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DSLR versus CCD for Imaging?

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#1 tim57064

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:06 PM

Hello to all. I already own a Canon T4I and was wondering if there was an advantage over a DSLR by having a dedicated CCD camera for imaging? I am not sure if this is the right place to post this. I would appreciate all replies. I am aware that a dedicated CCD as in an SBIG would have a built in fan for cooling,yet other than that would there be an advantage? Thanks to all.

#2 guyroch

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:35 PM

It depends... the first question that comes to mind is are you looking at a mono ccd or color, also known as one shot color (OSC)?

if you were looking at a OSC ccd I would say stick with your T4i. But you were looking at mono ccd... oh boy... what a difference... but be prepared to dump some cash in filters... that is the down side. Good filters are not cheap.

Guylain

#3 tim57064

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:41 PM

Thanks Guylain for your input. I was thinking on the lines of color imaging. I have heard that mono imaging with filters does a better job and from what I have seen,not only expensive yet more work involved.

#4 UniversalMaster

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:00 PM

Get a mono ccd for luminance and narrow band and use the dslr for capturing colors.

#5 tim57064

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:05 PM

Okay,is there any such thing as a reasonably priced yet good mono ccd? I do not know much about them as that is concerned so not sure what to get.

#6 UniversalMaster

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:15 PM

I have not seen one. The best I can think of are the kaf8300 based ones, but way too expensive for me!

#7 jgraham

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:29 PM

I've used color and monochrome CCDs and DSLRs. For me, a modern DSLR is a great tool for color imaging whereas a dedicated color CCD can be a tad better under certain circumstances. A monochrome CCD is a whole different branch of the imaging family tree and you can do some very special things with a monochrome camera, but I'd generally lump these into specialty imaging techniques. For general color imaging I'm now getting results with my modified Canon 550D that are a tad better than I could get with my monochrome camera. For specialty imaging like narrowband, spectroscopy, and photometry my monochrome camera is still the best tool (though my DSLR is making headway into the photometry arena), but for general color imaging and camera assisted observing I much prefer my DSLR.

As for a reasonably priced modern monochrome CCD, let me know if you find one. :)

#8 fmhill

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:30 PM

Okay,is there any such thing as a reasonably priced yet good mono ccd? I do not know much about them as that is concerned so not sure what to get.


I'm evaluating a CMOS monochrome camera and it is impressive,very high resolution and low noise as compared to color... I've had a couple of CCD monochrome cameras in the past and I think CMOS cameras are better on all counts, mainly lower noise.

Guylain has a Monochrome Nikon D5100 (or D5000???) and has posted a few very impressive images made with it...

I also have exchanged messages with Brent Oliver and believe he has the capability to convert the Nikon D5100 to monochrome...

My plan, when I have the money in hand, is to get a D5100 converted to monochrome and combine images made with both the D5100 monochrome and my present 60Da to get the best of both into one image...

#9 NeilMac

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:45 PM

Theirs been good reviews from this inexpensive camera.
http://www.zwoptical.com/Eng/

#10 tim57064

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:53 PM

I like the price,yet only 1.2 mega pixel resolution for me seems to be going backwards.

#11 Madratter

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 04:31 PM

Clearly, there are advantages to Mono CCDs over DSLRs. If there weren't no one in their right mind would pay the money for them that they command.

If you are interested in narrow band, the question is just silly. CCD has all the advantages.

For RGB my own experience is that:

1) A Mono CCD is more work in some ways and less in others.
2) I can get an equivalent picture of some level of quality with LESS time using the mono CCD than with a DSLR, despite needing to image in L, R, G, and B separately.

The nature of a Bayer matrix leads to:
1) Reduced spatial resolution (but not a 2x reduction in most cases)
2) Less sensitivity.

I also think the advantages of a regulated cooled camera are huge, especially in the summer time, but in the winter time as well.

Another advantage of the CCD is that it doesn't mangle the data turning it into a RAW file. RAW ideally should be exactly that, the linear data straight off the chip with no processing. That isn't the case, at least with Canon DSLRs.

But is a mono CCD worth the extra $$$? That is going to depend on you and your goals. For many people, the answer to that question is going to be no.

#12 Falcon-

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 04:44 PM

There is another aspect worth mentioning. Most astro-CCDs use sensors smaller then the APS-C sensors in DSLRs, in some cases *significantly* smaller. (There are astro-CCDs with large sensors of course but the price for them is quite steep.) This means astro-CCDs tend to have a smaller FOV on the sky with the same scope and given that pixel sizes are similar also a lower total pixel count.

For me that means while a mono-CCD would be really nice to have, I would only want to jump directly to the large-chip (EXPENSIVE) mono-CCDs as the wide FOV and printable, crop-able higher pixel count of a DSLR are not something I want to give up lightly.

#13 Falcon-

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 04:46 PM

BTW I should add that yes, without a doubt a mono, regulated-cooled, astro-CCD with proper filter set *will* produce a better result then a DSLR.

#14 Madratter

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 04:53 PM

I was looking this up just today for another thread.

Comparing a Canon T3 to a KAF-8300 CCD.

T3 = 22.2mm x 14.8mm
8300 = 17.96 x 13.52 mm

So you are giving up some real estate but not huge amounts. I would argue that because of the loss of resolution due to the Bayer Matrix, the CCD could be displayed at larger print sizes than the T3 image.

Furthermore, the part you lose with the CCD is the part where the ugliest stars are likely to reside.

All that said, it is true that the FOV will be larger with the DSLR and it might fit all of some particular object in the field that the CCD will not.

#15 Falcon-

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 05:03 PM

Actually the KAF-8300 is what I was considering one of the larger CCDs. For example the cameras made by ZWO (linked here earlier) are all 1/2" and 1/3" CCDs WAY smaller then the KAF-8300, let alone an APS-C DSLR.

#16 Dr Benway

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 05:27 PM

I use both! My workflow is usually combining Ha with color from another camera, and sometimes, another telescope. I use Registar to line everything up. I usually image in narrowband all month long from my backyard, then go for color during the new moon at my dark sky site. It is typical for me to run several mounts, OSC CCD and DSLR cameras at the same time.

I just got a Canon 60Da and have really fallen in love with it and BackyardEOS!

John

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#17 David Pavlich

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:51 PM

CCD one shot color and mono have the distinct advantage of cooling. For some, it's not as big a deal, but for us in the Gulf South, when night time temps are still in the 80s, it does mean a lot. With the right camera, you don't need to take darks. Look used at the QHY8/QHY8 Pro for a less expensive camera. I've seen several QHY8s for under $1000 on the used market.

And before you discard OSC as so-so, I invite you to look at Warren Keller's Gallery. He does his work with an Atik OSC camera.

David

#18 whwang

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 10:15 PM

(Hi John, This is off topic. What lens do you usually put on your iEQ45? Does it track well without guiding? I am thinking about getting one for my 300 mm lens. If it can track well unguided for 2 to 5 minutes of subs, it will be great.)

I think there is no doubt cooled CCDs will outperform DSLRs, less thermal noise, more sensitivity, large flexibility in filter choices (L and narrowband). But after I weigh in the price factor and pixel counts (equivalent to FOV), I found no attractive CCD options. The market for DSLR is so huge that it drives the price down very rapidly. If FOV is not an issue, then perhaps there exist some intermediate-size CCDs (8300 series?) that are affordable and still have significant edge over DSLRs. If price is not an issue, then..... get large format cooled CCD. Of course it's better.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao

#19 guyroch

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 11:51 PM

Okay,is there any such thing as a reasonably priced yet good mono ccd? I do not know much about them as that is concerned so not sure what to get.


I'm evaluating a CMOS monochrome camera and it is impressive,very high resolution and low noise as compared to color... I've had a couple of CCD monochrome cameras in the past and I think CMOS cameras are better on all counts, mainly lower noise.

Guylain has a Monochrome Nikon D5100 (or D5000???) and has posted a few very impressive images made with it...

I also have exchanged messages with Brent Oliver and believe he has the capability to convert the Nikon D5100 to monochrome...

My plan, when I have the money in hand, is to get
a D5100 converted to monochrome and combine images made with both the D5100 monochrome and my present 60Da to get the best of both into one image...


I bought a brand new D5100 last January for $425 and had it monofied by Jim Chung for $350 if me memory serves me right. under $750 for a mono D5100 is not too shabby :)

guylain

#20 mmalik

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 02:08 AM

I presume your T4i is unmodded; either get it modified or even better get a 60Da and salvage your T4i. CCD is a different ball game, my suggestion would be for a 60Da... if you can afford. Thx

#21 Dr Benway

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 07:11 AM

I have been using the 200mm EF f/2.8 Ultrasonic, and the nifty fifty. I can track as long as the exposure without guiding at those image scales. I have tracked 15 minutes unguided with CCD cams and Pentax SLR lenses.

#22 jgraham

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 08:26 AM

The monofied DSLRs look like a very interesting path to an affordable large format monochrome camera. However, I what to experiment a bit more using my DSLR to build a synthetic monochrome image by summing the R+G+B data. I did some work with this a while back and the results were encouraging, but this was before I had my camera modified and the red channel was noisy. Now that my camera has the Baader mod I'll try it again. The math says that it should work, but we'll see if it works in practice.

Now all I need is a run of clear weather... like that's going to happen! :)

#23 fetoma

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:50 PM

You can also mono-fy a QHY8 OSC.

#24 ewave

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 04:41 PM

Now that my camera has the Baader mod I'll try it again. The math says that it should work, but we'll see if it works in practice.

John, who did your mod to your 550D and exactly what kind of Baader mod? I will follow your posts carefully as to your results whenever clear weather sets in. :D

#25 UniversalMaster

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 12:54 AM

I bought a brand new D5100 last January for $425 and had it monofied by Jim Chung for $350 if me memory serves me right. under $750 for a mono D5100 is not too shabby :)

guylain


Is there a webpage where you can buy these mono Nikons?
Will BYE work with Nikons?

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