observation condition (LP and temperature)
- if using a filter, both have to use the same filter
- using the same OTA and same aux optics (e.g., focal reducer set at the same reduction ratio),
- document all camera parameters set (gain, exp time, gamma, etc.),
- present the data as original as possible. I.e. do not scale, do not process <-- if possible (some devices cannot defeat such settings), do as little compression as possible. Use astrobin or other sites to publish the data.

I.e., no details, no need to say mine is better than yours or even someone else' is better than another person's.
Adding non-scientifically quantified/qualified terms certainly is not helping. E.g., "million" times better. <-- is it an adjective or really means 10^6 (translated to 20 stops) better capability to gather photon flux :).


P.S. Actually, in my own 0.02 view, I don't need any convincing. An extremely-high gain image system will definitely "see" more, so long as I can live with the noise level and spatial resolution.
Everything in life is a tradeoff.

P.S. the art of how to optimize these design parameters is well known (a few strategies and can be used in combination.) It's a matter that the astro-imaging/viewing market is so small that there aren't many players here. In that small market, majority of mfgs are concentrated in astro-imaging market and little on near-realtime view market. The situation changes a bit in recent days. Some began to re-purpose the imaging devices designed for one sector to the other (jack up the system gain and willing to tolerate low S/N), while the other side is building devices which can be dual-purposed (let smart brain - the computer software to do a better job, even possible in near-realtime.)
The world is turning and so should we.


Clear Skies!

ccs_hello

#34 jujumaster

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:00 AM

Norden,
There is nifty little thing called a field de-rotator you can use for Alt-Az mounts. It looks a bit like a filter wheel and is a bit pricy, but it allows you to go beyond 60s. Rock Mallin uses it on his Alt-Az setup with great success.

Thanks,
Ian

#35 rmollise

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:03 AM

I do not recommend any head-to-head comparison that one side is a picture published in a website.

We need scientifically provable/repeatable apple-to-apple comparison.


I ask again...have you actually USED a Mallincam or Stellacam? For one thing, while the video cameras can produce decent stills, their true forte is video images in near real time. If you don't like that, or think your DSI is better hooked to a computer, have fun. ;)

#36 nytecam

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 05:19 AM

I do not recommend any head-to-head comparison that one side is a picture published in a website while the original picture publisher has not given the chance to defend himself, nor all info are disclosed. Clear Skies! ccs_hello

Exactly but unless one person/group uses the various camera[s] on same night and same equipment etc etc it ain't going to happen. :grin:

Below is my 0.02 with Hickson 50 in UMa from last night in 60s exp [sorry don't do video 56s!] via 12"SCT + SX Lodestar-C and ALL 5 gxys A-E recorded and annotated inset - not too bad for my LP London skies :grin:

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#37 Stew57

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:31 AM

How do you get such dark looking sky at 60seconds? Both of my mallincams give a bright sky at anything over 40 seconds. Is there a filter for galaxies or some processing?

#38 Dwight J

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:47 PM

It's called post processing.

#39 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:52 PM

Maurice's dark skies result from the use of a software 'filter' to cut out sky glow. I believe he doesn't use a physical filter, either!

#40 Dwight J

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:33 PM

Must be quite the filter. This would be a revolution in astroimaging. Must be similar to the filter that adds color to the final raw image output of the Lodestar C camera. "This means that your ‘raw’ images are initially
black and white, with a ‘tiled’ look, owing to the filter grid. Conversion into colour is usually handled
by processing the raw images on the following day, when you can take time to optimise the colour
balance, saturation etc." is a quote from the manual for the camera so any images that are in color have been post-processed. Various "challenges" by Nytcam to the output of a Mallincam would be bogus as the Mallincam does not require any post processing to get a color image. The real challenge would be to see the various cameras in action on NSN but I won't hold my breath.

#41 Stew57

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:25 PM

He gets a lot out of his setup but with my lack of processing skill (read none) and my lack of time (you could insert laziness also) I will have to stick with my mallincams. I willhave to admitt that mpgxsvcd has me looking real hard at a GH3 later this year.

#42 norden

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:49 PM

Thanks friends for all your answers and thoughts! I've come a long way in my decision. It will be a Mallincam VSS. I think more exposure range is an advantage against hyper plus. The question now is which sensor to select? Exview HAD CCD sensor seems to be a sensor for me. Short exposures with my ALT/AZ mount. Are there any of you who use this sensor and have experience with it. Please let me know.

#43 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:37 PM

Norden,
My camera has the EXview HAD sensor, or some variant; I can't remember the details. To see what it can do with 30-56 second exposures on a C8 with f/3.3 focal reducer, go to page 86 of the image gallery at the top of this forum.

You should contact Rock Mallin for advice on the best CCD to have installed.

#44 Stew57

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:52 PM

I would opt for the class 0 chip whichever flavor I chose. I am not wanting to start a war but the class 0 chip (however Rock measures it) does have less hot pixels that the standard chip. I have one of each and the "star" fields of the closs 0 chip is much closer to reality. When doing 50 seconds at half gain the standard chip I have shows about 25 or so nice round tight stars more than the class 0 chip. For a lot (most) objects it won't make a difference but it just bugs me for some reason :crazy:

#45 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:08 PM

My chip is a class 0, and has one hot, three moderately hot, and about three dozen warm pixels.

#46 Stew57

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:21 PM

How long an integration do you have to do at middle gain setting for the warm pixels show?

#47 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:43 PM

I can't recall to any exactitude, as I didn't test for this, but it requires something like 10(?) seconds at mid-gain for those warm pixels to show up. I'll have to look into this...

#48 Stew57

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:10 PM

My VSS class 1 has a constellation of stars I can count on at 20 seconds with low gain, no matter where I point the scope.

#49 mattflastro

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:59 PM

My VSS class 1 has a constellation of stars I can count on at 20 seconds with low gain, no matter where I point the scope.

is it changing with ambient temperature ?

#50 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:05 AM

As to any change in the warm/hot pixels with ambient temperature, I haven't looked for such a relationship.






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