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Equipment Discussions >> Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Video camera for strictly planetary use
      #5955939 - 07/05/13 11:24 AM

Does anyone have any suggestions for a color video camera for planetary viewing? I am interested in VIEWING in real time, not imaging with post-processing.

Thanks,
Ira


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mclewis1
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Video camera for strictly planetary use new [Re: Ira]
      #5956017 - 07/05/13 12:20 PM

Ira,

For pure or "real" video, I'd say it's hard to beat the Samsungs with the 1/3" sensor. They produce great images at a really great price. This biggest complaint seems to be the menu system, it's not the most user friendly ... but still not hard to learn.

The little LnTech video cameras on paper should be great (high resolution CCD sensors) but I haven't seen planetary images taken with those new cameras that rivals those taken with one of the Samsungs. They don't seem to have the contrast that the Samsung's have (but this might be just a settings issue with these new cameras).

One thing that looks interesting is using a better quality USB frame grabber with one of these video cameras. A number of folks are playing around with 10 bit frame grabbers (the majority of the popular and less expensive models have been 8 bit for a long time). The colors look better with 10 bit A to D conversions. An example of one of these better frame grabbers are the units from Black Magic.

I've seen very few really excellent planetary images with the newer HD quality video cameras. They seem to produce reasonable images but most also just output regular SD quality video. You can find some with HDMI outputs but then you have to deal with HDMI capture devices to get the video stream onto a PC.

As an alternative you can check out any of the USB/Firewire attached planetary cameras that have a reasonably sensitive CCD. Many of the very latest planetary cameras have very high speed CMOS based sensors that don't seem to be sensitive enough for real time viewing. Most of the color planetary cameras with CCD sensors seem to be more effective for real time viewing. The problem is that most folks buying these newer higher end cameras want them for planetary imaging not planetary real time viewing so the amount of practical experience tends to be limited.


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Video camera for strictly planetary use new [Re: Ira]
      #5956125 - 07/05/13 01:48 PM

Quote:

Does anyone have any suggestions for a color video camera for planetary viewing? I am interested in VIEWING in real time, not imaging with post-processing.




Sensitivity is not an issue when viewing the Moon or planets with a video camera. Any newer DSLR with video capabilities will give you a better image than the small format CCD video cameras used for deep sky observing. The more megapixels the better.


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mega256
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: N of Tampa
Re: Video camera for strictly planetary use new [Re: Lorence]
      #5956316 - 07/05/13 04:12 PM

You cant beat a "Sammy" for $100....

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jgraham
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Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: Video camera for strictly planetary use new [Re: mega256]
      #5956546 - 07/05/13 06:40 PM

I hve enjoyed using my Imaging Source DBK21 for observing the moon and planets.

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Ira
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Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: Video camera for strictly planetary use new [Re: jgraham]
      #5957954 - 07/06/13 05:49 PM

Thanks for trying to help, but I have no idea what "Sammys" are, and have no idea what products use Samsung sensors. Could you please be more specific, or better still, post product links.

Thanks,
Ira


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skinnyonce
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Reged: 03/23/11

Loc: ohio
Re: Video camera for strictly planetary use new [Re: Ira]
      #5958180 - 07/06/13 09:23 PM

sammy refers to the samsung cctv surveilence cameras on the sale sites like ebay etc..yahoo has some groups for video and cctv enthuseists,,(sorry spelling)

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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: Video camera for strictly planetary use new [Re: Ira]
      #5958249 - 07/06/13 10:42 PM

Quote:

Thanks for trying to help, but I have no idea what "Sammys" are, and have no idea what products use Samsung sensors. Could you please be more specific, or better still, post product links.

Thanks,
Ira




Samsung SCB-2000 is sold by many reputable retailers, no need to go to ebay where most often it sells for more than retail.
Here's a link to B&H (I have no affiliation whatsoever with them):
Samsung SCB-2000 $106.99 at B&H Photo


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Dragon Man
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Reged: 03/07/06

Loc: Snake Valley, Australia
Re: Video camera for strictly planetary use new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5958637 - 07/07/13 09:38 AM

Ira,

one of the best old time Planetary Imaging video cameras in the lower price bracket is the Philips ToUcam 840k Pro II and the Philips SPC900NC.

Both were used by top Planetary Imagers (and still are by some).
The ToUcam has been out of production for a couple of years now but they still make the 900NC.
I have 2 Toucams and still use them occasionally.

This is the Toucam if you can find any - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-Toucam-Pro-USB-Camera/dp/B0000E5SDO
May find them cheap 2nd hand.

The 900NC - http://www.p4c.philips.com/cgi-bin/dcbint/cpindex.pl?ctn=SPC900NC/00&scy=gb
and here's one here in Australia 2nd hand for only $25: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/st-agnes/other-cameras/philips-spc-900-web-cam...

If you decide to get one of these two cameras, PLEASE make sure it is ONLY either the PCVC840K ToUcam 840k Pro II (Not the 820k II) or the SPC900NC (not the SPC600NC).
If you have no luck, some companies sell the SPC880NC modified to a 900NC and they work the same as the 900NC.
They are the ONLY three cameras in the Philips Webcam range that work for Astronomy.
They have all been tested many times and the other models don't work for Astronomy.

And if you do get one, you just screw on the adaptor so it will fit into the focuser.

Here is a company selling the Philips SPC880NC modified to a SPC900NC WITH nosepiece included: http://www.telescopehouse.com/acatalog/info_BC163.html

These three cameras work great for 'Live' Planetary Video viewing
I have broadcast on NightSkiesNetwork with mine.

here is a video of the Moon 'LIVE" with the Philips SPC900NC - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghh9McQYBSA

IF you can't find any, look for a Logitech Quickcam Pro 4000. It will work OK.

Otherwise the Samsung Analogue Video Security cameras can be used too.
The cheapest is the SCB-2000, plus a Video Grabber cable.


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mega256
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: N of Tampa
Re: Video camera for strictly planetary use new [Re: Ira]
      #5958705 - 07/07/13 10:47 AM

There is a very good site that has all types of info
on the "Sammy" and different model numbers..

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/sdc435club/

Its a $100 ,8 second security camera..it does an amazing job on planets,and brighter dso's.


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