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Equipment Discussions >> Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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Chris A
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5212087 - 05/08/12 01:37 PM

This is not a practical way to show this point 14 sec to 5 min comparison. One MUST use the same setup (scope and focal ratio, filters etc.), same weather conditions (compare them on the same night) and same location to make this a fair test.

Chris A


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Peter D.
super member
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Reged: 02/09/12

Loc: Central New York
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Peter D.]
      #5212104 - 05/08/12 01:44 PM

OK, I see it on the Meade website. I'll try it out as soon as the rain stops...next month?

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mclewis1
Thread Killer
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212127 - 05/08/12 01:59 PM

What Chris said ...

He's been through the side by side comparison issue as much as anyone.

It's really really difficult to do accurate and totally unbiased comparisons. Done properly it's the same scope with the same image train and f ratio (this is often difficult because different types of cameras have their sensors at different points which makes the focal reduction a bit different ... and here even a few mms can make a difference) with images taken just a few minutes apart. Highly accurate focusing at each step, meticulous note taking, and consistency in the exposure procedures any post processing is also very important.

It's always dangerous to read too much into these comparisons. You can get a general idea about differences when you compare two images taken on two different nights but that's about it.


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Chris A
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5212133 - 05/08/12 02:03 PM

Eric this is what I really want to see before I agree & believe that a ccd/dslr camera can show in near real-time just like a Mallincam can show as far as detail and display timing goes. I want to see someone with their ccd or dslr go onto NSN and show us all some faint deep sky objects in near real-time! I do not know why someone has not joined NSN (it is free) and broadcast this using Manycam or WebcamMax in order to show us that this is possible? I believe Pete when he shows his images, however images shown at a later date can be manipulated too much with Phtotshop etc. I am glad that Pete mentioned that the ccd image was dark subtracted which makes a big difference in the final image even if it's only one light and not stacked. It would have been better to see the raw image in it's live form.

Chris A


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Vondragonnoggin
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/21/10

Loc: Southern CA, USA
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212140 - 05/08/12 02:06 PM

Quote:

This is not a practical way to show this point 14 sec to 5 min comparison. One MUST use the same setup (scope and focal ratio, filters etc.), same weather conditions (compare them on the same night) and same location to make this a fair test.

Chris A




So, you are saying you cannot make blanket statements about these comparisons? It is conditional?


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Vondragonnoggin
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Reged: 02/21/10

Loc: Southern CA, USA
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212144 - 05/08/12 02:09 PM

Quote:

Eric this is what I really want to see before I agree & believe that a ccd/dslr camera can show in near real-time just like a Mallincam can show as far as detail and display timing goes. I want to see someone with their ccd or dslr go onto NSN and show us all some faint deep sky objects in near real-time! I do not know why someone has not joined NSN (it is free) and broadcast this using Manycam or WebcamMax in order to show us that this is possible? I believe Pete when he shows his images, however images shown at a later date can be manipulated too much with Phtotshop etc. I am glad that Pete mentioned that the ccd image was dark subtracted which makes a big difference in the final image even if it's only one light and not stacked. It would have been better to see the raw image in it's live form.

Chris A




But we weren't talking about webcams. The comparison was 14 second mallincam to 5 minute ccd exposure.

I also posted several examples of 60 seconds and under. Some of them directly stated no processing.

Edited by Vondragonnoggin (05/08/12 02:10 PM)


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212146 - 05/08/12 02:09 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!!




That is actually is the issue. This is Apples to Apples. I think a lot of the people on this forum simply think because cameras before couldnít do good live viewing that the cameras of today canít either.

The fact is simply that I use my camera in the exact same fashion as the Mallincam is used. I hook it up to a TV or monitor via a single Composite or HDMI connection. I spend 8 seconds to 4 minutes on each object that I want to see.

However, I can also use my camera to take stills, video, stacked images, or broadcast. I just happen to only be using it for live viewing without any editing at the moment.

In all honesty I am not trying to convince anyone to switch from the Mallincam. It is a great device for its intended purpose. However, I would like to know if Rockís claims are accurate or not. I have my doubts but I would love to be wrong on this one.

I simply donít believe that it has 5 stops better exposure than the camera I have unless you are talking about sensitivity to Hydrogen Alpha. Then it is simply that my camera has a filter and the Mallincam doesnít.

Can someone post an 14 second picture of any object other than Orionís Nebula(I can get that in 15 seconds on my camera) taken with the Mallincam? I just simply want to see a picture that proves Rockís claims.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (05/08/12 02:22 PM)


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5212151 - 05/08/12 02:11 PM

Quote:

What Chris said ...

He's been through the side by side comparison issue as much as anyone.

It's really really difficult to do accurate and totally unbiased comparisons. Done properly it's the same scope with the same image train and f ratio (this is often difficult because different types of cameras have their sensors at different points which makes the focal reduction a bit different ... and here even a few mms can make a difference) with images taken just a few minutes apart. Highly accurate focusing at each step, meticulous note taking, and consistency in the exposure procedures any post processing is also very important.

It's always dangerous to read too much into these comparisons. You can get a general idea about differences when you compare two images taken on two different nights but that's about it.




I don't care about a comparison. I just want to see real proof that it can take a picture of a reasonably dark object in 14 seconds. I haven't seen that yet.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (05/08/12 02:22 PM)


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212165 - 05/08/12 02:19 PM

Quote:

Eric this is what I really want to see before I agree & believe that a ccd/dslr camera can show in near real-time just like a Mallincam can show as far as detail and display timing goes. I want to see someone with their ccd or dslr go onto NSN and show us all some faint deep sky objects in near real-time! I do not know why someone has not joined NSN (it is free) and broadcast this using Manycam or WebcamMax in order to show us that this is possible? I believe Pete when he shows his images, however images shown at a later date can be manipulated too much with Phtotshop etc. I am glad that Pete mentioned that the ccd image was dark subtracted which makes a big difference in the final image even if it's only one light and not stacked. It would have been better to see the raw image in it's live form.

Chris A




Simply put it is a pain to drag the laptop out to the telescope in order to do the live transmission. There have already been arguments that one of the benefits of the Mallincam is that it doesnít require a computer to view with it.

I can try to do this though. I just bought a laptop with USB 3.0 so I can do HD capture from my camera. Let me try to get one of the black magic devices and then I can do a broadcast.

Can you define what you consider faint objects to be? It seems like everyone's opinion varies on that. It would be best if you can point us to someone's broadcast of objects that are viewable now so we can try to replicate it.


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5212175 - 05/08/12 02:23 PM

Are you a member of the Yahoo Mallincam group? If not join up and browse the photo section.

Here for example are a series of 12 second exposures with a 6" f5 scope. Some faint fuzzies and a few show pieces. If you dropped the f speed down to around f3.5 then these images would approximate what 8 second exposures would show with the same scope under the same conditions.

You won't find too many collections of sub 10s shots posted as most folks want to show off their pictures in the best possible way ... so the exposures tend to more often be 14 or 28s (two exposure presets on the older Mallincams), or more.


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Chris A
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5212198 - 05/08/12 02:36 PM

Eric, I did not make the camera only beta tested the very first MC Xtreme for Rock. I own my first MCHP (max 56 sec int) several years ago. From my CCD imaging background, I started to incorporate the use of different filters (Astronomik UHC, Lumicon Deep Sky LP and an Orion Ha 7nm)and showed this live from my very light polluted location. The filters allowed me to go much deeper, however, I ran out of maximum exposure time of 56 secs. After Rock saw my results and with all the discussions between us the VSS+ was brought out allowing for double the exposure times. I was achieving stunning results up to 112 secs and for the first time showed NSN viewers just by adding guiding could tremendously improve their results. After talking to Rock regarding the convenience of full computer control and wanting a bit more exposure for Ha viewing during those nights when dealing with a full moon, Rock came out the MC Xtreme and asked me to beta test it. I have since tested four other cameras for Rock (older dual TEC X2-EX, MCX-EX, X2-EX and X2-STD Class 0). I am currently testing the X2-STD Class 0 and will compare it to my MCX-STD Class 0 camera.

I have done CCD/DSLR imaging for 12 years and have owned with enjoyment the Sbig ST 10XME, Starlighxpress MX716, SXV-H9 and a modded Canon 40D which I still currently have. I have had my fun and time with imaging and after doing near live video observation I will never go back to ccd imaging. With my experience and years involved this is why I say (unless shown on NSN) no one camera can do all.

I think if you really want to know the 14 sec to 5 min then you should only be fair and email Rock privately or state your question on the MC Yahoo group and ask him to explain or show you the proof. He is always willing to take his time out with everyone and help out.

Chris A
Astrogate


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Chris A
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5212206 - 05/08/12 02:40 PM

Thank you Mark this is what I want to read someone who has both and can honestly provided their opinion. Not show images using different setups.

Clear skies,

Chris A


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Chris A
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5212213 - 05/08/12 02:43 PM

I agree Mark 100%. It is just too difficult to obtain an accurate comparison. I say enjoy what camera you own life is too short!

Cheers,

Chris A


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Chris A
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5212233 - 05/08/12 02:57 PM

Hi Marc

As you can see this is why I do not post too often here. I do not know how you can take this you must have lots of patience

The other two members here just keep going on and sorry this is just getting silly and motnotonous. If they are really serious then they should join also the MC Yahoo group and get some answers direct from Rock over there plus also join NSN to witness it for themselves.

I do not like to here poor excuses that one cannot carry out their laptop in order to show a broadcast and prove their point.

I thank you, Glen and others here for some good discussions but this is just too much and is going no where.

Clear skies,

Chris A


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5212235 - 05/08/12 02:59 PM

Quote:

Simply put it is a pain to drag the laptop out to the telescope in order to do the live transmission. There have already been arguments that one of the benefits of the Mallincam is that it doesnít require a computer to view with it.

I can try to do this though. I just bought a laptop with USB 3.0 so I can do HD capture from my camera. Let me try to get one of the black magic devices and then I can do a broadcast.



I hope you did your homework on the laptop (and what type of chipset is used for the USB3 support). There have been a few Mallincam Signature owners who've been using the Black Magic HD USB capture devices and finding that they are very picky about USB3 support. This may however be related to the amount of data the SDI interface pumps out ... HDMI streams may not be quite as difficult to handle.

Since the software used to capture the HD USB stream doesn't create a webcam/microsoft video compatible stream you'll need (as Chris mentioned) to use ManyCam or WebCamMax to lasso or capture a video window on your laptop and stream it as a webcam compatible video stream (so the Flash based NSN service can see it). Yeah there's lots of steps and they will all be taking a bite out of the resolution so like I mentioned many posts back NSN is not the best platform to show off your imager's capabilities ... but it is popular and easy to use and best of all free.

Quote:

Can you define what you consider faint objects to be? It seems like everyone's opinion varies on that. It would be best if you can point us to someone's broadcast of objects that are viewable now so we can try to replicate it.



Boy is this a subjective issue ...

To me "bright" would be objects in the mag3-7 range (the show pieces objects M42, M13, M17, M57, core of M31, etc.) ... and yes before anyone mentions it I know M57 is a 9th mag object, but because it's very condensed and colorful it shows off well in just about any video/imaging setup. This is actually an important point. The type of object has almost as much importance as it's rated magnitude. Planetaries and globular clusters tend to show off better than their magnitudes would lead you to believe but extended nebulae and galaxies are often tougher than their magnitudes would indicate. Light pollution also has a similar effect (less so on the planetaries and clusters and more so on the nebulae and galaxies).
"medium" would be those in the mag 7-10 range (most of the other M objects and the brighter NGCs)
and "faint would be objects in the mag 11+
and "challenge" objects would be mag 15+


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Chris A
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5212256 - 05/08/12 03:08 PM

Thank you Mark for providing this - very good!

Chris A


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212280 - 05/08/12 03:25 PM

Quote:

Hi Marc

As you can see this is why I do not post too often here. I do not know how you can take this you must have lots of patience

The other two members here just keep going on and sorry this is just getting silly and motnotonous. If they are really serious then they should join also the MC Yahoo group and get some answers direct from Rock over there plus also join NSN to witness it for themselves.

I do not like to here poor excuses that one cannot carry out their laptop in order to show a broadcast and prove their point.

I thank you, Glen and others here for some good discussions but this is just too much and is going no where.

Clear skies,

Chris A




I said I would try to do it. However, it is going to cost me money to get a capture device. You have to have a capture device with the Mallincam as well.


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5212297 - 05/08/12 03:35 PM

Why does this discussion feel a lot like walking into church and asking the Pastor to show you why he thinks God exists. Then the Pastor asks you to go to a waiting room where he and the congregation can discuss it with you in greater detail.

Once isolated from the other people who have questions about the existence of God. The congregation recites lines from the bible and tells you all about their experiences with God. The Pastor on the other hand just simply hands you a bible and says ďTo understand you must simply believeĒ.


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Vondragonnoggin
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/21/10

Loc: Southern CA, USA
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212300 - 05/08/12 03:38 PM

So, none of the examples of 30 second or 60 second exposures from a ccd with no processing are valid? I am suppose to join a Mallincam Group to find out about a fair comparison? I read the entire mallincam group post with Rock stating this number. How is that going to change by joining the group?

Once again - none of the examples of 30-60 second single shot exposures are valid?

Can you please explain why none are valid?


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5212344 - 05/08/12 04:07 PM

I donít think anyone here is trying to say that the Mallincam canít be used for live viewing. However, it does appear that a few very vocal people are saying that CCD imagers and DSLRs cannot be used for live viewing in the same manner as the Mallincam. That is entirely false.

However, I fully understand that without any evidence to back this up those people are not going to believe it. If the weather holds out this weekend I think I can show that a lowly sub $200 3 year old pocket camera can hold its own.

Thanks for the 12 second samples. That is what I was looking for. I will try to capture some of those.


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