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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Beginning and Intermediate Imaging

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Mike7Mak
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Reged: 12/07/11

Loc: New York
Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: guyroch]
      #5676652 - 02/12/13 09:50 PM

How exactly is a DSLR 'easier to learn' than a CCD?

They are virtually the same thing except cooled CCD astrocams are actually designed for the job. DSLRs are handicapped from the git-go by lower bit depth, daylight oriented in-camera processing, non-standard file formats, larger mechanical backfocus, hard to control thermal issues, and limited spectral range.

IMO, it's a bit like playing golf with a croquet mallet.


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korborh
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Reged: 01/29/11

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Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5676673 - 02/12/13 10:02 PM

A CCD is much easier than DSLR. Images from CCD are also easier to process. Only thing going for DSLR is that it is a cheap way to get the feet wet before eventually succumbing to CCD.

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terry59
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Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: korborh]
      #5676749 - 02/12/13 10:49 PM

Quote:

A CCD is much easier than DSLR. Images from CCD are also easier to process. Only thing going for DSLR is that it is a cheap way to get the feet wet before eventually succumbing to CCD.




Wow...we all have our own opinions and mine is that a DSLR is *easier* but not *better*...yours may be different.


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CounterWeight
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Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: terry59]
      #5676892 - 02/13/13 12:43 AM

I think it's important to keep capability seperate from price. Capability is something technical. Price is market stuff. Absolutely they are interconnected as are all things 'for sale'. I'm just sayin' ... if you look at what you would get cost aside, and that changes because of cost - then you're in the tradeoff game.

I don't see easier or more difficult 'CCD/Camera' side of things. IMHO all the really hard work and where most often problems stem from is the mount, alignment, and tracking / guiding. The camera just records what the rest is doing.

IMO processing is not really difficult if you are getting great sub exposures. But the CCD / Camera thing is all about noise, signal, and resolution. Resolution decreases with noise (here I'm referring to temperature related and the chips supporting electronics) and Bayer matrix for color or 'OSC' in some respects. But where and how exactly that matters? Now you're talking about resolution and optics and sub exposure length and tracking and what makes sense.

In most respects mono CCD will always trump the other flavors, and really it's no different to get get a sub with it than any other... you focus and click the mouse.

So I think more often this 'difficulty' and 'getting feet wet' is more accurately with respect to co$t to get in where mono at the high end pricewise.

May seem like splitting hairs in ways, but I don't see it so. Capability and then cost for capability are IMO two different things. One is entirely technical and the other is about disposable income.

That said I think if you understand the technical side then your expectations will be more realistic. But having a good 'system' to learn imaging on is maybe more important, and understanding what will contribute or detract on quality of final product. I think mounts, PA and alignment, sometimes dialing in guiding, focusers, optics are more 'difficult' than critical focus and click that button for capture.

No real 'what you see is what you get' here, more like what you don't see is what you get, and there are ways to optimize that.

As I've said before, in ways what can be most expensive in buying and selling many times over due to unrealistic expectations or misunderstanding.

Not trying to muddy the waters here, hope what I'm getting at makes sense.


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Jeff2011
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Re: NEED HELP!!! [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5676900 - 02/13/13 12:52 AM

Quote:

IMO, it's a bit like playing golf with a croquet mallet.




I think the mallet might improve my golf game

I went with the DSLR since I am also interested in wide angle shots of the sky. I do not disagree that the CCD is more suitable for telescope AP. it is just a matter of preference. To me the DSLR is more versatile.


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terry59
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Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5677118 - 02/13/13 07:22 AM

Quote:

How exactly is a DSLR 'easier to learn' than a CCD?

They are virtually the same thing except cooled CCD astrocams are actually designed for the job. DSLRs are handicapped from the git-go by lower bit depth, daylight oriented in-camera processing, non-standard file formats, larger mechanical backfocus, hard to control thermal issues, and limited spectral range.

IMO, it's a bit like playing golf with a croquet mallet.




Here's how I see it. With a DSLR, a t-ring adapter and appropriate piece (flattener, coma corrector, etc.) one generally speaking should get round stars. With a CCD, spacers are necessary that, with most scopes, need to be figured out. There is a serious possibility of galling if one isn't careful. The need to shoot through multiple filters can require slewing off target for refocus, then lining the target back up, the much higher possibility of needing to do a pier flip or shoot over multiple nights, nights etc. To me, these things make learning more difficult (perhaps challenging or just more complex is a better description) than using a DSLR that do not directly relate to cost.
Most of the above CAN apply to using a DSLR also, but generally aren't necessary to generate an image, especially starting out.


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Footbag
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Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5677229 - 02/13/13 08:52 AM

Quote:

How exactly is a DSLR 'easier to learn' than a CCD?

They are virtually the same thing except cooled CCD astrocams are actually designed for the job. DSLRs are handicapped from the git-go by lower bit depth, daylight oriented in-camera processing, non-standard file formats, larger mechanical backfocus, hard to control thermal issues, and limited spectral range.

IMO, it's a bit like playing golf with a croquet mallet.




OK. Easier to afford? Just kidding.

If we're talking about mono CCD vs DSLR, then there are a lot of reasons. First, not having to worry about filter wheels and focusing after each filter switch allows for a new user to concentrate on focusing the few times a night it is required. Then, each of those separate frames must be combined. If you don't already know how to do this, it can take a long time to learn. Adding an L to an RGB isn't so clear cut as well. Personally, I see additional difficulties in both acquisition and processing. That's without mentioning narrowband.

Most optics have standard attachments for DSLR's, but CCD's tend to require spacers and attachments. So I actually give this to the DSLR.

I do believe a cooled camera will make taking darks easier, but all of the filters make tasking flats more difficult.

Most people can figure out how to operate a DSLR, if they don't know already. I would bet that most people couldn't even tell you what a CCD does by looking at it.

A beginning golfer will hit better with a club intended for a beginner. As well, if a DSLR is a croquet mallet, then there are a lot of people hitting holes in one with their mallets.





Edited by Footbag (02/13/13 10:32 AM)


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CounterWeight
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Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: terry59]
      #5677249 - 02/13/13 09:03 AM

Quote:

Here's how I see it. With a DSLR, a t-ring adapter and appropriate piece (flattener, coma corrector, etc.) one generally speaking should get round stars. With a CCD, spacers are necessary that, with most scopes, need to be figured out. There is a serious possibility of galling if one isn't careful. The need to shoot through multiple filters can require slewing off target for refocus, then lining the target back up, the much higher possibility of needing to do a pier flip or shoot over multiple nights, nights etc.




Terry,

I sort of disagree on the hardware for imaging trane point you make, and do agree about total time to get an image - more applicable to the longer exposures you can do with Ha/SII/OIII narrowband.

With reducers and flatteners... backdistance is backdistance and you'll need it whatever you image with - so I don't see any difference there.

I've only iamged mono for a year two - can you explain more about this off object slew to focus? Never needed to do it with LRGB here. As far as NB goes same. Having filters that are par-focal sure helps. My Baaders and Astrodon are parfocal on the scopes I use.

On the issue of critical 'best' focus in general it is helpful to test it over the night as temps shift more because of scope / optics. With my little ED80T is less demanding than with my 160ED.

Needing more sub exposures total, and if NB longer subs, meridian flips, total time invested in image I'll grant. But that is more on the mount in my experience. Some like my Mach1 will image through the meridian if practical (that is if scope not going to hit pier). Meridian flipping is something to deal with, but using luminance or clear filter I can be perfectly realigned in a matter of a few minutes.

Processing may look more difficult from the outside but like all things you just need to figure it out the first time. Software like MaximDL makes it pretty simple.

Also more time needed for flats if you flat for each filter as I do. This is why I bought the FlatMan, also makes that simple and easy.

DSLR and OSC-CCD are IMO pretty much the same as far as final resolution outside the fact that a temp regulated CCD is possibly superior when it comes to darks and calibration. This might be more important with longer exposures and climate. As far as number of subs needed same-same. But here we are talking about mod'd DSLR yes? I don't it with an un-mod'd DSLR.

Quote:

To me, these things make learning more difficult (perhaps challenging or just more complex is a better description) than using a DSLR that do not directly relate to cost.
Most of the above CAN apply to using a DSLR also, but generally aren't necessary to generate an image, especially starting out.





That makes sense to me if talking outside OSC-CCD imaging.


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ponz
super member


Reged: 07/18/12

Loc: Kansas City, MO
Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: terry59]
      #5677275 - 02/13/13 09:20 AM

My girlfriend is willing to lend me her Canon xti for AP, but not willing to have it modified. It does not have live view.

Soo....I'm now on the hunt for a cheap/used T2i/T3i, etc....to have modded. In the meanwhile, of course, I'll utilize her xti and my Sony a900

Ponz

ps - Man, the cost of this hobby is mounting!


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terry59
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Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5677305 - 02/13/13 09:44 AM

Hi Jim - Wow...I didn't mean to open any cans of worms here. Note to self, be very careful with what and how you post.

I guess I should have specified mono but since the OP is looking at a mono camera I assumed that was the focus of the discussion. Otherwise, outside of regulated cooling, I am not sure of the differences between DSLR and OSC CCD and don't know that I could pay up for the OSC CCD.

A DSLR doesn't require any figuring out. The t-ring and flattener give the requisite backfocus because DSLR manufacturers are consistent within themselves so you can change lenses without worrying that you need different spacing. Not so with CCD. Each camera (generalizing here) has a differet backocus requiring different spacing. Most times, the user has to buy a bunch of spacers and figure it out by trial and error.

Galling is a real issue even though I almost never see it mentioned.

I have Astrodon Gen II LRGB filters and my G is always "just" off. Since I use a Bahtinov mask, most times I do not have a bright enough star in the FOV to use so I slew to one close by then back. I always need to tweak the position by a few pixels or so.

Anyway, my point is that mono CCD imaging has more "moving parts" than DSLR imaging and I view it as more complex to learn. I inferred difficulty and regret doing so.

I think processing mono vs OSC is more complex too and regulary read debates on shooting luminance, binning of rgb, etc.

I just need to read more and post less


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Saclablue
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Reged: 11/14/12

Loc: Timmins, Ontario
Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: terry59]
      #5677537 - 02/13/13 11:52 AM

LOOKS LIKE I STARTED A FIRE IN HERE AND EVERYONE SEEMED TO HAVE THROWN A LOG ON IT TILL IT MOUNT TO THIS INFERNO OF A BOND FIRE. LOL WOW!!! I opened a can of worms here for sure. I can definitly tell who the die hard DSLR guys are and whom enjoys the clairaty of the CCD chip. As i stated in the beginning, i was looking for was an opinion on wheither to get the STF-8300m or a good DSLR. Putting the costs or prices aside and just a simple straight up (DSLR or SBIG CCD) As stated as well i am no rookie to astronomy and well aware of the requirments and accesories obligated for both paths, I am however new to the astro photography and want my best path to start with. I dont want to have to buy 5 or 6 different cameras and pill them up as junk in the corner till i find the one that i want and works for me. These cameras are not cheap and to sell one after realizing it doesn't do what i want or meet my expectations ( I am sure yous have all been there before and understand what i am saying here.) the loss you take on used electronics is hardly acceptable. So I want to buy a camera to start astro photography with, one to which i will be happy with the results, and not want to upgrade in a few months. A camera thet will bring me many years of use and enjoyment and enjoyment to others with RESULTS. I thank you all for your imput and time, I can see it must have been cloudy alover last night and some not so happy campers here.

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terry59
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Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: Saclablue]
      #5677602 - 02/13/13 12:32 PM

Quote:

I can see it must have been cloudy alover last night and some not so happy campers here.




Lol...too many opinions and alpha types on here. I shouldn't have let a couple of posts get under my skin. FWIW, I am not a die hard anything and last night I was shooting this with my Atik 314L+ mono camera.



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Saclablue
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Reged: 11/14/12

Loc: Timmins, Ontario
Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: terry59]
      #5677733 - 02/13/13 01:50 PM

See, now this is what i'm talking about, RESULTS!!!. Very nice Terry. M35 nicely defined with its sister. I love gemini for its little jewels. I should have just made a poll on the subject and let everyone vote. None the less i think i will just order that Sbig STF-8300m this afternoon. Going to take the leap. lol Thank you everyone. Good thread though, got alot if interesting opinions and thought's and alot of hits in a short time.

P.S. To much testosterone in here. lol

Edited by Saclablue (02/13/13 02:20 PM)


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Mike7Mak
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Reged: 12/07/11

Loc: New York
Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: Saclablue]
      #5678024 - 02/13/13 05:09 PM

Inferno? Too much testosterone? Seriously? You asked for 'opinions' on whether to buy a dedicated ccd astrocam or dslr. Did you think there would only be one answer?

I'm at a loss for how to express a differing opinion without it sounding, well different. It's a bit dismissive to characterize it as 'throwing logs on a bonfire' or coming from 'unhappy campers'.

All I'm saying is using the right tool for the job is, in the long run, the 'easier' path. Obviously there are myriad reasons for using a dslr, most of which are personal matters of finance, preference, and circumstance. I'm not saying you can't hit a 'hole in one' with a croquet mallet, on the contrary, it's quite an accomplishment when you do.

My 'opinion' is, when the goal is to eventually do AP with a ccd astrocam, a DSLR is not a logical 'stepping stone' in that direction. Too much of the dslr learning curve involves getting it to do what it wasn't designed to do.

BTW, to see 'results' you can go to AstroBin and search images by camera type.


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CounterWeight
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Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: Saclablue]
      #5678036 - 02/13/13 05:25 PM

Well I'll be first to apologize if anyone ruffled by my comments! Sorry folks. Terry I'm not an 'alpha type' if i understand what that definition is, just a nerd type.

Hans, my results are in the link on my sigline, sorry I didn't point that out earlier. I live in cloudyopolis so my chances to image are infrequent... last actual results are from last October. There are a lot of folks getting great results with the SBIG 8300M. Lots of great results with the Atik314L too though it has a smaller sensor with slightly larger pixels.

You will need a filter wheel and filters but the great thing about the SBIG is that the FW control is integrated into the camera. I started with the Baader RGBL and Ha/SII/OIII filters and they are par focal enough at the speeds i was using. (f/6 to f/8) The camera ships with software that makes it work and some to calibrate and post process with. I used it for a few days when I bought mine and then went to using MaximDL 'pro'. Yes that is some spendy software, but it does deliver.

Good news is that according to your criteria you should be happy with the 8300M as it's a workhorse with a lot of great images to it's name, and something I doubt you will outgrow anytime soon - I still look forward to every sub exposure with mine. I've gone up to 30 minute subs with the Ha/SII/OIII and am impressed what is capable of in all respects. I am a bit hampered doing RGBL (even with the IDAS-LP2) due to my light pollution in the city here. There are folks getting great stuff, just not me.


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Footbag
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Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5678130 - 02/13/13 06:26 PM

There was lot's of good insight in this thread. We can all agree the OP bought the best camera, and will not outgrow it.

The death-match over whichever one is easier will take place elsewhere.

I plan on switching to CCD and likely the STF-8300m after my observatory is completed in the summer. While I never intended on upgrading to make my acquisition and processing routine easier, I would be very happy if it did.

I do expect it to improve my images. You cannot beat the sensitivity of a mono camera. DSLR's like OSC's are stuck behind the CFA. You lose sensitivity and resolution.

For me the upgrade will also allow me to automate and do remote imaging. That will make everything easier. Hopefully the difficult part will be processing all of the data.


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Saclablue
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Reged: 11/14/12

Loc: Timmins, Ontario
Re: NEED HELP!!! new [Re: Footbag]
      #5679648 - 02/14/13 02:40 PM

Quote:

The death-match over whichever one is easier will take place elsewhere.



Edited by Saclablue (02/14/13 02:42 PM)

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