Optimal Camera For Edge HD
Posted 10 May 2013 - 09:55 AM
I have a Edge HD 8 and an Orion ED80T. Up until now I have been doing some DSLR photography but I have been asked several times to do some outreach with elementary school age kids. Kids can be hard to impress and when I have had my daugher and her friends look through the eyepiece it is hard for them to see much besides Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon. While they are impressed with that it does make for a short program.
I have an Optec F7 compressor for the SCT but I am not sure if that would be benificial with the right adapter for a video camera. Would the Samsung or Lodestar cameras be capable of viewing DSO's with either of these scopes at those F ratios? The only option I see to get lower with either of these is going to the Hyperstar for the Edge but then I am approaching the Mallincam and MFR5 price range.
Sorry I know this type of question has been asked a thousand times in one form or another. Any advice would be appreciated.
Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:06 AM
DSO's look like on the laptop/monitor/etc just like you would expect them to. At outreach events attendees do not have to avert their vision and guess what they are looking it. It is all their in living color.
Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:16 AM
The smaller chips in a Mallincam will allow you to use a focal reducer as is. You would have to use the crop modes in a DSLR type camera in order to avoid coma issues. That actually works quite well though. I use Panasonic micro four thirds cameras and when I want to avoid coma I just set it to use a lossless 2x crop of the center of the sensor. Then it has the same sized sensor as a Malincam and I can use focal reducers then.
There is a new Panasonic camera called the GF6 that will allow you to stream the live view from the camera directly to an iPad, computer, or any phone. I have found that it is the best way to do outreach with kids. I can hand them an inexpensive tablet or phone and let them observe anywhere within wireless range of the scope. Then they are not touching the scope and I don't have to worry about powering an external monitor.
I have not tested the specific sensor in this camera so I really do not know if it is good or not. However, the new Panasonic GF6 is $600 and would be wonderful for outreach just like my GH3 is if that sensor turns out to be similar to what the GH3 has.
There is also another similar camera called the Panasonic G6 that is a little more expensive at $749. It will do everything that the GF6 will do and a few minor things that the GF6 can't.
In addition all of these cameras will shoot 1080p video in a 2.6x crop mode that will be ideal for solar system objects. I still love taking images of the moon with my cameras.
Here is a sample image of what my GH3 produces in camera.
M27 70 seconds ISO 3200 F4.0
Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:33 PM
Any advice would be appreciated.
You will likely end up kicking yourself. Save up a few hundred more and buy a used Mallincam. I have a VSS+ in my collection and in some ways find it better than my Xtremes. I wouldn't trade the VSS for a truckload of Samsungs or Loadstars.
Check out a few video forums and read the read the comments of people with older Mallincams. No complaints and plenty of photos of DSO's the other cameras can only dream about.
Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:02 PM
You really need to get that focal ratio down and the only way to do that is to add a focal reducer. In addition, if the sensor of the camera is too large then you will have coma issues.
No, as you said, you can get a larger ccd with larger pixels and then no need for a focal reducer. Not practical with video. Not cheap. Integration is longer. Not sure how you would have coma on a scope that does not have (very small, if any) coma.........
Posted 13 May 2013 - 03:27 PM