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Equipment Discussions >> Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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mclewis1
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5211667 - 05/08/12 09:30 AM

Quote:

14 seconds of mallincam is equal to 5 minutes with a ccd imager???

Any other dual users of mallincam and latest ccd cameras care to corroborate that claim?

So my 6" telescope should see the equivalent detail of a 30" scope?

Just want to be sure I am understanding this correctly. Does that scale linear? So 28 seconds is equal to 10 minutes exposure in a regular ccd? 56 seconds (max for hyper plus) is equal to 40 minute exposure?



Eric,

I wouldn't fixate on the specific numbers and try to extrapolate from them. Rock doesn't generally qualify his superlative statements like that (for example exactly how much is "far-far-far-far"?). I believe he's used the 14s to 5min comment before and in that case that he's referring to an older CCD camera. But if you are curious and to be certain about the numbers I would ask the man himself.

The general rule of thumb with a Mallincam is that it will give you a 2-3x improvement in aperture so your 6" scope will function much like a 12-18" scope does visually (and maybe even a bit better on some objects).


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5211668 - 05/08/12 09:31 AM

I think it was remembering Nytecam's shots from the lodestar at 5 seconds to 30 seconds that prompted my investigating this. I'll have to find the link for his short exposure M51 to compare also....

I did find another pic with an Atik 314e 60 second exposure - no processing. Here


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5211674 - 05/08/12 09:37 AM

Quote:

Quote:

14 seconds of mallincam is equal to 5 minutes with a ccd imager???

Any other dual users of mallincam and latest ccd cameras care to corroborate that claim?

So my 6" telescope should see the equivalent detail of a 30" scope?

Just want to be sure I am understanding this correctly. Does that scale linear? So 28 seconds is equal to 10 minutes exposure in a regular ccd? 56 seconds (max for hyper plus) is equal to 40 minute exposure?



Eric,

I wouldn't fixate on the specific numbers and try to extrapolate from them. Rock doesn't generally qualify his superlative statements like that (for example exactly how much is "far-far-far-far"?). I believe he's used the 14s to 5min comment before and in that case that he's referring to an older CCD camera. But if you are curious and to be certain about the numbers I would ask the man himself.

The general rule of thumb with a Mallincam is that it will give you a 2-3x improvement in aperture so your 6" scope will function much like a 12-15" scope does visually (and maybe even a bit better on some objects).




Mark, I thank you again for your consistently even keeled advice on these topics. I take what you post with sincerity as you have been very helpful in giving unbiased info.

In other words - you give me the scoop on the real without embellishing it. All very useful and a great way to offer up info to us newbie investigators wanting to break into this part of the hobby!

Glenn - same for you as always.



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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5211684 - 05/08/12 09:43 AM

Just to be clear - I am in no way trying to knock what the Mallincam can do and it is my prime consideration right now.

There are a ton of good points posted that are without dispute:

Service, workmanship, upgrade capacity, performance pluses, etc

I think Rock does video astronomy without equal.

I just wanted to post some other examples that show a ccd is nothing to snuff at also.


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Peter D.
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5211712 - 05/08/12 10:00 AM

It figures; both the Mallincam and the DSI have relatively large pixels and low resolution. The DSI shot was done at f/6.3, while the Mallincam is usually at f/3.3: that would be partially responsible for the longer time needed for the DSI. What type of processing was done on the DSI shot, just a stretch or was there more? Of course the Mallincam does the equivalent to stretching in the analog domain automatically, and the viewer sets the black and white points with the contrast and brightness controls on the monitor.

I'm just a noob here, so don't be afraid to correct me (most of my "experience" is based on book knowledge). From what I've read, sensitivity is a function of four variables: exposure time, sensor efficiency, pixel size, and focal ratio.

I have a DSI color, which I haven't been able to use yet since the Meade software doesn't run properly on my Windows7 machine (I'll be using Nebulosity to control the DSI in the future, but I haven't got everything sorted yet). Of course the color DSI is not as sensitive as the monochrome, and the Mallincam has a more modern cooled sensor.

Of course there is currently no software currently available to do "live" digital stretching like the Mallincam does in the analog domain. Craig Stark is apparently working on that for Nebulosity though.

While the Mallincam is the most sensitive live viewing I've seen so far (other than through expensive and noisey image intensifiers), I believe that there will come a time when digital catches up. It might be awhile though, judging by the way the analog LP is still considered superior in the audiophile world.

Pete


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Peter D.]
      #5211723 - 05/08/12 10:06 AM

Just to be clear here - the 14" SCT shot was 30 seconds, while the pic here in this thread from the 11" was 112 seconds. I think they are comparable. Since the 14" was single shot and no processing, it might qualify as a semi-live view.

They are both F/3.3 for the shots.

Amazing to think about what can be had in such short time.

Edited by Vondragonnoggin (05/08/12 10:11 AM)


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psu_13
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5211740 - 05/08/12 10:20 AM

Here is a single 2min frame of M51 from a CCD camera that I took a couple of weeks ago.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/79904144@N00/7157727990/in/photostream/lightbox/

This is taken with a Celestron 8 inch running at F5. I did not do any processing on this picture except to set the black and white points and subtract a dark.

Here is a 2min Mallincam frame taken with the same telescope at the same focal length:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/79904144@N00/7004785149/

This is a screen grab from the video feed.

I don't think there is a huge difference, except that my CCD camera is monochrome.

For live viewing the Mallincam *can* let you trade off shorter exposures for more noise by manipulating the gain. In addition there is no doubt that the "live" video feed is a more immediate experience than capturing CCD frames and then processing them into a real picture. IMHO those are the two main differences between the Mallincam and CCD experiences. One should not minimize them.

On the other hand, as excellent a tool as it is (I have a VSS+ and really like it) I think that claims about the mallincam being an order of magnitude more sensitive than comparable CCD cameras are probably a bit overblown. The real win in the video camera is that the immediate feed is an image that has already been processed into something that's nice to look at with no more work on your part.

You can imagine the existence of CCD still cameras that could work this way (like how digital SLRs generate JPEG files), but it probably won't happen because most users of CCD cameras are not really interested in that quick view workflow.


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: psu_13]
      #5211751 - 05/08/12 10:25 AM

So, how long does it take to setthe black and white points and subtract the dark?

The mallincam 2 minute image is taking 2 minutes to appear on the monitor I'm assuming. How long to get the ccd image on your computer screen the way it is?


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psu_13
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5211793 - 05/08/12 10:59 AM

Setting the black and white points can be done in real time. The dark frame stuff is post-processing that you don't do during capture. I should have found the actual raw frame, but this is the one I had.

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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: psu_13]
      #5211831 - 05/08/12 11:17 AM

Quote:

Setting the black and white points can be done in real time. The dark frame stuff is post-processing that you don't do during capture. I should have found the actual raw frame, but this is the one I had.




Thanks for your examples. The ccd image appears much smoother than the mallincam capture, but there is more detail apparent in the mallincam capture - not by a lot though.

Very interesting comparison. Both your screen grab and Dwight's sho that amp glow in the corner. Does this appear on the monitor too?

To get back on the original topic - does anyone have an example from the original camera mentioned?


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psu_13
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5211841 - 05/08/12 11:22 AM

Yeah. The read amplifier in the video camera runs all the time, so for longer exposures the amp glow is always apparent.

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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: psu_13]
      #5211889 - 05/08/12 11:47 AM

Finally, here is Nytecam's M51 60 second exposure - Scroll down a few posts

That's all the examples I'll post, but clearly the 14 seconds to 5 minutes comparison or even 112 seconds to 20 minutes guess are not at all what is shown by my examples.

I needed to post this because as I stated previously, after reading the posts by Chris and Dwight, I clearly thought you would need to do very long exposures to match what the very short exposures of the mallincam offered and I was a little dismayed by this. It did not seem accurate to me.

It appears that you can get quite a bit of detail from short exposure ccd capture too.


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: psu_13]
      #5211912 - 05/08/12 12:00 PM Attachment (39 downloads)

Here are some straight out of the camera jpgs from the Panasonic GH2 and the Panasonic GF1. Both cameras are a couple of years old technology. The GF1 goes for less than $200 now.

This is a 2 minute and 8 second single unedited exposure from the GH2 using an AT8IN @ 800mm and F4.0. It used ISO 320 for this shot. It looks exactly like this on any LCD display at 1080p.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (05/08/12 12:33 PM)


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5211957 - 05/08/12 12:31 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

Here is an ISO 1600 60 second shot from the older GF1.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (05/08/12 12:32 PM)


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5212006 - 05/08/12 12:55 PM

You must understand sorry perhaps you are new at this but you are talking a comparison between apples to oranges!! ** If you want to do live video observations of faint deep sky objects then buy a Mallincam on the other side if you want to do imaging and then process for pretty pictures for web display or wall hanging then buy a dedicated ccd camera. ** There is NO camera to do it all perfect the way we always want it to be **!! It is the same principle as telescopes meaning there is no one telecope to do it all!!

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psu_13
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212022 - 05/08/12 01:05 PM

I don't think the point of this thread is to make any sort of claim that the tools being compared are equivalent. There are certainly differences. But I think the comparison is still interesting.

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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Peter D.]
      #5212025 - 05/08/12 01:07 PM

There is an update to envisage that runs on Win7. I have it running on my Win 7 x64.

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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212026 - 05/08/12 01:07 PM

Quote:

You must understand sorry perhaps you are new at this but you are talking a comparison between apples to oranges!! ** If you want to do live video observations of faint deep sky objects then buy a Mallincam on the other side if you want to do imaging and then process for pretty pictures for web display or wall hanging then buy a dedicated ccd camera. ** There is NO camera to do it all perfect the way we always want it to be **!! It is the same principle as telescopes meaning there is no one telecope to do it all!!




Then why does the MC xtreme offer imaging and up to 100 minute exposure?

Also, what does that have to do with 14 second to 5 minute comparisons that are untrue?



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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212045 - 05/08/12 01:15 PM

I have a meade dsi pro, meade dsi color, and mallincam. When using envisage with dark subtract but no stacking there is really no comparison with the mallincam. 5 minutes with either dsi is not nearly as good as the mallincam at 2 min. I have relegated the dis's to guiders. Now with stacking, and processing it is a different matter, but the whole idea of the mallincam was to cut out the amount of efffort and time. Just compare the 30 to 40 second ETX80 images to what you can realistically see visually in a larger scope and you will see where they get some of the numbers.

Sky quality makes a huge difference, so if the same scope is not shooting under the same sky, pictures can be quite misleading.


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Peter D.
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5212082 - 05/08/12 01:35 PM

Mark,

How do you get an update to Envisage to run Win7; Meade? I thought they didn't support it any more.

Pete


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