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Footbag
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KAF-8300 questions?
      #5775403 - 04/03/13 11:57 AM

After four years of imaging with a DSLR, I'm considering making the jump to CCD. I will be building an observatory this summer and want it to be accessible remotely. This means I need to start thinking CCD. It will be mono w/filter wheels.

The obvious answer would be a KAF-8300 based camera. I really wish I could get something APS-C sized, but bigger then KAF seems expensive. I am going to miss the FOV. Even used, the SBIG package will be pushing my budget, so bigger probably isn't an option.

Two questions on this, is it a good match to an Edge 800 SCT? Or is there a better? If it could do double duty on the Edge and a fast refractor, that would be best.

Also, isn't the KAF-8300 late in it's lifecycle? Will there be a replacement for it in the next couple of years? Or with SBIG's new camera, is it safe? I think SX moved away from it, and I see people complaining about it as noisy; but it does seem to be the only game in town.

What else should I be looking at?


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mmalik
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5775434 - 04/03/13 12:15 PM

Some info in this... thread; I feel the same way, it seems a bit late in the cycle, but forecast isn't pretty either. Thx

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blueman
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: mmalik]
      #5775500 - 04/03/13 12:52 PM

.56 arc sec image scale with an SCT is not going to be easy. OAG will be a must and the mount will have to be very good to get good images, the Mach 1 should handle that.
A larger pixel would help.
Blueman


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Footbag
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: blueman]
      #5775598 - 04/03/13 01:37 PM

Quote:

.56 arc sec image scale with an SCT is not going to be easy. OAG will be a must and the mount will have to be very good to get good images, the Mach 1 should handle that.
A larger pixel would help.
Blueman




Is there a sensor which would have bigger pixels, but not sacrifice FOV? Also, without breaking the bank?


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hytham
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5775736 - 04/03/13 02:44 PM

I am in a similar position as you. Trying to find a camera for use on my 280mm SCT and 106mm refractor is not fun

What is your budget?

As for noise, the FLI ML8300 has amazing specs. There are users on this very forum that use it and have produced beautifully clean images.

8e- RMS @8MHz
.003e- Dark current @ -35C
QE ~60% @540nm
Cooling is 60C below ambient


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Footbag
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: hytham]
      #5775786 - 04/03/13 03:11 PM

Quote:

I am in a similar position as you. Trying to find a camera for use on my 280mm SCT and 106mm refractor is not fun

What is your budget?






Hard for me to put my budget in writing, but as long as you don't tell my wife I'd have to be under $4k finished business including filters. But I'd jump on a used deal to save some money if I have the opportunity.

I did see the FLI site, and have heard of their reputation. I did notice that they offer many sensor options in each form. But, I have no idea about their prices.


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hytham
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5775795 - 04/03/13 03:17 PM

Their prices are quite high, but you do get what you pay for.

When I first started my budget was around yours; $5K. Now I've decided that if I'm going to do it, I may as well buy something with a solid reputation that will meet my needs for the next 5-10 years. I've since increased it to slightly under $10K

The ML3200. 6.8micron pixels, 3.3MP, high QE and a picture scale of .7 asec/pixel. FOV is ~18 x ~26 arc minutes, but the cost is a weeee bit higher than the ML8300. $8000. With this you can still use 1.25" filters

There is also the ML6303. 9 micron, 6.3 MP, high QE of nearly 70% with a picture scale of .93 asec/pixel. FOV = ~32 x ~48 arc minutes. Cost is $7895. Sensor diagonal is a 33mm


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hytham
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: hytham]
      #5775802 - 04/03/13 03:22 PM

Do you own a focal reducer? Another option is to acquire the focal reducer for your EdgeHD reducing your image scale with an 8300 to .79 asec/pixel with a fairly decent FOV equating 33 x 44 arc minutes

Edited by hytham (04/03/13 03:23 PM)


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Footbag
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: hytham]
      #5775807 - 04/03/13 03:24 PM

Quote:

Do you own a focal reducer?




I will be getting the .7x reducer for the Edge.

As much as I'd love to, I think the FLI's will be out of my budget. I already doubled my original budget with the intention of buying the STF-8300m. Now I'm just making sure I'm heading in the right direction.

Edited by Footbag (04/03/13 03:26 PM)


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hytham
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5775835 - 04/03/13 03:39 PM

Of course I neglected to mention several other key factors such as noise and full well, but moving on ...

The STF-8300 is a very capable camera and has been used by many astrophotographers with excellent results.

I'm presuming that you will be going the route of the STF-8300m with the OAG and FW package?


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Footbag
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: hytham]
      #5775849 - 04/03/13 03:44 PM

Quote:


I'm presuming that you will be going the route of the STF-8300m with the OAG and FW package?




Yes. Most likely the complete package. I like the integrated OAG and FW.

So when people complain about a "noisy" KAF-8300, what are they comparing it to?


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hytham
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5775866 - 04/03/13 03:53 PM

If we compare to a sensor that is in its approximate price range, the ICX694 would be the one to *beat*. It is an absolute gem, but it is a tiny little sensor with a 16mm diagonal which reduces your FOV significantly.

It has a very high QE (77%), small pixel scale, a very low dark current of .002e/pixel/s @-10C when compared to SBIG's 8300 with a dark current of .02e-/p/s @ - 15C ... different of 10x) and a small RMS. It also has a small full well capacity of 20K e- giving it a dynamic range of 64db.

It is not a fair comparison when I see people comparing a 16803 with an 8300.

Side note: I also forgot to mention the cost of the ML8300 is $3895 and it does not include; filter wheel, filters, and OAG.


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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: hytham]
      #5775905 - 04/03/13 04:12 PM

After much deliberation I went with an Atik 460 EX. I know FOV is small compared to DSLR or 8300 but there are targets to fit into that as well.

You don't have to worry about darks with this sensor.

I am still waiting for a clear night for the color exposure but here is a luminance frame for you to see the FOV



Hires image

35x 300 seconds Light frames, calibrated with flat and bias master frames
FSQ106EDXIII
Astrodon Truebalance Gen II Luminance filter - SX Filterwheel
Atik 460 EXM
Vixen New Atlux Mount + NexAtlux board - controlled via Sky Safari
Guided via 50mm Borg + SSAG/PHD
Framed, focused and captured with Sequence Generator Pro
Calibrated, aligned and stacked CCDStack
Post processing in Pixinsight&CS6

and here is another image of a very difficult target



Hires image

6x 1200 + 1x 600seconds Light calibrated with flat and bias master frames
FSQ106EDXIII
Astrodon 3nm Ha filter - SX Filterwheel
Atik 460 EXM
Vixen New Atlux Mount + NexAtlux board - controlled via Sky Safari
Guided via 50mm Borg + SSAG/PHD
Framed, focused and captured with Sequence Generator Pro
Calibrated, aligned and stacked CCDStack
Curves and levels in Photoshop.


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Footbag
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5775928 - 04/03/13 04:24 PM

Great images! I like the scale you get with your FSQ, but I'm not sure about my Edge 800 HD. Then again, I may have to rethink what I want out of this camera.

One thing standing out in my mind is I'd probably not be able to get M81 & M82 in the same field even using the reducer. I'd be afraid I'd find this with a lot of my targets.


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bilgebayModerator
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5775941 - 04/03/13 04:31 PM

You will have the same FOV with a Hyperstar, even wider...C8 Hyperstar has a 420 FL... just a sec... off to Starizona site

OK, I'm back, you will have a FOV of 101' x 81' whereas the images you see are 81' x 65'.

I will collect my C8 Edge and Hyperstar lense at NEAF and I am very excited about this new setup.


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pfile
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5775949 - 04/03/13 04:36 PM

i made the same transition about 5 months ago and chose the STT-8300M. i had the same concerns about the chip being old and whatnot.

almost any CCD with proper cooling is going to knock your socks off relative to the DSLR. i can not believe what i've been able to do from this high-LP site with astrodon LRGB filters. check out my astrobin link.

at bin 1x1 i'm way oversampled (0.51 arcsec/pixel) but that has not stopped me from doing L at 1x1. of course you can also bin 2x2 or 3x3 with the 8300.


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Footbag
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: pfile]
      #5775970 - 04/03/13 04:48 PM

Quote:

i made the same transition about 5 months ago and chose the STT-8300M. i had the same concerns about the chip being old and whatnot.

almost any CCD with proper cooling is going to knock your socks off relative to the DSLR. i can not believe what i've been able to do from this high-LP site with astrodon LRGB filters. check out my astrobin link.

at bin 1x1 i'm way oversampled (0.51 arcsec/pixel) but that has not stopped me from doing L at 1x1. of course you can also bin 2x2 or 3x3 with the 8300.




Thanks. Very nice images in your gallery. I think I may just go with the STF-8300 when the time comes. If I happen across something better at NEAF or before my observatory is finished, I'll consider it. Thanks for all of the info.


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hytham
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5775993 - 04/03/13 05:02 PM

I love the ATIK camera and the reports from Europe have been highly positive. The ONLY reason why I'm moving away from the ATIK is due to its European location in the event of support. If FLI comes out with an ICX 694 ... I'm all over it.

I'm VERY interested in seeing what Sony will do with their line given their new relationship with Aptina. I have my eyes on that one for sure!!


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hytham
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5775998 - 04/03/13 05:05 PM

Quote:

Great images! I like the scale you get with your FSQ, but I'm not sure about my Edge 800 HD. Then again, I may have to rethink what I want out of this camera.

One thing standing out in my mind is I'd probably not be able to get M81 & M82 in the same field even using the reducer. I'd be afraid I'd find this with a lot of my targets.




I think it may just barely fit. Look at it this way ... you get to learn how to do mosaics


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buckeyestargazer
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5776007 - 04/03/13 05:13 PM

Atik just announced the new 490ex, basically a larger version of the 460ex. Benefits are a sony sensor, but with more pixels than the 460ex. I'm sure there are more substantive differences between the two.
Atik 490ex

This is probably going to be my next camera...I better start saving now!


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hytham
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: buckeyestargazer]
      #5776026 - 04/03/13 05:32 PM

Those are some very small pixels.

The larger pixel density is offset by the smaller pixels, but your resolution does increase somewhat.

*I originally stated diagonal which is incorrect. The diagonal of the two chips (694 and 814) are the same.

Edited by hytham (04/03/13 05:36 PM)


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buckeyestargazer
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: hytham]
      #5776051 - 04/03/13 05:45 PM

Oh, you're right! Somehow I mis-read the pixel size. I thought they were the same size as the 460ex. So you are correct, the resolution increases but the FOV is about the same.

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hytham
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: buckeyestargazer]
      #5776075 - 04/03/13 05:55 PM

I absolutely hate that they do not give you more detailed information regarding the model. "Outstanding QE" ... what does that even mean? "Very low noise ..." ok, go on.

I see that they give you an RMS of 5e-, but what about dark current? What about full well capacity?


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SL63 AMG
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5776732 - 04/03/13 11:11 PM

Adam,

I really don't find the KAF-8300 to be all that noisy, especially with FLI's electronics in the ML8300.

I just grabed a random luminance image, stretched it as far as possible and uploaded it for you to compare with a stack of luminance and a finished image.

M78 single 10 minute Luminance, no calibration, stretched



M78 Stack of 16 10 minute Luminance frames- calibrated



M78 fully processed LRGB 6.2 hours integration- virtually noise free



I also had a QSI 583wsg and I never had frames where the noise overwhelmed the signal or was otherwise a problem.

The KAF-8300 is an excellent chip for the price and will serve you well. I think any of the four main manufacturers will provide you good results.

Edited by SL63 AMG (04/03/13 11:13 PM)


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Footbag
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: SL63 AMG]
      #5777227 - 04/04/13 09:35 AM

Very nice images Dave. I don't think they look noisy, in fact they look great. I never thought the KAS-8300 looked noisy, I just heard the comment frequently. I guess that happend when your splitting hairs over $4k and $10k cameras.

The FLI cameras do look nice, but a bit out of my price range.


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Fabio Papa
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5777259 - 04/04/13 09:59 AM

I think what most people mean is that the 8300 isn't inherently noise-free, as it happens with sony chips, but has to be made so by the elctronics.
A proof of this is the very high swings of noise readings from different manufacturers, while the sony equipped cameras varies very little in comparison.


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lawrie
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Fabio Papa]
      #5777421 - 04/04/13 11:08 AM

Moving over from DSLR imaging to imaging where you are able to keep a constant temp for lights and darks, noise won't be an issue.
You could look at the QSI cameras also.

Nice images Dave


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Fogboundturtle
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: lawrie]
      #5777460 - 04/04/13 11:27 AM

There is also other factor like QE, Anti-blooming, RBI to consider when you pick a camera. The cost of acquisition is also a big factor.

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blueman
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Fogboundturtle]
      #5777578 - 04/04/13 12:31 PM

If you buy a nice camera to start with you will not have to sell one or two or three and lose money on each one. I know, I did and now I finally bit the bullet and got a nice camera.
Blueman


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Raginar
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: blueman]
      #5777668 - 04/04/13 01:06 PM

Blueman is spot on..

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Zoeff
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: SL63 AMG]
      #5778306 - 04/04/13 06:37 PM

Quote:

Adam,

I really don't find the KAF-8300 to be all that noisy, especially with FLI's electronics in the ML8300.

I just grabed a random luminance image, stretched it as far as possible and uploaded it for you to compare with a stack of luminance and a finished image.

M78 single 10 minute Luminance, no calibration, stretched

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-FLsRbjPJibA/UVztW4NcuKI/AAAAAAAACGQ/3Opv-x...

M78 Stack of 16 10 minute Luminance frames- calibrated

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-11lVoaSnDUk/URtbE5zk72I/AAAAAAAAB14/Zdw_fn...

M78 fully processed LRGB 6.2 hours integration- virtually noise free

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EnIT-WVnLFU/UTGSWkm_IzI/AAAAAAAACCQ/k1S6JS...

I also had a QSI 583wsg and I never had frames where the noise overwhelmed the signal or was otherwise a problem.

The KAF-8300 is an excellent chip for the price and will serve you well. I think any of the four main manufacturers will provide you good results.




Could you upload a full image instead? The noise would always be quite low if you downscale it like that. I'm curious to see what a microline KAF8300 can do compared to my Atik 383 as it's got 20 degrees more delta below ambient and supposedly better electronics.

Also, what exactly was the chip cooled to?


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jeffweiss9
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Zoeff]
      #5778823 - 04/04/13 11:52 PM

Dave's FLI ML8300 images (and others') look really nice. I'm looking to purchase an 8300 camera also (seems like the only chip in town right now for my budget) but I also like the SBIG self-guiding feature (and hate flexure). I haven't seen a lot of STT-8300 images and wonder what a similar comparison to Dave's would look like for that camera. Any takers?
-Jeff


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Chris84
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: jeffweiss9]
      #5778971 - 04/05/13 04:01 AM

Quote:

Dave's FLI ML8300 images (and others') look really nice. I'm looking to purchase an 8300 camera also (seems like the only chip in town right now for my budget) but I also like the SBIG self-guiding feature (and hate flexure). I haven't seen a lot of STT-8300 images and wonder what a similar comparison to Dave's would look like for that camera. Any takers?
-Jeff




Sure, the STT-8300 is a great camera. I have had mine since January, pretty happy with the results so far. Still learning allot though but here is an example:



More taken with the STT8300 can be found here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/92067259@N06/sets/72157632704351925/

or on my website:
spacenoob.com


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Footbag
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Chris84]
      #5779166 - 04/05/13 09:02 AM

Do the FLI's come with any software?

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neptun2
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5779320 - 04/05/13 10:28 AM

I also plan to buy KAF-8300 based camera. I am from Europe so i will probably get the Moravian Instruments G2-8300FW with integrated filter wheel. It has dual stage TEC cooling up to -50 deg below ambient temperature. From the results that i see here the KAF-8300 chip looks very good when properly cooled and matched with good electronics. It also have good combination of wide FOV and high resolution. I personally don't think that this chip is old or can't show anymore good results. I also do not see any other big chip with high resolution and relatively small pixel which can be direct competitor of it.

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dan17
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: neptun2]
      #5779342 - 04/05/13 10:41 AM

Do not look no further. Sbig ST 8300 is very good camera and it is twice cheaper than FLI. And it is not noisy at all. Save Your money. Look here http://www.astrobin.com/full/37650/0/?mod=none&real=

I am absolute newbie into astrophotography. This is my second light EVER only. No procesing. Only histogram stech. Thats all I can do with my skills. Poor man mount. Focuser issue. But looks not bad. Don't You think so? Why to spend money for the same chip based camera for the twice the money?


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DeanS
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5779345 - 04/05/13 10:42 AM

Quote:

Do the FLI's come with any software?




You have to download their driver package and it has FLIgrab for doing single exposures. Not something you really want to use for serious imaging, more for testing.

MaximDL is really great for camera control and does a good job at calibrating and combining too.

Dean


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Footbag
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: dan17]
      #5779527 - 04/05/13 12:27 PM

Quote:

Do not look no further. Sbig ST 8300 is very good camera and it is twice cheaper than FLI. And it is not noisy at all. Save Your money. Look here http://www.astrobin.com/full/37650/0/?mod=none&real=

I am absolute newbie into astrophotography. This is my second light EVER only. No procesing. Only histogram stech. Thats all I can do with my skills. Poor man mount. Focuser issue. But looks not bad. Don't You think so? Why to spend money for the same chip based camera for the twice the money?




For your second light ever that is great. That's just luminance? That's what I'm really looking forward to. I remember when I switched to a mono planetary cam for solar H-alpha. The difference was night and day. And everything got easier with the better data.

That's what I'm looking forward to.


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elbee
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5779721 - 04/05/13 02:17 PM

FLI's don't come with any software (other than the drivers you download from their website). i don't know about other brands, but i think SBIG is the only one that gives you complete capture/processing software with the camera.

SBIG's STF-8300 comes with CCDSoft and CCDOps -- both pretty (very) out of date products but it can get you going without additional expense.

if on a limited budget, i don't think there is a better deal than an STF-8300. i think there is one important factor to consider and that is how much cooling do you need? if it is warm in the summers, you probably won't be able to cool the STF to -30C like you could a FLI camera.

I have an ST-8300 (pre-dates the STF)and usually cool to -15C in summer and no problem with -30C in winter. i don't find that to be a issue, just a reality a new purchaser should consider based on their location.

i have seen RAW FITS files from FLI and SBIG KAF-8300 based cameras. they are similar as far as noise and image quality.

if you want to see a RAW FITS (uncalibrated) you can look here:

Single RAW FITS and resulting JPG

The JPG is created from that single 1x30m frame (calibrated and some minor cleanup in photoshop)

once you start adding filter wheels and filters it's pretty difficult to get started for less than $3000 unless you go with a smaller sized chip. adding self guiding puts on another significant expense.

i read a lot about sony chips are very low noise. i only have experience with more traditional CCDs so i am "old school" calibrating with darks, flats, and bias. properly done, i think any KAF-8300 based camera can give nice results.

Edited by elbee (04/05/13 07:46 PM)


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dan17
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Footbag]
      #5779796 - 04/05/13 02:47 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Do not look no further. Sbig ST 8300 is very good camera and it is twice cheaper than FLI. And it is not noisy at all. Save Your money. Look here http://www.astrobin.com/full/37650/0/?mod=none&real=

I am absolute newbie into astrophotography. This is my second light EVER only. No procesing. Only histogram stech. Thats all I can do with my skills. Poor man mount. Focuser issue. But looks not bad. Don't You think so? Why to spend money for the same chip based camera for the twice the money?




For your second light ever that is great. That's just luminance? That's what I'm really looking forward to. I remember when I switched to a mono planetary cam for solar H-alpha. The difference was night and day. And everything got easier with the better data.

That's what I'm looking forward to.



This is 4x30 min Ha . LIGHTS only


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Madratter
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: dan17]
      #5782423 - 04/06/13 07:01 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

I'm late to the party but thought I would post a single sub from my STF-8300m of M20 (the Trifid Nebula) from last night. This was a 10m Ha frame binned 2x2. It has been histogram stretched in PixInsight and the black point was moved up but zero pixels were clipped. No darks, flats, etc. have been applied. Basically all the warts are there to be seen. You can then decide for yourself how you feel about the noise.

Full size is here:

Full size frame of M20 on Astrobin

Edited by Madratter (04/06/13 07:23 PM)


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SL63 AMG
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Zoeff]
      #5782959 - 04/07/13 12:42 AM

Quote:


Could you upload a full image instead? The noise would always be quite low if you downscale it like that. I'm curious to see what a microline KAF8300 can do compared to my Atik 383 as it's got 20 degrees more delta below ambient and supposedly better electronics.

Also, what exactly was the chip cooled to?




I have uploaded the M78 single FITS frame to my Astrobin RAW data storage area with public access. I also included a master bias and a 30m master dark all binned 1x1 and cooled to -35c which is my usual operating temperature.

You can download the data from the public pool M78_Noise_Eval


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orlyandico
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: SL63 AMG]
      #5783051 - 04/07/13 02:39 AM

Late to this thread..

But Apogee has a 694 camera for $3281. The Apogee Ascent A694.

It comes in the Ascent casing, so only 25 degrees Celsius below ambient. But heck it's an Apogee (comparable to FLI reputation-wise). And it's a Sony chip which has 1/10 the dark current of an 8300.


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Calypte
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5783061 - 04/07/13 02:49 AM

My only experience with Sony chips is my Starlight Xpress Lodestar guider. It's loaded with hot pixels, which can only be mitigated (not totally zeroed out) with a library of dark frames and a hot pixel map. I'll never buy a camera with a Sony chip again.

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pfile
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Calypte]
      #5783729 - 04/07/13 12:44 PM

i wonder if the chips that SX puts in the guiders are basically floor sweep? i'd assume that they use more defect-free sensors for "real" cameras...

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mmalik
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: pfile]
      #5783787 - 04/07/13 01:13 PM

Quote:

I wonder if the chips that SX puts in the guiders are basically floor sweep?




That's exactly what my thoughts were if they just use rejects of sorts; I promptly sent back that piece of scrap heap. Thx


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orlyandico
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: mmalik]
      #5783894 - 04/07/13 02:14 PM

well.. I have an old Meade DSI Pro with a Sony ICX098 chip. And it does have tons of stuck pixels and the dark noise is eye popping. Well this is an old, old chip in an uncooled camera.

My QHY8 is really great, very low dark noise, no stuck pixels, etc. etc. I think the tiny chips (which are probably all used for CCTV video) have much less stringent QA.


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Madratter
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5783961 - 04/07/13 02:45 PM

Kind of off topic here but I know there are plenty of people who are very happy with their lodestars. But I have to admit that a picture that was posted here of one scared me away. It looked horrible, column problems, the works. I also didn't like the very poor engineering for the connection. I ended up with a SBIG ST-i that I am liking a lot.

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Peter in Reno
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5784117 - 04/07/13 03:41 PM

Lodestar is not designed for imaging, it's designed for auto guiding. Who cares if it has some hot pixels and columns? My Lodestar has some hot pixels and columns but it's so sensitive that I never had to hunt for guide stars with OAG at 2000mm focal length. Lodestar is probably THE best autoguider.

Back to topic, have you considered a camera with low read noise like Sony ICX694? That's one sensitive camera. The read noise is so low that makes narrow band imaging very attractive. No darks needed thanks to super low thermal noise CCD. This CCD does not have pattern noise so no darks are necessary. Also, probably the coldest temperature this chip needs is about -16C and anything colder is not necessary. Kodak chips needs extremely cold temperature to keep thermal noise low in dark subs, not in Sony chips. Modern Sony chips also have extremely low hot pixels count.

My Atik 460EX mono camera with Sony ICX694 is an awesome and inexpensive camera. I have not used it much thanks to horrible weather but so far I've imaged Bubble Nebula and M82 and I've been pretty pleased with the camera. My image scale has been a whopping low of 0.46"/pixel. My images are found in "Peter's Galleries" in my signature.

When I get Celestron focal reducer for my C8 EdgeHD, I think Atik 460EX camera will be a perfect match.

Peter


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Calypte
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5784228 - 04/07/13 04:24 PM

Quote:

Lodestar is not designed for imaging, it's designed for auto guiding. Who cares if it has some hot pixels and columns?



It matters because MaxIm tries to guide on hot pixels, so they must be mitigated. At 1600mm FL, using the OAG of the QSI 683, I found it almost impossible to find guide stars that the Lodestar and MaxIm (in combination) would accept. I have better luck at 1200mm (different scope). Sony chips are touted as the ultimate in low noise, compared to Trusense (aka Kodak). I never had hot-pixel problems with Kodak/Trusense chips. Never again!


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hytham
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Calypte]
      #5784499 - 04/07/13 06:35 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Lodestar is not designed for imaging, it's designed for auto guiding. Who cares if it has some hot pixels and columns?



It matters because MaxIm tries to guide on hot pixels, so they must be mitigated. At 1600mm FL, using the OAG of the QSI 683, I found it almost impossible to find guide stars that the Lodestar and MaxIm (in combination) would accept. I have better luck at 1200mm (different scope). Sony chips are touted as the ultimate in low noise, compared to Trusense (aka Kodak). I never had hot-pixel problems with Kodak/Trusense chips. Never again!




You're judging the entire line of Sony CCDs based on the experience you had with ONE chip that is installed in the SX line of guiding cameras?

That seems very logical and objective.


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Peter in Reno
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: hytham]
      #5784555 - 04/07/13 07:08 PM

This thread is not about autoguiders.

All I can say is I great results with my Atik 460EX mono camera. This has extremely low noise. Also, it does not have pattern noise so darks are not necessary. You can take one dark frame for Bad Pixel Mapping.

Kodak KAF-8300 chip also has pretty low noise as compared to large full frame Kodak chips. I think you will be satisfied with KAF-8300. This chip has pattern noise so you must take enough darks at the same exact temperature and exposure as lights to successfully remove pattern noise from lights. I know this because I used to have a color version of KAF-8300 (QSI583csg) and I just checked one of its dark sub and noticed pattern noise.

Peter


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SL63 AMG
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Calypte]
      #5784766 - 04/07/13 08:56 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Lodestar is not designed for imaging, it's designed for auto guiding. Who cares if it has some hot pixels and columns?



It matters because MaxIm tries to guide on hot pixels, so they must be mitigated.




This isn't necessarily true. If you take an exposure with your guide camera, then click on a star in the resulting image, Maxim will use THAT star to calibrate and subsequently guide.

I agree with Peter. The KAF-8300 chip is an excellent chip and with a good set of calibration frames any small issues are rejected.

Although I just bought an FLI PL16803 for my new RCOS, I will not part with my ML8300 which has served me well. I am sure I will find a use for it.


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blueman
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5784807 - 04/07/13 09:15 PM

Flats are needed to remove pattern noise.
Blueman
Quote:

This thread is not about autoguiders.

All I can say is I great results with my Atik 460EX mono camera. This has extremely low noise. Also, it does not have pattern noise so darks are not necessary. You can take one dark frame for Bad Pixel Mapping.

Kodak KAF-8300 chip also has pretty low noise as compared to large full frame Kodak chips. I think you will be satisfied with KAF-8300. This chip has pattern noise so you must take enough darks at the same exact temperature and exposure as lights to successfully remove pattern noise from lights. I know this because I used to have a color version of KAF-8300 (QSI583csg) and I just checked one of its dark sub and noticed pattern noise.

Peter




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SL63 AMG
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: blueman]
      #5784916 - 04/07/13 10:16 PM

Quote:

Flats are needed to remove pattern noise.
Blueman





My understanding is that flats are needed to correct uneven illumination across the sensor, vignetting and to correct for optical aberations such as donuts caused by dust.


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blueman
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: SL63 AMG]
      #5785060 - 04/07/13 11:39 PM Attachment (16 downloads)

If you look at a flat you will see the pattern noise easily. This is how it is removed as far as I am concerned.
Blueman
Quote:

Quote:

Flats are needed to remove pattern noise.
Blueman





My understanding is that flats are needed to correct uneven illumination across the sensor, vignetting and to correct for optical aberations such as donuts caused by dust.




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Alph
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: blueman]
      #5785169 - 04/08/13 01:15 AM

Quote:

If you look at a flat you will see the pattern noise easily. This is how it is removed as far as I am concerned.



Hmm? I have never seen pattern noise in a flat or a dark taken with my QSI camera. There is something wrong with your camera. A bias is the only frame where the patten noise should/could be visible to the eye. What does your bias frame look like at -10C?


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scirocco1
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Alph]
      #5785253 - 04/08/13 03:34 AM

383L+ @ -25C
http://www.scirocco.ro/tmp/masterflat.jpg (32x4sec)
http://www.scirocco.ro/tmp/masterbias.jpg (32x)
http://www.scirocco.ro/tmp/masterdark.jpg (16x10min)


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freestar8n
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: scirocco1]
      #5785260 - 04/08/13 03:55 AM

I'm not surprised there is some pattern noise in the flat - and it shouldn't be a problem after calibration. Even if a "pattern" isn't visible in the flat, there may still be pixel response nonuniformity, PRNU, in a randomish pattern that isn't obvious - and this could happen in a Sony CCD. Both are good reasons not to smooth or bin the flat at all - as some people recommend. And both are examples of the importance of flats, independent of the need to correct for vignetting.

Anyway - this doesn't surprise me and it doesn't seem like a problem - unless it isn't repeatable and ends up showing in the final image.

Frank


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blueman
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Alph]
      #5785887 - 04/08/13 12:38 PM

Alph,
This flat is a -25c flat.

There is nothing wrong with the camera. IT is the way a chip works and is made that caused the pattern to appear. There are pixels and chanels and that will show on a flat.

If your flats are done properly then patterns will show if that chip has them.

This is one of the reasons for flats and why they need to be done at the right ADU.
Blueman
Quote:

Quote:

If you look at a flat you will see the pattern noise easily. This is how it is removed as far as I am concerned.



Hmm? I have never seen pattern noise in a flat or a dark taken with my QSI camera. There is something wrong with your camera. A bias is the only frame where the patten noise should/could be visible to the eye. What does your bias frame look like at -10C?




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DeanS
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: blueman]
      #5785903 - 04/08/13 12:44 PM

Both my FLI and QSI show similar patterns in the flats. Isn't that actually caused by imperfections on the chip itself?

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Kevin Nelson
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Reged: 05/06/09

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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: DeanS]
      #5786821 - 04/08/13 08:48 PM Attachment (11 downloads)

All sensors will exhibit some visible artifacts if you look closely enough. The vertical pattern visible in Blueman's master flat is typical of KAF-8300 sensors, but more importantly it's nothing to worry about. The variability between the light dark bands is likely on the order of 0.1% of the signal level. The key is that the artifact will be consistent at any given temperature and exposure time (or signal level for flats) and will therefore calibrate out using the standard image calibration techniques, which were developed specifically to deal with the real-world issues of digital image sensors.

I've attached a roughly equivalent master flat made from 30 flats and 30 matching flat darks from a QSI 683 at -10C. You can also download the FITS file from this link:

www.qsimaging.com/files/QSI-683-601205-10C-Master-Flat-F1.zip

Kevin
www.QSImaging.com


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blueman
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: DeanS]
      #5786891 - 04/08/13 09:18 PM

You must rememeber that the chip is a whole lot of columns of pixels and they are all separated by spaces so there is always a pattern to an imaging chip. Some show this more than others. But this is pattern noise that must be removed if you wish to have a properly calibrated image.

There can be other types too. Some chips will have polishing marks that show up as arcs or lines. Plus the chip does not have an absolutely equal response, so there will be brighter areas and darker ones.

Blueman
Quote:

Both my FLI and QSI show similar patterns in the flats. Isn't that actually caused by imperfections on the chip itself?




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Zoeff
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: blueman]
      #5789298 - 04/09/13 10:53 PM

Quote:

You must rememeber that the chip is a whole lot of columns of pixels and they are all separated by spaces so there is always a pattern to an imaging chip.




Curious, how would that create such a grid pattern? Are you saying that the space between the pixels varies?


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pfile
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Re: KAF-8300 questions? new [Re: Zoeff]
      #5790462 - 04/10/13 02:28 PM

more likely these patterns are the result of chip structures or fabrication issues that affect the QE of certain columns differently than others. it doesn't make much sense to talk of spaces between the capacitors as being part of the final image. two columns may be separated by some distance on the chip but the resultant pixels for those columns are right next to one another in the final image.

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