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A night with the Micro Four Thirds cameras

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#51 ippiu

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 11:07 AM

Travis you are my live video astronomer teacher! :)

My first question is: with gh3 do you take just short exposure photos? Or do you really observe in live video mode?

You said: "The live view is good up to 8 second exposures". What do you mean? That is: you put the camera in video mode, put the iso to 6400 iso and put the video exposure up to 8 sec? Because my omd EM-5 in video mode can only go up to 1/30th sec...

Last question: how do you achieve accurate focus on camera LCD? It's so difficult to view stars on LCD. What are your camera LCD settings?

Thanks so much for your patience...

#52 Raginar

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 06:20 PM

Interesting. It's unfortunate you can't control most of it with a computer. I don't spend much time at the scope anymore :)

It's really cool, Travis, thank you.

#53 chasing photons

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 09:29 PM

The GH3 will transmit the live view via wireless with a slight(1-2 second delay). The live view is good up to 8 second exposures. You can trigger the camera with a phone or ipad including in bulb mode. However, you can’t explicitly define what duration you are going to use with the wireless connection. I still use my wireless remote even when I am using the phone or Ipad for my live view.



Travis,

Can you explain what you mean when you say live view is only good up to 8 seconds on the GH3? What doesn't work the same way with the camera/app above 8 seconds? I am not clear on what I would see on the tablet screen during long exposures of 15 to 60 seconds, what I would see after a long exposure has been completed, and what I would see while I am adjusting the camera settings for the next exposure. I am getting the feeling that 'seamless' wouldn't exactly be the correct description of the process. I would really want to do everything on the tablet and not have to deal with a separate remote/intervalometer for setting up the camera. Since Panasonic is really touting the low light capabilities of the GH4 with up to 60 minute exposures, do you think that the GH4 firmware and the next image app software version will address the limitations you describe?

If too much fiddling is involved for the result, then something like the Mallincam Universe for near real time viewing starts to look a little better. But, I would rather be able to justify the expense of an 'astro camera' by also using it for everyday photography. Please note that I have no interest in guiding and/or stacking subs in post processing. I would be very happy sitting in a comfy chair with tablet(s) in hand, directing an AVX-type mount carrying an f/4.8 or faster scope to the next object that I want to view. I would expect to see a wide field, slightly better than eyepiece view with good resolution and a hint of true color on a handheld screen with a sub 60 second exposure or a bit longer if HDR is implemented. For smaller DSOs I would 'zoom in' using the camera's lossless crop feature. For super wide, eye popping Milky Way type views I would use the camera body with a fast, wide angle camera lens. That alone would keep me entertained for hours.

I have waited a long time for a simple, near real time viewing experience that wouldn't turn into a kludge of equipment and cables, require near perfect polar alignment, and deal with OTAs that go out of collimation if you look at them funny. Trust me, that equipment will sit in the corner collecting dust as my annoyance level will have been far exceeded! Until that time approaches, I will continue to enjoy looking at the absolutely beautiful astro images that more enthusiastic artists spend gobs of sweat, tears, time, money and maybe a little blood to produce.

On that last note, I would really enjoy seeing a YouTube video clip displaying a slideshow of near real time results from your future attempt at the Messier Marathon.
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#54 iam1ru12

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 01:45 AM

I was at the observing session where Travis share these live views, it was extremely amazing to see this!

Travis, thanks for sharing!
-Mike


Thanks Mike. Would love to try the petite E-PM2 with the hyperstar sometime. Does the camera connect to the hyperstar with a t-mount adapter?


Mi telescopio es su telescopio. To use the Hyperstar system you need a Hyperstar lens, which was not included when I purchased the scope. However it might be worth posting the club if anyone has a Hyperstar lens for a C11, you never know.

-Mike

#55 samovu

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 05:02 AM

Hi Travis,

Is the Live View capability during long exposures (with periodic updates) that the GH-3 is capable of also available on the GH-2? When I take long exposures the viewfinder and LCD go blank until after the exposure is completed. And then there is a several second "wait" until the picture is displayed. I'd like to see what can be displayed or viewed (in near real time) before possibly making the switch to the GH-3 to gain the WiFi capability and more.

Cheers,
John

#56 mclewis1

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 09:59 AM

Thanks Mike. Would love to try the petite E-PM2 with the hyperstar sometime. Does the camera connect to the hyperstar with a t-mount adapter?

Mi telescopio es su telescopio. To use the Hyperstar system you need a Hyperstar lens, which was not included when I purchased the scope. However it might be worth posting the club if anyone has a Hyperstar lens for a C11, you never know. -Mike

The Hyperstar does indeed usually use a T mount connection to the camera. The adapter and spacing is unique for each camera type so unless you are setup to so some serious tinkering just getting any Hyperstar setup won't help too much. It would be good to talk with the good folks at Starizona about spacing and such, they might just surprise you.

#57 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:10 PM

Ok I will try to explain it as best I can. Panasonic cameras have a special mode called Shutter Preview on non-GHx cameras and it is called Constant Preview on the GH2, GH3, and GH4. I actually saw a sample of the GH4 menus and it is on there as well.

This special mode allows the Panasonic cameras to use an electronic rolling shutter with a shutter duration of 8 seconds or less in the live view mode. It will literally reduce the frame rate of the live view to 8 seconds per frame. There is no need to hit the shutter button at all with this feature. It can be engaged automatically on the GH cameras but you have to manually engage it on the other Panasonic cameras.

This mode will give you a preview of what the camera will see up to 8 seconds. It is absolutely essential for seeing these deep space objects in the live view and no other cameras except for Panasonic cameras have it. Not even a Mallincam can do this in pure live view mode.

The Olympus cameras will do what all other cameras do. They will only allow 1/30 of a second or less in live view. It is enough to see the brightest stars but nothing else. I have to either use the live time feature which continuously updates the display with what is captured so far or I just navigate using a bright star in the field of view. This is exactly what the Mallincam does.

Since I have both Panasonic and Olympus cameras I will usually navigate and align with the Panasonic camera and switch to the modified camera for imaging.

I can't write more right now. I am actually imaging right now with a near full moon right next to the Rosette Nebula. I think these images I am taking right now might convince you guys of the power of Micro Four Thirds and a fast focal ratio scope.
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#58 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:11 PM

Travis you are my live video astronomer teacher! :)

My first question is: with gh3 do you take just short exposure photos? Or do you really observe in live video mode?

You said: "The live view is good up to 8 second exposures". What do you mean? That is: you put the camera in video mode, put the iso to 6400 iso and put the video exposure up to 8 sec? Because my omd EM-5 in video mode can only go up to 1/30th sec...

Last question: how do you achieve accurate focus on camera LCD? It's so difficult to view stars on LCD. What are your camera LCD settings?

Thanks so much for your patience...

\

Focus is easy with either Panasonic or Olympus cameras. They both have the loss-less crop zoom feature that allows you to nail the focus on any semi bright star.

#59 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:13 PM

Hi Travis,

Is the Live View capability during long exposures (with periodic updates) that the GH-3 is capable of also available on the GH-2? When I take long exposures the viewfinder and LCD go blank until after the exposure is completed. And then there is a several second "wait" until the picture is displayed. I'd like to see what can be displayed or viewed (in near real time) before possibly making the switch to the GH-3 to gain the WiFi capability and more.

Cheers,
John


The GH2, GH3, and GH4 all have the constant preview feature in the tools menu. That will enable the camera to display what it will see up to 8 seconds in the live view.

#60 jdbastro

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:21 AM

Hi Travis,

Is the Live View capability during long exposures (with periodic updates) that the GH-3 is capable of also available on the GH-2? When I take long exposures the viewfinder and LCD go blank until after the exposure is completed. And then there is a several second "wait" until the picture is displayed. I'd like to see what can be displayed or viewed (in near real time) before possibly making the switch to the GH-3 to gain the WiFi capability and more.

Cheers,
John


The GH2, GH3, and GH4 all have the constant preview feature in the tools menu. That will enable the camera to display what it will see up to 8 seconds in the live view.


Thanks for the tip about 'constant preview' on the GH3. I hadn't played with that setting before. My camera was set to 'off' (by default, I suppose). Will use the 'on' setting from now on. Cool.

#61 samovu

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 04:07 AM

Travis, thanks for the info and for this thread. I also went to your GH3 video link and learned a bit more about what the GH2 couldn't do. Looks like maybe a GH3 is what I may be needing to get here pretty soon.

Am pretty new to amateur astronomy and have not started AP yet although I've acquired the proper adapters and reducers to mount my Canon 6D to my scopes. Wasn't looking forward to the learning curve and processing as I'm really just a visual guy. So coming across your thread has really started me thinking about embracing assisted viewing. This could be my stepping stone to AP eventually but being able to "see" using the GH3 (and showing family and friends) sure sounds great.

And kudos to you for sharing your knowledge and helping all of us here.

Clear skies and low noise,
John


Hi Travis,

Is the Live View capability during long exposures (with periodic updates) that the GH-3 is capable of also available on the GH-2? When I take long exposures the viewfinder and LCD go blank until after the exposure is completed. And then there is a several second "wait" until the picture is displayed. I'd like to see what can be displayed or viewed (in near real time) before possibly making the switch to the GH-3 to gain the WiFi capability and more.

Cheers,
John


The GH2, GH3, and GH4 all have the constant preview feature in the tools menu. That will enable the camera to display what it will see up to 8 seconds in the live view.



#62 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 12:12 AM

The moon was out in full force the other night. I said what the heck. It is a clear night and not bitterly cold I might as well image in my backyard.

Here is what the moon looked like with a single exposure.

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#63 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 12:15 AM

Here is what the Rosette Nebula looked like right next to it(and I really mean right next to it).

Single 4 minute ISO 1600 image with 7nm Ha filter Guided.

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  • 6383891-P2160139.JPG


#64 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 12:16 AM

Here is what the Rosette Nebula looked like when you stack 5 of the 4 minute ISO 1600 exposures.

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  • 6383895-Rosette 4 minutes ISO 1600 Edited Great 2.jpg


#65 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 12:17 AM

Here are some Horse Head images. 2 Minutes ISO 1600

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#66 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 12:18 AM

4 Minutes ISO 1600(My focus was slipping because the temps were dropping so fast)

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#67 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 12:19 AM

Here is the modified Olympus E-PM2 with the Baader UHC-S filter ISO 1600 for 60 seconds. Notice how much of the core it retains despite having a high exposure.

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#68 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 12:21 AM

Here is the unmodified GH3 with the Baader UHC-S filter and 1 minute ISO 6400. Notice how much less the unmodified camera shows even with 2 stops more exposure.

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#69 razor

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 08:45 AM

Travis, is this also possible with the GF1? Including the "constant preview" setting? What are the maximum exposure times? The stacked images, are they real time in-camera/PC or in software in post processing?

#70 Ptarmigan

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:09 PM

Interesting. The images are cool. :bow: :cool: I know with Magic Lantern you can configure to do long exposure with video. This got me thinking of doing this with the Canon T2i. :question:

#71 ccs_hello

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 04:45 AM

Interesting. The images are cool. :bow: :cool: I know with Magic Lantern you can configure to do long exposure with video. This got me thinking of doing this with the Canon T2i. :question:


See this (Liberate more Canon DSLR features) CN thread.

BTW, it's a bit OT which is about micro Four-Thirds.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello

#72 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 10:36 PM

Interesting. The images are cool. :bow: :cool: I know with Magic Lantern you can configure to do long exposure with video. This got me thinking of doing this with the Canon T2i. :question:


See this (Liberate more Canon DSLR features) CN thread.

BTW, it's a bit OT which is about micro Four-Thirds.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


Magic Lantern really liberates the Canon cameras. It is very promising.

#73 Relativist

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 03:06 PM


The GH3 is the only one that can do HDMI live view. However, the RCA output will work just as well as it will on the Mallincam. Wireless is the best option here though.

I believe that the bulb and live time is always limited to ISO 1600 on all Olympus cameras. It isn't a big deal though. For shorter exposures you don't need it to update because you don't have to wait that long anyway. For longer exposures you wouldn't be able to use the higher ISOs with a fast scope.

Like I have said before the key to near real time viewing is focal ratio. If you have a fast focal scope most of the newer m4/3s cameras will work great for near real time viewing. However, a modified Panasonic GH3 is the best option right now in my opinion.


Travis,

My main goal for a while has been to get at least HD resolution. Which m43 camera can do this? From what you say here the EPM2 does not output HD?

#74 ccs_hello

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 08:55 AM

Today thru this weekend 6th Ave Camera in fleabay is selling GH3 body only for $570 new and shipped.



#75 mac1969

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Posted 26 November 2015 - 02:47 PM

Here is the unmodified GH3 with the Baader UHC-S filter and 1 minute ISO 6400. Notice how much less the unmodified camera shows even with 2 stops more exposure.

I measured transmittance of an e-pl5 hot mirror removed from my camera - in case anyone is interested in this information. it blocks around 65% of the h-alpha line normally.

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Edited by mac1969, 27 November 2015 - 01:27 PM.



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