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Video Camera Advice for astro

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#26 Stew57

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 10:35 PM

Here EMCCD for half price :grin:

http://www.surveilla...-video-1-2-c...

#27 ccs_hello

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 10:41 PM

Watch out for that one.
Inconsistent description throughout.
Still talking about the regular QE figure and interline CCD...

The EMCCD image senor itself:
http://phxatl.com/da...eets/tc285.html

#28 issdaol

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 11:03 PM

the original poster said he had no real budgetary concerns so I don't see the value in suggesting a modified security camera. In fact I think it important to point out for newbies that a Samsung or one of those Chinese Ntech cameras require some modification to work with your astro equipment. Hence it's not like you can just open the FedEx box and start imaging right away, rather with some of these cameras you need to remove Filters or solder wires and then deal with control interfaces not designed for astronomy.

Personally I do not have the patience nor interest in DIY video astronomy, that is why I went with a mallincam extreme. It worked great within 10 minutes of putting it into the SCT visual back. I am sure we will see a new generation of higher resolution video cameras for astronomy over the next few years... But for now for true live imaging, the Extreme is a great product and given the OP low priority on how much is spent, it seems we should fous on the higher end products. Heck, I am curious too... What can $5k or $10k buy in ultra high end video astronomy? :question:

Al


Hi Al,

Thanks for keeping a practical perspective on this :-)

I have just had a quick look at some of the scientific cameras/sensors and they look very interesting.

If I had the time I am sure I could get something operational.

However at this stage my preference is to buy a fully integrated "top end" live view cam for astronomy

It seems that out of all of the posts there are 2 recommendations for Mallincam Extreme.

I am surprised that the Mallincam seems to be the only fully integrated "top end" live view cam for astronomy. Or are there better spec'd options out there still??

cheers

#29 mattflastro

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:20 AM

Watch out for that one.
Inconsistent description throughout.
Still talking about the regular QE figure and interline CCD...

The EMCCD image senor itself:
http://phxatl.com/da...eets/tc285.html

A few years ago I was working on a project with one of the smaller Impactron ccd's when TI just discontinued the chip. I wasn't aware that any of the family is still available.

#30 Dwight J

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 03:56 AM

Predictable eh. Now that the water is sufficiently muddied you may be regretting asking the original question. I started with a Mallincam and seemed to have figured out how to use it and was up and running the first night. The low end cams are not turnkey and for me, I like remote control without needing an engineering degree , cooling, and long exposure capability.

#31 mclewis1

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:03 AM

SCB-4000
http://www.surveilla...ucts&kw=scb4...


That's hilarious...I should have played it off instead of being a jerk. What an accurate mistake.


It is funny ... and an honest mistake. Neat way to learn about a new camera though.

We can only hope that this and other 1/2" cameras do indeed come down more in price ... :praying:

#32 John59

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:08 PM

Of course if Mono is ok as it is with me, there is always the StellaCam III, Black and white and cooled. Still sold through Optcorp.
http://www.optcorp.c...t.aspx?pid=9300

#33 Atl

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 03:20 PM

Predictable eh. Now that the water is sufficiently muddied you may be regretting asking the original question. I started with a Mallincam and seemed to have figured out how to use it and was up and running the first night. The low end cams are not turnkey and for me, I like remote control without needing an engineering degree , cooling, and long exposure capability.


I wouldn't say that the non dedicated cams are not turnkey. My camera is very easy. That Mintron model has been and still is being sold as dedicated astronomy and microscope cameras. I am fairly certain that they were sold as the Gstar for a time.

#34 mclewis1

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:08 PM

Some cameras are turnkey, some aren't, and on those often the degree of modification depends on what you want to get out of a camera. Creating anything remotely close to a StellaCam III or a Mallincam is very difficult.

The most common mod is to remove the IR filter. On most security cameras this is a fairly simple mechanical mod, not electrical. On many cameras this makes a dramatic improvement in sensitivity.
Adding the wires for a remote handbox is a bit more involved, you need reasonable soldering skills as the points to attach to are very small. Some cameras now have an external connector and this makes this mod/upgrade much easier.
Cooling mods are much much more involved (cold finger under the CCD, physically mounting the Peltier cooler, re organizing the interior to get heat away from the Peltier cooler, etc. You need electrical knowledge, fine soldering skills, metal work skills, etc.
Re programming the DSP in some of the latest cameras is well beyond the capabilities of the vast majority of folks around here.

#35 issdaol

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:39 AM

Hi All,

Thanks for all the input. It appear that although there are some very good scientific camera options the only real high performance turnkey solution that matches what I want is the Mallincam.

Thx for the help

cheers

#36 mattflastro

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 01:05 PM

Hi All,

Thanks for all the input. It appear that although there are some very good scientific camera options the only real high performance turnkey solution that matches what I want is the Mallincam.

Thx for the help

cheers

What is your definition of "turnkey solution" ?
Any of those scientific cameras are turnkey, they don't require any modifications.
They just need a nosepiece and a power cable.
If you have the funds to buy a $10k camera, is a nosepiece a problem ? Just keeping things in perspective .

#37 Dwight J

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 01:44 PM

Lost another to the dark side eh Matt.

#38 Atl

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:02 PM

I agree. I have noted that the camera I own is sold as a dedicated security camera, a dedicated microscope camera and a dedicated astronomy camera. Mallincam is undoubtedly good, but this doesn't lessen other choices.

#39 mattflastro

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:09 PM

I agree. I have noted that the camera I own is sold as a dedicated security camera, a dedicated microscope camera and a dedicated astronomy camera. Mallincam is undoubtedly good, but this doesn't lessen other choices.

One of the previous posters referred to Princeton Instruments EMCCD cameras, used for real time video astronomy and lucky imaging.
It doesn't get any more real time and live than that but to some Mallincam zealots, or shills, it's always "Mallincam is the only real video high performance tur(n)key cam".

#40 Stew57

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:13 PM

There is always these to try out
http://www.andor.com...ixon-ultra-8...

Or maybe someone buy one of these for me
http://www.princeton...mcam/versarray/

Actually anything on this page is acceptable
http://www.princeton...products/imcam/

Point is there are a lot more expensive equipment out there if one has the $$$.

#41 Dwight J

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:27 PM

I don't think we will see images from the megabuck systems on this forum. Kinda like seeing the 200" Palomar on the reflector forum.

#42 issdaol

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:27 AM

Hi Guys,

I have not made any decision 100% in any direction.

It just seems that the Mellincam Extreme fits criteria at a very reasonable price with minimum to zero changes.

Similar decision for purchasing my Tak Mewlon 300 and Tak EM400 mount some years back.

They were not the cheapest and also not the most expensive possibility on the market.

However they did represent a high quality turnkey solution.

I will probably put much more research into some of the other cameras but as mentioned I am only just starting out on Live Video Astronomy so have a lot to learn and understand which is why I asked for opinions and advice.

Cheers

#43 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:10 AM

I don't think we will see images from the megabuck systems on this forum. Kinda like seeing the 200" Palomar on the reflector forum.


What is "megabuck" to you? $3000 might be megabuck to some.

#44 Atl

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:39 AM

Well to me anything over $1000 is too much...no matter what it does. Any single piece of equipment over $1000 is out. When you get past that mark the bang for buck declines rapidly. This hobby is fun, but I have no illusions that I will discover anything that hasn't already been seen about 20 billion times. My current camera was $130 used. It is the same camera sold by Gstar as their black and white unit. It does quite well. I will get a color unit eventually, but I am not breaking the bank to do it.

#45 Dwight J

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 01:45 AM

Most people buy what they can afford or spend to what level their interest is. I don't have a $30,000 Harley, a $70,000 boat, or a private plane. I do have a 49cc Honda Ruckus scooter though. And a one man pontoon fishing platform. I happen to have a life-long passion for astronomy so I don't see spending more on equipment as any different than my neighbor's Harley moneypit. And most objects have not been seen 20 billion times. Most have been imaged on sky surveys but never observed or categorized. Just check out galaxyzoo.org. And astronomy is one of the few sciences that amateurs can contribute to in a very meaningful way. I suffer no delusions that I will discover anything but I do want a trouble free night with the best images I can put up and that means having spent a few bucks on equipment. On the CCD forum I don't see guys using FLI or SBIG cameras having to defend how much they spend on their cameras. A FLI filter wheel costs what my Mallincam did.

#46 David Pavlich

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 10:06 AM

As a former boater, I know what a money pit it can become, although I must say, I enjoyed the heck out of having a boat. I used to do a lot of shooting as well. Owned several nice firearms and did all my own reloading. Hobbies all, and you can spend as much or as little as you find needed to make your hobby what you want it to be.

And you're right, Dwight. While I've spent a goodly amount on our hobby, all of my equipment together doesn't come up to a fully dressed Harley Davidson...not even close. And since some of those astrobucks were spent on my 8X8 backyard rolloff, most of my enjoyment is about 25' from the back door. :grin:

It's all in what you wish to make of it; spend a little or spend a lot. It's all good!

David

#47 Grue

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:32 AM

I'm looking hard at the MallinCam Micro as my entry point into this hobby. Not too much invested, but seems like its a turn-key and capable cam. The biggest thing is it will let me get everything figured out and decide if I really enjoy AstroVid and want to put more money into it. Then I can graduate to something bigger if I decide want to pursue broadcasting and more outreach.

#48 dragonslayer1

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 07:00 AM

Well said Dwight, Kasey

#49 will w

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:33 AM

Hi Grue, what you are saying makes very good sense. there are lots of video cams that can be used for astronomy.i guess its all about money. how much do you wont to spend. regardless of how much you spend on any cam. the cam will only do so much.just my 2 cents . will w

#50 Dragon Man

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 12:20 AM

I'm looking hard at the MallinCam Micro as my entry point into this hobby. Not too much invested, but seems like its a turn-key and capable cam. The biggest thing is it will let me get everything figured out and decide if I really enjoy AstroVid and want to put more money into it. Then I can graduate to something bigger if I decide want to pursue broadcasting and more outreach.


G'day Grue.

With Video cameras it is the same as buying a telescope.
You can start astronomy with a Supermarket 70mm achromat on a Wobblitronic Mount to test the waters and see if you like astronomy, only to get frustrated at the faint smudgy views and the wobbling mount, and give up (how many millions of those cheap 70mm scopes end up dust-covered in the garage or buried at the back of the cupboard forever).
Or spend that bit more and get a simple but effective 8" Dobsonian Reflector from a Telescope shop and see some serious stuff.

The 8" Dob will keep you interested and excited more than a 70mm Wobblitronic El-Cheaposcope.
Then, when you are ready and you want to see even more detail, and go deeper, you start looking at 16" Dobsonians, SCT's, or Apo Refractors.

I believe it is the same with our Video cameras. We should start with something we know that works, and works well, or we suffer the Wobblitronic El-Cheaposcope saga and get put off.

The Micro is a fantastic 'starting point'. It's a bit like that 8" Dob. It won't show you super great detail on super deep objects, but it also won't put you off. Not like stuffing about modifying a cheap security camera which is a bit like the Wobblitronic.
The Micro will certainly whet your appetite with some terrific results, making you want to go that bit better as soon as possible.
With Telescopes it's 'Aperture Fever'.
With Video it's 'Sensor Fever' :roflmao:

The Micro will excite you enough to want to play with bigger toys :lol:
not put you off with disappointing results and having to 'home modify' a cheap CCTV camera.








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