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supernova in M65

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#1 nytecam

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 02:22 AM

Anyone tried for the new SN 2013am in M65 in Leo :question: Here's my 30sec screen grab from last night via M12 @ f/3.6 SCT + Starlight Xpress Lodestar-C CCD cam in video-like download loop - no processing. A deeper 160s processed image here :grin:

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#2 geminijk

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 03:08 AM

Haven't caught it yet, clouds are persisting, but always great to see your captures! Nice one.

John

#3 ahopp

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 07:13 AM

Great Job.

Tony

#4 ccs_hello

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 07:46 AM

Looks nice Maurice!

Your examples showed the benefit of high(er) S/N does serve some good purposes. This is the classic case that (1) "I want to see it now regardless" vs. (2) "I want to see a better picture that I can identify something clearer".

Not a pro and con debate, just wish to show forum members that high S/N is a nice attribute to have (and there is no free lunch.)

Clear Skies!

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#5 canadiens

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:29 AM

Here's my attempt from a screenshot of my broadcast last night at Mar 29 23:08 EDT using Mallincam MCX excellent conditions and a rare 40% humidity.

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#6 canadiens

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:33 AM

A close up using the digital zoom (8)on a Mallincam MCX with a C14 hyperstar @ f/1.9 on a G11 Mount, excellent conditions and crazy low (40%) humidity.

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#7 ccs_hello

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:51 AM

I hope forum won't object (just to show S/N difference.) I tried side by side comparison.
Actually MCX (even with digital zoom added) is quite impressive.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello

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#8 ccs_hello

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:54 AM

Also note the optical assembly is different and the image sensors used are different.
(Fast lens and larger pixel pitch gather more light, i.e., better "S" to begin with.)

Original pic size:

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#9 Chris A

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:23 AM

I am really glad ccd_hello that you and not on of us Mallincam owners brought this important discussion up "thank you"! Yes your right regarding the different set-ups esp. for focal ratio difference. The big key here is that the Mallincam image is a single none processed image that one can view in minutes on the spot rather then capturing several images and post processing them later. The Mallincam does most of the processing for you within the camera since it is a true video feed. This is a truly special camera and that is why we MC owners talk so highly about these cameras even though people think we are always bragging.

Very nice captures BTW!!

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#10 Chris A

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:33 AM

Very nice near-live capture Mike!! May I ask what was the exposure rate and AGC used please? This is why when people ask me if the C9.25 or C8 in Hyperstar config is good with the Mallincam, I respond not really unless you plan on viewing only the larger objects like nebulas or M31 etc. On smaller objects esp. the Springtime galaxy season many of the objects are not that large and even using your C14 you had to go into the digital zoom. Thank goodness this zoom feature in the Mallincam is very good. I would suggest though you stay at about 50% zoom max which provides the best results. Your image at zoom 8 is very nice but I would have loved to see it at zoom 4. Something to try in the future and compare for yourself.

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#11 canadiens

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:21 PM

Hi Chris, Glad to see you back broadcasting again after a long winter! My settings were C14 @ f1.9 Hyperstar on a Celestron G11, AGC 2, APC H3 V5,135 sec int. I need a lot more experience to learn and pick up the subtleties in this type of imaging. Thanks for the compliment.

#12 mclewis1

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 05:43 PM

A C14 operating with a Hyperstar is around 675mm focal length which is very similar image scale wise to a C8 with an .33x (SCT f3.3) focal reducer which is a pretty popular setup with a Mallincam for most objects.

A C9.25 with a Hyperstar at 540mm is very similar to an 80mm scope with a .8x focal reducer (also a popular setup). An 80mm scope with a .5x focal reducer makes for a very useful wide field setup on things like extended Ha regions ... but not so much on planetaries and most galaxies.

As always everything is a trade off. We'd all like better image scale on smaller objects but they tend to be faint and require faster f ratios. Increasing the aperture (and focal length) helps of course but at the expense of having to use a bigger more expensive mount to carry the scope.

#13 nytecam

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 03:39 AM

Also note the optical assembly is different and the image sensors used are different.
(Fast lens and larger pixel pitch gather more light, i.e., better "S" to begin with.)

Thanks ccs_hello for your montage and comments - as always most welcome :bow:. For me what's remarkable is the close similarity of the two images despite different cams/ scopes/ optics/ locations/ altitude/ sky conditions etc.

Chris says the Mallincam creates the finished image without processing but this is not entirely true - the user adjusts and tweaks the numerous cam perameters in the download loop to get the most pleasing result. These may satisfy further objects with the same exposure. My uncooled Lodestar OSC CCD cam uses no 'enhancing' internal hardware and downloads raw images for post tweaking to best effect free from video artefacts like 'black-star-halos' etc. Horses-for-courses :lol:

#14 mattflastro

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 04:09 AM

I am really glad ccd_hello that you and not on of us Mallincam owners brought this important discussion up "thank you"! ...
The big key here is that the Mallincam image is a single none processed image ...
The Mallincam does most of the processing for you within the camera since it is a true video feed. This is a truly special camera and that is why we MC owners talk so highly about these cameras even though people think we are always bragging.

...
Chris A
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Nice images straight from the camera with no processing :grin: Yeah right !
Except for the following processing ALL done on the PC after image capture :
- curves adjustment
- amp glow removal filter
- 2 different noise filters "smoother" and "smart smoother" filter
- 2 different sharpening filters "warp sharp" and "unsharp mask" .
All these filters being applied to every single frame by the Windows PC and not by the camera.
Plus the new stacking of up to 5 frames ???
That's what mallincam users brag about when they claim their cameras are "live video" and there is "no pc processing".

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#15 mattflastro

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 04:11 AM

here's the curves applied by the PC software after capture of Mallincam images:

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#16 mattflastro

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 04:13 AM

and for good measure, the good old amp glow removal filter on the PC of course in software after image capture :

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#17 ahopp

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:22 AM

Mattflastro,

I do send the s-video to my Mac Book Pro, I also run the camera controls from the Mac. So, I believe that there is some processing that you can do to adjust the live feed on the Mac screen as you mentioned, although, I believe you can turn just about all of it off.

I use Miloslik Scientific software called Mallincam Control to control the camera setting.

But, I output the composite feed directly to my 12VDC tv, so, I believe that the output to the TV is unprocessed by the computer. Of course, the camera has internal processes, but no pc processing for this setup.

Tony

#18 mclewis1

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:32 AM

Folks, I think there is some miss understanding on all fronts going on here.

First, the onboard image processing the video Mallincam performs is very limited. Gain, sharpness, and white balance ... and because of the way these controls are implemented they are not constantly tweaked. You set the camera up and leave it alone. The majority of that most folks describe as video image processing is performed by the device driver of the frame grabber, the video display app itself, any additional video filter apps, or on the video monitor. You can apply as few or as many of these as you desire. The simplest setup is the external video monitor without a PC, and with that setup you only adjust the brightness, contrast and sometimes the color controls on the monitor.

The Starlight Xpress software for the LodeStar that's required to run the camera performs essentially the same image processing functions. An image is downloaded and the software gives you ability to adjust and apply a variety of filters to the displayed image, and many of these controls and filters can be applied in an automated fashion. This is a very useful capability to achieve something close to live viewing from what is architecturally a single shot camera.

Nice images straight from the camera with no processing Yeah right !

Matt, The images that Mike has posted here are not processed in the fashion that Chris has demonstrated on his NSN broadcast so IMHO that's not a fair comment or criticism. From what I understand Mike is using the MCV-1E frame grabber so the black levels are adjusted, then it's simply brightness and contrast as the image is captured on the PC. No filters and such are used.

Chris has been working with some interesting add on filter processing, something the majority of Mallincam users don't and likely won't use. Some of these image processing filters are also being incorporated into some of the Mallincam control apps. This will provide a similar capability to what Maurice is already doing with his LodeStar software.

#19 mclewis1

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:49 AM

My uncooled Lodestar OSC CCD cam uses no 'enhancing' internal hardware and downloads raw images for post tweaking to best effect free from video artefacts like 'black-star-halos' etc.

Maurice, The only "enhancing" internal hardware the Mallincam provides is for gain, sharpness, and length of exposure, do you mean to suggest that the Lodestar hardware doesn't enhance the gain of an image or alter the length of the exposure?

The "black-star-halos" are a video artifact but you can have video images without the halos. They are visible because of sharpness and high gain used to shorten exposures for live viewing on video cameras. Run a Mallincam Xtreme in CCD mode (no AGC) and with the sharpness adjusted and you don't get any halos ... but are still displaying a video image.

Now having said that I will certainly concede that viewed on a PC a Lodestar will download "prettier" images compared to a Mallincam in it's default modes. There's simply less going on with the Lodestar images where the Mallincam's video has to be converted to get to the PC.

Edit: to correct the video artifact comment.

#20 Atl

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:01 AM

Really amazing. Just a few years back stuff like this was primarily the domain of big observatories. Video has really leveled the field!

#21 mattflastro

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 12:52 PM

My uncooled Lodestar OSC CCD cam uses no 'enhancing' internal hardware and downloads raw images for post tweaking to best effect free from video artefacts like 'black-star-halos' etc.

Maurice, The only "enhancing" internal hardware the Mallincam provides is for gain, sharpness, and length of exposure, do you mean to suggest that the Lodestar hardware doesn't enhance the gain of an image or alter the length of the exposure?

The "black-star-halos" are a video artifact but you can have video images without the halos. They are visible because of sharpness and high gain used to shorten exposures for live viewing on video cameras. Run a Mallincam Xtreme in CCD mode (no AGC) and with the sharpness adjusted and you don't get any halos ... but are still displaying a video image.

Now having said that I will certainly concede that viewed on a PC a Lodestar will download "prettier" images compared to a Mallincam in it's default modes. There's simply less going on with the Lodestar images where the Mallincam's video has to be converted to get to the PC.

Edit: to correct the video artifact comment.

I took a look at the Miloslick camera "control" software . The so called control does image sharpening, white level adjustment, black level adjustment, DARK FRAME subtraction, FRame Stacking (with the options of number of frames, sum, average and rollup). Whether these are done in the camera or on the PC is not clear, but it's clear the Lodestar or the video cameras of other brands are not using such processing . This extra (and hidden, denied and never spoken about by mallincam users) processing might give non-mallincam users the wrong impression regarding what is possible in hardware and what is due to software processing .

#22 Dwight J

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 03:21 PM

"but it's clear the Lodestar or the video cameras of other brands are not using such processing" Sometimes one should really be sure of themselves before making such claims. Her
e is an excerpt right from the Lodestar C camera manual:"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." Here is the url of the manual if you don't believe me: http://www.sxccd.com...ar 'Colour'.pdf Seems like some cameras need to have some post processing done in order to display color images and minus "the grid". I had a Starlight Xpress MX7C camera and the steps to get a color image are the same as for the Lodestar C. Who knows what other processing is done. Video cameras can output to a TV and adjustments made using the TV controls for brightness, contrast, hue, color saturation, and sharpness. With Mallincams there is control of gain, white balance, and sharpness. Unless I am broadcasting on NSN, I view images on a CRT TV screen, no computer required. I guess this is the "hidden" part of using a video camera. Images I have posted have been obtained by capturing a still from a DVD recording of a live session. Just thought I would clear up any misleading information. And some nice images of the supernova there Maurice and Mike.

#23 Atl

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 05:21 PM

Is not any on board adjustment processing? Gain, sens up, gamma, white balance, etc... all processing. There is no "purity" to be found. The whole operation of a low light camera or any ccd is the pure processing of electricity. In my opinion any technology that helps you see what is there is good to go. BUT neither should individuals malign the use of cheaper tech as if those people were unenlightened. Ultimately this argument is just keeping up with the jones'...just economics. It is ridiculous that the wonder of seeing a supernova in an alien galaxy is ignored in order to make petty assertions about people based on their choice of hardware.

#24 mclewis1

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:25 PM

Matt,

1) There's no hidden, denied or whatever stuff going on ... the internal functions of the Mallincam are well documented. Just look up the OSD functions or run the Mallincam Xtreme Control software (the Stephan Lalonde product) and have a look at the Advanced tab - that's what's in the camera. Look at the Video tab - that's what's being done outside in the PC software. If it's not clear when using the MiloSlick software and you want to know what the software is doing on it's own just ask the author - Bill Koperwhats.

It's entirely clear what is done internally to the camera and therefore by default what is being done in any control/display software.

2) Have you looked at the Starlight Xpress software for the Lodestar? level adjustments, stretching, filtering, stacking, etc. it's all there.

3) Other video cameras have similar internal controls as the Mallincam with gain (AGC), white balance, and sharpness (APC). What they don't have is the Hyper circuitry which controls longer exposures. Some of the Mallincam's also have extended controls for the onboard cooling.

Run a Mallincam Xtreme standalone (no PC) and you get one level of capabilities, run it with a PC control app that has no video display capabilities and you'll get the same capabilities. Run it with a control app that also has video display capabilities and you'll now get another more advanced level of capabilities ... and in the future there will be even more advanced image enhancement capabilities.

With a Mallincam and the new advanced control software and you will indeed get many more functions and capabilities than what you'll find on any other video cameras ... that's called added value.

#25 Chris A

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 11:36 PM

Thank you for the information Mike and again very nice near-live unprocessed image!

Chris A
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