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Stellacam vs. Mallincam

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#1 jayscheuerle

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 03:21 PM

I ran across some image examples in the Mallincam Yahoo group that compared these two cameras. Regardless of the depth achieved, the Stellacam seemed to display much more pleasing star shapes. Examples.

For those that may have used both cameras, does this seem to be the case, or was something else going on here? - j

#2 Ruthenius

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 04:02 PM

Hi,

There's something else going on there. The APC settings which control how "tight" stars appear horizontally and vertically has to be adjusted. I don't remember the settings off-hand, but I'll reply later tonight.

Cheers!

Michael

#3 rolandskythree

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 06:26 PM

I was waiting to see if anyone answered with more experience than me, but since it has stayed quiet....the settings make all the difference. Michael is right...APC settings make a big difference. The problem (regardless of SC or MC products) is that the settings can be varied so much that it is real difficult to make comparisons about star appearance without knowing exactly what settings are being used. On the astro video forums, there have been attempts to compare side-by-side but 1/4 of the time, the threads end up with unpleasant remarks and the other times it is clear that getting a duplicate "show-down" between cameras is really really hard to accomplish. In the end, most buyers (it seems) go with word of mouth and experience from a friend.

Star appearance, for any astro video camera on pretty high gains or some degree of APC, is NOT going to look like a pinpoint. That is the down side...along with field-of-view limits. On the up side, if you can stand stars that are not pinpoint, then you get luminosity or nebulosity or whatever you want to call it. It is very difficult to have both, because the technical ways to go in either direction are diametrically opposed. So, one has to balance those things. I hope this helps.

Roland

#4 Peter Argenziano

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 08:28 PM

To some extent I would guess that this comparison (SC v. MC) would be like the old days with Celestron v. Meade. :roflmao:

#5 rolandskythree

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 11:41 PM

Yes and no. But you will have to come to your own conclusion on that one. I will, however, state one difference with the MallinCAM that led my wife to say this: "Get out your check book." The difference: COLOR.

Yes, one does lose a little sensitivity compared to B&W, but the addition of color on a variety of objects that we view live is simply breathtaking. You can see our sketches of the color output in the rolandlinda3 gallery in Members Galleries.

Roland

#6 Mike Harvey

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 11:43 PM

To some extent I would guess that this comparison (SC v. MC) would be like the old days with Celestron v. Meade. :roflmao:


I get your point, but the aspect of COLOR in the MallinCan
makes all other comparisons moot (in my opinion).

I had the SC II for several years and enjoyed it but the MCHC has completely re-ignited my passion for deepsky!
PS - I sold the Stellacam!

Mike

#7 b1gred

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 11:44 PM

And it's that difference which has me planning on and saving for the MalinCAM.

I've seen the Stellacam's output, and it's really nice, the MalinCAM's is spectacular, and in my 9.25" scope I gather enough light that I don't lose much sensitivity with the difference.

#8 rshassell

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 10:15 AM

My only previous imaging experience was with a SAC7, and I really liked the ability to image in color without bothering with filter wheels. I'd been watching the Stellacam for the last couple of years, but it was mainly the lack of color with DSO-level sensitivity that kept me from pulling the trigger. When I learned about the Mallincam Color Hyper Plus a few months ago, I knew what my next major purchase was going to be.

It's only going to get better. I'm sure the Stellacam folks are working on a competitive product. I know Rock Mallin is working on new features, like wireless video transmission. We'll probably see some larger companies entering the market soon. Prices will start dropping.

#9 greg

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 01:26 PM

It's only going to get better. I'm sure the Stellacam folks are working on a competitive product. I know Rock Mallin is working on new features, like wireless video transmission. We'll probably see some larger companies entering the market soon. Prices will start dropping.



I believe Rock is working on wireless control of the camera settings... Wireless video feed is all ready being done with inexpensive wireless transmitters.

Greg

#10 Peter Argenziano

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 03:20 PM

So the color Stellacam isn't as sensitive as the color Mallincam? Judging from price alone, admittedly almost never a good idea, one would assume there is a substantial difference between the two.

#11 MarkHilt

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 04:20 PM

I've been reading alot of these reviews and looking up alot of info on both camera's. Both are top rated and also very expensive. Being partialy disabled i am looking into using a video assisted setup for most of my viewing and i have found several other sources of video cam's that offer full control and .01 lux for a 1/3 sony super Had chip /color for under $200 . A price that is more in my meager reach so thank's for this wonderfull new topic.

#12 Bowmoreman

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 06:05 PM

One other thing to consider, Mark, is that there are a couple of earlier generation models of Mallincam's for sale over on AM right now - in the $500 range... they're both B/W though...

just a thought!

clear skies

#13 rolandskythree

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 06:21 PM

Randy, I had considered getting a 9.25 based on several owners who use the MC. They are very pleased. I think you will find it very satisfactory. You will still be seeing at least twice the aperture with the camera doing its work--judging from the reports I have heard. They have been consistent. You know you can also pick a weak star and deliberately put it slightly out of focus on the monitor...and then fine tune your collimation if you need to. Looking forward to your first light report.

Roland

#14 b1gred

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 06:25 PM

Just need to save up for the one I want. Next spring I'm going to sell my SAAB convertible. When that happens, the MallinCAM will be my present to myself.

#15 skyguy88

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 06:26 PM

So the color Stellacam isn't as sensitive as the color Mallincam? Judging from price alone, admittedly almost never a good idea, one would assume there is a substantial difference between the two.


Peter,

Last time I looked Stellacam dosen't come in a color version. I've heard that they are planning one for spring. Sensitivity comparisons are generally between STIII B&W and MC Color (MC does have a B&W version which Rock says is 15% more sensitive than his color version). Why the difference is only 15% is puzzling.
Some other differences: SC has a control box on a cable. MC has a 5 button control panel on the camera housing (wireless remote control is planned). MC comes with a peltier cooler built in. You can get an optional cooler for SCIII.

Bill McDonald

#16 skyguy88

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 09:44 PM

Randy You know you can also pick a weak star and deliberately put it slightly out of focus on the monitor...and then fine tune your collimation if you need to.

Roland


One caveat....You have to be sure that the format on the display matches that coming from the camera or you'll mess up the collimation. Been there, done that.

Bill

#17 rolandskythree

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 11:24 PM

Yep. Your right. Forgot the mention it. That being said, it's a great way to fine tune collimation. RB

#18 Mike Harvey

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 03:08 AM

So the color Stellacam isn't as sensitive as the color Mallincam? Judging from price alone, admittedly almost never a good idea, one would assume there is a substantial difference between the two.


There is no "color" StellaCam.
Which really suprised me when I was waiting for the release of the StellaCam III. I can't imagine what they were thinking...making it monochrome only.

Mike

#19 JAT Observatory

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 09:10 AM

Some other differences: SC has a control box on a cable. MC has a 5 button control panel on the camera housing (wireless remote control is planned). MC comes with a peltier cooler built in. You can get an optional cooler for SCIII.

Bill McDonald


Bill,
I suspect the GStar-Ex hand controller might work on the MC. I use the GStar software to drive my MC.

#20 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 10:45 AM

Marcus and Bill,

The GStar cable does work with the MallinCam and a laptop for making camera settings. I bought one to test it out. However, you still need to access the switches to place the camera in 2.1 second mode before tweaking AGC, etc using the cable.

Once the wireless is available for the MallinCam, all settings will be remotely adjustable using the wireless keypad - including the extended exposure times.

Jack

#21 rshassell

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 11:14 AM

There is no "color" StellaCam.
Which really suprised me when I was waiting for the release of the StellaCam III. I can't imagine what they were thinking...making it monochrome only.

Mike

Well, they do make one model, the StellaCam EX Color CCD Video Camera. However, based on its description, it's only capable of 'limited deep sky objects with telescopes 10 inches or larger'.

#22 skyguy88

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 02:30 PM


Once the wireless is available for the MallinCam, all settings will be remotely adjustable using the wireless keypad - including the extended exposure times.

Jack


Hi Jack,

Do you have any idea what the price will be? My old mintron came with a perfectly capable remote on a cable and was included in the $500 price of the camera. I see that the gstar camera which sells for $700 comes with a cable remote. I'm also concerned about trying to transmit through a metal garage door. lol.

Bill

#23 Peter Argenziano

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 12:50 AM

A couple of folks responded to my inquiry, indicating that there isn't a color Stellacam. At first I though my memory was to blame, because I thought I had heard of a fellow club member having one a while back. So, I went browsing online and see that the Stellacam EX is/was available in a color model:
HERE

#24 skyguy88

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 02:56 AM

Peter,
Sorry for the misinformation. There don't appear to be any specs on the website. It sounds like a color version of the original Stellacam which really got video astronomy going in this country. I used the B&W SAC version (cheaper than Stellacam ex) and got great results with it. Clusters, bright nebulae, planets, the moon were spectacular and if the technology hadn't moved ahead, I would still be happy with it. Presumably this color version has somewhat less sensitivity than the B&W version and I'm guessing that it is limited to 2+ second integration.

Bill


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