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Equipment Discussions >> Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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Astronomiser.Com
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Mallincam Alternative-Digital
      #5210090 - 05/07/12 11:16 AM

Anyone think we need a Digital Video Camera? Mallincam is great, but why not digital?

What about this new product for DSO's just coming out?

http://www.astronomycameras.com/products/usb/dbk51au02as/


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mega256
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Astronomiser.Com]
      #5210137 - 05/07/12 11:56 AM

No dso unless you stack and adjust image..Not the same thing.
Mallincam can do much more.No stacking,no processing..
Sorry but its true.
But I am testting a canon T2i in star HD mode that will auto
stack up to 10 frames.With BYe software.
Works on the sun well so far.


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Astronomiser.Com]
      #5210149 - 05/07/12 12:02 PM

If you really want the correct answer(s) to your question then see the discussion here

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/mallincam/message/34426

Chris A


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5210251 - 05/07/12 01:02 PM

Quote:

If you really want the correct answer(s) to your question then see the discussion here

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/mallincam/message/34426

Chris A




A lot of great information there. I now believe that the Mallincam does have a tremendous advantage in sensitivity over just about everything else.

However, it still seems like Mallincam users think that pretty much all other cameras have to have a computer attached to them to do live viewing.

Almost all Interchangeable lens cameras today can use composite or HDMI video output. It is just the same as the Mallincam. You plug a cable into the camera and a cable into the display.

The big difference is that I can plug into any display with just about any resolution or video format(ie: PAL or NTSC). Heck my car even has an HDMI input now. I can take a 50 foot HDMI cable that cost me all of $20 and plug my scope into it.

So it is clear that the Mallincam has the exposure advantage. I have seen evidence of that. However, I really want to know what makes its live viewing any different than using the video output of a different camera? If I can overcome the exposure difference with good tracking and a low focal ratio scope what other advantages will the Mallincam offer?

You can get a 32" LCD monitor for $220 now. That would work very well as a display for any of the interchangeable lens cameras.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (05/07/12 01:57 PM)


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Lorence
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Astronomiser.Com]
      #5210384 - 05/07/12 02:26 PM

Quote:

Anyone think we need a Digital Video Camera? Mallincam is great, but why not digital?

What about this new product for DSO's just coming out?






Your name suggests you're no miser. Go for it, it's only a Grand.


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Dwight J
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5210386 - 05/07/12 02:27 PM

The thing is you can't overcome the exposure difference with better tracking and a lower F ratio. If it worked so well we would be seeing those images in the gallery. You can do solar system objects with any camera and even some detail in brighter DSO's. This discussion keeps coming up about how other cameras and chips can mimic a Mallincam and can you "image" with it and why does it have low resolution and other requests of it that are not it's intended purpose. It does what it does better than any other camera currently available. I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary.

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Astronomiser.Com
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Lorence]
      #5210412 - 05/07/12 02:42 PM

Thanks to all. I really thought The Imaging Source cameras were not comparable to Mallincam at this time. However I am still amazed that someone has not developed a digital cam, which has all the sophisticated amenities. You can't find anything analogue nowadays. Heck even sewing machines are digital ! As a retired commercial pilot, we dispensed with analogue devices in the cockpit over 20 years ago. Love Mallincam though, and I'll bet money, Rock goes digital in the future. I believe he will be forced to. Clear Skies.

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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5210421 - 05/07/12 02:50 PM

Quote:

The thing is you can't overcome the exposure difference with better tracking and a lower F ratio. If it worked so well we would be seeing those images in the gallery. You can do solar system objects with any camera and even some detail in brighter DSO's. This discussion keeps coming up about how other cameras and chips can mimic a Mallincam and can you "image" with it and why does it have low resolution and other requests of it that are not it's intended purpose. It does what it does better than any other camera currently available. I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary.




Why not?

The only thing I havenít seen is a reason why you couldnít make up that exposure difference with tracking and a lower F ratio scope. Does the Mallincam do special processing that cuts through the light pollution?

I have noticed that most of the Mallincam images always have a pure black back ground even with images that the users say are in a light polluted area. Is it possible that the Mallincam can cut through the light pollution?

Edited by mpgxsvcd (05/07/12 02:52 PM)


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5210669 - 05/07/12 05:34 PM

All I can say and you will have to witness it for yourself is you just cannot beat the Mallincam for it's super sensitivity. For those who are not members or do not want to become memebers of the MC Yahoo group just to read the posts, I have done a cut and paste of Rock Mallin's (creator of the Mallincam) own words. Notice where it is stated that a 14 sec Mallincam exposure is equivalent to a 5 minute guided image with a cooled ccd camera. After using ccd and DSLR cameras for many years and several different Mallincam models I can agree with this when using the same telescope at equal focal ratios. See below!

Curtis, (this is gonna be long)

You are comparing apples with oranges here. MallinCam was never intended to be a
imager or a webcam based camera. Its a handcrafted camera with highly
specialized components custom made for the MallinCam and meticulously
hand crafted one at a time including hand picked all class 1 ccd sensors with
options of class 0 sensors available. Something you will never find on the DMK.
The MallinCam is built like a tank, industrial grade, made to last and last all
with grade one electronic components not general consumer type grade components.

Ask yourself:
- Are the competitor offer hand made, handcrafted highly specialized components?

- Do they offer true research grade ccd sensor complete with grade of ccd sensor
available?

- What is their service department like?

- Do they offer any upgrades?

- DO they offer any direct communication with the company?

- Are they offering direct talk with any designer or engineers?

There are tons more to be investigated from your part.


The MallinCam provide a camera that was designed to be used as a live observing
instrument in the field or in a observatory where no computer is needed. With a
75 Ohms and S-VIDEO true video output, it makes the camera far more flexible
than any others out there. The MallinCam is a high performance instrument and
designed for astronomical use. it was made to electronically increase aperture
of any telescope. Its a camera made for telescope use only. Not a web cam, not a
security cam, not a cooled ccd imager cam, but a astronomical live "video" ccd
camera to provide live views live instant aperture increase well over 5X and
provide a lifetime of true observing enjoyment and a pride of ownership that
reflect all users from a SkyWatcher use all the way to a Obsession user and
more. Heck, even NASA just recently purchase some more MallinCam for upper
atmospheric studies among other research they are conducting.

The highly specialized electronics used in each MallinCam has far-far-far-far
more gain and sensitivity than any others out there for astronomical purpose.
Just think for a moment: a 5 minutes guided exposure with a expensive cooled ccd
imager will equal the same result as a 14 seconds exposure with a MallinCam. I
seriously doubt DMK will even come close to this or any other video ccd cameras.
I have been sent many and I do mean many e mails with results from happy and
impressed customers who have made the test themselves about the result I just
mentioned above. I am not making this up.

Comparing a "Obsession" telescope to a "SkyWatcher" telescope or comparing
TeleVue eyepieces to any others out there is an insult and proof of inadequate
research was done. Same applies here. In my opinion, your comparative
information is not accurate and very misleading.

I understand your research into video cameras and in my opinion you should stick
to video cameras that has a true 75 Ohms output and viewed on a video monitor to
keep you informative presentation fair.

Curtis, please do not read this reply with hast. I am simply trying to sort out
the apples with oranges for you. The people who you will do the presentation
need to be educated on the difference from a USB webcam type camera and true
Astronomical video ccd camera. A serious difference prior to even begin any
comparative notes.

If you need additional help and or information, let me know. Send me a private e
mail if you have to.

Good luck with your presentation and thank you for owning a MallinCam.

Rock M.


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5210721 - 05/07/12 06:01 PM

Well put Dwight!!

Chris A


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Astronomiser.Com
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5210840 - 05/07/12 07:06 PM

Hello My Fellow Astronomy Friends:

I think Rock's reply to Curtis in above post was very interesting. I read the original exchange on Mallincam Group, prior to starting this thread. I do not believe Curtis was confrontational at all, and merely was trying to inquire about alternative options in video astronomy.

Now back to the subject. Since NSN began I am sure Mallincam sales have skyrocketed, and rightfully so. As I have stated several times, the Mallincam is a great product, and at this point far superior to anything else in the video field. Interestingly, I believe NSN has opened up lots of folks thinking, including mine, who were not that familiar with the video arena prior to NSN launch couple years back. This is a good thing I believe, as inquisitive minds often are instrumental in formulating knowledge, and thus progress.

Many DSLR and CCD Imagers are simply blind to why Video has not gone digital? We are not intending any malice nor intending any degradation towards any one existing product. We are simply asking the question.

I understand that sensitivity and cooling are issues, but they are CCD issues also. I understand that Mallincam was originally designed as a in the field aide to enhance viewing pleasure, while not requiring a computer, and no one can deny Rock has far exceeded anyone's expectations in this accomplishment. Maybe their are many more issues blocking digital development, but I certainly am not smart enough to know what those might be.

However I am smart enough to know that if it can be done, Rock is the person to figure it out. I laugh sometimes while viewing Rock's occasional broadcast. His knowlege level of video devices is so far advanced that he often seems to toy with the audience in his Q & A responses, unintentionally I am sure. Ha !

When and if Rock decides to offer a digital alternative, their is no doubt he will be able to deliver the goods.

These are my last words for now, and I wish all viewing clear Skies, and Good Luck!

Semper Fi 1966-69


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mclewis1
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5210880 - 05/07/12 07:34 PM

Quote:

The only thing I havenít seen is a reason why you couldnít make up that exposure difference with tracking and a lower F ratio scope. Does the Mallincam do special processing that cuts through the light pollution?



You certainly can extend the capabilities of a Mallincam with a faster scope or longer exposures but you can only effectively push things so far before the Law of diminishing returns starts to really take hold. Large scopes that are optically well corrected and very fast (under f4) are usually also very expensive, as are highly accurate mounts that can carry those large scopes. Ideally it would be great if the increased sensitivity was totally linear but it's tough to get f ratios down below f3 and longer exposures need accurate tracking and most mounts can't maintain highly accurate tracking beyond a few minutes without extra help (autoguiding, etc.).

No, there's nothing "special" about the way Mallincams handle noise and bright backgrounds. The in camera controls can only do so much.

Quote:

I have noticed that most of the Mallincam images always have a pure black back ground even with images that the users say are in a light polluted area. Is it possible that the Mallincam can cut through the light pollution?



Experienced Mallincam users are usually fairly adept at getting an aesthetically pleasing image (camera settings, monitor or PC capture settings), and that means as dark a background as possible/practical. There are also a number of external devices that help here. For a few years Mallincam sold a DVE (digital video enhancer), it is an inline device that offers an improved black level. Recently Rock has started to modify his frame grabber (MCV-1) with enhanced black level capabilities as a replacement for his original DVE.

Another method of reducing light pollution many Mallincam users employ is the use filters. The extra sensitivity of the Mallincam allows you to effectively use narrow band filters with smaller scopes.


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5211116 - 05/07/12 10:15 PM

One thing I have noticed is that when comparing the mallincam to other cameras it is often said "Can your camera see the horse head in a short amount of time".

Well, no. It has a built in filter that prevents most of that light from coming through. The Mallincam is purpose built to let all of that light come in.

However, I have seen some modded Canon cameras that can get the horse head in what I thought was impossibly short. So is it just extremely sensitive to Ha or is it sensitive to all light?

Can someone post an M51 live view image from the Mallincam with 8 second integration time? If it can be done in about 2 minutes with other cameras then the Mallincam should be able to do it in about 8 seconds if the 5x-21x the light claims are true.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5211131 - 05/07/12 10:22 PM

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?



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Dwight J
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5211358 - 05/08/12 12:41 AM Attachment (71 downloads)

Quote:

One thing I have noticed is that when comparing the mallincam to other cameras it is often said "Can your camera see the horse head in a short amount of time".

Well, no. It has a built in filter that prevents most of that light from coming through. The Mallincam is purpose built to let all of that light come in.

However, I have seen some modded Canon cameras that can get the horse head in what I thought was impossibly short. So is it just extremely sensitive to Ha or is it sensitive to all light?

Can someone post an M51 live view image from the Mallincam with 8 second integration time? If it can be done in about 2 minutes with other cameras then the Mallincam should be able to do it in about 8 seconds if the 5x-21x the light claims are true.



I don't have an 8 second or 4 second one but I do have a screen grab of 112 sec of M 51. I think the color adds to the image which is tough for a dedicated ccd camera to do with a short exposure. My guess is that this duration of exposure of 112 sec looks similar to what one would get with a 20 minute or so exposure with a dedicated ccd. A DSLR would take longer. This was a Mallincam VSS on a C11 @ F3.3


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5211376 - 05/08/12 01:12 AM

Black sky backgrounds in astro images are a symptom of one or more of:
- short exposure
- strong reduction of sky glow via filtration
- excessive contrast
- setting the black point aggressively

In DSO imaging where I want to retain the fainter parts of nebulous subjects, I tend to keep a reasonable degree of sky glow. Too harsh a black sky risks artificially clipping the faint bits to invisibility.


Increased sensitivity us not really equivalent to an increase in aperture. The ultimate limit to exposure time is sky glow, which determines image contrast and limiting stellar magnitude. A less sensitive camera will fundamentally capture the same image as would one more sensitive, only requiring a longer exposure (disregarding for the moment differences in noise.)

And if one could claim an equivalent increase in aperture as garnered by better sensitivity, at best it would scale as the area of the aperture, not diameter. For example, if a camera is 4X more sensitive than another, no way does it effectively make the aperture 4X larger in diameter. Rather, one might, in limited cases, say that the aperture 'gain' is 2X larger in diameter (4X the effective area.)


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5211634 - 05/08/12 09:14 AM

I really like what I hear about what the mallincam can do, but I don't think the comparisons are even close to realistic. 14 sec equal to 5min exposure, single 112 second to 20 minutes exposure, etc. It's really misleading.

I have seen short exposure ccd similar to what you get.

Here is a link for a single 30 second exposure of M51 with a 10" scope - Look at second pic on that page and compare that to the 112 second mallincam screen grab with the 11" that was used.



I would like to hear about many methods used in short exposures, but really need unbiased reports that show strengths on both sides.


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Raginar
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5211640 - 05/08/12 09:16 AM

I had both for awhile. 14 sec does generate some amazing pictures, however the quality is definitely not equal to a 5-minute exposure from my CCD. HOWEVER, caveat that with I can explore about 15 targets with a mallincam in the time it took me to take that 5-minute CCD image.

I think mallincams and CCD are mutually exclusive; and I prefer the quick viewing of a mallincam for visual purposes. BUT, if I want to print something... of course I want the CCD.

I'll second that customer service is more important than getting a slightly cheaper product. I've bought tons of astro/computer gear in the last year setting up my ROR... and I've sent more stuff back because they employed poor tech support that couldn't provide basic information such as drivers, or simple troubleshooting when the product didn't work out of the box.

Buy a mallincam and you'll have customer service for the rest of your camera's life. I'll guarantee you won't get that from Samsung or whatever else we've rigged to act like a mallincam on the cheap.

Good luck,
Chris


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5211651 - 05/08/12 09:20 AM

Here is a YouTube video showing 15 minutes of M51 by way of 30 second exposures, then stacked, but it shows the individual 30 second subs too - M51 in stacked 30 second exposures

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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5211662 - 05/08/12 09:24 AM

Unfortunately after reading all the stuff in this thread and the entire mallincam users group yahoo messages, I was really believing it would be impossible to get anything worthwhile in less than 5 minutes of shooting with a ccd. I thought this sounded wrong, so did a little investigation.

Not very nice to mislead so dramatically! I thought I would have no alternative but buy the mallincam to get the short shots I wanted in screen grabs - not true.


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5212486 - 05/08/12 05:20 PM

The only reason a capture device is requireD is to convert the analog signal to digital so your computer can read the data. Since you are going to be using I imagine your USB 2.0 in order to capture an image to download to PC then you will need Manycam or WebcamMax to lasso the image and display on NSN. Your NSN camera connection would be Manycam or WebcamMax. You would only need a frame grabber if you were using the AV output for live view but that would be only real time and would only be good for the moon, planets or solar.

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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5212498 - 05/08/12 05:25 PM

No, I do not believe that a ccd/dslr camera could be used the *exact* same way a mallincam can be used for near live viewing. I will believe once I see it and I am very much looking forward to your weekend broadcast on NSN. Could you please share a name so we at least know who is going to be on?

Thank you!

Chris A


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mclewis1
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5212508 - 05/08/12 05:30 PM

yeah sometimes owning a Mallincam does feel a bit like you've joined a religion.

We've talked about stereotypes before and it cuts both ways, I wouldn't be overly critical and try to suppose that those vocal folks are being that black and white.

It's never been about what does and doesn't work. It's more about how well something works or how appropriate the technology is. Heck I could make my old Canon 350D appear like a live view camera on NSN with a little scripting.

Many of us are well aware of the newer non SLR digital cameras and how nice they've become. Getting them with removable lenses has been a big step as has the low noise higher sensitivity circuitry that's showing up. Can you get nice live views with them? Sure. Is one of these cameras someone's first choice for live viewing? Not usually.

A few things that frustrate Mallincam users are the stereotype of it's just a cheap security camera with a few mods and that other types of imagers are just as good at the live view stuff. The issues have been debated over and over in a variety of forums and many folks are tired of those debates. Each individual owner usually articulates what works for them about the Mallincam but in a general debate those features and functions may not be what works for someone else (yeah, there are a lot of common things too), so it can be difficult to get a complete picture of a product like the Mallincam from just a few points of view. This is why it's common to suggest joining the Yahoo group run by the manufacturer himself when the discussion gets very complex. There you can get a more complete picture.

And I should add that it's not about having to join the Mallincam group and ask questions (although that's never a problem), rather it's more about being able to read some of the extensive exchanges and view the photos.

Edited by mclewis1 (05/08/12 06:15 PM)


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Dwight J
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212512 - 05/08/12 05:33 PM

:Me too

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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5212526 - 05/08/12 05:41 PM

For vandrogonnoggin - Eric? and mpgxsvcd - no name

This is what I am talking about that surely shows you an extremely hard object to see not only from a light polluted site but a dark site. This was a single capture on my NSN broadcast one night using a C9.25 @ F5.8 from a very light polluted city of magnitude 3.5. It is a single 130 sec capture using my MCX and no filters. No processing done except I sampled the image 2 x and labelled the main galaxies. Please before you make any comments do your research first regarding the Hickson 50.* Click on the image to display it larger

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47296963@N08/7061889393/in/photostream

Chris A


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212539 - 05/08/12 05:48 PM

You are still avoiding my direct questions and that was a 130 second capture you had to wait 130 seconds for - not a 14 second capture compared to a 5 minute capture

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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5212548 - 05/08/12 05:54 PM

2 minutes and 10 seconds is still live then? So if I was to get three shots at 40 seconds each stacked using DSS Live, I would still get my stacked image 10 seconds faster than your 130 second capture, correct? Still, it wouldn't be live enough though according to everyone?

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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5212617 - 05/08/12 06:32 PM

I for one while a real supporter of the mallincam would love to see this. I have yet to see someone post something like this. I would like to step up a little in resolution even if it means longer exposures, I just don't want any exta work or processing. Someone show me how I would give it a go. So far I have not found anything that compares to the mallincam but I am looking. I have done comparisons between my dsi and mallincam and the dsi needed much longer exposures and darks and still the mallincam images are better.

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ccs_hello
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5212626 - 05/08/12 06:40 PM

First post in this thread for a good reason...

Short answer: why pick that astroCCD to compare in the first place ? I'm not going to say anything about it.

Another short answer: the debate happened "there", why let it spill over to here?

Long answer and for the benefit of our friendly CNers:
If you are a long time CNer and have checked in on other subforums, especially in Astrophotography & Sketching section, you'll notice from time to time people brought up the comparison or praising (a specific product) topics such as:
astroCCD imager vs. DSLR, solar system imager (mostly fast frame rate) vs. astroCCD vs. webcam (and recently vs. Liveview DSLR), and even long-exposure capable NTSC videocam vs. astroCCD,
most people just jumped in say something then bail out, and other simply do not respond (i.e., zero follow-up).

The reason, IMHO, is one (eventually) found out debating/comparing a multi-dimensional subject is fruitless. There is no consumer report type of 1-5 scoring system. At least, people appreciate that there is no one-size-fits-all clear winner on all fronts. So you take what's the best fit for your need.

I certainly can appreciate in this forum, the emphasis has always been how fast one can "see" the faint stellar objects, thus (in layman's term) "sensitive" trump everything else.

Few posts awhile back I stated that if you want to see "deep" and quick, then get a recent generation CCD sensor with large pixel size. Do an extremely high gain over the post-sensor analog signal (i.e., immediately after the CCD output), then do a strong dose of signal processing (modern videocams are all doing digital image processing using DSP inside the cam). At the same time, perform some tricks to keep the noise low (one popular one is active cooling), and incoming signal high (fast f-ratio under the same focal length.) Add some special sauce (e.g., do not look too closely), do not put an award-winning astro photo side by side, gather people at the same virtual porch to chat (no popcorn supplied, that s*@ks), do not count trial-and-error wasted time as image acquisition time, and if do not know the reasons behind a tough question, just point to that blackbox and say "it's automagic".

Then you have a winning formula:
good enough pixel-level minimally required S/N, a slightly better picture-level S/N, (never compare that with the normal astro imager's expected/achievable S/N), and be happy that the best "sensitivity" is in front of your eyes (thru a CRT display.)
For the rest of other desirable attributes, just throw them out of window. Can't win them all.

I said these not because out of disrespect. Actually I 100% appreciate this style of observing the beautiful sky.
I just feel there is no need to use a single attribute to compare a complex topic.
BTW, I should also mention that (thru my obscured crystal ball) there are other solutions to make some selected imaging devices "fast". Most of them have not been exploited in commercial sense (due to market segmentation decisions). We'll just have to wait until the climate changes.

P.S. For most of the urban-legends I'd suggest take them as a grain of salt. You know better than that.

If I offend any of you in some ways, I apologize.

My 0.02

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212694 - 05/08/12 07:33 PM

Ken (Dragon Man) should remember me (I helped him "read" some of his words in a manner he didn't intend).

I tend not too post much on CN, but, spend many hours reading posts on various CN Forums. This forum is one I frequent.

I find this thread odd. The MC Xtreme has clearly crossed the line because it is no longer a "true" video camera. It is computer controlled like any other CCD camera now.

Others who try to post live views taken in CCD cameras that use a computer are scolded in this forum and told to post their images elsewhere. Yet, the MC Xtreme snapshots are "welcomed". Can you take those snapshots in the MC Xtreme without a computer controlling the time or adjusting the image?

The MC Xtreme is clearly a computer controlled camera due to the software interface. The camera itself is also a mini-computer.

Why is it that the MC Xtreme owners have the right to be "welcome" here in this forum and the CCD users are not?

What is the reason nytecam is banned from posting the images in the link below, yet, the MC Xtreme owners are allowed to?

Brief Exposure CCD Snapshots

nytecam does not process his images. They are snapshots. The MC Xtreme is using a computer to control the camera. Right?

I find it odd this forum only allows the MC Xtreme owners to post their images here and not others.

If a computer is used to control the camera in any way other than the "snapshot capture", it should not be allowed here. That's the reason you gave nytecam and other CCD "users" who tried to post here in the past. If MC Xtreme snapshots are allowed in this forum, all CCD live view (unprocessed images) snapshots should be allowed here.

Honestly, I feel if the Xtreme owners are allowed to post their images in this forum, it should open up. Samsung owners who use DSS Live should be allowed to post their live shots. That too, is a "live view". DSS live is enhancing (stacking) the image they see outside at the mount. Isn't that why this forum was established? A CCD (video or other camera) can see more that one's eye through the eyepiece.

Why not open the door wider in this forum and allow others to participate. If an MC Xtreme owner posts a 2-minute or more capture, why can't screen shot of a DSS Live stack (2 minute) taken with a Sammy be allowed here?

Perhaps I'm wrong. However, I see this forum is really turning in to a Mallincam "Group" forum. The rules here seem to bend to allow Xtreme owners the right over other "snapshots".

It is apparent that if someone "questions" a Mallincam here that an offensive begins. Maybe I'm seeing things wrong.

David B in NM


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5212705 - 05/08/12 07:40 PM

Chris,
Your Hickson 50 image, taken with a C9.25 w/ focal reducer for ~2 minutes under a 3.5m sky, is not much inferior to a friend's image taken with a Meade 14" at prime focus on a ST10-XME for 10 minutes (30 sec. subs, stacked) under his 5.3m sky.

One time I hooked up my VSS+ to his 14" scope for some live viewing, with the MFR-5 reducer working at about f/5. This allowed the smaller-chip MC to have near the same field as his CCD camera at prime focus. And so it must be borne in mind that to start with the image surface brightness was 2 f-stops, or 4X brighter with my setup installed. But of course the pixel count is a heck of a lot smaller, with ~330,000 vs ~6,000,000.

He was astonished to see that the several objects we looked at appeared in some respects almost as good as his images. (Note: He is something of a beginner at imaging, and so he does virtually no processing aside from a linear stretch. Most of his images are around 10 minutes, built up from 30 sec. subs. But this does allow for a somewhat fairer comparison, given that he hasn't tweaked and massaged for ultimate prettiness.) I had the MC updating every 20-50 seconds, depending on sky brightness.

He has seen how potent a good video camera is, and is seriously contemplating adding an MC Xtreme to his arsenal.


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5212720 - 05/08/12 07:51 PM

David,
While the Xtreme can be computer controlled, I believe it can operate with just the optional wireless remote. More importantly, it's still an analog video camera which can send its signal directly to a monitor. Hence it's a 'live'-view device--by virtue of the simplicity, I suppose--just like other non computer-controlled video cameras.


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5212724 - 05/08/12 07:54 PM

Eric I am sorry but you are not making any sense to me. What do you mean did I have to wait for a 130 sec image to appear?? Of course I had to wait!! The Mallincam uses an electronic shutter and the shutter remains open for a given exposure time provided by the user via software or wireless remote and then the image appears on the screen. You then tweak the video settings in real-time to your liking. The camera will keep refreshing a new image until you stop the exposure or it reaches the specified number of exposures you requested.

I am not avoiding your 14 sec to 5 min question since it is really not relavant for me and I have nothing to prove. I suggest you go on NSN and you would be better off to sign in and participate by asking questions. There are many of us on always willing to help out!

Chris A


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5212731 - 05/08/12 07:58 PM

Please define Live?? No one can see any deep sky objects Live it is just impossible. The only objects that I am aware of that you can see Live is the moon, planets and solar.

Chris A


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5212747 - 05/08/12 08:06 PM

Ok, I'll bite here. Why is that a class 2 large array sensor like the ST-10XME takes 10 minutes of 30 second subs in a 14" to equal the 9.25" with a 130 second screen grab, but the 60 second lodestar-C unprocessed screen grab looks as good as the 112 second MC screen grab of the same object?

Obviously these cannot fall under a blanket statement of descriptions or none of the examples would be that close.

There must obviously be some difference in size or class of sensor in the SBIG camera to have to image for 10 minutes to equal the quicker MC, but not get close to the lodestar or 314e Atik used in examples I posted.

The examples I posted are definitely not the first I've seen of single OSC pictures or screengrabs of small 1/3 to 1/2 size sensors on ccd's achieving good detail on objects like many of the galaxies or globulars. I've seen pics of Leo trio like this, horsehead and flame, crab nebula (tendrils included), M16 pillars, etc, etc. may photos less than 60 second shots done without using a $5000 SBIG camera and stacking, but actually with sub $1000 small ccd's.

Are these guys posting these shots all making it up, or is it actually very individual on the setup and gear you use?



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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5212754 - 05/08/12 08:09 PM

Hi Mark

What gets me though is that NSN has been around for 2.5 years now and this discussion keeps coming up but no one except for one nice man (John I believe his name was) came on NSN using his Starlightxpress SXVH9C ccd camera and was showing us some pretty nice deep sky objects in color using Maxim and a script to automatically convert the raw data to color. He was able to do this because he had decent skies and most importantly was using a C14 in *Hyerstar mode* which was the key at f2 and even admitted this to us that this was the case. I then asked John if he could show us some fainter objects like the Rosette and the Christmas Tree nebula and he hit a limit regarding detail and color without going into stacking.

I know someday it will happen that ccd cameras will do very well with showing near real-time views using the needed proper software but that day has not come yet.

Chris A


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5212776 - 05/08/12 08:24 PM

Hi Glenn

Thank you for the kind words. That was very interesting to hear your experience with your friends setup and his views regarding the VSS. These MC video cameras are truly amazing.

Clear skies,

Chris A


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212784 - 05/08/12 08:32 PM

Quote:

Eric I am sorry but you are not making any sense to me. What do you mean did I have to wait for a 130 sec image to appear?? Of course I had to wait!! The Mallincam uses an electronic shutter and the shutter remains open for a given exposure time provided by the user via software or wireless remote and then the image appears on the screen. You then tweak the video settings in real-time to your liking. The camera will keep refreshing a new image until you stop the exposure or it reaches the specified number of exposures you requested.

I am not avoiding your 14 sec to 5 min question since it is really not relavant for me and I have nothing to prove. I suggest you go on NSN and you would be better off to sign in and participate by asking questions. There are many of us on always willing to help out!

Chris A




But it seems you do have something to prove and you posted that information to start with. If you are not prepared to answer how you think a 30 second to 60 second screen grab of unprocessed ccd image that clearly comes close to the same MC image is not valid here or doesn't exist, then I have to dismiss everything you post. If I am looking for a live view and have to wait 60 seconds for it to appear on a CRT or LCD, then it is no different to me than having to wait 60 seconds to appear on a monitor.


I am asking for help Right Here , why do I need to go on NSN to get an answer?

I am just curious as to both styles of live viewing, but it seems they really cross boundaries each way. I don't understand the refusal to see the examples all over the forums or refusal to accept a style as live if you don't broadcast it on NSN (I am a member already under same username).

I thought this forum was Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy, not Video and Broadcasted Astronomy Only.

I find this all a little weird.


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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5212793 - 05/08/12 08:37 PM

Glen,

The way I read this description is the MC Extreme is computer controlled (quote is copied and pasted in Caps from the website):

"OPTIONS INCLUDE
BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST, GAIN, GAMMA, HUE, SATURATION, SHARPNESS AND WHITE BALANCE. SINCE PC CONTROL IS THROUGH THE RS-232 AUXILIARY PORT ON THE MALLINCAM".

quoted from:

http://mallincam.tripod.com/id54.html

That is no different than an imaging CCD to me. All of those functions are part of a CCD imaging cam.

IMHO, Digital vs analog should not be a determining factor. Live view is a live view. Being able to broadcast the image on NSN should not be a weighted factor.

David B in NM

Added: Wireless is an option with the MC Xtreme. If anyone is snapping pics in this forum using the Xtreme with an RS232 interface it is "computer controlled" via software. That is a disqualifier for this forum so some say. If the RS232 is used for the Xtreme, why can't a USB interface via a computer be used for a CCD imaging camera in this forum for "liveview"?

This is a quote for this forum on the CN Forums page:

"This forum is dedicated to 'semi-live' electronically assisted viewing of astronomical events and targets. Discussed devices include (but are not limited to) the Collins I3, StellaCam, Mallincam and other 'semi-live' output devices. "

Why aren't live CCD imaging camera snapshot allowed here? Is it too much competition for the Mallincams?


Edited by David B in NM (05/08/12 08:48 PM)


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Dwight J
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212819 - 05/08/12 08:58 PM

Gee, I better hang on to my HX916. Who knew it was a video camera too! What is the difference between video observing and viewing short exposures? Our club's Mallincam Extreme has never been near a computer and we view via a TV set. No images are saved unless we record the session on DVD. We often expose for over three minutes so the screen is refreshed every three minutes. Think of it as very slow motion. Does that make it not video? At what exposure time does it transmute to imaging? The camera output is a video signal. The output of my CCD camera is not despite how short of an exposure I take. I will need a computer to view it's output. Same with my DSLR and "Live view" can be a video output but unsuitable for most deepsky objects. Call it macaroni or whatever, a Mallincam is a deepsky video camera and CCD cameras and DSLR's are imagers. The video mode of DSLR's are not well suited. for most deepsky objects.

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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5212853 - 05/08/12 09:44 PM

I see when you are asking for help you are contradicting one who is trying to help you out. If you want to see live views (meaning views on the display at that time)so they can only be manipulated by using the video settings like brightness, contrast, hue, saturation and sharpness, then the best place to see this is on NSN or at a star party showing live observations and not images. You do not know at all if theses images have had any type of post processing like dark, flat, curves, clone stamp etc. now do you??

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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5212863 - 05/08/12 09:55 PM

Computer control has nothing to do with near live observation. It is the way that the image for display has to be put together by using a software programs when using a CCD or DSLR. This is too time consuming and very tedious to show for public observing. Also what I do not like is the post processing like curves, calibration etc. that is done when posting a lot of these images saying that they were captured as is on their computer screens.

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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212879 - 05/08/12 10:01 PM

Well, it sounds like you are saying that ALL of these individuals that post these screen grabs from ccd single shots must be lying about not processing at all and you know that they are indeed processing.

I don't know how you seem to know this. All I have to go off of are the claims made by the posters of such images. I don't know why they would all be lying about it. Particularly in other forums with no mention of Mallincams, so I don't think it is some sort of conspiracy to make the ccd's look much more powerful than they are or make the mallincam seem less like the amazing video cam it is.

Why do YOU think they would all be actually processing and claiming they aren't?


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mallin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5212897 - 05/08/12 10:09 PM

David,

You did not post the correct statement from the MallinCam website thus indicating wrong information to others on this forum.

It clearly state from the MallinCam website:

"THE SOFTWARE CONTAINS A VIDEO CONTROL INTERFACE THAT WORKS IN
CONJUNCTION WITH THE USER SUPPLIED CAPTURE DEVICE. THE
AVAILABLE VIDEO CONTROL OPTIONS IN THE SOFTWARE ARE LIMITED BY
THOSE SUPPORTED BY THE CAPTURE DEVICE. OPTIONS INCLUDE
BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST, GAIN, GAMMA, HUE, SATURATION, SHARPNESS AND WHITE BALANCE.
SINCE PC CONTROL IS THROUGH THE RS-232 AUXILIARY PORT ON THE
MALLINCAM,"

Adjustments you state are from a capture device (frame grabber) and not a MallinCam. This make the MallinCam short of a ccd imager. Its a live Video Interlaced via composite 75 Ohms output and through S-VIDEO observing system as clearly indicated on the MallinCam website.

Also by your statement:

"Wireless is an option with the MC Xtreme. If anyone is snapping pics in this forum using the Xtreme with an RS232 interface it is "computer controlled" via software. That is a disqualifier for this forum so some say."

Based on your statement, you just disqualified the excellent Collins I3.

Video is Video not data capture like a dedicated ccd imager where raw data is capture and post processed. MallinCam is a Live Video CCD camera dedicated to observers. Two different world, two purpose.

I highly respect all the companies who makes dedicated cooled ccd imager and I don't "trash" any of them. In fact MallinCam provide a "thirst" for imaging to all future astro imager and encourage others to purchase dedicated ccd imagers for those who "thirst" astrophotography.

At the end of the day its all good for everyone.

Peace.
Regards,
Rock Mallin


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5212927 - 05/08/12 10:23 PM

I am not saying that they are doing this, so please do not put words in my mounth. I am saying that this can be easily done and you would not even know it that's all. Enough of this and I am sorry to the other members here for this silly debate dragging on.

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ccs_hello
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5212932 - 05/08/12 10:27 PM

Quote:

... Same with my DSLR and "Live view" can be a video output but unsuitable for most deepsky objects. ... The video mode of DSLR's are not well suited. for most deepsky objects.



Since DSLR LiveView mode was referenced, I'd like to add some clarifications so misperception will not become yet another urban legend:

DSLR, especially the ones using CMOS image sensor (much less heat generated), nowadays started to offer preview capabilities in lieu of the traditional optical viewfinder. Actually, for SLD/EVIL/MILC digital cameras, preview is the primary way of display the image in "framing and focus-assist" mode, before the actual still capture (one shot) or movie/HD video recording.

I have been very careful choosing the word "preview" to generalize the scenario. The camera designers from different manufacturers are making couple of different decisions depend on what they think the market wants while also fits the manufacturer's market segmentation strategy.

When enough illumination on the framed objects are available, the preview mode (also known as draft recording mode) will attempt to follow the user's camera setting to mimic the actual result in the actual shooting.
When under insufficient lighting, the preview mode setting starts to depart from the user setting. Some mfgs designers chose to use the strategy of
- overriding aperture,
- increasing ISO,
- increasing the exposure time

On the third one, Canon DSLRs will do that up to a degree, i.e., approx 1/10 sec but not more. I.e., it prefers to give the live experience than let user see anything at all.

Few mfgs chose to skip the "live" aspect, but allowing the exposure time to go much longer. I.e., use "can see" strategy than the "make it live" strategy.

Another area that DSLR mfgs have not yet fully explored is to make ISO even higher while sacrifices S/N (much noisier and grainy).
I would guess mos of this subforum viewers would love to see this happening. But this is not happening.
The main reason is DSLR, as a higher quality tier, would not want to degrade DSLR's name (the image) and be put into the same tier as the tiny pixel pitch P&S digicam tier.
The second reason is those DLSR review sites will not give it a good press, which can break the sales volume.
DSLR's main audiences are regular photographers.

Can the situation change or a custom settings (allow long-exposure preview, extra high-gain but low S/N preview image allowed) to made? I'd say sure but probably is in mfg's low priority to-do list.

I'd like to also hint that astroCCD imager's mfgs tend to have the same thinking. I.e., quality picture than just make it "can see".

One more hint:
none of the CCD (other than EMCCD) can natively provide high "sensitivity". All are bound by a simple and unbreakable physical principle: you cannot generate energy than what the energy put in (or we'll going to have cold-fusion already .) Energy in is one photon at a time, and energy out is one electron at a time. This is the most basic of promise of Q/E<-- normalized by area and the value cannot be greater than 1. So we know the conversation we have heard about A sensor vs. B are really post photosite gains (if we normalize the photosite area). In this thread, the difference is just one component: the analog amplifier (part of AFE). Some vendors is willing to go for extremely high gain amp.
Actually, the same CCD sensor used is also used in some CCDimagers/video cameras without extreme gain.

I hope this information is useful for some.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5212956 - 05/08/12 10:44 PM

I would say your are bang on and it will take a lot of time (if ever) for those manufacturers to change their way of building their products in order to make this happen.

Chris A


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5212967 - 05/08/12 10:50 PM

Quote:

I am not saying that they are doing this, so please do not put words in my mounth. I am saying that this can be easily done and you would not even know it that's all. Enough of this and I am sorry to the other members here for this silly debate dragging on.




Me too. It would not have been dragging on so long if I had actually had my questions to you addressed, rather than 100% avoidance other than offering up that some people might be doing more processing than they claim. I posted the links to examples specifically that contradicted what you were saying, but to end up only with the suggestion that those people might be doing more processing than they let on is quite disappointing. I am still highly doubting they all are processing more than they let on, so it leads me to believe that a non processed short exposure will get me similar results if I were to be using similar cameras on similar scopes in similar conditions.

I think I understand that some people cannot grasp that waiting for 30-60 seconds for a screen grab on a laptop seems to be no different an idea for some people than waiting for the same length of time until your video monitor updates with its new image. Seems like it would be live enough to me.

I apologize for wasting my own time as well as everyone else here.



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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5213038 - 05/08/12 11:41 PM

I'll tell you what, one night I will go on NSN (channel Astrogate) and use both my Mallincam Xtreme and Canon 40D modified (Baader UV/IR Filter)using my Macro 100 mm f/2.8 camera lens to be fair with no filters and perhaps this will answere your question for you live in front of all the viewers. Feel free to sign in and ask any astro questions you want to ask. This is the best way to answere this for you I believe. I will post here when that will take place and it will not be too far away.

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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5213047 - 05/08/12 11:48 PM

I'm not interested in DSLR views compared to mallincam. I am specifically interested in lodestar - C, superstar - C, Atik Titan, Atik 420-c, Atik 314e, or Atik 314l+ color comparisons. Particularly the Atik Titan or Lodestar -c as it uses larger pixels, are cooled, and the Atik Titan does 15fps along with long exposure or short exposure and uses class 1 HAD Sony chip with larger pixels.

I think that would be a better comparison. Comparing a DSLR to mallincam is not what I had in mind for live views. The Atik software has a preview feature built in their software too.

But thanks for the offer - I think that one IS apples to Oranges, while the cameras I mentioned are not so much.

I believe even the prices are comparative in what I'm looking for:

$700 for the Atik Titan + $700 for Acer laptop I had in mind is comparable to MC xtreme price, minus a monitor of course.

Edited by Vondragonnoggin (05/08/12 11:52 PM)


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5213099 - 05/09/12 12:31 AM

Hope whatever you find makes you happy and meets your expectations.

Over and out!


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5213184 - 05/09/12 03:13 AM

Do any of the DSLR makers offer the option to bin pixels? That most sensors used in these cameras have 3-5 micron pixels impairs sensitivity. Video chips with ~7 micron pixels have nearly 4X the area per pixel and so right off the bat have the potential for better sensitivity. A DSLR which could bin 2X2 (or 3X3) could begin to approach video's base sensitivity. (Of course, other aspects such as micro-lensing, on-chip filter masks, amification etc., do play their part in the output image.)

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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5213187 - 05/09/12 03:14 AM

Quote:

I really like what I hear about what the mallincam can do, but I don't think the comparisons are even close to realistic. 14 sec equal to 5min exposure, single 112 second to 20 minutes exposure, etc. It's really misleading.

I have seen short exposure ccd similar to what you get.

Here is a link for a single 30 second exposure of M51 with a 10" scope - Look at second pic on that page and compare that to the 112 second mallincam screen grab with the 11" that was used.



I would like to hear about many methods used in short exposures, but really need unbiased reports that show strengths on both sides.




I've done all three, I currently a Mallincam Xtreme, a dslr, and I have an old Meade ccd but have sold the better cams.

As far as the 14 second equals 5 minutes, who said that, when did they say it and in what context?

To me, the rationale for the Mallincam is ease of use. Since sky glow limits the exposure time any camera can use, todays cameras, from typical light polluted back yards, will not be all that different.

Again, for me, the Mallincam is all about ease of use. Its easy to change settings, move around areas of the sky at slow slew rates and, at the 10-20 seconds the sky glow allows, many objects are easily acquired and viewed and viewed in a short time. The Mallincam is not fussy.

Three years ago the Mallincam might have had a greater advantage over dslrs and ccds. Today, I don't think the advantage is as great as it once was. But for what it does, the Mallincam might not be magic but it is still a very useful tool as an alternative to visual observing.

I've seen video taken with the Mallincam from dark sky sites with large telescopes and the images are gorgeous.


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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mallin]
      #5213266 - 05/09/12 07:19 AM

Rock,

I'm sorry if I misquoted you. However even if the USB device controls the camera "output" in any way it is "computer controlled". Right?


To all others:

For the life of me I can not understand why live view shots from CCD imaging cameras are not allowed here. Once again I quote the purpose of this forum from the CN Forums page:

"This forum is dedicated to 'semi-live' electronically assisted viewing of astronomical events and targets. Discussed devices include (but are not limited to) the Collins I3, StellaCam, Mallincam and other 'semi-live' output devices. "

end quote.

Isn't a CCD imaging camera electronic? Isn't a computer electronic?

If a CCD camera does have the capability to do some enhancing process but is able to refresh the image in lets say 2 minutes via the computer, isn't this a live or semi-live view? The action is taking place on the screen when the observer is there?

Other cameras are disqualified because they do not send an analog signal. A TV monitor or computer monitor is pretty much the same. Netbook computers are pretty powerful and have a small footprint. To me a CCD inmaging camera and "analog" camera are electronic. Right?

IMHO, there are alternatives to the Mallincam that can fill two purposes. Some CCD cameras can provide nice live views and beautiful AP photos.

I've seen people post a live unprocessed CCD image on this forum, and people on this forum, have politely told them this was only a "video" forum.

IMHO a video camera is no longer a video camera when it is not capturing say 30 frames per second. That is video. Just because an analog signal is passed by a camera for a "extended" exposure should not make it any different than a CCD imaging camera. Once again, that only my humble opinion.

Does anyone really know what "magic tricks" the Mallincam circuits perform under the hood? Who knows, it may have a mini processor inside. Right?

The phrase "not limited to" for the purpose of this forum, clearly indicates that live view snaps shots taken from any camera are allowed in this this forum. Right?

When this Video Assisted Forum first started the video cameras were "short duration" exposures. Times have changed. Integration times have become longer and CCD imaging chips have become better. I feel if a 30 sec to 2 min exposure from an analog camera is allowed here, the same image time for a ccd camera should be allowed here.

This forum is a place to educate others and provide a means to let them see how they can spend money and what they would get. The current "by laws" in this forum preclude capable ccd imaging cameras from posting snapshots that are far better than an analog camera.

If processing can be done on the fly...that's great! The intent of this forum was an electronic device and "semi-live". However, as many can see, this is still an "analog forum".

I guess in 20 years this forum will still be "analog signal".

Perhaps CN will start a new Forum for EMCCD and other cameras when they become more affordable.

Technology is changing everyday



David B in NM

Edited by David B in NM (05/09/12 07:28 AM)


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ccs_hello
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5213281 - 05/09/12 07:46 AM

David B,
I will not be able to say anything about the picture posting rules in this subforum. I'd guess it might have been people do not want to see Apple v. Oranges comparisons if there is a heavy dose of photoshop'ing while not able to tell if the end result is from a near real-time PC (x86 CPU) based image processing, a near real-time in-videocam DSP (Digital Signal Processing) based image process, or an after tedious manually edited photoshop'ed image.

I am not aware of any ban on discussing any PC based alternatives on near realtime image processing. In-videocam DSP is doing image processing routine while PC software based (using x86 general purpose CPU as opposed to mission-specific DSP) image processing. They are essentially the same while the latter is much more powerful and feature rich. Indeed the latter is less mature, but with jointly effort and more people pushing for it, it will evolve fast.

BTW, I welcome the new MCX CCD mode, since it's dual-use and also open another conduit for near realtime PC based image processing.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5213293 - 05/09/12 07:58 AM

Perhaps once there is software that takes over the functions that are native in the mallincam we will see cooled ccd imagers do what the mallincam can. It seems to me in my limited expierence that the ccd imager requires much more work and time for an equivelent image. Investing the time and effort often results in a superior image for the ccd imager, but for me, viewing with a group, the effort is not worth it.

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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5213295 - 05/09/12 08:02 AM

css-hello,

I agree that a "processed" image (takes much more than seconds to do) is not what this forum wishes to see and agree an image like that should be posted elsewhere. However, on-the-fly images are no different than what DSP is capable of doing.

I've seen people (nytecam for example) disqualified for posting screen captures here in this forum. You must have seen it too (I know you visit this forum daily!).

Yes, DSP and a PC are pretty much one in the same. The difference in output is what people in this forum want in analog form.

IMHO, the last generation of what I would consider true video cameras are the 512x. Once you add a TEC and longer exposure you begin to operate in the same world as a CCD.

There are many people who may "think" the DSP is not a value added feature. It is a mini-processor that does much more than they may realize under the hood. It may not be software, but, it is embedded "directions".

I would dare place a bet that many "video camera" users have a PC with them out in the field when they are viewing. Monitors may be useful for outreach. A netbook takes up nearly the same footprint as a monitor now.

David B in NM


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mallin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5213296 - 05/09/12 08:04 AM

Hi David,

I think some (not directed at you specifically) are missing the information and should read the website carefully . The MallinCam, all of them in fact, are made to be used without a computer control of the camera. The MallinCam Xtreme was design to be used manually via rear camera menu buttons and a wireless external exposure controller. IF, and only IF a user decide to control the camera via computer (not the image), they can. The camera is versatile in both ways. "No computer needed" still stand for all MallinCams. Video signal is transmitted analog not digital from the camera. Ccd sensor are all analog.

I've noticed a few posts that talked about exposure of 14 seconds. Well a few weeks ago I was on live on NSN and observing Hickson 50 live from my magnitude of 2.8 downtown Ottawa polluted sky. It was seen by more than 60+ people live. Not photograph. Exposure was less than 20 seconds but exposure of 30 seconds clearly shown a less noisy image of the faint target down to magnitude 20.8. Jack Huerkamp has seen Hickson 50 (including the 20.8 magnitude galaxy)live and he "frame grabbed it" it in 2.1 seconds under dark skies with a 17.5" telescope in New Mexico. I, did it in 12 seconds in 2006 live from Foymount at the Video Star Party with a 16" LX 200. Denis Legault (astronomer) with a Discovery 14" Dob did it in 12 seconds as well live. Dr. Simon Hanmer did it next to Denis Legault and myself in 6 seconds using a LX 200 8" under magnitude 6.9 Foymount sky back in 2006. The camera is a live instrument design to be live. Not made to compete with any ccd imagers. That comparing "bananas with potatoes". Live video requires a lot more "horse power" (sophisticated electronics) designed for short exposure to benefit mount tracking error and show a decent image live in short expsoure and view the final result through a T.V., monitor or frame grabber.

Peace.
Regards,
Rock Mallin

PS: I have picture of Hickson 50 taken from Foymount (on the MallinCam Website). Jack Huerkamp has picture of Hickson 50 taken at 2.1 seconds Contact me off list for links. Or better yet contact Jack Huerkamp direct.


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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mallin]
      #5213305 - 05/09/12 08:17 AM

Rock,

Yes, I do realize that the night skiy does make a difference in what one can do with a video or ccd camera.

I am blessed in the area I reside. I live on 10-acres midway between NMSkies and Apache Point (Sloan/Sunspot) Observatory here in NM. A video camera capable of 256x-512x does well here for me.

David B in NM


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5213306 - 05/09/12 08:17 AM

Glenn,

Let's go over some figures on pixel area comparisons (in square microns), not adding any other factors (some of them are major) into the picture:

(Just a sample set)

ToUCam SC4 mod 98
MC, SCB-4000, Orion DSCI G3 (type-1/2" NTSC) 82.32
ST-402ME 81
Meade DSI I, SAC8 72
Meade DSI II 71.38
QHY8, SXV-M25C, also Nikon D70, D100, Pentax *ist DS, and many 6Mpxl DSLRs 60.84
Atik16 54.76
Many type-1/3" videocams (NTSC) 47
Meade DSI III, SXV-H9 41.60
EOS 5D Mk II 40.96 approx.
Philips SPC900NC 31.36
Nikon D300, Sony Nex5 30.14
SAC10 11.9
Nikon 5400 7.7
Some tiny pixel HDvideocams and cams for smartphones 1.96


Just for fun!

P.S. eventually I'll write something about sensor evolution and benchmarking (being saying that for more than 3 years already )

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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Peter D.
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mallin]
      #5213359 - 05/09/12 09:08 AM

I agree 100% with Rock, and I believe: the Mallincam is the best product currently on the market for displaying "live" deep space images.

And I want to see "live" as deeply as possible (rather than displayed in these forums as an image), so I'll be buying a Mallincam soon.

However although I am an Analog engineer, I respect the potential of Digital technology. To me it's not important whether the near-live image is displayed on an analog video monitor or a digital flat-screen: it's the quality of the image that counts! I certainly don't see the finest video monitor as an advantage if it's limited to PAL or NTSC resolution. That's why many of us endure the hassle of digital imaging; for the resolution!

I'm thinking of near-future potential; where this is all leading. Right now there are no high-definition video astrocams, and there are no "live" deep space digital display systems. I believe that someday soon there will be "near-live" (or even full-motion live) high resolution low-light display systems; the only question is whether they will employ the HDTV standard or computer displays. They are the same anyway (an HDTV has a high-performance computer at its core, and all its pathways are digital), and it will be a long time before the analog CCD sensors are replaced by something better.

So I hear that Craig Stark is working on a "near-live" capacity for Nebulosity, and I imagine that Rock Mallin is considering a full HDTV Mallincam. Mallincam is king of "live" for now, but what's coming in the next few years? I'm breathless in anticipation.

Just trying to foster ideas; and although as someone quoted Hyman Rickover "Great minds discuss ideas", it takes inspired engineering to develop them.

Pete


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Raginar
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5213361 - 05/09/12 09:11 AM

I get good individual subs with lots of detail around 180s. I use 300s on my luminance images usually.

A mallincam is the better way to go.


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5213368 - 05/09/12 09:18 AM

Rock - talking about the 14 seconds bit probably never should have happened here on this forum as it was a quote from you, reported by Chris.

The reason it was mentioned so many times by myself, is because I think that making a blanket statement about what you can see in 14 seconds with a mallincam compared to taking 5 minutes with a ccd camera needs a qualifier like you just posted - the Hickson 20 or Hickson 50.

There were no qualifiers posted previously with the exception of a 112 second M51 shot which had a guess only from the poster (Dwight wasn't insistent on it or anything, it was just a guess) of an equivalent 20 minutes of exposure via ccd.

I posted examples of 60 second and below screen grabs - no processing, other than someone out of the three stating his had a dark subtract and black and white set only.

The images were very similar. No 20 minutes needed. I asked repeatedly to discuss why those shots were invalid and never gotta reason other than they might have had more processing than let on.

It is very clear to me that one cannot generalize your claim of 14 seconds to 5 minutes with no qualifier and has been proven on several objects that I would find extremely difficult to see from my own backyard in my own scopes, that there are possibilities of achieving similar results to the mallincam with short exposure ccd shots captured on a PC screen be that netbook, laptop, or if you drag a desktop out in the yard - it is still "live" in my book.

I think your products are top notch in construction and abilities, but I also think there are some very good products by other companies that can compete in certain situations and just like the mallincam, might excel at some and not do as well in other areas.

I'm trying to put a perspective on this from what i've seen and read from multiple sites, forums, and personal websites of users of various types of equipment.

If I research something I'm going to buy, I usually research quite a bit before purchasing. I have only sold one piece of Astro gear out of many because I have been happy with the research I did and came outa happy buyer. The piece I sold I used for a year and a half before selling to get something different. I still praise its quality to interested parties.

I am just furthering my research here with my questions. I did not feel I got the appropriate answer yet, so kept asking. Still haven't got the appropriate answer because it does not match up to my previous research at all other than you posting your qualifier which makes more sense to the statement in context.

Regards

Eric


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Dragon Man
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5213410 - 05/09/12 09:43 AM

What seems to be getting confused here is the reason why this Forum exists.
Notice the Forum title: Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy.

Nowhere in the title is the word 'Imaging' mentioned, so why is there so much quibbling about what constitutes who is allowed to post images and who can't.
The gallery is only there so people can see what a camera is capable of, so they may make a decision on which one to buy, or which scope to use with a camera they already have, etc.
The Gallery is a visual display of the end result directly from the Video or Electronically Assisted Astronomy 'Equipment'.

We are in the 'Equipment' section. Not the imaging section.

I can see David's point about how sometimes it does seem to be a Mallincam biased Forum. I hope it doesn't turn into one as there are different forms of Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy. Not just AstroVideo cameras, and they all belong here.
As I have mentioned before on this same point, even DSLR's with Live View are also considered 'Live View' astronomy.

Also, a Mallincam, Samsung, Orion, or whatever AstroVideo camera is used is fine being computer controlled. Does being Computer controlled stop it from being an Electronically Assisted Astronomy Tool? No, it actually makes it Electronically assisted. It fits the title of this Forum.
Nowhere does it say that a camera must only work on an analogue system and only appear on a monitor to be suitable for this Forum.

If a person wanted to take a screen shot or a freeze frame from a DSLR's 'Live View' it is allowed to be posted in the Gallery here. It fits the description.
Where the boundaries blur is when a single frame image from a DSLR is considered. It is much the same as a single frame CCD Mode image from a Mallincam.
The boundaries are certainly getting greyer by the day.

I am always happy to see Nytecam's images in this Gallery when they are Screen Grabs/Stills from his 'Live' view. When they are stacked or processed in any way (Post 'live'), then they can't be, for that is when they belong in the Imaging Galleries. Same for everyone.
If I stacked my Mallincam video, it is not a true representation of what the camera can 'see'. I cannot post a stack from my 'Live' video in this Gallery.

Try to remember this Forum is about 'Equipment', not 'Imaging'


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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dragon Man]
      #5213523 - 05/09/12 10:52 AM

Ken,

So, it's alright for the Mallincam to do the stacking on board the camera but it isn't alright for a CCD to use a computer and software real time to do it. What's up with that?

Times have not changed in this forum it appears with the intro of "newer" video cameras.

Here's a quote from nytecam in 2009:

There's a third option that I've been doing for a decade or so - realtime auto register/stacking CCD images via the camera software but much longer sub-exposures typically 20s - 60s duration to good effect [see my links below] rather than the very brief video frames exposures typical here. As such this technique doesn't appear to satisfy the contraints of this forum but I'm very happy with the realtime viewing options like seeing a galaxy appear on screen and subsequent post processing results

end quote

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=VAA&Number=3347760&Forum=,,f100,,&Words="dss%20live"&Searchpage=0&Limit=25&Main=2984655&Search=true&where=bodysub&Name=&daterange=1&newerval=
5&newertype=y&olderval=&oldertype=&bodyprev=#Post3347760



If this forum prohibits the capability for a CCD camera (or Sammy) to use software to level the playing field against the MC, this will remain a Mallincam "video processed image" forum. No one can tell me the MC does not do any of it's magic without "directions" on board the camera.

To me a CCD and software or a Sammy using DSS Live or this program along with DSS live should be allowed.

http://deepskyimaging.net/

It's all electronic right? It's all done (or can be done) out in the field "live" or "semi-live". The MC does it on-board. I guess that is "allowable". Right?

Honestly, I don't understand why this forum does not change with the times.

Your words below (quoted from your post I'm replying to) have me puzzled.

Quote:

Also, a Mallincam, Samsung, Orion, or whatever AstroVideo camera is used is fine being computer controlled. Does being Computer controlled stop it from being an Electronically Assisted Astronomy Tool? No, it actually makes it Electronically assisted. It fits the title of this Forum. Nowhere does it say that a camera must only work on an analogue system and only appear on a monitor to be suitable for this Forum.

If a person wanted to take a screen shot or a freeze frame from a DSLR's 'Live View' it is allowed to be posted in the Gallery here. It fits the description. Where the boundaries blur is when a single frame image from a DSLR is considered. It is much the same as a single frame CCD Mode image from a Mallincam. The boundaries are certainly getting greyer by the day.

I am always happy to see Nytecam's images in this Gallery when they are Screen Grabs/Stills from his 'Live' view. When they are stacked or processed in any way (Post 'live'), then they can't be, for that is when they belong in the Imaging Galleries. Same for everyone. If I stacked my Mallincam video, it is not a true representation of what the camera can 'see'. I cannot post a stack from my 'Live' video in this Gallery.

end quote

Your MC IS stacking it and processing it on board the camera...isn't it?

With the longer integration times now it is about time a pc and software be allowed as part of this forum. It it isn't, the MC Xtreme is gaming the system because indirectly it is hardwaired with directions.

Added: I tried to edit the link for nytecam's quote and call it Things Never Change". It looked like it worked, but it doesn't appear as though it did. Sorry...

David B in NM

Edited by David B in NM (05/09/12 11:03 AM)


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Dragon Man
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5213550 - 05/09/12 11:11 AM

David, Where did I say it isn't alright for a CCD to use a computer and software real time to do it? I'm confused.

It is being seen near Realtime, then it is ok.

Then you say that the Mallincam is stacking/processing 'onboard' the camera.
Yes, in a way it is. It is integrating. But so do the Samsungs, Orion, the Gstar-ex etc etc. They all do it. But they all do it 'In camera', not after it has been saved, then processed, then displayed from a saved file. That's imaging.

Also, Nytecams images ARE in the Gallery and happily so.

So, at this moment I fail to see your argument.

And also remember, as I just said above, "THIS IS NOT AN IMAGING FORUM".


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5213553 - 05/09/12 11:15 AM

Quote:

Your MC IS stacking it and processing it on board the camera...isn't it?





I believe that is the misconception. From what I gather the MC will do an exposurer however long you set the integration for. After this time it takes the image and sends it out as avideo feed until the next exposure (integratin) is finished. It does not internally dark subtract or stack. A 56second exposure onj my mallincam certainly beats a 56 second dsi exposure even with dark subtract. Stacking is harder to compare. What exposures and number of subs would one compare? 2x28sec or 4x14? Even then the mallincam wins.

I would love to see a higher res digital camera do as good as the mallincam and I am looking. So far for the instant live feel the mallincam wins but the gap is narrowing. It is just a matter of time before the ccd imager crosses over into the "live video realm" and as the mallincam xtreme is crossing into the imager realm.


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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dragon Man]
      #5213586 - 05/09/12 11:35 AM

Ken,

This is why I'm puzzled. Your words below here from your earlier post.

quote I cannot post a stack from my 'Live' video in this Gallery. end quote

The MC is stacking images. DSS Live stacks images too as do scripts that can be written for a ccd camera.

All's I'm asking is if a view that is seen on a screen in the field via a software interface is allowable here. So far the answer has been no.

Software can enhance an electronic viewing device and software can be used to see the live image on screen before any final processing for an "image" (ie, tweak the colors and various other areas). So far, this capability has not been allowed in this forum.

Is it allowable (a software interface that places an accumulated image on screen in the field like nytecam has scripted and DSS Live presents) to place that image in the gallery?

If it is not, the MC Xtreme images seem "favored" here over other technological advances and this truly has turned in to and will remain a MC forum.

Video technology has advanced and this forum finds it great. Software and pc power has advanced since 2009 and it is not allowed here up to this point in time.

David B in NM

Edited by David B in NM (05/09/12 11:41 AM)


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dragon Man]
      #5213602 - 05/09/12 11:44 AM

Really, no images? All video is a string of images.

The real problem with this forum is that although the goal is about "live", none of the options discussed are truly "live", and everyone's opinion of "near-live" is subjective.

Personally, I think that anything beyond a few seconds is not "near-live", and especially anything that integrates so long that a tracking mount must be used is well beyond what anyone could consider to be "live". Discussing images integrated over a minute in a forum where "live" is important is absurd, as is any type of manual processing.

I would suggest limiting the discussion to display systems where the integrating and processing time (combined, by any means) does not exceed 30 seconds.

Obviously a Mallincam can meet this standard, even though it would probably be blurred a bit if it was on a stationary mount. A digital system that automatically acquired a fast string of 1 second images, stacked, calibrated, stretched, and applied curves could potentially produce a finer image off that same stationary mount with the same optics.

Pete


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5213634 - 05/09/12 12:03 PM

Eric first of all the discussion started regarding a certain camera (Imaging Source) in comparison to a Mallincam for live or near live video observation. I know personally from experience that the Mallincams are much more sensitive for video observing than your typical ccd camera made for astrophotography imaging. Yes I posted Rocks quote here and big deal if I did! I do not have to prove this point since I did not state it but only directed it here which I believe fits it this discussion group. Rock quoted it and proved it with showing what he has achieved in just seconds with the Hichson 50.

You said that Dwight was the only one who posted an image? I thought I posted an almost 2 min UNPORCESSED image showing clearly the achievement of capturing the Hickson 50 from my severe light polluted 3.5 mag backyard. I would love to see the same under similar conditions a ccd camera capture that with the same detail and low noise using 2 min!!

If you have an issue with me posting Rocks statement then it is your issue to deal with and not mine.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5213643 - 05/09/12 12:06 PM

Glenn unfortunately because a DSLR uses the RGB Bayer matrix over the ccd sensor you cannot bin the pixels without causing colour issues and also a big resolution loss.

Cheers,

Chris A


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5213651 - 05/09/12 12:09 PM

Mark you stated the points direct to the fact. Thank you for this post, I feel the exact same way.

Chris A


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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Peter D.]
      #5213658 - 05/09/12 12:12 PM

Thank you Peter!

I can see now that I am not the only one who is puzzled about the purpose of this forum. I too believe that after 4-8 seconds it is no longer "live".

This has turned in to an MC Forum whether others want to believe it or not. Technolgy has advanced yet this forum has prevented any advancements (other than video) from being viewed. No stacking or on-the-fly processing allowed. I find that odd in today's world.

I agree with your "time" criteria (cutoff accumulation time).

No one will ever know there are other methods now available that would allow others the opportunity to realize an MC is not the only option in today's world. However, they will think that until the playing field is leveled. The rules have to change here or the MC will be seen by others as the only method available.

David B in NM

T


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mallin]
      #5213660 - 05/09/12 12:12 PM

Rock thank you for posting this information here regarding yours and others Hickson 50 experience.

Chris A


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dragon Man]
      #5213690 - 05/09/12 12:26 PM

Ken, I think this is where you nailed it! * using a web cam, dslr or ccd camera the images must be save on a computer first and then stack/processed for display*. One of the nice things about using a Mallincam, Stellacam or Samsung is you DO NOT have to save an image for display.

Chris A


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5213704 - 05/09/12 12:33 PM

David please do some more careful reserch on the Mallincam. The camera DOES NOT stack images within the camera. The electronic shutter remains open until the integration is reached and then the image is instantly displayed. A refresh
takes place again until one stops the exposure or the camera has reached the specified amount. I think it is the FPS that confuses people.

Chris A


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5213714 - 05/09/12 12:40 PM

Well lets all just obsevere the moon, planets, solar, open & glob clusters, a few planetary nebulas, the odd nebula like M42 and the odd galaxy like M82 because that is all that most are going to observe even with a Mallincam using 4 to 8 sec

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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5213727 - 05/09/12 12:45 PM

Chris,

The Xtreme operates like a normal CCD imager does. I see no reason why a MC is allowed to perform it's functions on board and post images here, yet, a CCD imager cannot use software for their camera to do the same "off board" the camera.

Please remember this is NOT a Video only forum. However, it appears to be a Video only orientated forum since "off board" methods are prohibited from being posted here.

That's why I view it now as a MC Forum. In the past the Samsung cameras were welcome a while back. However, a 512x is nothing now. They can be more effective with DSS live though. But, as we know, only the MC can do on-board processing and on-board processing is all's that is allowed here in this forum.

David B in NM


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5213732 - 05/09/12 12:49 PM

Technically speaking real-time live view is a frame rate that the eye cannot determine the individual frames. That is somewhere between 30 FPS and 60 FPS or 1/30th to 1/60th shutter speeds. With consumer scopes that isnít going to show you much no matter what camera you use.

That is where near real time live view comes in. The definition of that is strictly up to the viewer. However, it almost always involves shutter speeds of longer than 1/30th of a second.

Personally I consider any camera that can output an image at 1/30th of a second to 1 minute shutter speed to be a near real time camera. It does not have to be a continuous stream of images. It can simply be a single image that appears 1 minute or less after you expose the sensor.

To me the Mallincam and all of the other cameras discussed here are not being used as video cameras. They may be capable of recording video. However, I believe that it becomes a series of still images at frame rates below 15 frames per second.

Honestly, I donít care what you do to the image in that 1 minute or less. If you can display it that quickly you wonít lose interest from the viewers. Any more than that and you might. If you can do real time or near real time post processing. Then have at it.

The whole point is that you can display the image in a time greater than the naked eye needs but less than 1 minute.

This also doesnít mean that anything that takes longer than 1 minute to display the item does not belong in this forum. It is simply not ďnear real timeĒ. However, it is still Electronically Assisted Astronomy as opposed to Ocular(Done or perceived by the eye) Astronomy.

All of these semantics are really pointless. Who cares if you painted the picture yourself. If you can do it in 1 minute or less then it is near real time astronomy in my book.

I have checked out the Mallincam web page and I could not locate the specific images that Rock was referring to. Rock could you post links to them? I am not doubting their validity. I just simply want to see what the image from the Mallincam looks like for those objects for short shutter durations.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (05/09/12 12:57 PM)


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5213734 - 05/09/12 12:52 PM

Quote:

Ken, I think this is where you nailed it! * using a web cam, dslr or ccd camera the images must be save on a computer first and then stack/processed for display*. One of the nice things about using a Mallincam, Stellacam or Samsung is you DO NOT have to save an image for display.

Chris A




That is simply a false statement. For DSLR's you can display the output in the exact same fashion that the Mallincam does. RCA output to any LCD or Monitor.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5213739 - 05/09/12 12:54 PM

Quote:

Eric first of all the discussion started regarding a certain camera (Imaging Source) in comparison to a Mallincam for live or near live video observation. I know personally from experience that the Mallincams are much more sensitive for video observing than your typical ccd camera made for astrophotography imaging. Yes I posted Rocks quote here and big deal if I did! I do not have to prove this point since I did not state it but only directed it here which I believe fits it this discussion group. Rock quoted it and proved it with showing what he has achieved in just seconds with the Hichson 50.

You said that Dwight was the only one who posted an image? I thought I posted an almost 2 min UNPORCESSED image showing clearly the achievement of capturing the Hickson 50 from my severe light polluted 3.5 mag backyard. I would love to see the same under similar conditions a ccd camera capture that with the same detail and low noise using 2 min!!

If you have an issue with me posting Rocks statement then it is your issue to deal with and not mine.




The statement is not accurate in regards to examples I posted contradicting the same statement. That is why I have an issue with it. It's very simple really. I have explained my position and reasons for asking the same questions several times. Not much more to say beyond that. The examples are there for everyone to judge for themselves. It's up to others to decide if the posters of those images are not being truthful and doing more processing than they claim. I, for one, believe that they are being truthful.

You have shown me no evidence to the contrary.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5213741 - 05/09/12 12:54 PM

Quote:

Well lets all just obsevere the moon, planets, solar, open & glob clusters, a few planetary nebulas, the odd nebula like M42 and the odd galaxy like M82 because that is all that most are going to observe even with a Mallincam using 4 to 8 sec




So how does Rock jump from those objects to SUPER DARK objects in only twice the duration? Something doesn't add up between your statements and Rock's.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5213778 - 05/09/12 01:18 PM

Quote:


On the third one, Canon DSLRs will do that up to a degree, i.e., approx 1/10 sec but not more. I.e., it prefers to give the live experience than let user see anything at all.





One of the problems is that everyone lumps all DSLR or interchangeable lens cameras into a category based on what the Canon cameras can do.

My Panasonic GH2 for example can do true near real-time live view video for shutter speeds up to 8 seconds with ISO sensitivity values up to ISO 12,800.

In fact it provides enough light in the live view that I never have to use eye pieces at all. I can align, calibrate, and focus using the camera alone.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5213785 - 05/09/12 01:20 PM

Just my luck. Someone in our area just informed us that he will be bringing a Mallincam and his scope to our monthly viewing site this Friday.

Finally a chance to see the Mallincam in action. "This otta be a hoot".


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mallin]
      #5213851 - 05/09/12 01:49 PM

I found this article when researching the Hickson 50. Apparently there are other CCD cameras that can do it in less than 30 seconds as well.

http://www.castor2.ca/08_Papers/Hickson_50.pdf

I thought you said it would take all other cameras at least 10 minutes to do this?


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5213867 - 05/09/12 01:57 PM

Quote:

I found this article when researching the Hickson 50. Apparently there are other CCD cameras that can do it in less than 30 seconds as well.

http://www.castor2.ca/08_Papers/Hickson_50.pdf

I thought you said it would take all other cameras at least 10 minutes to do this?




Simply amazing - 20 second exposure. Not 10 minutes or 5 minutes or 20 minutes. Done with moderate sized scopes in two instances. I think that should put this one to rest...

I could be wrong though.

I also apologize for lumping DSLR's into the same category. That is my ignorance to never researching dslr's.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5213890 - 05/09/12 02:10 PM

I think you are misinformed on how the mallincam works. The mallincam works like a ccd imager when it is in ccd mode, otherwise it works like the traditional mallincam which does NOT stack images in the camera. It is one long exposure (sent out as a video feed) however long one sets it at. I have compared my dsi pro, dsi color and mallincam images at same exposure times. A true comparison would be one long exposure of say 30 seconds in the mallincam and 30 seconds from a ccd imager. For now the mallincam is the better cjoice.

If there is a way to get a high resolution image with software that automatically dark subtracts and stacks please let me knoe as I am looking for that solution. I have asked every time this kind of thread comes up and no one has tld me how to do it yet. The closest id Nytecam's "few keystrokes" that he didn't share but some else did. That is too many key strokes for me.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5213900 - 05/09/12 02:18 PM

Quote:

So how does Rock jump from those objects to SUPER DARK objects in only twice the duration? Something doesn't add up between your statements and Rock's.





I am assuming ,from using my camera, that the planets and moon have the shutter set to say 1/12000 second. The dark objects will be a bit more than twice the duration at 8 seconds.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5213913 - 05/09/12 02:25 PM

Mark,

For video this is a nice program:

http://www.coaa.co.uk/astrovideo.htm

For ccd, I wish I could help. Whenever a nice image was displayed here on this forum from a CCD camera, the poster was told to go elsewhere because he used a pc for the process (not processing). They departed and the process went with them.

That is why I'm discouraged in the way this forum is going. There are other capabilities. However, the process is not welcomed here in this forum.

nytecam tried 3 years ago and the tradition here is still carried on.

Added: No matter the process for the MC it is still a timer of sorts and it is still controlled "on-board" the camera. A shutter is a shutter on any camera. Integration or not, there is little difference. Time is time and an image is an image.

David B in NM

Edited by David B in NM (05/09/12 02:29 PM)


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5213937 - 05/09/12 02:34 PM

Thanks for the link. I was really wanting something that would allow the ccd of an imager to work like the ccd in the mallincam. Start the program, choose gain, choose exposure, wait for the exposure, and there it is! I understand that with a higher resolution ccd there will be some loss of sensitivity, but I would think that could be made up with longer exposure time. If you think a reply would be better placed in imaging, start a thread and let me know where to look.

thanks

Edited by Stew57 (05/09/12 02:36 PM)


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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5213953 - 05/09/12 02:45 PM

I'd recommend you post in the CCD Imaging Forum. One of those who trespassed in this forum may be willing to share info with you there.

I'll keep a watchful eye on your post! I bet many others will too.

Good Luck!


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5213985 - 05/09/12 03:00 PM

Yes your statement regarding DSLR's is true when it comes to the live view mode but that is only at a NTSC or PAL rate for just moon, planet and solar, but when it's time for deep sky objects the DSLR will now have to capture an image save save it to the computer via USB2.0. The mallincam even when using the Hypermode feature never has to save an image first prior to displaying that image.

Chris


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5213990 - 05/09/12 03:01 PM

I think you could achieve this using Maxlm DL and using the Script or Command sequence tool. Gain can be done by adjusting the on screen histogram. That requires only dragging the pointers with the mouse or, if you want to skip that, select low, medium, or high in the screen stretch box. Other software may have similar functionality (AstroArt, Nebulosity, etc)

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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5213995 - 05/09/12 03:03 PM

David personally I have no issues with posting the images here using ccd, dlrs or webcams. I have not even see any issues not allowing these images posted as long as we all follow the guide lines.

Chris A


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5214014 - 05/09/12 03:12 PM

Both of those images clearly state that they are from original stacks for a 10 minute image. Plus they are negative which makes these very faint fuzzies stand out better again some processing

Chris A


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5214053 - 05/09/12 03:31 PM

Quote:

Both of those images clearly state that they are from original stacks for a 10 minute image. Plus they are negative which makes these very faint fuzzies stand out better again some processing

Chris A




The images are - but did you actually read the article? They were able to see all 5 galaxies with a single 20 second exposure, confirmed by more than one person and using two different ccd's and two different telescopes.

Glenn was spot on about the ability of larger pixels in use and the added sensitivity.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5214185 - 05/09/12 05:15 PM

.... I see that the latest consumer camera are now using back illuminated CMOS sensors and there is talk of them replacing CCDs in scientific camera applications. One point I thought I'd make is that in the UK we are switching off our analogue TV signal...l so buying small screens with a PAL input is going to get harder.... We're all in love with HDMI and 50" flat screens!

Cheers

PEterW


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5214275 - 05/09/12 06:29 PM

Thread has been started;
http://urlm.in/mkyg


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5214366 - 05/09/12 07:25 PM

I do not believe everything that I read. I like to see actual images or even better live on display like on NSN or at a public star party.

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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5214370 - 05/09/12 07:27 PM

Yes Mark agreed lets start a new thread

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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5214376 - 05/09/12 07:31 PM

Chris,

Not trying to be snide...just honest.

Thanks for the guidelines clause "reminder".

It would be interesting to see what an Xtreme can do without any of its' "ccd mode" circuits installed in it. I would wager they are also used in the video mode in some way.

Once again, no one will ever know there are other options available in this forum. Because you, like others feel the MC is protected here and "one-sided" guidelines that are antiquated will always be here to protect it and future generations of any MC.

It appears as though Mark's thread in the CCD Imaging Forum has some bites.

But, we know any "pc acquisition method" will be a disqualifying factor in this forum. Right? The MC can still use its' on-board circuits though...right? That good "old" guidelines clause will never change here.

Honestly, the forum name here should have the "Electronically Assisted" removed from it. It purely is a Video only forum. And as I repeatedly state, an MC only focused forum.

David B in NM

Edited by David B in NM (05/09/12 07:32 PM)


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Peter D.
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Astronomiser.Com]
      #5214444 - 05/09/12 08:24 PM

Yes, astronomical video needs to take digital seriously. Digital technology has great potential for improving the current state-of-art in electronically assisted astronomy, but more than just a new camera is needed.

Specifically, there is an opportunity to apply MPEG technology to astronomical video, in a way that can far exceed what it has done for digital HDTV video. Since astronomical video is relatively motion-free, MPEG technology can focus on enhancing the faint detail and resolution of a "live" astronomical image over the course of several 10s of seconds. As you moved your telescope, the image would develop before your very eyes, in the same manner that is occasionally protrayed in some educational videos on astronomical subjects. In such a system, you would see the dim details emerge and resolution improve over a course of 10s of seconds and eventually minutes. Eventually, upon major movement or a refresh command from the observer, the image development process would repeat.

Pete


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5214462 - 05/09/12 08:38 PM

Quote:

I do not believe everything that I read. I like to see actual images or even better live on display like on NSN or at a public star party.




So you don't believe what you read in that article? Cause for disbelief if you do not believe?


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5214491 - 05/09/12 08:52 PM

I am shocked to find out the new thread to discuss PC software to process any imager output is started but started in CCD subforum.

What in the past we have been discussed here: DSS Live!, Gstar-Ex (2x live stacking possible), also (I found out) SharpCap (max. 10x live stacking),
and in the future someone write the code (I think our well respected Dr. Craig Stark is currently trying to, and possibly some others will do the same for MCX-CCD mode) will all discuss them elsewhere but in this subforum?

I am puzzled

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5214513 - 05/09/12 09:01 PM

Incidentally if anyone is interested in finding more on who wrote the article concerning seeing the Hickson 50 in a 20 second ccd exposure, his bio and credentials are here.

Seems like a believable and knowledgable person on Astronomy.



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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5214519 - 05/09/12 09:04 PM

css_hello,

Yep, an "electronic assisted" question has been posted in a different forum here on CN.

Yes, I spent numerous hours going through old posts in this forum. I found a link to a 2008 thread you "cited" with Dr. Stark when this batlle began in 2010.

Thus far, no progress was made to "guidelines" in this forum.

As I said many times in this thread, MC is allowed to advance in technology but no other advances using on-the-fly pc-related software for a ccd is allowed here.

Gee...isn't DSP digital?

I guess there must be some Sony Beta users here yet and few who use the current DVR technology. I'm surprised there are screen captures using digital handshakes with a pc. I guess that's allowable because the MC can't do it without a pc and a USB though.

Some things will never change. Right?

David B in NM

Edited by David B in NM (05/09/12 10:18 PM)


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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5214540 - 05/09/12 09:18 PM

My how time flies by css_hello. You were 4 years younger here.

History Thread for css_hello

David B in NM


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5214547 - 05/09/12 09:22 PM

Someone suggested there as ccd images are allowed there and I am really looking for a comparison. I would like to see if someone can come up with a way to do what the mallincam can do with a ccd imager. Processing needs to be little to none, or if done it needs to be auto done by the pc.

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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5214549 - 05/09/12 09:24 PM

David,

I think many forum users will be very delighted to find some gadgets (including some solutions which must use a tethered PC tagging behind the image device) work toward their favor, so long as near realtime or less/minimal human effort is needed.

A more flexible and feature rich solution typically would come from a PC, e.g., more memory, much powerful CPU, and more local disk storage space (to store dark frames> The storage can keep many captured copies as user's heart delight. He needs that PC anyway to feed the images (some call it video, but IMHO really are just sequences of images) to their favorite re-broadcast forum (e.g., NSN).

I guess that speaks the trend.
(Equipment and technology won't stop because of nay forum rules . Don't believe me, check MCX - CCD mode.)

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5214565 - 05/09/12 10:16 PM

I would never impugn you or Mr. Earl. Saying they are visible in a 20 second exposure but posting the much exposure tells me the seeing was done by those with trained eyes. Being visible is quite subjective and my old eyes probably would have trouble. The longer exposure in negative is telling enough. There is a good comparison in the other thread in ccd imaging that speaks more to your question.

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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5214569 - 05/09/12 10:20 PM

Can we please put to bed a few misconceptions ...

1) Mallincam's don't do any traditional post processing onboard. Noise reduction, automatic gain, pixel manipulation (shape), white balance, yes all of those just like many other video cameras but no dark subtraction, stretching, stacking, etc.

2) Mallincam Xtreme control s/w does exactly that, controls the Mallincam. It also does a bit of video processing (contrast, brightness, sharpness, etc., just like the controls for most webcams) but again no dark management, stretching, stacking, etc.

Most cameras (either video or traditional "imagers") provide some minimal image management via the embedded firmware or via the device driver at the PC end. This is not generally considered post processing.

3) It isn't about digital vs. analog (or analogue for the rest of the world). In this forum it doesn't matter how a camera handles the transfer of the image, what we are interested in is the single image (captured from a analog video stream or from a single frame download via USB).

Yes, the live view from the latest DSLR and other digital cameras is very similar to the output of a video camera. It can be used in exactly the same manner as the video feed from a Mallincam (captured, broadcast on NSN, etc.).

4) As Ken has said over and over, there's nothing wrong with posting an image that a PC captured either as a frame from a video feed or as a single sub download ... regardless of how long it took to capture/download. The issue has and continues to be what someone does with that single image. Doctor it up and it belongs in the imaging forums, but keep it as it first appeared on the pc and it represents what we are calling a "live" image. Yes "live" is probably not the best term but it is what we are using so deal with it.

5) This isn't a "Mallincam forum". Yes there is a lot of Mallincam content here but that's because of it's popularity in astronomy related observing. There are a lot of folks also using Samsung security cameras ... but many have also added a Mallincam to their setups. If more folks start using the live view on a DSLR or single frame downloads as "live" images then perhaps that dominance will change. For now the Mallinam is the most popular "live" observing tool so it's going to generate the most interest.

There's nothing magical about a Mallincam. Very low noise circuitry, very very high levels of sensitivity and relative ease of use means they are very popular products but there's nothing (post processing wise) hidden within them.

Oh and Dave, can you please go back up to your earlier post and shorten that long URL (perhaps use the UBB code on the preview page) so it's easier to read all the rest of the posts here (so the wrap works at the edge of the page ... with the long URL in place the wrap doesn't work and we're all scrolling sideways to read everything).

Thanks,


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5214573 - 05/09/12 10:24 PM

Quote:

... I would like to see if someone can come up with a way to do what the mallincam can do with a ccd imager...




Mark,

In other thread (linkie here), I've stated the general characteristics of many different cams/astroCCD/DSLRs. One thing that is very unique in MC is that it has a high-gain amplifier in its analog front end (the CCD sensor has been used in some other imaging devices.)
So for now, I would say on that department, MC is the champ.

With that said, everything else can be done in different ways.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Peter D.]
      #5214582 - 05/09/12 10:27 PM

Quote:

Yes, astronomical video needs to take digital seriously. Digital technology has great potential for improving the current state-of-art in electronically assisted astronomy, but more than just a new camera is needed.

Specifically, there is an opportunity to apply MPEG technology to astronomical video, in a way that can far exceed what it has done for digital HDTV video. Since astronomical video is relatively motion-free, MPEG technology can focus on enhancing the faint detail and resolution of a "live" astronomical image over the course of several 10s of seconds. As you moved your telescope, the image would develop before your very eyes, in the same manner that is occasionally protrayed in some educational videos on astronomical subjects. In such a system, you would see the dim details emerge and resolution improve over a course of 10s of seconds and eventually minutes. Eventually, upon major movement or a refresh command from the observer, the image development process would repeat.

Pete




MPEG technology is probably older than the Mallincam. It won't help either.

Simply what needs to happen is that it needs to have a high definition signal. If you could increase the sensor size and keep the same pixel size but get it to 1920x1080 it would probably be fantastic.

It actually doesn't even need to be digital. VGA worked very for computers up until a few years ago.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5214598 - 05/09/12 10:35 PM

Quote:

Can we please put to bed a few misconceptions ...

1) Mallincam's don't do any traditional post processing onboard. Noise reduction, automatic gain, pixel manipulation (shape), white balance, yes all of those just like many other video cameras but no dark subtraction, stretching, stacking, etc.

2) Mallincam Xtreme control s/w does exactly that, controls the Mallincam. It also does a bit of video processing (contrast, brightness, sharpness, etc., just like the controls for most webcams) but again no dark management, stretching, stacking, etc.

Most cameras (either video or traditional "imagers") provide some minimal image management via the embedded firmware or via the device driver at the PC end. This is not generally considered post processing.

3) It isn't about digital vs. analog (or analogue for the rest of the world). In this forum it doesn't matter how a camera handles the transfer of the image, what we are interested in is the single image (captured from a analog video stream or from a single frame download via USB).

Yes, the live view from the latest DSLR and other digital cameras is very similar to the output of a video camera. It can be used in exactly the same manner as the video feed from a Mallincam (captured, broadcast on NSN, etc.).

4) As Ken has said over and over, there's nothing wrong with posting an image that a PC captured either as a frame from a video feed or as a single sub download ... regardless of how long it took to capture/download. The issue has and continues to be what someone does with that single image. Doctor it up and it belongs in the imaging forums, but keep it as it first appeared on the pc and it represents what we are calling a "live" image. Yes "live" is probably not the best term but it is what we are using so deal with it.

5) This isn't a "Mallincam forum". Yes there is a lot of Mallincam content here but that's because of it's popularity in astronomy related observing. There are a lot of folks also using Samsung security cameras ... but many have also added a Mallincam to their setups. If more folks start using the live view on a DSLR or single frame downloads as "live" images then perhaps that dominance will change. For now the Mallinam is the most popular "live" observing tool so it's going to generate the most interest.

There's nothing magical about a Mallincam. Very low noise circuitry, very very high levels of sensitivity and relative ease of use means they are very popular products but there's nothing (post processing wise) hidden within them.

Oh and Dave, can you please go back up to your earlier post and shorten that long URL (perhaps use the UBB code on the preview page) so it's easier to read all the rest of the posts here (so the wrap works at the edge of the page ... with the long URL in place the wrap doesn't work and we're all scrolling sideways to read everything).

Thanks,




I quoted your whole post because I couldn't have said it better myself. I agree with pretty much everything you said in that post.

Great job. If everyone thought that way I don't think this thread would have reached 8 pages.


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5214609 - 05/09/12 10:38 PM

David, I am going to be 100% honest with you and omit that I have a passionate spot in my heart for the Mallincam camera. After spending many years doing ccd imaging and lots of hours post processing, I just got burned out and realized that my kids were growing fast and I was missing out a lot. Almost 5 years ago I packed in ccd imaging but still loved astronomy. I just wanted to get out for a few hours on those clear nights and spend some quality time looking at the heavens. I was very limited with what I could see from my light polluted backyard and travelling for 2 hours and setting up was out of the question. Along came the Mallincam camera and it has opened up this exciting hobby for me big time. The very best part about this is people who I care about can now share the wonderful views with me either privately or on NSN. Now I know it's hard for me to reframe from being bias and I surely try not to.

I really have no problem with this helpful forum displaying images captured in near real-time from any type of camera as long as there is no post processing or stacking applied to them. I think it's great for everyone to see different captures of these amazing objects from different types of cameras. I am not the moderator of this group and it is NOT my decision on what is and what is not allowed to be displayed here.

I what ticks me off is when discussions like this are brought up and newbies come on and say things they believe are correct without doing some careful research. This happens far too often and is just plain ignorance.

I appreciate how you directed your statement towards me and it just shows that you have class and intelligence.

Thank you!

Clear skies,

Chris A


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5214612 - 05/09/12 10:39 PM

Quote:


In other thread (linkie here),
Clear Skies!

ccs_hello




Your interface column is woefully out of date for the DSLRs. Almost all new ones can use composite, wifi(With an Eye-Fi card), and HDMI along with the ones you listed.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Peter D.]
      #5214623 - 05/09/12 10:44 PM

Peter I totally agree and it is a great theory & would be nice to have in reality, but remember most of the objects we are viewing are very distant at thousands to millions of light years away. The future is exciting and only time will tell.

Chris A


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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5214626 - 05/09/12 10:48 PM

Quote:

David,

(Equipment and technology won't stop because of nay forum rules . Don't believe me, check MCX - CCD mode.)

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello




True css_hello. Technological advances will not stand still. The problem is, if guidelines here fail to keep up with the advances, few will be aware of any advance.

The intent of this forum "should" be to change with the times and allow others to see what is possible in the field with minimal human intervention.

Thus far, antiquated guidelines are still "enforced" here in this forum. The only capability people see is the MC. They won't see any form of an electronically assisted image other than a "final picture" (processed) in another forum here on CN (the Imaging sections).

NSN would not exist without technology (ie a pc). However, I guess others fail to recognize that.

Computers have become much more powerful as you said. Results can very, very quick. But, then again, a pc is not "on board" the camera. Any mention of a computer being used on-the-fly to enhance an image is frowned upon here. That's why Mark went to another forum here for "experts" on electronically assisted devices to answer his question.

This battle has been fought over the years since 2008. Yet, the forum here excludes on-the-fly pc processing to this date. I guess they fail to see a pc has advanced in that period. It appears as though some think the only use for a pc is a means to broadcast on NSN and read forums.

Oh well. Who knows...maybe the guidelines will change here in the next 10-20 years or so.

David B in NM


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5214627 - 05/09/12 10:48 PM

Quote:

David, I am going to be 100% honest with you and omit that I have a passionate spot in my heart for the Mallincam camera. After spending many years doing ccd imaging and lots of hours post processing, I just got burned out and realized that my kids were growing fast and I was missing out a lot. Almost 5 years ago I packed in ccd imaging but still loved astronomy. I just wanted to get out for a few hours on those clear nights and spend some quality time looking at the heavens. I was very limited with what I could see from my light polluted backyard and travelling for 2 hours and setting up was out of the question. Along came the Mallincam camera and it has opened up this exciting hobby for me big time. The very best part about this is people who I care about can now share the wonderful views with me either privately or on NSN. Now I know it's hard for me to reframe from being bias and I surely try not to.

I really have no problem with this helpful forum displaying images captured in near real-time from any type of camera as long as there is no post processing or stacking applied to them. I think it's great for everyone to see different captures of these amazing objects from different types of cameras. I am not the moderator of this group and it is NOT my decision on what is and what is not allowed to be displayed here.

I what ticks me off is when discussions like this are brought up and newbies come on and say things they believe are correct without doing some careful research. This happens far too often and is just plain ignorance.

I appreciate how you directed your statement towards me and it just shows that you have class and intelligence.

Thank you!

Clear skies,

Chris A




If someone found the same experience as you in another camera wouldn't you want them to share it as well?

The problem that I have is that all I have ever been told is that my camera can't be used as a live view device, the Mallincam is the only real option today, and that there is no such thing as a true HD live view DSO camera today.

I believe all of those things are false. I just wish the people who have been in this forum the longest would have an open mind to other options that they might never of even heard of before.

I had never heard of a Mallincam camera before I came here. But I feel like I know enough about it now to make an informed decision whether to buy one or not.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5214632 - 05/09/12 10:50 PM

Quote:

Simply what needs to happen is that it needs to have a high definition signal. If you could increase the sensor size and keep the same pixel size but get it to 1920x1080 it would probably be fantastic.




Or smaller pixels with color binning like the celestron nightscape. anyway I like your thinking. A larger chip would be a welcome improvement.


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5214643 - 05/09/12 10:56 PM

Very well stated Mark and I hope everyone gets the point.

Chris A


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5214654 - 05/09/12 11:00 PM

That was not addressed to you, I do not even know your name??

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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5214668 - 05/09/12 11:11 PM

Quote:

The problem that I have is that all I have ever been told is that my camera can't be used as a live view device, the Mallincam is the only real option today, and that there is no such thing as a true HD live view DSO camera today.

I believe all of those things are false. I just wish the people who have been in this forum the longest would have an open mind to other options that they might never of even heard of before.





Post a link or the images in the other thread. There has been some links to images but the images have to be processed to compete with the mallincam. I am really interested in a larger chip that can do what the mallincam can eveb if it means some longer exposure/integration.

when you post the images please post the processing and processing time to get the image.

Thanks


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5214671 - 05/09/12 11:12 PM

This thread just reminds me of the elephant in the middle of the room expression.

I'll leave it at that and go on my merry way. Anybody is free to chalk up my examples, arguments, questions, or the like as being an ignorant newbie that just doesn't know or hasn't done any research.

I highly encourage those that have been out of any hobby involving software or electronics to investigate changes that have happened in a 3 - 5 year period. Many times you will be surprised to find what you once found to be completely familiar territory, will have made some advances and changes that will surprise you.

Very easy to fall behind and not be on the top of the knowledge game.

Just look at the sky scout tech compared to smart phone tech as a small example. That is just one area of tech that has grown immensely.

Was anyone talking about using EMCCD's that you can get today for $5000 or less for astronomy five years ago?

Probably not. Times change and so should forums centered around electronically assisted astronomy.

I'm off to another forum. Peace.


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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5214687 - 05/09/12 11:22 PM

Mark (and Chris A),


Mark your words:

4) As Ken has said over and over, there's nothing wrong with posting an image that a PC captured either as a frame from a video feed or as a single sub download ... regardless of how long it took to capture/download. The issue has and continues to be what someone does with that single image. Doctor it up and it belongs in the imaging forums, but keep it as it first appeared on the pc and it represents what we are calling a "live" image. Yes "live" is probably not the best term but it is what we are using so deal with it.

conflict with Ken's. (he said no stacking, etc)

Quote:

I am always happy to see Nytecam's images in this Gallery when they are Screen Grabs/Stills from his 'Live' view. When they are stacked or processed in any way (Post 'live'), then they can't be, for that is when they belong in the Imaging Galleries. Same for everyone.
If I stacked my Mallincam video, it is not a true representation of what the camera can 'see'. I cannot post a stack from my 'Live' video in this Gallery.






BTW, I tried to shorten the link. I placed a remark (Edit) in my post with the long url and said it would not allow me to edit it.

This will be my last post this thread because I see this as a no-win situation. It has gone on for years here and the outcome is always the same.

I see no way this forum will ever evolve in to the true capability that technology offers. Excluding on-the-fly processing is "electronically assisted" if a human is not manually processing the image. That's how I see it. But, others here say that is not so.

This forum is and will always remain a Video only forum. I see no way it will mature beyond that if on-the-fly processing is not allowed to be posted here.

I think the MC does much more on board than you and many others "think" it does. I believe it is accomplishing parts of what Ken said are not allowed when it goes beyond several seconds (like a Sammy can).

Clear Skies,

David B in NM


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5214688 - 05/09/12 11:23 PM

Eric, I did not mention any names or directed that to you! You are the one now bringing this up. And for the record, I said I was out of ccd imaging for 5 years. Over the years while using and enjoying my Mallincam, I have always been interested in keeping up with the latest ccd/dslr cameras and their applicable sftware. This is all very pitty and rediculous.

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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5214702 - 05/09/12 11:32 PM

Quote:

That was not addressed to you, I do not even know your name??




I didn't think your post was directed to me and you can call me "MPEG-X,S,V,C,D". I don't think anyone else will get confused about who you are talking to.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (05/09/12 11:33 PM)


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5214705 - 05/09/12 11:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The problem that I have is that all I have ever been told is that my camera can't be used as a live view device, the Mallincam is the only real option today, and that there is no such thing as a true HD live view DSO camera today.

I believe all of those things are false. I just wish the people who have been in this forum the longest would have an open mind to other options that they might never of even heard of before.





Post a link or the images in the other thread. There has been some links to images but the images have to be processed to compete with the mallincam. I am really interested in a larger chip that can do what the mallincam can eveb if it means some longer exposure/integration.

when you post the images please post the processing and processing time to get the image.

Thanks




I don't do any post processing. One of my cameras does in camera dark subtraction. However, the other camera doesn't always need it.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (05/09/12 11:35 PM)


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5214713 - 05/09/12 11:44 PM

Quote:

This forum is and will always remain a Video only forum. I see no way it will mature beyond that if on-the-fly processing is not allowed to be posted here.




If you have a way to do on the fly stacking (for dummies like me) post it in the other thread as I am all ears. Post some linke to pictures or the images done this way and details of how it is done.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5214730 - 05/09/12 11:58 PM

Mark, I wrote a file regarding the use of DSS Live while broadcasting on NSN or also for private use for yourself. Here it is if you want to have a look

[url=http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/MC-rT4LkSAkisWuytHOlTwKYRpCmqurj1RVL2zzpeNph25AI2AvUL2ZQPVKybxDEbSCGx79KGR2q47Ptb1DK/Connecting%20DSS%20Live
%20to%20NSN%20For%20Live%20Stacking%20of%20Images.pdf]http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/MC-rT4LkSAkisWuytHOlTwKYRpCmqurj1RVL2zzpeNph25AI2AvUL2ZQPVKybxDEbSCGx79KGR2q47Ptb1DK/
Connecting%20DSS%20Live%20to%20NSN%20For%20Live%20Stacking%20of%20Images.pdf[/url]

Cheers,

Chris A

Edited by Dragon Man (05/10/12 10:27 AM)


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5214749 - 05/10/12 12:14 AM

Downloaded and saved.
Thanks


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5215150 - 05/10/12 10:04 AM

David,

Unless I'm missing something very obvious what I said and what Ken said are in complete agreement.

Perhaps there's some misunderstanding of the terminology being used here?

Downloading and displaying a single image has nothing to do with stacking. To me stacking is the combination of multiple images into a single one to improve the quality by reducing the random noise leaving a clearer view of the desired objects.

Image stacking, dark/light subtractions, and histogram stretching are all post processing techniques. Capturing/downloading and displaying a single image are not.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5215180 - 05/10/12 10:26 AM

Quote:

Mark (and Chris A),


Mark your words:

4) As Ken has said over and over, there's nothing wrong with posting an image that a PC captured either as a frame from a video feed or as a single sub download ... regardless of how long it took to capture/download. The issue has and continues to be what someone does with that single image. Doctor it up and it belongs in the imaging forums, but keep it as it first appeared on the pc and it represents what we are calling a "live" image. Yes "live" is probably not the best term but it is what we are using so deal with it.

conflict with Ken's. (he said no stacking, etc)

Quote:

I am always happy to see Nytecam's images in this Gallery when they are Screen Grabs/Stills from his 'Live' view. When they are stacked or processed in any way (Post 'live'), then they can't be, for that is when they belong in the Imaging Galleries. Same for everyone.
If I stacked my Mallincam video, it is not a true representation of what the camera can 'see'. I cannot post a stack from my 'Live' video in this Gallery.







Clear Skies,

David B in NM




OK, David, this has gone too far now.

Your post (quoted above) makes absolutely no sense.
You are using it to prove a contradiction, yet both statements are saying the same thing. There is no conflict as you say. What you have done is posted two comments that support each other. Thank you.

You keep saying that this Forum will never advance due to lack of acceptance of the PC end of the deal, or is not keeping up with changes and advances in technology.
The PC is in almost all 'Live' Video set-ups used in here. Mallincam, Orion, Gstar-Ex, Stellacam, etc etc etc.

What is it you want to see in here. Processing of Images? That is Imaging.

I know you don't like being reminded of the 'guidelines' of this Forum, but read the upfront description of its use: "This forum is dedicated to 'semi-live' electronically assisted viewing of astronomical events and targets. Discussed devices include (but are not limited to) the Collins I3, StellaCam, Mallincam and other 'semi-live' output devices."
This is written for all to see before they even enter in here (Check the Forums Index).

Do you see a particular word that seem to be going against most of your complaint? I'll give you a hint: I keep saying that this is NOT an imaging Forum.

The word you seem to by-pass completely is: 'viewing'.

The same old arguments keep coming up about what images are allowed and what images aren't allowed or accepted.
Can we all forget about the Images side of it for a minute and look at the original intent of this Forum: 'viewing'.

The 'EQUIPMENT' in this V&EAA Forum of the 'EQUIPMENT' section of Cloudy Nights is to give, or enhance, 'Observing' by means of video or an Electronically Assisted device (IIE's and the like).
Observing. Viewing. Replacing an Eyepiece.

Take Note of this next statement: - If any person can enhance, dark subtract, stack, boost, highlight, adjust, or improve in any way, a live/semi-live image as if 'viewing' live through an eyepiece, then it is welcome in here.
If someone wants to come in with the latest greatest invention of theirs to achieve this, then why would we not allow it? That is advancement. And is not only welcome, but desired. No-one will ever see a saved post-processed image through an eyepiece. The closer to real-time the better as it is 'observed' or 'viewed' with the eye.

Now, back to the Images. As I have said before, the Gallery is for unprocessed images/screen grabs to show how good the 'Equipment' is Live/semi-live/near real-time. Not how good you can process a saved image.

Personally I don't care if someone ran a Webcam or DSLR or AstroVideo camera through a NASA Super-computer with 10,000 stages of 'inline' processing. If it can be seen near real-time, not saved and/or and post-processed, it is fantastic for in here. It would be like your eye was Superman's eye at an Eyepiece.

The bonus is we also get to broadcast these fantastic near live images around the world to whoever wants to look in, 'Live'.
Who really wants to tune into a broadcast of saved Images? You can see them any time on the internet. Just Google them.
Same as being at the scope. People want to see it 'Live', not view saved images. They can do that any time by looking at images.

Processing. That's what the argument seems to be about. If you can process it before it pops up Live/Semi Live/near real-time on a screen (TV, Monitor, PC, or projector), post it in here. Tell us about it. Post images. Tell us your methods.

If it is processed after being saved, then post it over in the Imaging Forums.

On another note. David, you really do seem to have a problem with Mallincam being a popular subject in here.
Let me tell you that it is only in here due to it's popularity that the Mallincams are talked about so much.
I am also in other Forums where other AstroVideo cameras dominate the Subject.
As an example, here in Australia, as soon as AstroVideo is mentioned, the usual fight erupts between Gstar-Ex and Stellacams! Mallincams are never mentioned as there are only 13 Mallincams in the whole of Australia. There are Hundreds of other AstroVideo cameras in Australia and the Forums here are very biased to those brands.
Lately the Samsungs have been getting the push here and in the U.K.
Until something else exciting comes along, get used to people sharing their excitement of a good product. Maybe some get a bit one-eyed and biased, and yes, that can get very annoying.

In closing, if you can electronically replace an eyepiece and give the same effect, enhanced or not, as looking through an eyepiece 'Live', it belongs here.

I believe this post has summed up how this Forum is to be used, and no doubt some will still argue, but that's how it is. Advancement is good. Now lets advance, within the rules

Thank you.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dragon Man]
      #5215303 - 05/10/12 11:34 AM

Quote:

Quote:


Quote:

I am always happy to see Nytecam's images in this Gallery when they are Screen Grabs/Stills from his 'Live' view. When they are stacked or processed in any way (Post 'live'), then they can't be, for that is when they belong in the Imaging Galleries. Same for everyone.
If I stacked my Mallincam video, it is not a true representation of what the camera can 'see'. I cannot post a stack from my 'Live' video in this Gallery.











What is it you want to see in here. Processing of Images? That is Imaging.

NO

I know you don't like being reminded of the 'guidelines' of this Forum, but read the upfront description of its use: "This forum is dedicated to 'semi-live' electronically assisted viewing of astronomical events and targets. Discussed devices include (but are not limited to) the Collins I3, StellaCam, Mallincam and other 'semi-live' output devices."
This is written for all to see before they even enter in here (Check the Forums Index).

Do you see a particular word that seem to be going against most of your complaint? I'll give you a hint: I keep saying that this is NOT an imaging Forum.

NO

The word you seem to by-pass completely is: 'viewing'.

I believe on-the-fly processing (behind the scenes before the image is displayed on screen) and viewing are one in the same.


The 'EQUIPMENT' in this V&EAA Forum of the 'EQUIPMENT' section of Cloudy Nights is to give, or enhance, 'Observing' by means of video or an Electronically Assisted device (IIE's and the like).
Observing. Viewing. Replacing an Eyepiece.

Exactly. What one sees on the screen when out in the field during observing. I am not talking about saving the image that appears on screen and then processing it later to add to the Gallery. Nor, am I stating that saved and processed images showed be broadcast. On-the-fly means nearly instantaneously. Little to no delay in displaying an enhanced image and exploiting electronic devices to the maximum extent.

Take Note of this next statement: - If any person can enhance, dark subtract, stack, boost, highlight, adjust, or improve in any way, a live/semi-live image as if 'viewing' live through an eyepiece, then it is welcome in here.
If someone wants to come in with the latest greatest invention of theirs to achieve this, then why would we not allow it? That is advancement. And is not only welcome, but desired. No-one will ever see a saved post-processed image through an eyepiece. The closer to real-time the better as it is 'observed' or 'viewed' with the eye.

That is exactly what I feel should be allowed. However, it does conflict with Mark's reply that appears before your post I'm replying to. I've included Mark's post below.

Now, back to the Images. As I have said before, the Gallery is for unprocessed images/screen grabs to show how good the 'Equipment' is Live/semi-live/near real-time. Not how good you can process a saved image.

I totally agree with that and have never tried to say any processed images should be allowed there.

Personally I don't care if someone ran a Webcam or DSLR or AstroVideo camera through a NASA Super-computer with 10,000 stages of 'inline' processing. If it can be seen near real-time, not saved and/or and post-processed, it is fantastic for in here. It would be like your eye was Superman's eye at an Eyepiece.

Thank you. I believe you are stating what many have waited to hear in this forum. I know nytecam will be pleased to read your statement. He's waited years to hear that. Up to now, he was not allowed to post on-the-fly images.

The bonus is we also get to broadcast these fantastic near live images around the world to whoever wants to look in, 'Live'.
Who really wants to tune into a broadcast of saved Images? You can see them any time on the internet. Just Google them.
Same as being at the scope. People want to see it 'Live', not view saved images. They can do that any time by looking at images.

How true.


Processing. That's what the argument seems to be about. If you can process it before it pops up Live/Semi Live/near real-time on a screen (TV, Monitor, PC, or projector), post it in here. Tell us about it. Post images. Tell us your methods.

Thank you for exploiting electronically assisted methods.

If it is processed after being saved, then post it over in the Imaging Forums.

I totally agree and have always agreed with that.

On another note. David, you really do seem to have a problem with Mallincam being a popular subject in here.
Let me tell you that it is only in here due to it's popularity that the Mallincams are talked about so much.
I am also in other Forums where other AstroVideo cameras dominate the Subject.
As an example, here in Australia, as soon as AstroVideo is mentioned, the usual fight erupts between Gstar-Ex and Stellacams! Mallincams are never mentioned as there are only 13 Mallincams in the whole of Australia. There are Hundreds of other AstroVideo cameras in Australia and the Forums here are very biased to those brands.
Lately the Samsungs have been getting the push here and in the U.K.
Until something else exciting comes along, get used to people sharing their excitement of a good product. Maybe some get a bit one-eyed and biased, and yes, that can get very annoying.

No, I am not against Mallincams. However, you should take note the images of DSOs taken with any camera other than an MC have dwindled and CN members who were once active in this forum seldom post anymore. Numerous times in this thread others have always played the trump card "follow the guidelines". Now, you have made it clear. Up to now, some may have thought they could not "pre-process" images on-the fly and post them in the Gallery even if it was what they saw live in the field. Perhaps you'll see some increase the Gallery activity with the Samsung and other cameras. You have made it clear they can now post images with DeepSky Stacker Live and other stacking programs or scripts.

In closing, if you can electronically replace an eyepiece and give the same effect, enhanced or not, as looking through an eyepiece 'Live', it belongs here.

Exactly

I believe this post has summed up how this Forum is to be used, and no doubt some will still argue, but that's how it is. Advancement is good. Now lets advance, within the rules

Thank you.




Thank you Ken!

Now, it appears as though the statement below made by Mark is no longer the accepted guideline here. He says image stacking, dark/light subtractions, and histogram stretching are all post processing techniques. You are saying they are allowable if done on-the-fly and the image is what you would see at the EP. Right?

Mark's reply above yours.

Quote:

David,

Unless I'm missing something very obvious what I said and what Ken said are in complete agreement.

Perhaps there's some misunderstanding of the terminology being used here?

Downloading and displaying a single image has nothing to do with stacking. To me stacking is the combination of multiple images into a single one to improve the quality by reducing the random noise leaving a clearer view of the desired objects.

Image stacking, dark/light subtractions, and histogram stretching are all post processing techniques. Capturing/downloading and displaying a single image are not.




Once again Ken,

Thank you for clarifying the guidelines on what is now acceptable in this forum as "electronically assisted".

David B in NM


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Dragon Man
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5215390 - 05/10/12 12:10 PM

Nytecams on-the-fly images have always been accepted in here. There are a lot of them.

I often comment on his images. But they are not 'post'-processed. They are processed inline.
Any he has post-processed, he admits to, but they are not in the Gallery, rather they are in a thread about equipment, filters, processing techniques etc to help with AstroVideo. And that is fine.
Equipment is what this Forum is about.
But the gallery images must be non Post-Processed.

In the 2 years I have been Moderator in here I have never rejected or deleted one of Nytecams images. Ask him.

I believe Mark is talking about Post processing stacking (I hope).
Any inline stacking, like css_hello's thread shows, is OK because it is still 'Live'. Not saved and Post Processed

Bed time for me here in Oz. It's 2:14a.m. My brain hurts now


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dragon Man]
      #5215394 - 05/10/12 12:13 PM

Ken all I want to say to you is "thank you" for putting this direct and to the point. It is great to see you representing this group as a very good caring moderator willing to share your knowledge and honest views. After reading this it makes me want to stay here and be more part of this group.

Clear skies

Chris A


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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dragon Man]
      #5215443 - 05/10/12 12:43 PM

Ken,

We are talking more than Mark's view on stacking here. Your words quoted from above

Take Note of this next statement: - If any person can enhance, dark subtract, stack, boost, highlight, adjust, or improve in any way, a live/semi-live image as if 'viewing' live through an eyepiece, then it is welcome in here.

Do not agree with Mark's words here:

Image stacking, dark/light subtractions, and histogram stretching are all post processing techniques. Capturing/downloading and displaying a single image are not.

I'll let nytecam answer the question himself, but I do not think he "knew" he was allowed to post pre-processed images based on:

recent post by nytecam

and

past post by nytecam

David B in NM

I spelled "processed" above incorrectly and changed it.

Edited by David B in NM (05/10/12 04:44 PM)


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mega256
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5215475 - 05/10/12 01:03 PM

Wow,Iv been reading this post,and will have to say...

This FORUM ..IMHO...is for displaying and talking about

"What can be displayed While the telescope is Focused on that object at the same time"(not processed later)

Most objects will be displayed from 2 seconds up to maybe 6
min....depending on LP,and subject brightness......But
that time should include all processing,download,and display time.And Most of the time will be well under 2 min..total time to display the object.....and the faster
the better.......
I think we are ALL interested in "SEEING" better quality
and faster displaying of objects,no matter what type of devices are used!

Other Fourms are intended to show the highest quality of
a object with no value on how long it takes to produce
that wonderfull photos........fine...but not here!

The priority in this fourm is SPEED....as a main factor!

"I think thats why we have different imaging/device fourms"
Near real time viewing is a good term to use....and with out video cameras,most of us would not be able to enjoy this
hobby from out LP skys......(how can I find objects when I can only see 4-5 stars with my eyes,some nights)
I have tried other devices and am still trying....and they work,,,after some setup,but when it becomes time to look at a new object...the set up time is just too long,,,and the near real time viewing effect suffers alot...
At this time VIDEO cameras are just much more faster to get the end results....
But I will keep tyring.....lol
CS


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mega256]
      #5215495 - 05/10/12 01:12 PM

I think an important distinction that needs to be made is that a video camera captures video. However, any camera with video outputs can output video. That video may be comprised of individual still images or it may contain up to 60 FPS for NTSC video.

The Mallincam is NOT a video camera. It doesn't record anything. It is a camera that is capable of outputting video to something else that captures it.

If this is a video camera only forum then we need to exclude the Mallincam from it. My GH2 and most of the newer DSLRs would be fine to discuss here though.

This is all said tongue in cheek of course. I don't seriously believe that would should stop talking about the Mallincam. However, I do think we should stop referring to it as a video camera.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (05/10/12 01:19 PM)


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mega256
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5215506 - 05/10/12 01:21 PM

What is a SDC435 Then......not a vodeo camera? Hummm

"The Mallincam is NOT a video camera. It doesn't record anything"
Whats recording have to do with a video camera???
Whats my T2i????


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mega256]
      #5215547 - 05/10/12 01:36 PM

Video is really just an output standard, nothing to do with recording actually. Ever watch a live TV show?

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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5215580 - 05/10/12 01:52 PM

Exactly Mark. It is the actual output source. This is now getting funny and really shows that people are not doing their homework

Chris


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Dwight J
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5215617 - 05/10/12 02:07 PM

I suppose a TV camera only becomes a TV camera when it is sending pictures to a TV! To follow this logic a boat is only a boat when it is in the water. A plane is only...well you get it now.

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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mega256]
      #5215800 - 05/10/12 03:46 PM

Quote:


Whats my T2i????




Your T2i is a video camera.


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5215805 - 05/10/12 03:48 PM

Quote:

Video is really just an output standard, nothing to do with recording actually. Ever watch a live TV show?




Actually I can't say that I have ever watched a live TV program in my entire life. Everything I have ever watched has been tape delayed by 5 seconds or more.

Even "live" shows are tape delayed by the Network and then tape delayed again by the broadcaster(Satellite or Cable provider). If it is only for a few seconds they are not ever true live streams. There is always some delay.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (05/10/12 03:53 PM)


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5215866 - 05/10/12 04:26 PM

It has been awhile since a thread had this many posts in this forum. I don't see that as a bad thing. We each have our opinions.

It is only when we don't express those opinions that no progress happens.


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mega256
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5215880 - 05/10/12 04:32 PM

Just like the purpose of this fourm:
"Showing the images as fast as possable"
Do I have to count the speed of light and my 10' cable
to my monitor......


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mega256]
      #5215946 - 05/10/12 05:11 PM

Speed of light is 1foot per nanosecond... Get your tape measure out. Here in the UK we have digital tv and digital radio,mits fun to compare the time lag between the analogue and digital versions of the same programme, a noticable fraction of a second.

Cheers

PEterW


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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: PEterW]
      #5216071 - 05/10/12 06:44 PM

To folks watching this thread...

I view TV from (1) Digital Cable QAM to my LCD HDTV, (2) Over the Air 8VSB ATSC cablebox - DVR- LCD HDTV, (3) Analog Cable to my LCD HDTV, and (4) external standalone tuner (SiliconDust, a goodie) then Ethernet into my PC to display. None of the programs sync to each other. The time differences can be greater than 3 seconds or more!

Back to the fun part.
"Video" is quite a loose term depend on the context. It may mean the analog video standard rectified in 1941 (B&W NTSC) and revised in 1953 (to accommodate color). It can have a broader context that (some sort of) video presentation that is created/delivered electronically, up to today's (all sort of) technologies.

The guys in MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group), (hey remember MPEG1, MPEG2, MP4, stuff??), when formed in 1988, already knew the pitfall and chose not to use the term "video" any more but a broader term "motion picture". It simply translates to a continuous flow of sequences of images.
(P.S. I knew the story and would say that my statement is not yet another urban legend, I've personally met some of these folks in that era.)

So can we not to beat that poor soul (circa 1941 or 1953) to death and just embrace the modern technologies.

IMHO, "near real-time" is good enough for me. It just creates enough imagination room for creativity.

May I also beg you not to overly emphasize that "mine is the best" factor. I really think multiple approaches help the diversity and the world is not just one-size-fits-all.

Thank you for listening.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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Dragon Man
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mega256]
      #5216333 - 05/10/12 10:30 PM

Simple fix. Call them by their correct name: a Video Capture device
They don't record, but they capture.

And so is a Webcam. So are Security cameras.

Video cameras that record are actually Video Camcorders. Video Cameras that record. Different kettle of fish.
But they can also be used as a Video Capture Device

Just adding to the confusion.


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jujumaster
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5216413 - 05/10/12 11:44 PM

So, is there a section on this site to discuss religion?

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Dragon Man
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: jujumaster]
      #5216426 - 05/10/12 11:54 PM

Quote:

So, is there a section on this site to discuss religion?


No

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AussieAmature
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: jujumaster]
      #5216428 - 05/10/12 11:56 PM

This is a religon of sorts lol

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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: AussieAmature]
      #5216712 - 05/11/12 08:41 AM

The chance to convert some of us mallincam users is there in "the other thread". Some of us are quite willing. There has not been alot shown yet and those that do are wait...malincam users. In realty there looks like there are some possibilies but they all involve more work than the mallincam.

I am in hopes that something like the new nightscape camera (with color binning) will be able to bridge the resolution/sensitivity gap. The QE has to be better, but couple a camera similar to that with a more modern version of envisage and we may have something.


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ensign
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5216829 - 05/11/12 10:15 AM

I wonder if there's an excessive focus on particular technologies in many of these posts. Perhaps the distinction is really the amount of time required to capture and process the image that is presented to the viewer, not how it is accomplished.

I propose that the forum be devoted to "near real time observing" regardless of how any particular image is captured and that "near real time" be defined as two minutes or less.

Whether you use a little bird with a chisel etching the image onto a stone tablet or a 96 core video processor in an orbiting observatory, whatever you can produce in two minutes - I know that this is an arbitrary number, but it seems reasonable - qualifies.

I also propose that we not be too dogmatic about "near real time" as in, "Sorry your image took 2.0379 minutes. You're outta here."


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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ensign]
      #5216833 - 05/11/12 10:19 AM

I agree but I want to see some bird etchings before i buy a bird and chisel.

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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ensign]
      #5216839 - 05/11/12 10:23 AM

The only problem I see with that suggestion is translating values for the bird method -

Fps now becomes sps (stones per second)

QE is quarry excavation time

And finally - stacking gets really heavy.

Plus the bird complains about its job all the time.

Not really the best alternative, but maybe worth a shot!


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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5216869 - 05/11/12 10:39 AM

good points I guess I am still looking!

On a side note to put the mallincam stacks in camera to rest;


From a post by Rock M
"The 128X is a full open shutter and not a series of sub frames and stacked. Try the test yourself:

Focus on a star where it can be seen at 128X from up and down motion on your monitor. Turn off your clock drive on your scope and observe the light streak it will leave on the monitor. *If* it would be a series of 128 frames, you
would see a break up of 128 lines and image would be totally blurred as the images no longer align. Don't confuse the 30 frames per seconds lines here with the 128X
ones. The reality is if you turn off the clock drive of you scope, you *should* see a continuous light streak indicating a open shutter. I have explained this in great details years ago on the astrovideo list."

I find no problem with on the fly stacking but the mallincam does not do it.


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mclewis1
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Re: The Bird method new [Re: Stew57]
      #5216915 - 05/11/12 11:05 AM

Then there's also the important question of whether it's an African or European sparrow.



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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5216977 - 05/11/12 11:45 AM

The two programs I provided in the thread on stacking will work for the MC in conjunction with eachother (DeepSky Imaging and DSS Live).

If you take a look at the user's manual (available on line) for DeepSky Imaging, you will see samples of photos taken with a MC. One of the members Rock mentioned in his post is a member of the DeepSky Imaging Yahoo Group.

The Imaging program lets you capture x images at an interval you specify. It is captured as a single image. For example if you want a stack of 20 images taken 2.1 seconds apart you type in that information. The 20 images will be saved one at a time. DSS Live will stack each image one on top of the other and the image will appear on screen.

It's pretty easy. Place each image you capture in a folder and tell DSS Live where the photos are located. DSS Live will stack the image on-the-fly. The screen will display the pre-processed stacking semi-live to you in the field.

Please look at the manual.

David B in NM


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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5217012 - 05/11/12 12:06 PM

I really like the program. I even emailed the creator about the NSN problem. The short of it is if you have it installed NSN will not work, not just running but just installed. You have to uninstall the program for NSN to start working sgain. If one has no intention of never broadcasting on NSN then I see that as a fantastic solution for mallincam users. If someone has comeup with a solution recently I would be interested.

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David B in NM
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5217028 - 05/11/12 12:15 PM

OK. I'm sorry to hear that. I still haven't ventured to view NSN. Hopefully there will be a fix for it.

I'm not aware of any other program.

DSS Live will also work "alone" with a DSLR or CCD camera if you have either of them.

David B in NM


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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5217050 - 05/11/12 12:27 PM

I just downloaded dss live and am playing with it as I am rained out at work.

thanks


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: David B in NM]
      #5217200 - 05/11/12 01:52 PM

David, I have done and showed this live on NSN countless of times using MC Control software or Deep Sky Imager, DSS Live and WebcamMax using my MCX and it works very well for live stacking.

Chris A


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5217207 - 05/11/12 01:55 PM

Mark yes this is true and I have deleted Deep Sky Imager completely from my PC and just use instead MC Control SW. I tried a year ago to contact Steve about it and he did not respond. I just chalked up the $40.00 as a loss.

Chris A


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Dwight J
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5217283 - 05/11/12 02:33 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

Since there was a dirth of 7 sec and 14 sec images I thought I would add these that I took last night. M 27 wasn't all that high up yet but I didn't want to be up all night. All images taken with a Mallincam Extreme on a C14 @ ~ F4.5 or so and IDAS LPS filter. I didn't calculate the exact f ratio but the configuration was an inch and a quarter visual back threaded onto a Meade 3.3 focal reducer. I took 7, 14, and 90 second exposures and recorded them to DVD using a stand alone DVD recorder. We were viewing the images on a 32 inch CRT TV. No computers were used until I inserted the DVD into my laptop today to do the screen captures using PrintScreen and Paint to save as JPEGs. I cropped them in Photoshop so that is all the processing they had. They looked much better live on the TV. I threw in the 90 second exposure just to show the optimum image we were able to acquire. A 2 min exposure started burning out the brighter parts. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Edited by Dwight J (05/11/12 02:59 PM)


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Dwight J
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5217285 - 05/11/12 02:34 PM Attachment (43 downloads)

The 14 second exposure.

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Dwight J
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5217290 - 05/11/12 02:35 PM Attachment (42 downloads)

And the 90 second.

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Lorence
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ensign]
      #5217304 - 05/11/12 02:46 PM

Quote:

I wonder if there's an excessive focus on particular technologies in many of these posts. Perhaps the distinction is really the amount of time required to capture and process the image that is presented to the viewer, not how it is accomplished.

I propose that the forum be devoted to "near real time observing" regardless of how any particular image is captured and that "near real time" be defined as two minutes or less.

Whether you use a little bird with a chisel etching the image onto a stone tablet or a 96 core video processor in an orbiting observatory, whatever you can produce in two minutes - I know that this is an arbitrary number, but it seems reasonable - qualifies.

I also propose that we not be too dogmatic about "near real time" as in, "Sorry your image took 2.0379 minutes. You're outta here."





Mike. Video Astronomers are few in number as are Video Astronomy Forums. It seems to me that anything done with a Video camera would be of interest to most of the users of this group. Live viewing or imaging turned inside out by Photoshop.

It's not mandatory to read every message in every thread. Most of us are capable of skipping over a thread if it's not interesting.

Rather than some moderator enforcing the law why not leave it up to the users of the group to decide what is relevant or not.

From what I've seen none of the users have ever complained about thread content. No complaints = no moderation required.


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Chris A
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5217337 - 05/11/12 03:07 PM

Very nice images of M27 Dwight thank you for sharing them

Chris A


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Chris A]
      #5217365 - 05/11/12 03:21 PM

Here is something I didn't think about. The person bringing the Mailincam backed out tonight solely because the rest of the club voiced concerns over him being able to shield the monitor. He uses the same CRT monitor that everyone else uses. I forget the name of it though.

Is the monitor really that bright? Can it be shielded with a larger Red Filter?

Edited by mpgxsvcd (05/11/12 03:23 PM)


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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5217389 - 05/11/12 03:33 PM

Yes it can be shielded. Some make a "light booth" just for the monitor. I usually set up as the only scope so there is no light police to worry with. Even the guests seem to like that better. Anyway it is no different than what the imagers have to do.

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Dragon Man
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Lorence]
      #5217743 - 05/11/12 07:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I wonder if there's an excessive focus on particular technologies in many of these posts. Perhaps the distinction is really the amount of time required to capture and process the image that is presented to the viewer, not how it is accomplished.

I propose that the forum be devoted to "near real time observing" regardless of how any particular image is captured and that "near real time" be defined as two minutes or less.

Whether you use a little bird with a chisel etching the image onto a stone tablet or a 96 core video processor in an orbiting observatory, whatever you can produce in two minutes - I know that this is an arbitrary number, but it seems reasonable - qualifies.

I also propose that we not be too dogmatic about "near real time" as in, "Sorry your image took 2.0379 minutes. You're outta here."





Mike. Video Astronomers are few in number as are Video Astronomy Forums. It seems to me that anything done with a Video camera would be of interest to most of the users of this group. Live viewing or imaging turned inside out by Photoshop.

It's not mandatory to read every message in every thread. Most of us are capable of skipping over a thread if it's not interesting.

Rather than some moderator enforcing the law why not leave it up to the users of the group to decide what is relevant or not.

From what I've seen none of the users have ever complained about thread content. No complaints = no moderation required.




and makes my job easier


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ensign
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Reged: 12/16/08

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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dragon Man]
      #5219292 - 05/12/12 08:30 PM

Don't want to make anyone's job harder. My intention was to capture the essence of what we're trying to do here and be as inclusive of as many folks as possible. Seems to me that it doesn't matter so much what technology you use, the main idea is to take advantage of the greater reach of electronically assisted observing without slaving over a hot computer for hours.

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jimb1001
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ensign]
      #5219679 - 05/13/12 03:05 AM

Quote:

I wonder if there's an excessive focus on particular technologies in many of these posts. Perhaps the distinction is really the amount of time required to capture and process the image that is presented to the viewer, not how it is accomplished.

I propose that the forum be devoted to "near real time observing" regardless of how any particular image is captured and that "near real time" be defined as two minutes or less.

Whether you use a little bird with a chisel etching the image onto a stone tablet or a 96 core video processor in an orbiting observatory, whatever you can produce in two minutes - I know that this is an arbitrary number, but it seems reasonable - qualifies.

I also propose that we not be too dogmatic about "near real time" as in, "Sorry your image took 2.0379 minutes. You're outta here."




Have you had problems keeping up with the number of posts here?

I find that on most days it doesn't take 5 minutes to read over the new content.

Lets not be making rules that cut down on the amount of information presented, which appears will be manageable well into the forseeable future.


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ensign
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: jimb1001]
      #5220287 - 05/13/12 01:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I wonder if there's an excessive focus on particular technologies in many of these posts. Perhaps the distinction is really the amount of time required to capture and process the image that is presented to the viewer, not how it is accomplished.

I propose that the forum be devoted to "near real time observing" regardless of how any particular image is captured and that "near real time" be defined as two minutes or less.

Whether you use a little bird with a chisel etching the image onto a stone tablet or a 96 core video processor in an orbiting observatory, whatever you can produce in two minutes - I know that this is an arbitrary number, but it seems reasonable - qualifies.

I also propose that we not be too dogmatic about "near real time" as in, "Sorry your image took 2.0379 minutes. You're outta here."




Have you had problems keeping up with the number of posts here?

I find that on most days it doesn't take 5 minutes to read over the new content.

Lets not be making rules that cut down on the amount of information presented, which appears will be manageable well into the forseeable future.






Rules?? How do you infer that from my posting? That is actually the exact opposite of what I propose. Are you referring to the two minute rule? Fine. Make it three minutes. Make it three hours.

Reading through many of these postings, I was concerned that a lot of folks were feeling excluded on the basis of the technologies they were using. I suggest that it doesn't matter. The purpose of that posting was to focus on what, I believe, are the essentials of electronically assisted observing.

I believe that electronically assisted observing came about in response to a felt need -the ability to use CCD technologies to augment the telescope as an alternative to runaway aperture fever and to do so without the need to spend large amounts of time (define "large amounts of time" however you see fit) at a computer fiddling with the image. At least that's the reason I went in this direction.

I would hope that this forum exists to further the enjoyment of this type of observing which seems to have all kinds of detractors. I fully realize that this hobby attracts all kinds including, it would seem, those whose goal is to be captain of the debating team. To these I would say, whatever floats your boat.


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jimb1001
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ensign]
      #5221209 - 05/14/12 01:02 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I wonder if there's an excessive focus on particular technologies in many of these posts. Perhaps the distinction is really the amount of time required to capture and process the image that is presented to the viewer, not how it is accomplished.

I propose that the forum be devoted to "near real time observing" regardless of how any particular image is captured and that "near real time" be defined as two minutes or less.

Whether you use a little bird with a chisel etching the image onto a stone tablet or a 96 core video processor in an orbiting observatory, whatever you can produce in two minutes - I know that this is an arbitrary number, but it seems reasonable - qualifies.

I also propose that we not be too dogmatic about "near real time" as in, "Sorry your image took 2.0379 minutes. You're outta here."




Have you had problems keeping up with the number of posts here?

I find that on most days it doesn't take 5 minutes to read over the new content.

Lets not be making rules that cut down on the amount of information presented, which appears will be manageable well into the forseeable future.






Rules?? How do you infer that from my posting? That is actually the exact opposite of what I propose. Are you referring to the two minute rule? Fine. Make it three minutes. Make it three hours.

Reading through many of these postings, I was concerned that a lot of folks were feeling excluded on the basis of the technologies they were using. I suggest that it doesn't matter. The purpose of that posting was to focus on what, I believe, are the essentials of electronically assisted observing.

I believe that electronically assisted observing came about in response to a felt need -the ability to use CCD technologies to augment the telescope as an alternative to runaway aperture fever and to do so without the need to spend large amounts of time (define "large amounts of time" however you see fit) at a computer fiddling with the image. At least that's the reason I went in this direction.

I would hope that this forum exists to further the enjoyment of this type of observing which seems to have all kinds of detractors. I fully realize that this hobby attracts all kinds including, it would seem, those whose goal is to be captain of the debating team. To these I would say, whatever floats your boat.




Gee, first off, it sounded like you proposing rules, to me.

Second, this is the friendliest forum on the internet. I've never seen anyone using "Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy" excluded or made to feel unwelcome.

Lastly, or next to lastly, I haven't noticed "all sorts of detractors" objecting to this type of observing. Am I missing something?

And now, lastly, there's no "debating team" mentality here. AT least that I have seen. If someone take exception to something said, as I did to your wish to have "rules" about integration times, they'll state their case and let you respond. As I believe I did.

That's not a debate. Its simply expressing an opinion. The fact that it doesn't agree with yours doesn't make it a "debate".


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ensign
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Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: jimb1001]
      #5221540 - 05/14/12 09:43 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I wonder if there's an excessive focus on particular technologies in many of these posts. Perhaps the distinction is really the amount of time required to capture and process the image that is presented to the viewer, not how it is accomplished.

I propose that the forum be devoted to "near real time observing" regardless of how any particular image is captured and that "near real time" be defined as two minutes or less.

Whether you use a little bird with a chisel etching the image onto a stone tablet or a 96 core video processor in an orbiting observatory, whatever you can produce in two minutes - I know that this is an arbitrary number, but it seems reasonable - qualifies.

I also propose that we not be too dogmatic about "near real time" as in, "Sorry your image took 2.0379 minutes. You're outta here."




Have you had problems keeping up with the number of posts here?

I find that on most days it doesn't take 5 minutes to read over the new content.

Lets not be making rules that cut down on the amount of information presented, which appears will be manageable well into the forseeable future.






Rules?? How do you infer that from my posting? That is actually the exact opposite of what I propose. Are you referring to the two minute rule? Fine. Make it three minutes. Make it three hours.

Reading through many of these postings, I was concerned that a lot of folks were feeling excluded on the basis of the technologies they were using. I suggest that it doesn't matter. The purpose of that posting was to focus on what, I believe, are the essentials of electronically assisted observing.

I believe that electronically assisted observing came about in response to a felt need -the ability to use CCD technologies to augment the telescope as an alternative to runaway aperture fever and to do so without the need to spend large amounts of time (define "large amounts of time" however you see fit) at a computer fiddling with the image. At least that's the reason I went in this direction.

I would hope that this forum exists to further the enjoyment of this type of observing which seems to have all kinds of detractors. I fully realize that this hobby attracts all kinds including, it would seem, those whose goal is to be captain of the debating team. To these I would say, whatever floats your boat.




Gee, first off, it sounded like you proposing rules, to me.

Second, this is the friendliest forum on the internet. I've never seen anyone using "Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy" excluded or made to feel unwelcome.

Lastly, or next to lastly, I haven't noticed "all sorts of detractors" objecting to this type of observing. Am I missing something?

And now, lastly, there's no "debating team" mentality here. AT least that I have seen. If someone take exception to something said, as I did to your wish to have "rules" about integration times, they'll state their case and let you respond. As I believe I did.

That's not a debate. Its simply expressing an opinion. The fact that it doesn't agree with yours doesn't make it a "debate".




OK OK

You win.


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ensign]
      #5221561 - 05/14/12 09:56 AM

Quote:


OK OK

You win.

--------------------
- Mike





That was a good response. (note - need to take forum lesson from ensign)



(if you read through the whole thread, you'll see why I need the lesson)

Edited by Vondragonnoggin (05/14/12 09:59 AM)


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Dragon Man
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5221839 - 05/14/12 12:34 PM

Quote:


Lastly, or next to lastly, I haven't noticed "all sorts of detractors" objecting to this type of observing. Am I missing something?






Mike would be referring to some of the folks in the Eyepiece Forum, who refuse to see V&EAA as a form of 'Observing', and some of the folks in the Imaging Forums who refuse to see it as any form of Imaging.

So we float along happily in our own Limbo


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jimb1001
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dragon Man]
      #5221887 - 05/14/12 01:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:


Lastly, or next to lastly, I haven't noticed "all sorts of detractors" objecting to this type of observing. Am I missing something?






Mike would be referring to some of the folks in the Eyepiece Forum, who refuse to see V&EAA as a form of 'Observing', and some of the folks in the Imaging Forums who refuse to see it as any form of Imaging.

So we float along happily in our own Limbo




Every once in a while I see folks objecting to "goto".

I suppose at one point some people objected to telescopes. After all, eyes were good enough for all those thousands of years. Responding to that mentality has always been a waste of time.

Now lets get back to a serious discussion. How many seconds of integration should we allow before chasing someone off this forum?


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Vondragonnoggin
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: jimb1001]
      #5221960 - 05/14/12 01:48 PM

I'm voting for 60 minutes integration. It will be about as exciting as 90% of the cable tv shows offered in my service. Some of them are live too.



Just kiddin around, really.


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Lorence
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: jimb1001]
      #5222218 - 05/14/12 03:57 PM

Quote:

Now lets get back to a serious discussion. How many seconds of integration should we allow before chasing someone off this forum?




I say we chase of anyone suggesting that there be any kind of limitations on threads, providing of course the subject deals with astro video or something that originated in an astro video situation.

Like I said before, there's know one running around here twisting peoples arms to read every message.

Perhaps all that need to be done is to encourage people to use descriptive subject titles to begin with and for the rest to stay within a mile or two of the topic.

At least until there are more video forums to deal with specific issues.


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mclewis1
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Dragon Man]
      #5222268 - 05/14/12 04:26 PM

Quote:

So we float along happily in our own Limbo




Everybody Limbo ...


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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5222376 - 05/14/12 05:31 PM

As long as someone doesn't spend all weekend processing a photo and calling it live i good with everything. as long as there is full disclosure on how something is captured I can learn from it. Hey I still throw my meade electronic eyepiece in every once in awhile!

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Raginar
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5225147 - 05/16/12 01:28 PM

That's the nice thing between the video forums and the imaging forums; in video you can realistically expect to get what you see posted. In the CCD forums? It's up for grabs! Even between cameras it depends on the software you have, the scope, the guider, your ability as a processor and the tricks you've learned to compensate for errors in your data. It's a *BLEEP* shoot!

I like the video forums as they are; I don't think I've seen any posting of modified pictures. So I think all of this is fairly moot.


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jambi99
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5237914 - 05/24/12 07:30 PM

The DSI pro doesn't have the Sony Ex-View like the Mallincam have. To be fair,you would have to compare the Mallincam againts the DSI Pro II (with Ex-View). You are comparing apple and orange. Also, the DSI Pro II seems to have less noise than the Pro

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mclewis1
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: jambi99]
      #5238101 - 05/24/12 10:08 PM

Quote:

The DSI pro doesn't have the Sony Ex-View like the Mallincam have.



Actually neither do most Mallincams. The ExView HAD chip is only an option on many Mallincams and is not very popular ... yet. With improved cooling capabilities and some better understanding of the chip's strengths and weaknesses more potential Mallincam owners are choosing the ExView HAD chip option.

Quote:

To be fair,you would have to compare the Mallincam againts the DSI Pro II (with Ex-View). You are comparing apple and orange. Also, the DSI Pro II seems to have less noise than the Pro



I agree that in general it would be better to compare the Pro II to a Mallincam. To help the comparison the Pro II should also have a cooling capability added to it as well.

Ideally though the better comparison would be with the latest model cameras from ATIK or Starlight Express which have better sensors, lower noise circuits and cooling as compared to older CCD cameras like the Meades.


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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5238151 - 05/24/12 10:40 PM

I was just comparing what I have on hand. The dsi pro does get the benifit od auto dark subtract via envisage (and without cooling it needs it). If someone has a better ccd camera that will do live I am all for it as I am in the market. I was really wishing something like the celestron nightscape with 3x3 color binning would be an answer. One could change the resolution/sensitivity as needed. Add lower noise circuits and a better cooling system as you suggested and maybe.

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mclewis1
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Stew57]
      #5238733 - 05/25/12 10:35 AM

I'm with ya Mark. Personally I never did much with Envisage (used my DSI primarily as an autoguide camera) but I'm always pleasantly surprised by the software's capabilities, but as much with it's user interface.

I would indeed be very interesting to see a number of the modern cameras compared side by side. I think a lot of folks would be interested in doing some reasonable "live" work along with traditional imaging and my guess is a lot of the latest products would handle that quite well.


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saemark30
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5239509 - 05/25/12 06:44 PM

Would you be able to get the arms of M51 in a heavy light polluted area with a C11?

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Stew57
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: saemark30]
      #5239531 - 05/25/12 06:58 PM

I dont have any captures with the C11 (yet) and my mount is packed to ship to Ed. However, I do have a M51 from my light polluted backyard from a ETX80.

80mm F5 at about 100 seconds with gain at 2 bars Of course with the C11 M51 fills the screen and shows a lot more detail.

Edited by Stew57 (05/25/12 07:04 PM)


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mclewis1
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: saemark30]
      #5239746 - 05/25/12 09:16 PM

Quote:

Would you be able to get the arms of M51 in a heavy light polluted area with a C11?



Um, in a word ... yes, absolutely.

First define "heavy light polluted" skies - mag 4, mag 3, mag 2?
What type of C11 setup do you have in mind ?(NS GPS/CPC1100 or a C11 ota on a gem). The reason for the question is that with a gem (or an alt az with a wedge) you'll be able to take longer exposures (beyond 30-40s). Normally this would be counter productive with heavy light pollution but with very selective filters (narrow band) you'll be able to use longer exposures and still keep much of the light pollution out.

A true light pollution filter will darken the background somewhat but a narrow band filter like a good UHC will let you pull out a surprising amount of faint detail under bad skies. Remember though that galaxies are a bit of a special case when it comes to filters and light polluted skies. Filters tend to work much better on other types of DSOs (planetary nebula, extended nebula, etc.). If your light pollution isn't too bad then a Deep Sky filter can also work reasonably well on galaxies.

Another "trick" under heavy light pollution that only works for video cameras (live viewing) is to adjust the black levels on your display device (either on the video monitor or with the modified Mallincam frame grabber, the MCV-1E). Being able to adjust the black level on the fly gives you the ability to eke out more faint details from bright light polluted backgrounds.


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5240011 - 05/26/12 12:02 AM

To amplify on Mark's comments on adjusting the black level. While it might be aesthetically pleasing to darken the sky to the point if 'simulating' an outer space-like, no sky glow view. This can be counterproductive. All the more so when the sky glow is causing rather poor contrast. Go too far on the black setting and faint, subtle structure can be artificially clipped to invisibility. I've long ago learned that in order to see all the image has to offer, some amount of sky glow must be present (unless the exposure is too short to really capture the glow to start with.)

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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5241802 - 05/27/12 07:32 AM

+1 on Glenn's comments above. Some contrast is usually beneficial. However, to much contrast will destroy all of the necessary details. It is definitely a balancing act.

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nytecam
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5243314 - 05/28/12 06:26 AM Attachment (42 downloads)

Interesting post as always but here's my Mallicam 30sec Challenge against my unfiltered Lodestar-C eg ICX429AK Sony Exview interline CCD; format = 752 x 580 pixels in 6.4mm x 4.75mm area thro YMCG secondary colour filters. Used my Star-burner 30cm f/3.7 SCT on M5. Ok - I manual tweaked them 'cos my s/ware doesn't have knobs to do it but you get the idea and maybe Craig will do some s/ware wizardry to do it automatically aka Mallincam

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nytecam
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: nytecam]
      #5243317 - 05/28/12 06:28 AM Attachment (37 downloads)

and Ring M57 in 30s likewise again from Saturday night

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rmollise
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Astronomiser.Com]
      #5243431 - 05/28/12 09:15 AM

Quote:

Anyone think we need a Digital Video Camera?






Nope. Not me. The Mallincam is far more versatile than any digital solution. You can use the M-cam...

1. As a straight video device...no computer needed (you will need Rock's wireless shutter control for the Xtreme).

2. Under computer control outputting composite video to a monitor and/or recorder.

3. Feeding Super VHS video to a digitizer.

If I want more-better-gooder it is my Canon or the ST2000. Most of the time the Xtreme is just perfect for what I do.


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ccs_hello
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: rmollise]
      #5243456 - 05/28/12 09:29 AM

Ahhh....


The quoted statement came from original poster on page 1 post #1 of this thread.
Hope we will not go through another round of 12-page discussions .


Of course unk Rod is entitled to have his opinions .

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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rmollise
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5244019 - 05/28/12 02:15 PM

Sometimes I come early to threads. Sometimes late. Sometimes I get the last word in. Sometimes not...

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nytecam
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: rmollise]
      #5244093 - 05/28/12 02:57 PM

Quote:

Sometimes I come early to threads. Sometimes late. Sometimes I get the last word in. Sometimes not...


Sometimes not

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bwallan
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #5400320 - 09/02/12 10:45 PM

Quote:

I am specifically interested in lodestar - C, superstar - C, Atik Titan, Atik 420-c, Atik 314e, or Atik 314l+ color comparisons. Particularly the Atik Titan or Lodestar -c as it uses larger pixels, are cooled, and the Atik Titan does 15fps along with long exposure or short exposure and uses class 1 HAD Sony chip with larger pixels.
I think that would be a better comparison.




I would have to agree. I have a mono ATIK 428Ex and use ATIK's Artemis capture software. Similar integration/exposure times with the above hardware/software combo yield better images than my MCX; not color but much better image quality, no amp glow, no weird blown out stars and controlled cooling!

I will be quite interested in the quality off the MC Universe which, at the moment, I simply view as yet another CCD with software preview... which is what I currently have.


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TonyBegg
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: bwallan]
      #5799687 - 04/15/13 12:04 AM

This has been a fascinating thread to read, although it is probably dead and buried by now. Having used "live view" on a Rebel T3 as an assist in detecting Comet 2011/L4 PanSTARRS at a school outreach event, I am researching the options for a more continuous "live view". Apparently Magic Lantern firmware can achieve that for the Canon but I worry about over-heating. Conceptually, watching a screen and seeing an image of the heavens (in color) get more detailed and go deeper the longer I look is similar to patient and painstaking visual observing, except with CCD and CMOS sensors the signal/noise can improve with time over what the human eye can achieve. On-line stacking, and in-camera integration (which can be done with L3CCD and EMCCDs as well as security cameras with sense-up) are just two methods attempting the same signal out of noise optimization. There are papers on on-line blind deconvolution (Stefan Harmeling et al at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics) that suggest an even better way - star images are convolved with a time varying point-spread function (optics + seeing) and it is possible with a stream of images to get at the underlying stars (like lucky imaging but using all images). Thus the visual experience (looking at the monitor) would be to see clearer and more point-like stars (and more detailed extended objects) as processing progressed. Now these methods are looking for the underlying "truth" of the astronomical objects rather than looking for some subjective pretty picture. A truth that all properly-functioning deconvolvers would agree on. IMHO this is what this forum should be about. Finding some parallel to visual observing in real-time (while viewing the objects in question rather than at some later date) using whatever electronic/computer processing assist gets us there.

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rmollise
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: TonyBegg]
      #5800143 - 04/15/13 10:10 AM

An interesting idea, and worth a try as long as you understand that the Canon will not have sensitivity even approaching that of a Mallincam or Stellacam.

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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: rmollise]
      #5800156 - 04/15/13 10:19 AM

Quote:

An interesting idea, and worth a try as long as you understand that the Canon will not have sensitivity even approaching that of a Mallincam or Stellacam.




So exactly what is the sensitivity of the Canon camera? We know the sensitivity of the Mallincam. However, there are no equivalent measurements for the other cameras. All you have is an ISO value.

I find it interesting that so many people claim that the Mallincam is many many times more sensitive than everything else without knowing how sensitive those other cameras actually are. I don't doubt that the Mallincam is more sensitive. I do doubt that the Mallincam is 6 times or more as sensitive as some of the claims that I have seen state.


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: TonyBegg]
      #5800160 - 04/15/13 10:21 AM

Quote:

This has been a fascinating thread to read, although it is probably dead and buried by now. Having used "live view" on a Rebel T3 as an assist in detecting Comet 2011/L4 PanSTARRS at a school outreach event, I am researching the options for a more continuous "live view". Apparently Magic Lantern firmware can achieve that for the Canon but I worry about over-heating. Conceptually, watching a screen and seeing an image of the heavens (in color) get more detailed and go deeper the longer I look is similar to patient and painstaking visual observing, except with CCD and CMOS sensors the signal/noise can improve with time over what the human eye can achieve. On-line stacking, and in-camera integration (which can be done with L3CCD and EMCCDs as well as security cameras with sense-up) are just two methods attempting the same signal out of noise optimization. There are papers on on-line blind deconvolution (Stefan Harmeling et al at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics) that suggest an even better way - star images are convolved with a time varying point-spread function (optics + seeing) and it is possible with a stream of images to get at the underlying stars (like lucky imaging but using all images). Thus the visual experience (looking at the monitor) would be to see clearer and more point-like stars (and more detailed extended objects) as processing progressed. Now these methods are looking for the underlying "truth" of the astronomical objects rather than looking for some subjective pretty picture. A truth that all properly-functioning deconvolvers would agree on. IMHO this is what this forum should be about. Finding some parallel to visual observing in real-time (while viewing the objects in question rather than at some later date) using whatever electronic/computer processing assist gets us there.




I will have to check out the Magic Latern changes for live view. I didn't realize they had added that. Does it allow you to control the shutter speed for live view? Are there any duration limits?

If the camera can do live view in real-time I don't think that it would have any problems doing it with longer exposures.


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Moromete
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5800202 - 04/15/13 10:46 AM Attachment (19 downloads)

You can use a Canon DSLR with MagicLantern like a Mallincam JR. for DSO live viewing on Canon's 3" lcd with integration times of 4s. FPSOverride is the function which enables you to do this with MagicLantern.

I have attached an image to see FPSOverride in action on M42.

There is one problem. I tried FPSOverride in Movie Mode with a Canon 550D and it got hot in summer (33 degrees Celsius), especially the battery (in winter it's OK). Secondly the battery is draining fast because the lcd is always on during live view. If you have an external power source than DSLR will be cooler I think.

Anyway it worked nice and I was very pleased to see M42 "growing" on Canon's lcd like with a Mallincam. Unfortunately you can't go longer than 4s.


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jgraham
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Re: Mallincam Alternative-Digital new [Re: Moromete]
      #5800249 - 04/15/13 11:09 AM