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Equipment Discussions >> Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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issdaol
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Reged: 01/01/10

Video Camera Advice for astro
      #5722886 - 03/09/13 07:42 PM

Hi All,

I am totally new to astronomical video so would appreciate advice and pointers.

First off I have a Takahashi Mewlon 300 on a Takahashi EM400 Mount. I can drive this by IPAD using SkySafari or The Sky using a laptop.

Essentially I want to replace the eyepiece with a high quality astro video cam/ccd for live viewing potentially dumping to a monitor via HDMI/RGB/SVHS or Ethernet/IP to laptop screen.

Also may want to capture frames for stacking images.

Basically looking at all targets including Lunar, Planetary and Deepspace.

I have heard a lot of things about Mallincam. Is this the best unit for this?? What about Point Grey products like the Flea 3/Grasshopper3/Zebra or any other product.

At this stage imagine no budget limit on the product just so I can get a feel for which might be best then look at budget later.

Any help and Advice much appreciated

Cheers!!


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Atl
professor emeritus
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Reged: 04/13/12

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: issdaol]
      #5722907 - 03/09/13 07:57 PM

I asked this very question and started a flame war...lol. Good luck...

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issdaol
member


Reged: 01/01/10

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Atl]
      #5722980 - 03/09/13 08:54 PM

Quote:

I asked this very question and started a flame war...lol. Good luck...




LoL

I don't want to start up a brand war like Tak vs AP or AP vs TEC just open advice, pointers and opinions.

Apart from the general use specifications mentioned main other criteria is higher sensitivity, higher resolution video/image quality in a live viewable format.


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Dwight J
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Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: issdaol]
      #5723010 - 03/09/13 09:15 PM

Depends on what you mean by high quality. The Point Grey etc cameras you mentioned would do for solar system objects and perhaps some double stars and the brightest DSOs but not anything dimmer. If you like high quality images you could use a Mallincam Universe camera which outputs a 6.3 mp image in video. Higher sensitivity comes with Mallincam Exteme but the chip is small and the pixels large. Focal reduction is fairly essential for any of the cameras you see used by members of this forum with many using around F3 or less. Check out the image gallery here for examples of what you can expect from each type of camera. Nice thing about the Tak mount is that you likely will not have to guide as exposures are typically less than 2 or 3 minutes. Visit Nightskiesnetwork to see deepsky video cameras in action live. If you become a member you can chat with others about their cameras and other equipment. Membership is free but not necessary as you can view as a guest but then you cant chat. I am biased towards Mallincams because that is what I use but other cameras may meet your needs. I am sure you will see others jumping into this thread touting what cameras they think are the best. Good luck!

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issdaol
member


Reged: 01/01/10

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5724509 - 03/10/13 07:00 PM

Hi Dwight,

Thanks for the tips

I have the Mewlon Flattener Reducer but that only brings it down to F9.

I have always been visual so not much practical experience with effects of F Ratio on imaging.

Will look up the Mallincam Extreme. At first glance their web site looks pretty disorganized.


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Atl
professor emeritus
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Reged: 04/13/12

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5724519 - 03/10/13 07:07 PM

Well I will chime in. I bought a used Matrix DXB-9300EX which is a rebranded Mintron camera. It is a very sensitive camera to learn the ropes on and it cost $130. I think the Sony SCB4000 might be a good starter as well for about $170. If mine ends up floating my boat I might go for a high end Mallincam.

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ccs_hello
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Reged: 07/03/04

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Atl]
      #5724591 - 03/10/13 07:38 PM

I like Atl's approach, if the audience has no previous experience on video. SCB2000 (less than $100) and the friends are quite capable devices and can get people through the initial learning curve.

Then the user can decide the next step, may be a good one as a reward for the patience .
The old cam then can go to the classified and still worth some money.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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mclewis1
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Atl]
      #5724615 - 03/10/13 07:50 PM

Atl, That's interesting ... where did you find an SCB4000 for $170? That would be a very good deal.

Getting one of these nice little low light security cameras with a good 1/2" sensor at a good price is a great way to get into video astronomy. Interestingly the more of these cameras that find their way into the hands of folks who are interested in video astronomy the more high end cameras that eventually get sold. They can be thought of as the "gateway drugs" of the video astronomy market.

I once half seriously suggested to Rock that he buy a bunch of these cameras and give them away. The cost of this could be applied against any marketing/advertising budget.


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Atl
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Reged: 04/13/12

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5724646 - 03/10/13 08:02 PM

Samsung SCB2000...must have lost my train of thought there...too many number designations..

In the future I will be more thoughtful to accommodate those less tolerant of errors such as yourself.

The fact that a newbie seeking advice here either gets silence or sarcasm speaks volumes of the culture of this particular forum.

http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewitem?itemId=110992716747&index=1&n...


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mclewis1
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Atl]
      #5724695 - 03/10/13 08:24 PM

There was absolutely no sarcasm in my previous post ... none whatsoever. I don't keep track of the pricing on a day to day basis and finding an SCB4000 at under $350 would be a great deal ... and I was simply wondering where you found it ... period.

I don't think I'm any less tolerant of errors than anyone else around here ... and an honest mistake is hardly a big deal.


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skinnyonce
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Atl]
      #5724706 - 03/10/13 08:29 PM

theres some good youtube vids of this camera doing wide field work, with comparisons to other types and the results for the pc165 are pretty good

http://www.supercircuits.com/security-cameras/micro-video-cameras/color-hi-re...


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Atl
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Reged: 04/13/12

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5724727 - 03/10/13 08:43 PM

My apologies then. So there IS an scb4000? Really?

I have had some negative forum experiences over the years and have become jaded...lol...sorry.


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Atl
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: skinnyonce]
      #5724730 - 03/10/13 08:47 PM

Very cool looking specs for the cash.

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issdaol
member


Reged: 01/01/10

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: skinnyonce]
      #5724743 - 03/10/13 08:52 PM

hi guys,

thanks for the feedback,

I might look at one of these as a testing/"dip toes in water" approach while still trying to uncover information on best "top end" astrocams in parallel so please keep the feedback coming.

In terms of these cheaper cams, it looks like these don't come with nose-pieces for insertion into a standard scope 2 inch diagonal. Can 2 inch nose-pieces be sourced from somewhere or is it a case of custom making one up ??

cheers


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Stew57
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: issdaol]
      #5724803 - 03/10/13 09:34 PM

SCB-4000
http://www.surveillance-video.com/scb4000.html?cmp=googleproducts&kw=scb4...


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Atl
professor emeritus
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Reged: 04/13/12

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: issdaol]
      #5724804 - 03/10/13 09:36 PM

Just use an 1 1/4" nosepiece with a 1 /4" to 2" adapter...it works fine.

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skinnyonce
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Reged: 03/23/11

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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: issdaol]
      #5724806 - 03/10/13 09:37 PM

there are 1.25 nose pc's out there and I just use my 2-1.25 adapter to hold it

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Atl
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Stew57]
      #5724809 - 03/10/13 09:39 PM

Quote:

SCB-4000
http://www.surveillance-video.com/scb4000.html?cmp=googleproducts&kw=scb4...




That's hilarious...I should have played it off instead of being a jerk. What an accurate mistake.


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A. Viegas
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Reged: 03/05/12

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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: issdaol]
      #5724853 - 03/10/13 10:35 PM

the original poster said he had no real budgetary concerns so I don't see the value in suggesting a modified security camera. In fact I think it important to point out for newbies that a Samsung or one of those Chinese Ntech cameras require some modification to work with your astro equipment. Hence it's not like you can just open the FedEx box and start imaging right away, rather with some of these cameras you need to remove Filters or solder wires and then deal with control interfaces not designed for astronomy.

Personally I do not have the patience nor interest in DIY video astronomy, that is why I went with a mallincam extreme. It worked great within 10 minutes of putting it into the SCT visual back. I am sure we will see a new generation of higher resolution video cameras for astronomy over the next few years... But for now for true live imaging, the Extreme is a great product and given the OP low priority on how much is spent, it seems we should fous on the higher end products. Heck, I am curious too... What can $5k or $10k buy in ultra high end video astronomy?

Al


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ccs_hello
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5724879 - 03/10/13 10:50 PM

No budget limit??

Then buy an EMCCD or sCMOS based product. Readily available.
Or bring money to Canon's front door and ask them to sell that demo low-light camera (made by ZERO Corporation) using the full-frame sized 19um pitch CMOS imager.


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A. Viegas
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5724902 - 03/10/13 11:04 PM

what EMCCD or sCMOS astronomy video camera is that? What exists today that works right out of the box and is higher end than a mallincam X2 ??????

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A. Viegas
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5724903 - 03/10/13 11:04 PM

what EMCCD or sCMOS astronomy video camera is that? What exists today that works right out of the box and is higher end than a mallincam X2 ??????

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ccs_hello
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5724922 - 03/10/13 11:17 PM

Just to provide a general sense...

Search fleaBay on EMCCD.
There are two used items for sale for merely $9999 each,
since budget is with no limit?

For new ones, ask Andor.

P.S. be careful on sCMOS, there are fake/mis-labeled devices pretending to be sCMOS (Scientific CMOS).


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A. Viegas
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5724941 - 03/10/13 11:31 PM

Neat... So here is the spec sheet for one of those EMCCD cameras

Photometric's EMCCD

And I found this thread where some one was asking about using an older EMCCD for photometry... Checkout the picture, looks like a Meade 10" SCT with the EMCCD camera attached...

EMCCD on a Meade sct

Finally, here is a whole line of super high end professional astronomy cameras...

Pro astro cameras

Ok... So I would very curious to see some typical DSO images captured on the fly with one of these fancy cameras, no processing just a screen capture...

Al


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ccs_hello
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5724946 - 03/10/13 11:34 PM

Also a brief discussion on EMCCD in CCD subforum here in CN:
linkie


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5724947 - 03/10/13 11:35 PM

Here EMCCD for half price

http://www.surveillance-video.com/toshiba-ik-1000-starlight-color-video-1-2-c...


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ccs_hello
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Stew57]
      #5724958 - 03/10/13 11:41 PM

Watch out for that one.
Inconsistent description throughout.
Still talking about the regular QE figure and interline CCD...

The EMCCD image senor itself:
http://phxatl.com/data_sheets/tc285.html


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issdaol
member


Reged: 01/01/10

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5724981 - 03/11/13 12:03 AM

Quote:

the original poster said he had no real budgetary concerns so I don't see the value in suggesting a modified security camera. In fact I think it important to point out for newbies that a Samsung or one of those Chinese Ntech cameras require some modification to work with your astro equipment. Hence it's not like you can just open the FedEx box and start imaging right away, rather with some of these cameras you need to remove Filters or solder wires and then deal with control interfaces not designed for astronomy.

Personally I do not have the patience nor interest in DIY video astronomy, that is why I went with a mallincam extreme. It worked great within 10 minutes of putting it into the SCT visual back. I am sure we will see a new generation of higher resolution video cameras for astronomy over the next few years... But for now for true live imaging, the Extreme is a great product and given the OP low priority on how much is spent, it seems we should fous on the higher end products. Heck, I am curious too... What can $5k or $10k buy in ultra high end video astronomy?

Al




Hi Al,

Thanks for keeping a practical perspective on this :-)

I have just had a quick look at some of the scientific cameras/sensors and they look very interesting.

If I had the time I am sure I could get something operational.

However at this stage my preference is to buy a fully integrated "top end" live view cam for astronomy

It seems that out of all of the posts there are 2 recommendations for Mallincam Extreme.

I am surprised that the Mallincam seems to be the only fully integrated "top end" live view cam for astronomy. Or are there better spec'd options out there still??

cheers


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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5725170 - 03/11/13 03:20 AM

Quote:

Watch out for that one.
Inconsistent description throughout.
Still talking about the regular QE figure and interline CCD...

The EMCCD image senor itself:
http://phxatl.com/data_sheets/tc285.html



A few years ago I was working on a project with one of the smaller Impactron ccd's when TI just discontinued the chip. I wasn't aware that any of the family is still available.


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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5725229 - 03/11/13 04:56 AM

Predictable eh. Now that the water is sufficiently muddied you may be regretting asking the original question. I started with a Mallincam and seemed to have figured out how to use it and was up and running the first night. The low end cams are not turnkey and for me, I like remote control without needing an engineering degree , cooling, and long exposure capability.

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mclewis1
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Atl]
      #5725591 - 03/11/13 11:03 AM

Quote:

Quote:

SCB-4000
http://www.surveillance-video.com/scb4000.html?cmp=googleproducts&kw=scb4...




That's hilarious...I should have played it off instead of being a jerk. What an accurate mistake.




It is funny ... and an honest mistake. Neat way to learn about a new camera though.

We can only hope that this and other 1/2" cameras do indeed come down more in price ...


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John59
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Reged: 11/06/11

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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5725827 - 03/11/13 01:08 PM

Of course if Mono is ok as it is with me, there is always the StellaCam III, Black and white and cooled. Still sold through Optcorp.
http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?pid=9300


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Atl
professor emeritus
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Reged: 04/13/12

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5726250 - 03/11/13 04:20 PM

Quote:

Predictable eh. Now that the water is sufficiently muddied you may be regretting asking the original question. I started with a Mallincam and seemed to have figured out how to use it and was up and running the first night. The low end cams are not turnkey and for me, I like remote control without needing an engineering degree , cooling, and long exposure capability.




I wouldn't say that the non dedicated cams are not turnkey. My camera is very easy. That Mintron model has been and still is being sold as dedicated astronomy and microscope cameras. I am fairly certain that they were sold as the Gstar for a time.


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mclewis1
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Atl]
      #5726627 - 03/11/13 07:08 PM

Some cameras are turnkey, some aren't, and on those often the degree of modification depends on what you want to get out of a camera. Creating anything remotely close to a StellaCam III or a Mallincam is very difficult.

The most common mod is to remove the IR filter. On most security cameras this is a fairly simple mechanical mod, not electrical. On many cameras this makes a dramatic improvement in sensitivity.
Adding the wires for a remote handbox is a bit more involved, you need reasonable soldering skills as the points to attach to are very small. Some cameras now have an external connector and this makes this mod/upgrade much easier.
Cooling mods are much much more involved (cold finger under the CCD, physically mounting the Peltier cooler, re organizing the interior to get heat away from the Peltier cooler, etc. You need electrical knowledge, fine soldering skills, metal work skills, etc.
Re programming the DSP in some of the latest cameras is well beyond the capabilities of the vast majority of folks around here.


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issdaol
member


Reged: 01/01/10

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5740151 - 03/18/13 06:39 AM

Hi All,

Thanks for all the input. It appear that although there are some very good scientific camera options the only real high performance turnkey solution that matches what I want is the Mallincam.

Thx for the help

cheers


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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: issdaol]
      #5740790 - 03/18/13 02:05 PM

Quote:

Hi All,

Thanks for all the input. It appear that although there are some very good scientific camera options the only real high performance turnkey solution that matches what I want is the Mallincam.

Thx for the help

cheers



What is your definition of "turnkey solution" ?
Any of those scientific cameras are turnkey, they don't require any modifications.
They just need a nosepiece and a power cable.
If you have the funds to buy a $10k camera, is a nosepiece a problem ? Just keeping things in perspective .


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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5740847 - 03/18/13 02:44 PM

Lost another to the dark side eh Matt.

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Atl
professor emeritus
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Reged: 04/13/12

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5740891 - 03/18/13 03:02 PM

I agree. I have noted that the camera I own is sold as a dedicated security camera, a dedicated microscope camera and a dedicated astronomy camera. Mallincam is undoubtedly good, but this doesn't lessen other choices.

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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Atl]
      #5740910 - 03/18/13 03:09 PM

Quote:

I agree. I have noted that the camera I own is sold as a dedicated security camera, a dedicated microscope camera and a dedicated astronomy camera. Mallincam is undoubtedly good, but this doesn't lessen other choices.



One of the previous posters referred to Princeton Instruments EMCCD cameras, used for real time video astronomy and lucky imaging.
It doesn't get any more real time and live than that but to some Mallincam zealots, or shills, it's always "Mallincam is the only real video high performance tur(n)key cam".


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Stew57
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5741326 - 03/18/13 06:13 PM

There is always these to try out
http://www.andor.com/scientific-cameras/ixon-emccd-camera-series/ixon-ultra-8...

Or maybe someone buy one of these for me
http://www.princetoninstruments.com/products/imcam/versarray/

Actually anything on this page is acceptable
http://www.princetoninstruments.com/products/imcam/

Point is there are a lot more expensive equipment out there if one has the $$$.


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Dwight J
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Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Stew57]
      #5741358 - 03/18/13 06:27 PM

I don't think we will see images from the megabuck systems on this forum. Kinda like seeing the 200" Palomar on the reflector forum.

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issdaol
member


Reged: 01/01/10

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5742285 - 03/19/13 04:27 AM

Hi Guys,

I have not made any decision 100% in any direction.

It just seems that the Mellincam Extreme fits criteria at a very reasonable price with minimum to zero changes.

Similar decision for purchasing my Tak Mewlon 300 and Tak EM400 mount some years back.

They were not the cheapest and also not the most expensive possibility on the market.

However they did represent a high quality turnkey solution.

I will probably put much more research into some of the other cameras but as mentioned I am only just starting out on Live Video Astronomy so have a lot to learn and understand which is why I asked for opinions and advice.

Cheers


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mpgxsvcd
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Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5742556 - 03/19/13 10:10 AM

Quote:

I don't think we will see images from the megabuck systems on this forum. Kinda like seeing the 200" Palomar on the reflector forum.




What is "megabuck" to you? $3000 might be megabuck to some.


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Atl
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Reged: 04/13/12

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5742605 - 03/19/13 10:39 AM

Well to me anything over $1000 is too much...no matter what it does. Any single piece of equipment over $1000 is out. When you get past that mark the bang for buck declines rapidly. This hobby is fun, but I have no illusions that I will discover anything that hasn't already been seen about 20 billion times. My current camera was $130 used. It is the same camera sold by Gstar as their black and white unit. It does quite well. I will get a color unit eventually, but I am not breaking the bank to do it.

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Dwight J
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Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #6174775 - 11/04/13 01:45 AM

Most people buy what they can afford or spend to what level their interest is. I don't have a $30,000 Harley, a $70,000 boat, or a private plane. I do have a 49cc Honda Ruckus scooter though. And a one man pontoon fishing platform. I happen to have a life-long passion for astronomy so I don't see spending more on equipment as any different than my neighbor's Harley moneypit. And most objects have not been seen 20 billion times. Most have been imaged on sky surveys but never observed or categorized. Just check out galaxyzoo.org. And astronomy is one of the few sciences that amateurs can contribute to in a very meaningful way. I suffer no delusions that I will discover anything but I do want a trouble free night with the best images I can put up and that means having spent a few bucks on equipment. On the CCD forum I don't see guys using FLI or SBIG cameras having to defend how much they spend on their cameras. A FLI filter wheel costs what my Mallincam did.

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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Dwight J]
      #6175123 - 11/04/13 10:06 AM

As a former boater, I know what a money pit it can become, although I must say, I enjoyed the heck out of having a boat. I used to do a lot of shooting as well. Owned several nice firearms and did all my own reloading. Hobbies all, and you can spend as much or as little as you find needed to make your hobby what you want it to be.

And you're right, Dwight. While I've spent a goodly amount on our hobby, all of my equipment together doesn't come up to a fully dressed Harley Davidson...not even close. And since some of those astrobucks were spent on my 8X8 backyard rolloff, most of my enjoyment is about 25' from the back door.

It's all in what you wish to make of it; spend a little or spend a lot. It's all good!

David


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Grue
member


Reged: 04/14/11

Loc: NW Arkansas
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #6350371 - 02/02/14 12:32 AM

I'm looking hard at the MallinCam Micro as my entry point into this hobby. Not too much invested, but seems like its a turn-key and capable cam. The biggest thing is it will let me get everything figured out and decide if I really enjoy AstroVid and want to put more money into it. Then I can graduate to something bigger if I decide want to pursue broadcasting and more outreach.

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dragonslayer1
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Reged: 02/25/12

Loc: SLC, UT
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Grue]
      #6350675 - 02/02/14 07:00 AM

Well said Dwight, Kasey

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will w
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 08/13/06

Loc: oxford,ms
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #6351032 - 02/02/14 11:33 AM

Hi Grue, what you are saying makes very good sense. there are lots of video cams that can be used for astronomy.i guess its all about money. how much do you wont to spend. regardless of how much you spend on any cam. the cam will only do so much.just my 2 cents . will w

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Dragon Man
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 03/07/06

Loc: Snake Valley, Australia
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Grue]
      #6352350 - 02/03/14 12:20 AM

Quote:

I'm looking hard at the MallinCam Micro as my entry point into this hobby. Not too much invested, but seems like its a turn-key and capable cam. The biggest thing is it will let me get everything figured out and decide if I really enjoy AstroVid and want to put more money into it. Then I can graduate to something bigger if I decide want to pursue broadcasting and more outreach.




G'day Grue.

With Video cameras it is the same as buying a telescope.
You can start astronomy with a Supermarket 70mm achromat on a Wobblitronic Mount to test the waters and see if you like astronomy, only to get frustrated at the faint smudgy views and the wobbling mount, and give up (how many millions of those cheap 70mm scopes end up dust-covered in the garage or buried at the back of the cupboard forever).
Or spend that bit more and get a simple but effective 8" Dobsonian Reflector from a Telescope shop and see some serious stuff.

The 8" Dob will keep you interested and excited more than a 70mm Wobblitronic El-Cheaposcope.
Then, when you are ready and you want to see even more detail, and go deeper, you start looking at 16" Dobsonians, SCT's, or Apo Refractors.

I believe it is the same with our Video cameras. We should start with something we know that works, and works well, or we suffer the Wobblitronic El-Cheaposcope saga and get put off.

The Micro is a fantastic 'starting point'. It's a bit like that 8" Dob. It won't show you super great detail on super deep objects, but it also won't put you off. Not like stuffing about modifying a cheap security camera which is a bit like the Wobblitronic.
The Micro will certainly whet your appetite with some terrific results, making you want to go that bit better as soon as possible.
With Telescopes it's 'Aperture Fever'.
With Video it's 'Sensor Fever'

The Micro will excite you enough to want to play with bigger toys
not put you off with disappointing results and having to 'home modify' a cheap CCTV camera.



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Grue
member


Reged: 04/14/11

Loc: NW Arkansas
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Dragon Man]
      #6353079 - 02/03/14 11:46 AM

Thanks for the comments Ken and Will!

Ironically enough, I have some 1/2" Sony HAD CCD IR security cams for an alternate hobby. I intend on playing around with one of them that I'm repairing anyway and seeing what kind of results I get.

I'm pretty sure down the road I am going to need a narrow field setup as well as a wide-field setup.

I know exactly what you mean on getting started and getting the fever -- I still have my Coltier 8" dob from the early 90s and get it out often.

--Rick


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BigDob Al
super member


Reged: 12/31/13

Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: Grue]
      #6357533 - 02/05/14 11:54 AM

Quote:

Thanks for the comments Ken and Will!

Ironically enough, I have some 1/2" Sony HAD CCD IR security cams for an alternate hobby. I intend on playing around with one of them that I'm repairing anyway and seeing what kind of results I get.

I'm pretty sure down the road I am going to need a narrow field setup as well as a wide-field setup.

I know exactly what you mean on getting started and getting the fever -- I still have my Coltier 8" dob from the early 90s and get it out often.

--Rick



I also have some older 1/2" security cams and tried them first. It was a good test for me to actually try before buy and figure if this activity is fun enough , isn't too technical, too many wires and little things to drop in the grass at night. After that, the old surveillance cams lost their appeal because they're totally blind compared to the new generation cams. Couldn't draw any conclusion based on using them, it'd be like driving a Ford T to decide whether to buy a Chevy Volt .

Clear Skies,
Al


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Grue
member


Reged: 04/14/11

Loc: NW Arkansas
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: BigDob Al]
      #6357567 - 02/05/14 12:12 PM

Quote:

I also have some older 1/2" security cams and tried them first. It was a good test for me to actually try before buy and figure if this activity is fun enough , isn't too technical, too many wires and little things to drop in the grass at night. After that, the old surveillance cams lost their appeal because they're totally blind compared to the new generation cams. Couldn't draw any conclusion based on using them, it'd be like driving a Ford T to decide whether to buy a Chevy Volt .

Clear Skies,
Al




Thanks for sharing your results. I'm pretty cynical about what my results will be -- these cams are nothing special and in my IR use of them, not overly sensitive. However, it does give me something to mess about with for now at no cost, until I decide what I want to do.


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SkyGibbon
super member


Reged: 02/09/13

Loc: Las Vegas, Nevada
Re: Video Camera Advice for astro new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #6358280 - 02/05/14 06:33 PM

Got my factory refurbed SBC2000 for $59.00 off Ebay. Works like a champ. Good way to get started.

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