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What camera to use for Solar imaging?

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#1 James Cunningham

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 03:48 PM

Which camera is best for Solar imaging? Which is the cheapest but still good? Which camera do you use and why? Thanks.
Jim

#2 frolinmod

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:07 AM

That depends on what you want to do and how you want to do it.

Always a mono camera, never color. For solar imaging the bayer matrix on color cameras just wastes resolution and provides no benefit. Colorize the image after the fact if you want.

Do you want to make full disk solar images? All in one shot? Using a reducer or not? Using mosaics or not?

Or do you want to do high power imaging of small areas of the disk or closeups of prominences?

So far I've been using the DMK41 and DMK51. With these cameras I have to use a reducer to obtain full disk images. I haven't done mosaics because they're more work and I'm too lazy.

#3 dcornelis

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:08 AM

For detailed solar work I use the DMK21AS618, only 640x480 but no problems with newton rings like my ASI120MM and even low in resolution, I can make every pixel count. I typically use 1200 to 2400 mm focal lenght ...

D.

#4 jerwin

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:35 AM

I just started using this PointGrey Blackfly, the monochrome version with the Sony chip. I really like it. http://ptgreystore.c...gige-poe-icx445

I have to do a mosaic in photoshop as the chip isn't big enough to fit the whole disk, but I've been pretty impressed with it so far. I needed a few extra attachments, the nose piece and external power. I went with the Gigibit ethernet model because my laptop doesn't have USB 3. I can't believe how small it is.

Clear Skies,
Jim

#5 BYoesle

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:51 AM

PGR Chameleon, incredible Sony ICX445 sensor, dirt cheap. Now available USB 3.0 in a metal enclosure Grasshopper.

As noted by Jerwin, today I'd consider the GigE Blackfly with metal enclosure; only $395!

ICX445 sensor @ 900 mm FL:

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#6 BYoesle

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:54 AM

Six pane full-disk mosaic w iMerge:

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#7 Old Dinosaur

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:00 AM

iMerge is a great mosaic tool.
I'm still using the IS DMK21AUO4 I bought when they first came out, Great camera and good frame rate ability, but getting a bit long in the tooth now.
Beginning to think about a new camera with probably a larger chip.

#8 Aboy

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:22 PM

Wow mosaic. :bow:

Where I can get the program Imerger?

#9 Old Dinosaur

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:35 PM

http://jaggedplanet.com/iMerge.html

#10 will w

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:22 PM

jimmy, you might wont to look at a Samsung SDC-435 or SCB-2000 same cam just different numbers. you can find them on ebay and at 123 security products less than a $100.00 Craig, Tacoma Sky uses one to do solar with.you can use just about any cam to do solar with. will w

#11 ValeryD

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:55 PM

PGR Chameleon, incredible Sony ICX445 sensor, dirt cheap. Now available USB 3.0 in a metal enclosure Grasshopper.

As noted by Jerwin, today I'd consider the GigE Blackfly with metal enclosure; only $395!

ICX445 sensor @ 900 mm FL:


Hello Bob,

What is your configuration for double stack pictures (as seen on this larger picture) ?

Thanks,

Valery.

#12 BYoesle

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:32 PM

Hi Valery, not sure exactly which configuration you are referring to, so here's everything in a "nutshell":

My filter configuration can be found here (Optimizing the Double Stack):
http://www.cloudynig...rd=solar&amp...

Camera config: I use a TEC to cool the Chameleon ~ 20 C below it's normal operating temp (Cooling a Chameleon):
http://www.cloudynig...rd=solar&amp...

I use FireCapture in 8 bit avi mode (screen shot). My gain is usually set at the lowest setting of 160, and my gamma at 1000 or 1500. The exposure at 900 mm is usually 5 ms, which keeps the bright areas from being overexposed, and there is plenty of dynamic range to bring out prominence details with appropriate histogram adjustments... I capture usually at ~ 18 fps for 20 seconds, and stack the best 10% of images (usually about 35) in RegiStax6, where linked wavelets are applied. Results for screen shot here (July 9, 2013 Sun):
http://www.cloudynig...rd=solar&amp...

In processing I opt for more subtle contrast enhancement by using unsharp masking @ 0.5 pixels and reiterative sharpening, and increasing gamma and mid-tone compression to keep the prominences from fading... Double-stacking allows this to be more successful in my opinion, and much more easily than with single-stacked imaging (disk brightening form the photosphere is eliminated).

Hope I answered your question -- let me know if not...

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#13 Tom and Beth

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 05:36 PM

Dang, Bob!! These two images (mosaics above) are amazing!!!!!!!!

#14 ValeryD

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:17 PM


RegiStax6, where linked wavelets are applied.

In processing I opt for more subtle contrast enhancement by using unsharp masking @ 0.5 pixels and reiterative sharpening, and increasing gamma and mid-tone compression to keep the prominences from fading...


Thanks, Bob!

Two questions, if you allows.

1. What is the advantage(s) of the linked wavelets over standard wavelet procedure?


2. How do you perform the mid-tone compression?


BTW. This info - how do you take and process the double stack images is interested for many. Can you create a different topic about this and post your info there?


Valery.

#15 BYoesle

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 10:54 PM

Thanks T&B! (you should see the full-res versions).

Hi Valery. I will attempt to put something together along the lines of a tutorial in the coming weeks. Please be advised I really don't have that much expertise -- you should be asking Alan Friedman how he accomplishes his magic!

I have used both linked an unlinked wavelet processing, and at times I can't tell which is better. Even at the same image scale, seeing conditions can make a group of settings that worked well in one session pretty poor in another.

For guidance on wavelets and linked wavelets I found this page and those linked to at the top of the page useful:

http://www.astronomi...reviewv6-3.html

The mid-tone compress is accomplished in the Histogram function (in Paint Shop Pro) -- Along with adjusting gamma:

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#16 axle01

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:06 AM

Ok so if the Genie popped up and said what camera do you want to image the Sun what would ask for, knowing the Genie is going to pay for it.

#17 BYoesle

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:04 AM

PGR Grasshopper3 w CMOSIS CMV4000 (4.1 MP @ 90 fps) or Sony ICX694 (6 MP @ 13 fps):

http://grasshopper3....B3/Grasshopper3

#18 axle01

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:20 AM

So the Genie says why don't you want the 6mp or the 9.1mp Grasshopper??????

#19 BYoesle

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 02:25 AM

... or Sony ICX694 (6 MP @ 13 fps)


6 MP is also listed above, but at some point -- 10 fps in this case, I draw the line.

#20 ValeryD

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:44 AM

2 BYoesle

Thank you very much, Bob. Now it is more clear.

#21 frolinmod

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:33 PM

Bob, have you actually personally used either one of those cameras for solar imaging?

#22 BYoesle

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 07:52 PM

No. Just dreaming of what it would be like not to have to do mosaics... I don't think you could go wrong with either.

Piotr M has tested both versions of the CMV4000 for solar here: http://www.rkblog.rk...ors-solar-im... Looks great at 90 fps on a PST.

I figure the ICX694 is just a bigger version of the ICX445, only better. If the Grasshopper ICX694 6 MP is good enough for Alan Friedman, it'd also be good enough for me: http://www.avertedim...sitofvenus.html

#23 Tom and Beth

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 12:09 PM

Checked out the specs on the Grasshopper ICX694 6 MP :bigshock: :jawdrop: :bigshock:
Never bothered to jump through the hoops to get a price
but holy moly...

#24 PiotrM

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 04:10 PM

1400-1600 EUR for a CMV4000 camera ;)

#25 axle01

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 08:23 PM

Any thoughts on this camera, not sure what FPS it can do but it comes with """"Introductory offer includes the QHY color filter wheel with this camera for the same low price!"""" $2699

https://www.astrofac...mono/qhy22.html





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