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Equipment Discussions >> Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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mmalik
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CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy)
      #5717615 - 03/07/13 01:18 AM

Is there some kind of war/competition brewing between astro video CCD, i.e., SONY and astro video CMOS, i.e., Canon?


Current (high-end) offerings with SONY astro video CCD sensors: (Corrections/additions welcome)
•Mallincam Xtreme Color: SONY ICX418AKL / ICX428AKL
•Astrovid StellaCam3 Mono: SONY ICX418ALL


Prospective/futuristic offering/s with Canon's new video CMOS sensor?
New CMOS Sensor for video...


Few questions:
•How do you foresee Canon's new CMOS chip's potential for DSO video astronomy?

•How do you foresee Canon offering this new chip to other vendors (e.g., Mallincam, StellaCam, etc.) or will it be exclusive to Canon cameras?

•How do you foresee Canon catering to video astronomy with the new chip or would it end up going to other domains, medicine, surveillance, security, etc.?

•In short, how do you see high-end CCD and CMOS paly out in the future as far as DSO video astronomy is concerned?

Note: Focus of my inquisition is futuristic DSO video astronomy (NOT planetary)


I am new to the video forum; your insights welcome! Regards


I come from DSLR background; my DSLR astro work here....
A relevant post here...


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wolfman_4_ever
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Reged: 07/15/11

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Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: mmalik]
      #5717654 - 03/07/13 02:10 AM



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Moromete
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Reged: 02/15/12

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Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5717657 - 03/07/13 02:15 AM

Considering the size and specs of the new Canon sensor I think we will not find it in cameras with prices for amateur astronomers (<1500-2000 USD). I hope I'm wrong.

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nytecam
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Loc: London UK
Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: mmalik]
      #5717706 - 03/07/13 04:07 AM

Mike - after seeing your quality long exposure DSO webpage I'd doubt video will satisfy you unless you want a change-of-direction. The brevity of video exposure realtime imaging can't match the quality of CCD imaging and obligitory post processing. Video is quick, easy and 'dirty' by definition in swapping a dim and solitory eyepiece view into a bright, detailed and colourful instant screen view after a few seconds exposure that can be shared by many.

IMHO the new camera chips are an interesting but needless distraction


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mmalik
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Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: nytecam]
      #5719803 - 03/08/13 02:48 AM

Quote:

The brevity of video exposure real-time imaging can't match the quality of CCD imaging and obligatory post processing. Video is quick, easy and 'dirty' by definition in swapping a dim and solitary eyepiece view into a bright, detailed and colorful instant screen view after a few seconds exposure that can be shared by many.




Understandable; video doesn’t come close to long exposure still imagery but video is bound to get better. I think Canon is on the right track with the new chip if it translates into something serious for (DSO) video astronomy. Thx


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Chris A
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Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: mmalik]
      #5720359 - 03/08/13 11:46 AM

I am sorry but this statement from you "Understandable; video doesn’t come close to long exposure still imagery but video is bound to get better" does not make any sense to me because video in it's very own unique league. As we all know that astrophotograpghy and astrovideo are two different worlds are serve different wants/needs.

Again you use a dedicated astro ccd camera for creating pretty astro pictures or for scientific studies and you use a dedicated astro video camera for live (planets, solar and lunar) or near live (DSO's) observations.

To this day you still cannot compare a CMOS sensor to a ccd sensor even though the CMOS are improving overtime. The large CMOS sensor that Canon announced seems to be sensitive with it's very large pixels but is probably still good for only the brighter DSO's and it takes a lot more then then a sensitive sensor to make it in the very faint DSO video world.

Chris A


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mmalik
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Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: Chris A]
      #5720483 - 03/08/13 12:56 PM

Quote:

As we all know that astrophotograpghy and astrovideo are two different worlds are serving different wants/needs.




Maybe I didn't say it right; I like your version better. I guess too early to say what Canon's new CMOS has to offer in terms of DSO video, what I like is the initiative on Canon's part.


What I don't like about contemporary video (Mallin/Stella) is the interfaces; although things are changing but slowly. Plus I feel the two vendors may have fallen behind times in terms of underlying technologies regardless of the SONY sensors in them. Imagine SONY making a DSO video cam in competition to Mallin/Stella, things would not be the same, correct? What Canon may bring to the table, "if" they were to offer a DSO video cam, may not be just the sensor per se but underlying infrastructure (electronics, etc.), hardware interfaces (USB, etc.), software (image manipulation, etc.), future innovation, etc. All I mean to say, it’s a good start, let’s hope it becomes a trend.


FYI: My images... were taken with a Canon CMOS; not CCD sensor.


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Chris A
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: Toronto, Canada
Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: mmalik]
      #5720643 - 03/08/13 02:17 PM

Yes it is a good start on behalf of Canon and I also hope they will venture more into this part of astronomy. Canon did take a big initiative step when they brought out their 20Da for astrophotography and now their 60Da unlike other competitors like Nikon, Sony and Pentax. Lets see what Canon brings us in the near future when it come to live or near live DSO video observation.

Chris A

Edited by Chris A (03/08/13 02:39 PM)


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: mmalik]
      #5720662 - 03/08/13 02:28 PM

From the user standpoint what does it mater if you are using a video or a CCD camera. Live video really only works on very bright objects. Once video camera sense up is enabled the image is near live. Integrated video is in reality the same as long exposure with a CCD.

I use several Mallincam video cameras as well as a Mallincam Universe. All my deep sky viewing is near live with exposure times generally between a few seconds to two minutes. What I see is a constant succession of individual images regardless of what camera I use.

Who care how those images get there as long as they are there.

Those chips or ones very similar will will eventually become available to the public. People like Rock will put them into cameras for people like me that are willing to pay for them. All the rest will be free to speculate to their hearts content.


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Mogster
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Reged: 03/14/04

Loc: Manchester, England
Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: Lorence]
      #5720728 - 03/08/13 03:14 PM

Its good to see that Canon are obviously very aware of the astro imaging potential for this tech.

There's a definite market for high end products.


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bwallan
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Reged: 07/08/10

Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: Mogster]
      #5722438 - 03/09/13 02:42 PM

Image quality comes down to one simple law... the more actual photons you capture, the better the image. Image quality is not improved by high gain (the reverse is true).

Capturing enough photons from faint stellar objects to create a good quality image takes a fast lens/telescope and time... What I've seen coming out of the current offering of astro-video systems are not quality images. They are an improvement over the "fuzzies" one sees through an eyepiece BUT not up to even the lowest standards expected by astro-imagers!


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ccs_hello
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Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: bwallan]
      #5722451 - 03/09/13 02:55 PM

It's a matter of S/N trade-offs. High-gain imagers are trading off the picture S/N, resolution, etc. with "one term":
previously I can't see it, now I can!

We call it as a different viewing style.
There is no definite perfect answer one way or another.

(Until CANON sells that full-frame sized 19um pitch CMOS image sensor at $200 a pop. Keep on dreaming...)

BTW, even if that sensor is sold in millions in quantity, the fast optics, long focal length, and large image circle that can fully illuminate the full-frame image area will be very costly. Say fl=300mm, f/2 ED (or APO OTA) lens for FX format !!

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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Dwight J
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Reged: 05/14/09

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Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: bwallan]
      #5723023 - 03/09/13 09:24 PM

Quote:

Image quality comes down to one simple law... the more actual photons you capture, the better the image. Image quality is not improved by high gain (the reverse is true).
Capturing enough photons from faint stellar objects to create a good quality image takes a fast lens/telescope and time... What I've seen coming out of the current offering of astro-video systems are not quality images. They are an improvement over the "fuzzies" one sees through an eyepiece BUT not up to even the lowest standards expected by astro-imagers!




I guess you havent seen the Mallincam Universe camera in action then. Astrovideo is not imaging but observing. If you want to do imaging use a dedicated CCD camera. I find the lower resolution of astrovideo a fair tradeoff for hours of image acquisition and processing. Astrovideo is an evolving technology so there are exciting things to come. Just watch us - pun intended.


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: bwallan]
      #5724202 - 03/10/13 04:23 PM

Quote:

What I've seen coming out of the current offering of astro-video systems are not quality images. They are an improvement over the "fuzzies" one sees through an eyepiece BUT not up to even the lowest standards expected by astro-imagers!




You obviously have to get out and see more. Only a few imageres produce magazine quality work, many can't even do the equal of the casual video user. I don't even consider myself as being an imager but I get better near live results with my Universe that I've seen from many of the pixel butchers out there and I get those results in minutes rather than hours.


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ccs_hello
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Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: Lorence]
      #5724272 - 03/10/13 04:49 PM

Quote:

Quote:

What I've seen coming out of the current offering of astro-video systems are not quality images. They are an improvement over the "fuzzies" one sees through an eyepiece BUT not up to even the lowest standards expected by astro-imagers!




You obviously have to get out and see more. Only a few imageres produce magazine quality work, many can't even do the equal of the casual video user. I don't even consider myself as being an imager but I get better near live results with my Universe that I've seen from many of the pixel butchers out there and I get those results in minutes rather than hours.




Before some people's blood pressure gets slightly elevated, let me try saying something here...

Purpose-made astroCCD imagers have design targets and intended audiences.

Purpose-made fast-image acquisition/high-gain CCD imagers have design targets and intended audiences.

Both are just tools and certainly have pros and cons. Compromises are the name of the game!
One tool's pro (as design features) can be the other tool's con (more like a hindrance.)

There are overlapping zones and there is no rule saying there must be no cross-overs.

The result of the work is heavily dependent on the tools used, the skill level of the owner-user (or artist), and time & effort made.

Can we stop this silly mine is better than yours (without even willing to go deep into the details) type of chatting, especially in this public forum?

Astro is supposed to be fun, tranquility, and less personality conflicts.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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mmalik
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Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: Lorence]
      #5724396 - 03/10/13 05:56 PM

Quote:

From the user standpoint what does it matter if you are using a video or a CCD camera. Live video really only works on very bright objects. Once video camera sense up is enabled the image is near live. Integrated video is in reality the same as long exposure with a CCD.




You meant video or still… either being CCD or CMOS. I think @Dwight J put it right, "Astro video is not imaging but observing", and these subtleties do matter regardless of the basics of image capture which may not be much different.


Yes live video may work on bright objects today but that's not to say it is going to stay that way in the near future. While Mallin/Stella may be adequate today as makeshift consumers of CCD chips produced by Sony, real advancement and innovation lies with the chip manufacturers (Sony, Canon [new CMOS chip], Kodak, etc.) and it does matter to us because astronomy has been left at the back burner of the big manufactures. Nikon has yet to acknowledge we exist. Canon wouldn’t have built the new chip let alone mention the word ‘astronomy’ in their communique had it not been for one of their executives being an astronomy enthusiast. So yes, our attitudes do matter! Regards


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ccs_hello
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Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: mmalik]
      #5724431 - 03/10/13 06:19 PM

Well, we don't know the details on Canon big pixel Full-Frame CMOS yet (price and if there is even a new technology introduced)...

However, while waiting...
there is a nice article to read (some not applicable to astro), but worthwhile to have another dream
http://www.andor.com/learning-academy/top-10-imaging-innovations-physics-worl...

If there is a possibility to get EMCCD sensor cheap ...

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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nytecam
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Reged: 08/20/05

Loc: London UK
Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: mmalik]
      #5725280 - 03/11/13 06:24 AM

Quote:

Quote:

From the user standpoint what does it matter if you are using a video or a CCD camera. Live video really only works on very bright objects. Once video camera sense up is enabled the image is near live. Integrated video is in reality the same as long exposure with a CCD.


....
Yes live video may work on bright objects today but that's not to say it is going to stay that way in the near future. While Mallin/Stella may be adequate today as makeshift consumers of CCD chips produced by Sony, real advancement and innovation lies with the chip manufacturers (Sony, Canon [new CMOS chip], Kodak, etc.) and it does matter to us because astronomy has been left at the back burner of the big manufactures. Nikon has yet to acknowledge we exist. Canon wouldn’t have built the new chip let alone mention the word ‘astronomy’ in their communique had it not been for one of their executives being an astronomy enthusiast.....


Live-video was once just that but as sensup etc extended exposures 'live' ceased and was seen after-the-event so that video and CCD in brief exposure were the same - only the means of presentation was different via TV or laptop screen.

I find it strange that of all the astro-cam manufacturers only Mallincam persists and even they acknowledge regular CCD work with their Universe cam which noticeably has vanished from these pages after launch. I've spoken to other cam makers and apart from marketing 'planetary' cams with fast acquisition rates to computer, video is not on their radar as redundant technology - whatever you make of that. Of course there remains plenty of security cams for us to latch onto.

As to the Canon sensor with 19um pixels as I recall the first CCD cams from SBIG [Texas Inst chips], Starlight Xpress [Sony chips] etc had big pixels but low QE. Times have changed to small pixels and hi-QE. The Canon CMOS sensor will be favoured for night shots by big-game [camera] hunters and those spectacular rotating stellar skies in TV documentaries - real astro will be way down the list.


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mmalik
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Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: nytecam]
      #5727457 - 03/12/13 04:58 AM

Quote:

As to the Canon sensor with 19um pixels as I recall the first CCD cams from SBIG [Texas Inst chips], Starlight Xpress [Sony chips] etc. had big pixels but low QE. Times have changed to small pixels and hi-QE. The Canon CMOS sensor will be favored for night shots by big-game [camera] hunters and those spectacular rotating stellar skies in TV documentaries - real astro will be way down the list.




Fair assessment... but Canon has a way of surprising astro community, e.g., with their 20Da and 60Da offerings. Let's hope new Canon chip does more for astro video than anticipated. If the new chip were to materialize for astronomy, I would hope Canon offers a full astro video camera solution instead of Mallin/Stella type. Regards


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mmalik
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Re: CCD vs. CMOS Video (DSO Astronomy) new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5733510 - 03/15/13 05:54 AM

Quote:

If there is a possibility to get EMCCD sensor cheap ...




Some interesting arguments...


"Dark current is a bigger problem with EMCCD technology than it is for standard CCDs because the former technique involves amplifying any electrons – both the photon-generated electrons and the dark electrons alike."
Reference...


"When recording video of astral bodies, while an electron-multiplying CCD, which realizes approximately the same level of perception as the naked eye, can capture magnitude-6 stars, Canon's newly developed CMOS sensor is capable of recording faint stars with a magnitude of 8.5 and above."
Reference...


Question: What is Mallin/Stella sensitivity in terms of star magnitudes?


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