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Suggestions for OSC camera for wide-field imaging

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#1 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 08:21 PM

Normally I image from my observatory and use an Atik 383L mono camera. Recently I've started travelling to darker sky locations and taking a travel astrophotography setup for wide-field imaging (CG-5 mount, 383L camera with 55mm & 135mm SLR lenses). This works great, but with such wide-field, low resolution images it would be much easier to have a OSC camera for my wide-field travel setup.

I'm looking for suggestions of OSC cameras that would meet the above criteria. My budget is probably limited to $500 or so. I think a QHY8 is a good candidate except that it would cost more than I want to spend right now.

Suggestions? (I'm even open to DSLRs, but SHHHHH don't tell anyone on this forum :lol:)

#2 vpcirc

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 08:28 PM

For $500 good luck. I think you'd be better with a modified dslr at that price point.

#3 KDizzle

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:22 PM

You might be able to find a used StarShoot Pro v2 color OSC for that price. I think they have the same sony sensor. I'd echo the DSLR comments though.

#4 jgraham

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:34 PM

Every once'n a while I'll see StarShoot Pro's down in the $500 range, but you have to jump on them right away. As far as DSLRs go, I bought my Canon T2i body for $495 from Amazon. I used it stock for over a year and I was very happy with it. I was toying with the idea of picking up a used SS Pro, but decided to have my T2i modified with a Baader UV/IR filter instead.

#5 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 11:04 PM

Yes, I am aware that my budget probably limits me to DSLRs, but just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing any low cost CCDs. I'm open to a smaller CCD chip, but something like the new Orion G3 is just too small.

John, what lenses do you use with your T2i? Also, is imaging in summer possible (i.e. is the noise too much?)

#6 jgraham

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:05 PM

To be honest, I'll need to check when I get back home. Nothing fancy, just he stock zoom lens that came with my XTi. The T2i spends most of its time on either my SN8 or 10" SCT (de-forked LX6), but I do plan on getting out under darks skies for some wide field imaging of the Milky Way. Over a year ago I switched from using stand-alone darks to using Canon's in-camera noise reduction and imaging through the summer has not been a problem.

#7 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:15 PM

Am I right in saying that the on camera noise reduction simply takes a dark frame after each light frame of the same exposure time? So a 5min light frame will actually take 10min?

#8 orlyandico

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:31 PM

Yes, that's how the built-in dark noise reduction works.

#9 orion69

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 01:21 AM

I don't think that using Canon's in-camera noise reduction for AP is a good idea. You'll probably lost some data which is not noise.
Regardless of that, I would stay away from DSLR for AP.

#10 ollypenrice

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:48 AM

If you bring the chip size down you lose the widefield....
Olly

#11 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:24 AM

If you bring the chip size down you lose the widefield....
Olly


True, but I'll be imaging with a 55mm f/2 lens. With my 383L this gives me a FOV of 18x13 degrees. What I'm looking for is an OSC and I'm willing to sacrifice some FOV. Unfortunately I just can't afford a good cooled CCD with a large chip right now.

#12 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:25 AM

I don't think that using Canon's in-camera noise reduction for AP is a good idea. You'll probably lost some data which is not noise.
Regardless of that, I would stay away from DSLR for AP.


Yeah, I hear that. But unfortunately my budget right now might limit me to a DSLR.

#13 Footbag

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:49 AM

I don't think that using Canon's in-camera noise reduction for AP is a good idea. You'll probably lost some data which is not noise.
Regardless of that, I would stay away from DSLR for AP.


Yeah, I hear that. But unfortunately my budget right now might limit me to a DSLR.


You dont have to use In camera noise reduction. You can image as you normally would, and take the darks at a different time. ICNR takes the dark immediately after the light wasting sky time. It's also not as good as a multi exposure averaged dark.

It's hard to beat the prices on DSLR's. The generous FOV is appealing. Cooling is the only thing they lack.

#14 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 08:01 AM

You dont have to use In camera noise reduction. You can image as you normally would, and take the darks at a different time. ICNR takes the dark immediately after the light wasting sky time. It's also not as good as a multi exposure averaged dark.

It's hard to beat the prices on DSLR's. The generous FOV is appealing. Cooling is the only thing they lack.


My concern with taking separate darks is, how do you match the temperature of the lights? If I image all night at around 20c, how do I take darks later at the same temp? Probably the best thing is to take darks immediately after all the lights are finished.

#15 Footbag

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 08:22 AM

You dont have to use In camera noise reduction. You can image as you normally would, and take the darks at a different time. ICNR takes the dark immediately after the light wasting sky time. It's also not as good as a multi exposure averaged dark.

It's hard to beat the prices on DSLR's. The generous FOV is appealing. Cooling is the only thing they lack.


My concern with taking separate darks is, how do you match the temperature of the lights? If I image all night at around 20c, how do I take darks later at the same temp? Probably the best thing is to take darks immediately after all the lights are finished.


Just try and take the darks at the same temperature. I've taken darks in my basement, refrigerator, in a cardboard box or wherever I can get the temperature close. The camera stores the temperature in the EXIF, so you can go back through and sort them. If some fall out of the acceptable range, then save them for later.

You can also take the darks after you shut down for the night. Just shoot away until sunrise.

Dark library is a program that sorts darks by temp and creates a file list for stacking. Now that I'm using Backyard EOS,m the temp is stored in the filename.

#16 jgraham

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:13 PM

Oh my goodness, there have been long and heated debate about Canon's noise reduction routines and they are not worth repeating here. A search through the forums will turn up all of the sorted details. Like any tool, if it works for you, then great, if not, well it was worth exploring anyway and you can move on all the wiser for it. I've been using it for over a year following about 10 years of using the more traditional methods (on top of 30 years of film before that).

Have fun!

#17 nganga

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 09:14 PM

I don't think that using Canon's in-camera noise reduction for AP is a good idea. You'll probably lost some data which is not noise.
Regardless of that, I would stay away from DSLR for AP.


Knez,

Is there a particular reason why you would stay away from dslr for AP. I see superb images from dslr cameras all the time.

Clem






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