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need help choosing: grasshopper3 vs. atik460ex

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#1 prefetch


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Posted 25 May 2013 - 05:09 PM

atik 460ex: ICX694, 2/3", 6MP, 4.54 pixel, 77% QE, 16 bits, 2750x2200, USB2
grasshopper 3: ICX674, 2/3", 6MP, 4.54 pixel, 77% QE, 16 bits, 1932x1452, USB3

so, the big difference is that the grasshopper can do 26 frames/sec video at 1920x1440, which is awesome for planetary/lunar live viewing imho.

i really want actual realtime video, and from what i understand, the atik simply won't do this.

the atik will do beautiful DSO work, but obviously not in realtime, but it seems like the grasshopper would do DSO (non-realtime) pretty well - so i'm thinking the grasshopper is like the best of both worlds (non-realtime DSO and realtime planetary/lunar.)

i'm feeling a little paralyzed.

am i thinking about this right?

i plan to put the camera on a C11.

#2 Mick Hyde

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 06:29 PM

I love my Atik 460ex for DSO's and use a Skynyx 2-0M or DMK for planetary/Moon work.

#3 Rick J

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 09:57 PM

Neither in my opinion. The Atik is designed for long exposure DSO work not high speed video. The Grasshopper is designed for that but for bright objects like planets and the moon. DSO images in short exposures can't capture many photons even if 100% efficient. Noise photons will be nearly as plentiful so little is seen in say 1/10th of a second.

Better is something like MallinCam http://mallincam.tripod.com/ . It will allow longer exposures such as 10 seconds to be added together to show a sort of real time image.

It won't begin to match what the ATIK can do used as it is designed to be used nor can it do for planetary imaging what a camera designed for that use can. It must compromise to do both. But for sharing at a star party or public even a camera like the MallinCam is the best choice.

GStar might also work. When I had a chance to compare them in 2011 the MallinCam won by a rather wide margin. I've seen claims that is no longer true but no experience. MallinCam is US made while GStar comes from Australia I believe. That might influence the choice if they are equals today.

For better info try the video forum here. This isn't our specialty here. http://www.cloudynig...Cat/0/Board/VAA


#4 prefetch


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Posted 25 May 2013 - 11:02 PM

rick, thanks for the info. i've researched mallincam, and spent some time on the video sub, and there are many, many diehard mallincam fans there, which is great. i've also spent some time on the night sky network watching mallincams (although slightly degraded over the internet.)

my problem with the mallincam is the low resolution. my display is very large (90") and the low resolution image isn't going to work very well for me.

i think i'd rather buy both the atik and the grasshopper than make compromise "middle" choice.

i guess i'm leaning towards getting the grasshopper because of the high resolution video, plus, you can do 30 second exposure times (according to the documentation), and i believe you can stack them in near-realtime to achieve some level of DSO use. if this is true, then it seems like a very attractive device.

#5 wolfman_4_ever



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Posted 26 May 2013 - 12:30 AM

mallincam is canadian made

the grasshopper line and all pgr line does not have a cooler on the chip. ur gonna get hot pixels

you can jumper 2 pins on the gpio connector on the grasshopper and do up to 99min exposures but your software has to support it. the now defunct astroiidc could do this i think flycapture can do this. you're still left with no cooler. there are some docs to make your own unregulated cooler but dew becomes an issue. there's pictures out there with samples.

fear not, there is a new astro video company starting up info found here.

I have the grasshopper express 2.8 same as the gh3 but firewire version. I tried that cooler but my high humidity caused a lot of dew in the camera.. I did not get into adding a desiccant pack.

#6 prefetch


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Posted 26 May 2013 - 10:34 AM

>fear not, there is a new astro video company starting up info found here.

thanks, my eyes are bleeding from how badly that website is designed!

hey, so how do you like your grasshopper?? do you have any vids that you can post?

are there aftermarket coolers?

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