Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home page


Astrophotography and Sketching >> CCD Imaging & Processing

Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)
Micheal
sage


Reged: 02/28/10

Loc: Corona, CA
SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M?
      #4213005 - 11/27/10 12:09 PM

Christmas list revision 4.3a is about to be sent off to Mrs. Claus but I don't know enough about CCD cameras and/or Astrophotography to make an informed decision on which camera to add to the bottom of this list.

On the one hand I would like to get the ST-2000XM used with filter wheel and filters which I have seen quite a few of lately for under $2,000.00. I like the idea of having a built in auto guider too and I have seen some great images from these camers. But then I ask myself why are people selling them? What are they graduating up to? Nobody seems to answer my informal poll when I email them

On the other hand for less than $2,000.00 I can get a new with warranty ST-8300M and then get for about $1000 more a filter wheel and filters. The ST-8300 is a newer chip correct? "The SBIG ST-8300M monochrome, high resolution CCD camera is based on the super-popular KAF-8300 full frame sensor, with an array of 3326 x 2504 pixels @ 5.4 microns."

That seems pretty impressive! I can imagine some really nice high resolution images from that camera.

I read the specs on the ST-2000XM and its all greek to me. Lots of information about how it does great at this and better at that etc. I haven't seen any direct comparisons between these two cameras and like I said I am really new at this. I am leaning towards the ST-2000XM used but I'd feel really stupid if I pass up a better camera NEW to save $1000. Realizing of course that if I went NEW with the ST-2000XM it would be $3500.00 which is about $500.00 more than the ST8300M new.

I hope someone could help me with some simple to understand information on the differences between these two cameras and maybe a recommendation.

Thanks!

Edited by Micheal (11/27/10 12:25 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: Micheal]
      #4213053 - 11/27/10 12:33 PM

I have both of these cameras Micheal, just recently got the SX H18. both great but different.

I suggest you research what image scale is and how it relates to each camera and scope combination.

Generally speaking, the longer the focal length the more difficult, the smaller the pixels the more difficult, and both these together, very difficult. Of course you can bin a camera to effectivly double the pixel size but you will lose resolution.

I really like my ST2000XM for longer focal length imaging, nice medium size pixels, and still a decent size chip. Plus like you say, it has the internal guide chip, which I use as often as I can even though mine has the external guider port.

The 8300 is indeed a nice chip, but smaller pixels are more demanding, however you can bin it to have 10um size which is ok as well with longer focal length. Then you would need to get filters and wheel, guide camera, extra hassels.

I personally think that the ST2000 would be a better camera to learn with. If you get a ST2000 used, you should be able to recoup close to your investment in a year or so if you decide to move on. I'm sure you will hear from others on this.

Dean


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Micheal
sage


Reged: 02/28/10

Loc: Corona, CA
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: DeanS]
      #4213109 - 11/27/10 01:02 PM

What I noticed is that the ST-8300M has:

CCD Kodak KAF-8300
Pixel Array 3326 x 2504 pixels
CCD Size 17.96 x 13.52 mm
Total Pixels 8.3 million
Pixel Size 5.4 x 5.4 microns square
Full Well Capacity ~25,500 e-
Dark Current ~0.02e-/pixel/sec at -15C.
Antiblooming 1000X

Compared to the ST-2000XM with:

CCD Kodak KAI-2020M +
TI TC-237
Pixel Array 1600 x 1200 pixels
CCD Size 11.8 x 8.9 mm
Total Pixels 2 million
Pixel Size 7.4 x 7.4 microns square
Full Well Capacity ~45,000 e- unbinned
~90,000 e- binned
Dark Current <0.1e-/pixel/sec at 0 deg. C.
Antiblooming Standard

So it seems that the 8300 has higher resolution with smaller pixels than the 2000xm. At F/6.3 using CCD calc I can see how each camera would frame a target. The 8300 seems like it would be much better at f/11 and ~F/6. Hoping to hear a few more suggestions. Thanks


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Galaxyhunter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/02/06

Loc: Northern Illinois
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: Micheal]
      #4213130 - 11/27/10 01:10 PM

Quote:

But then I ask myself why are people selling them? What are they graduating up to?




Although I have not sold mine, I bought an ST10MXE camera for a little larger chip & more sensitivity.

The ST2000 was my first real camera (I built a Cookbook 245 in the mid 90's), It is a good mid-level camera. I liked the ABG chip. I shoot only monochrome so I can't tell you anything about the filters. This camera hooked me on selfguided cameras forever (no worrying about extra guide camera, guide scope & scope flexture). I pick a guide star & go. If you bought a used one & used it for a couple of years to get your feet wet, you could resell it (when you feel the need to upgrade) for only a little loss.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Micheal
sage


Reged: 02/28/10

Loc: Corona, CA
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: Galaxyhunter]
      #4213156 - 11/27/10 01:22 PM

While I agree with the both of you about picking up a used one to learn with I also was wondering if using a off axis guider with the 8300 would be the way to go. I could perhaps grab a used meade dsi 2 off of the classifieds for a few hundred dollars and use that as an autoguider or for the mean time use my existing SSAG(though I don't really like this camera).

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
elbee
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/02/09

Loc: Arizona
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: Micheal]
      #4213161 - 11/27/10 01:24 PM

i suggest you are going to want as big a field of view as you can get (bigger size chip). you can bin the smaller pixels of the 8300 to suit your longer focal length, if needed. and you can crop the larger field if you want to.

a built in guider chip is nice, IF you can get a guide star on the chip. in order to do that you will need a planetarium program that includes detailed guide stars (TheSKy6) and you will usually have to adjust the rotation of the camera (manually, if you don't have a rotator). it's a lot of effort most of the time. i really liked the lighter, easier setup of using a camera with a built-in guide chip, but i've stopped using it and use a separate guide scope now. that also makes it easy to include narrow band imaging in the run.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dsnope
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/06

Loc: OC California
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: Micheal]
      #4213178 - 11/27/10 01:33 PM

Berhnhard Hubl is a master with the ST2000. Check his gallery to see what wonders can be done with it.
http://www.astrophoton.com/

As others have said, it comes down to field of view and image scale with your scopes/camera combinations. Also your imaging train, guiding setup, and how large of a flat field your optics support.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: dsnope]
      #4213204 - 11/27/10 01:44 PM

Lee,

I always hear about problems finding a guide star, had not been much of a problem for me either with the internal chip, or my OAG with my 8300. Makes guiding easier without worry about flex. But what ever works best for each person.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bugs Denis
member


Reged: 12/08/05

Loc: France - Paris area
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: DeanS]
      #4213364 - 11/27/10 03:12 PM

One MAJOR difference between the ST-2000XM and the ST-8300 is the internal guide chip which make the ST-2000 more attractive as it reduce the price of the guiding as well as a source of guiding problem, with the exception of narrow band imaging.

I own a ST-2000XM for years and I don't regert it. Last year I was looking for a KAF-8300 based camera, but IF I buy one it will not be the SBIG one, QSI has my preference


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Galaxyhunter
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/02/06

Loc: Northern Illinois
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: DeanS]
      #4213437 - 11/27/10 03:46 PM

Quote:

I always hear about problems finding a guide star, had not been much of a problem for me either with the internal chip,




I image @ 2027mmFL with the camera orientation North up. The only object (in three years) that I have to rotate the camera to get a guide star is M51. So finding a guide star is almost a non-factor.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Micheal
sage


Reged: 02/28/10

Loc: Corona, CA
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: Galaxyhunter]
      #4213633 - 11/27/10 05:40 PM

So do I get a thumbs up going with an 8300 chip camera and using an OAG using perhaps a meade DSI-II camera? The only drawback of the meade camera is that from what I hear the drivers do not support 64bit OS like my windows 7.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
astrovienna
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/04/06

Loc: The NoVa White Zone
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: Micheal]
      #4213718 - 11/27/10 06:33 PM

The Meade DSIs are now Win7 compatible. I use one to guide.

http://www.meade.com/support/downloads.html


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: Micheal]
      #4213733 - 11/27/10 06:51 PM

Quote:

So do I get a thumbs up going with an 8300 chip camera



The KAF-8300 is a complete mismatch for the EdgeHD 14". The KAF-0900 is the best match for the HD14.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Micheal
sage


Reged: 02/28/10

Loc: Corona, CA
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: astrovienna]
      #4213932 - 11/27/10 08:35 PM

Quote:

The Meade DSIs are now Win7 compatible. I use one to guide.

http://www.meade.com/support/downloads.html





That is great news!

Thanks a bunch.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Micheal
sage


Reged: 02/28/10

Loc: Corona, CA
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: Alph]
      #4213935 - 11/27/10 08:38 PM

Quote:

Quote:

So do I get a thumbs up going with an 8300 chip camera



The KAF-8300 is a complete mismatch for the EdgeHD 14". The KAF-0900 is the best match for the HD14.




Educate me please. Why is it a complete mismatch? Are you talking about at full f/11.5? What about at reduced f/6.3? That ccd calc program I downloaded and tried out seemed to indicate it would be a good choice but I really have no clue what I am really looking at.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jeff in Austin
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/26/07

Loc: TEXAS
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: DeanS]
      #4214047 - 11/27/10 09:55 PM

Quote:



I personally think that the ST2000 would be a better camera to learn with. If you get a ST2000 used, you should be able to recoup close to your investment in a year or so if you decide to move on. I'm sure you will hear from others on this.

Dean




That's exactly where I'm at with the ST-2000XCM. It's been great to learn with but I'll be trading up to an 8300 camera in the next few months.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DeanS
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: Jeff in Austin]
      #4214104 - 11/27/10 10:34 PM

Jeff, what are you imaging with?

Michael, do some research on image scale, arcsec/pixel and what this means. Ron Wodaski's The New CCD astronomy is a great book for learning things like this.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: DeanS]
      #4214325 - 11/28/10 12:56 AM

A couple of people have implied that the 8300 would be better for long focal lengths.

Actually, it is exactly the opposite. The pixels on the 8300 are very small. Because of this, the camera excels as a wide field camera on a short focal length scope.

As DeanS says, do some research on image scale. The larger pixels on the ST2000 make it a better match for longer focal length.

If you get the monochrome version of the 8300, you can bin it to get a reasonable image scale for longer focal lengths. If you get the color version of the 8300, then you lose color when you bin it.

I've never used an ST2000 or ST8300, but if I had to choose between them as a starter camera, I'd probably pick the ST2000, unless I was looking for wide field. I really like the larger chip on the 8300, but would prefer the larger pixels and self guiding on the ST2000.

As for using the self guiding chip on the ST2000, it should work really well and totally avoid flexure issues. I have an ST-10 and it's much harder to find an appropriate guide star for self guiding. The difference between the ST-10 and the ST2000 is that the ST2000 is one-shot-color, so the guide chip gets lots of light. On my ST-10, the guide chip sites behind the filters. There seem to be lots of really red stars out there, and they dim dramatically when they are behind the blue filter.

-Wade


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Smo
sage


Reged: 01/19/09

Loc: North Vancouver, BC, Canada
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: WadeH237]
      #4214333 - 11/28/10 01:00 AM

The ST-2000 also comes in Monochrome, I used a mono ST-2000 for my first real camera but I didnt have much of an issue finding guide stars through my filters.

This obviously has a lot to do with the mount as well, if your imaging through filters well just get really good polar alignment and do 10 second exposures on your guider corrections.

If your mount is barely capable and you need to do corrections every second this can become a problem.

And I see that the person who started this has a CGE Pro so likely you would be fine running your guide exposures a few extra seconds when imaging through a filter.

Edited by Smo (11/28/10 01:01 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: SBIG ST-2000XM or ST-8300M? new [Re: Smo]
      #4214356 - 11/28/10 01:14 AM

Ah yes, I forgot that the ST2000 is also available as monochrome.

As for longer exposures, I've tried imaging targets with my ST-10 where even with 10 second guide exposures and 2x2 binning, I'd lose the guide star behind the blue filter.

I've recently ordered (but not yet received) a camera rotator. I'm changing my pre-planning such that I will be selecting a guide star even before I set up for imaging and will use automation software to rotate and acquire the guide star in the field.

-Wade


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)


Extra information
18 registered and 16 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Oldfield, droid, bilgebay, WOBentley, dr.who 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 6420

Jump to

CN Forums Home




Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics