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What camera to buy for observing DSO's?

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#51 Relativist

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 12:45 PM

OP, here is a very good read about your scope, and if you want to skip to the relevant information start at page 12 figure 13, and continue from there. Note the EdgeHD 11 is designed with a 42mm diameter FOV in mind (in comparison to previous SCTs).

 

As was previously mentioned, Celestron designed a 0.7x reducer for use with HD optics.

 

You will also find that you might not need further reduction depending on the camera you decide upon. This information is why I recommend considering the camera I mentioned before (A7s).



#52 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 02:33 PM

I like Don would recommend a Lodestar, best bang for the buck. If money is no object, I would be looking at a cooled Atik. Better resolution than the Lodestar X2 and Mallincams mentioned. Some of the best images I've seen on NSN were using one with a 7" apo.

 

Now if you have an observatory where you can leave it set up, the extra wires in a video cam won't be as big an issue other than routing them and replacing them when they go bad. DrDave in SA does amazing video with his Mallincams, seems one of the few to get round stars with them.

 

The biggest factor is what you want to look at verses sampling/ fov. Also if you want to use it more as a eyepiece for visual use or actually save images (imaging). If visual I would go for the most sensitive chip/software that gives round stars, if imaging I would go for resolution and fov at the expense of sensitivity. Which camera you choose will depend on your setup etc. There is no one camera that does it all in every scope. I have 4 camera's from 4 different manufacturers, no one is perfect for everything. I have not used the Ultrastar so can't comment on it other than I am not rushing out to buy one as I'm happy with the X2 Lodestar as a eyepiece that does decent imaging on DSO's. For planetary I really like my ZWO, and my AVS depending on which scope I'm using it in. For pure imaging I like my DSLR, Canon 450d modified in my 10" VRC-T at F8. Good luck on making your choice, you have lot's of options....

Richard thank you for saying this "The biggest factor is what you want to look at verses sampling/ fov. Also if you want to use it more as a eyepiece for visual use or actually save images (imaging)." This is what I have been saying from the very start of my post here and I am most interested in sensitivity for my "observing" then resolution. I want that as close to possible live eyepiece feeling using a camera without getting into intensifiers. * I am not into imaging and that is why I came to EAA, so I am really confused why some here are directing me to buying a camera for imaging? Please lets try to stick to near real-time observing cause is that not what EAA is truly all about?



#53 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 02:40 PM

OP, here is a very good read about your scope, and if you want to skip to the relevant information start at page 12 figure 13, and continue from there. Note the EdgeHD 11 is designed with a 42mm diameter FOV in mind (in comparison to previous SCTs).

 

As was previously mentioned, Celestron designed a 0.7x reducer for use with HD optics.

 

You will also find that you might not need further reduction depending on the camera you decide upon. This information is why I recommend considering the camera I mentioned before (A7s).

Yes I can appreciate that and believe me I have seen Mark in Temecula on NSN using his A7S with his 11" RASA (which is even more corrected than my C11 Edge) and 80% of the FOV is unusable unless flats can be applied live on the fly which I have no interest in getting into as this for me is not simple fun observing IMHO. Thank you


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#54 Richard Whalen

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 09:42 PM

 

I like Don would recommend a Lodestar, best bang for the buck. If money is no object, I would be looking at a cooled Atik. Better resolution than the Lodestar X2 and Mallincams mentioned. Some of the best images I've seen on NSN were using one with a 7" apo.

 

Now if you have an observatory where you can leave it set up, the extra wires in a video cam won't be as big an issue other than routing them and replacing them when they go bad. DrDave in SA does amazing video with his Mallincams, seems one of the few to get round stars with them.

 

The biggest factor is what you want to look at verses sampling/ fov. Also if you want to use it more as a eyepiece for visual use or actually save images (imaging). If visual I would go for the most sensitive chip/software that gives round stars, if imaging I would go for resolution and fov at the expense of sensitivity. Which camera you choose will depend on your setup etc. There is no one camera that does it all in every scope. I have 4 camera's from 4 different manufacturers, no one is perfect for everything. I have not used the Ultrastar so can't comment on it other than I am not rushing out to buy one as I'm happy with the X2 Lodestar as a eyepiece that does decent imaging on DSO's. For planetary I really like my ZWO, and my AVS depending on which scope I'm using it in. For pure imaging I like my DSLR, Canon 450d modified in my 10" VRC-T at F8. Good luck on making your choice, you have lot's of options....

Richard thank you for saying this "The biggest factor is what you want to look at verses sampling/ fov. Also if you want to use it more as a eyepiece for visual use or actually save images (imaging)." This is what I have been saying from the very start of my post here and I am most interested in sensitivity for my "observing" then resolution. I want that as close to possible live eyepiece feeling using a camera without getting into intensifiers. * I am not into imaging and that is why I came to EAA, so I am really confused why some here are directing me to buying a camera for imaging? Please lets try to stick to near real-time observing cause is that not what EAA is truly all about?

 

That being the case the Lodestar X2 is my favorite "eyepiece". Super sensitive chip, easy to use bug free software, round stars etc. If you want to see what one can do, check out my gallery. Most images taken in a small 110mm f7 apo on a cheap AVX mount. Many have no dark frames (I get lazy or forget) and no post processing. Also realize I just started video/usb in January last year, most of these images were from my 2nd thru 5th sessions. The biggest advantage is to be able to make adjustments on the fly and instantly see the changes. Lodestar Live is really great software, so easy to use and learn. This combo in my 110mm shows me much more than my 18" f4.2 does with a eyepiece, in fact more than most 30" scopes. I have had both the color and mono, prefer the mono. Also with a mono & Ha filter you can observe with a full moon, no effect. Kills light pollution also. Has tripled my observing window. If you live in a cool climate, I would not worry about dark frames if you are doing short exposures (under 45 seconds). I think with your scope you would rarely need to go beyond 15 seconds for many objects, less for globulars etc. In the heat of the summer taking longer exposures you might want to take a few dark frames at the start of your session, takes a minute or two only.

 

What ever you decide, have fun with it and if you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out to the group here. Lot's of very experienced video/usb guys here that will be glad to help.


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#55 t_image

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 06:46 AM

.....Thank you so much for the helpful advice and I will take my time more and continue to watch NSN. I am 100% a DSO observer that is why I go be DSO_Viewer :) so speed is top priority for me followed by built quality. I was considering a modified DSLR but their sensitivity still seems slow compared to the Xterminator. Oh so confusing but I am sure everything will eventually fall into place.

 

I wish there were more options available with the current capable technology.

 

I appreciate your devotion to DSOs and am curious how you will navigate the hard barrier that exist between trying to get DSOs quickly and getting faint DSOs that are recorded with astrophotography.

This line is different with the different cameras but I haven't seen it discussed much (difficult to quantify maybe?).

Just wondered if the thought of the range of which DSO's you'll be able to see is a consideration (not that it would be useful as no one has categorized cameras by the range of DSOs they can see per time if ever).

 

If anyone wants a challenge to make a chart?



#56 MartinMeredith

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 07:51 AM

 

.....Thank you so much for the helpful advice and I will take my time more and continue to watch NSN. I am 100% a DSO observer that is why I go be DSO_Viewer :) so speed is top priority for me followed by built quality. I was considering a modified DSLR but their sensitivity still seems slow compared to the Xterminator. Oh so confusing but I am sure everything will eventually fall into place.

 

I wish there were more options available with the current capable technology.

 

I appreciate your devotion to DSOs and am curious how you will navigate the hard barrier that exist between trying to get DSOs quickly and getting faint DSOs that are recorded with astrophotography.

This line is different with the different cameras but I haven't seen it discussed much (difficult to quantify maybe?).

Just wondered if the thought of the range of which DSO's you'll be able to see is a consideration (not that it would be useful as no one has categorized cameras by the range of DSOs they can see per time if ever).

 

If anyone wants a challenge to make a chart?

 

 

I don't really recognise a hard barrier here. Live stacking of say 15-30s subs provides the best of both worlds -- low latency to first image, and gradual build up of details over 10-20 minutes in some cases.

 

A chart, or a collection of observations, is an interesting idea. How faint is faint for this approach? I've definitely gone down to mag 20.6 (high redshift z=5.8  SPIT quasar) and probably a little fainter in some galaxy clusters I haven't got round to looking at in detail. Perhaps the faintest extended object I've looked at is the Jones 1 planetary nebula. All this with an 8" reflector operated in alt-az with no guiding.

 

Martin



#57 Bowmoreman

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 05:17 PM

One additional thought for OP.... to really reduce entry cost...

 

Perhaps consider a used Mallincam Color Hyper plus (or thereabouts)... you can get them used over on A-mart pretty frequently... IIRC recently I think I saw one around $500? or so?

 

Anyways, I'm not selling mine; been a while since I used it, but I'm thinking about how nice it might be in my new and reasonably fast AP130GTX....

 

In my 3 years away from CN (only recently ended,btw) I haven't done so much... LOL

 

I remember way back agitating to create this very forum solely from the passion I got from first using the MCHP... and, of course, the resultant equipment upgrades in the search for ever more, and ever faster aperture...

 

the MCHP on my C11 with Hyperstar was pretty amazing last time I did it, probably 5+ years ago (shudder).

Zero to assisted visual in color in about 2 minutes...

 

So much has happened since that i need to catch up.

 

Anyways, sorry for slight diversion, but you could easily get a cost-effective taste of the Mallincam family that way, and, because you're buying used, resell to upgrade to latest at pretty much zero loss...



#58 mclewis1

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 09:28 PM

To add to Dave's good suggestion of considering starting with a used Mallincam ...

 

If you find an MCHP (manually operated and cooled ICX418 based camera) at a good price you can also consider getting it upgraded by Rock. He offers upgrades to a variety of older cameras at very reasonable prices. You could take an MCHP with a good sensor (look in particular for a class 0) and get it upgraded to an Xtreme X2 (full PC control, improved cooling) or XT-418 (an Xterminator in every aspect except the sensor) and still be well under the price of a new camera. 

 

It's certainly a big step to invest more money in an older camera but if the sensor is a very good example it might be worth it as you essentially end up with a new more capable camera. 

 

What you can't do unfortunately is move up to the 828/9 sensor (the complete Xterminator camera) as a cost effective upgrade. 



#59 A. Viegas

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 09:56 PM

I think Dave & Mark are spot on. all these new cameras coming to market means that the used market will only see more sellers. I saw a MCHP in ebay a few months back for $400. Likewise what is nice is often you can find the entire kit including reducer and cables and grabber and all for less than 50% retail

Al

Edited by A. Viegas, 13 January 2016 - 09:57 PM.


#60 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 12:55 PM

One additional thought for OP.... to really reduce entry cost...

 

Perhaps consider a used Mallincam Color Hyper plus (or thereabouts)... you can get them used over on A-mart pretty frequently... IIRC recently I think I saw one around $500? or so?

 

Anyways, I'm not selling mine; been a while since I used it, but I'm thinking about how nice it might be in my new and reasonably fast AP130GTX....

 

In my 3 years away from CN (only recently ended,btw) I haven't done so much... LOL

 

I remember way back agitating to create this very forum solely from the passion I got from first using the MCHP... and, of course, the resultant equipment upgrades in the search for ever more, and ever faster aperture...

 

the MCHP on my C11 with Hyperstar was pretty amazing last time I did it, probably 5+ years ago (shudder).

Zero to assisted visual in color in about 2 minutes...

 

So much has happened since that i need to catch up.

 

Anyways, sorry for slight diversion, but you could easily get a cost-effective taste of the Mallincam family that way, and, because you're buying used, resell to upgrade to latest at pretty much zero loss...

I really appreciate your suggestion but I have spent several thousand of $ on my astro gear and believe that I should go with a great camera to fit the bill. I think that spending just under 2000.00 for a top quality hand crafted video camera is a good investment for my love of the hobby!



#61 Richard Whalen

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 07:52 PM

 

One additional thought for OP.... to really reduce entry cost...

 

Perhaps consider a used Mallincam Color Hyper plus (or thereabouts)... you can get them used over on A-mart pretty frequently... IIRC recently I think I saw one around $500? or so?

 

Anyways, I'm not selling mine; been a while since I used it, but I'm thinking about how nice it might be in my new and reasonably fast AP130GTX....

 

In my 3 years away from CN (only recently ended,btw) I haven't done so much... LOL

 

I remember way back agitating to create this very forum solely from the passion I got from first using the MCHP... and, of course, the resultant equipment upgrades in the search for ever more, and ever faster aperture...

 

the MCHP on my C11 with Hyperstar was pretty amazing last time I did it, probably 5+ years ago (shudder).

Zero to assisted visual in color in about 2 minutes...

 

So much has happened since that i need to catch up.

 

Anyways, sorry for slight diversion, but you could easily get a cost-effective taste of the Mallincam family that way, and, because you're buying used, resell to upgrade to latest at pretty much zero loss...

I really appreciate your suggestion but I have spent several thousand of $ on my astro gear and believe that I should go with a great camera to fit the bill. I think that spending just under 2000.00 for a top quality hand crafted video camera is a good investment for my love of the hobby!

 

For your intended use, money is not going to offer much improvement over what you can get for under $700. If you want to image, yes throw more money into the camera for a bigger less sensitive chip, cooled etc. To use as an eyepiece you won't gain anything beyond using a 828/829 based camera like the loadstar X2. As far as I know, it is still the most sensitive chip you can buy in your budget range. Maybe something new has come out that I'm not aware of that is more sensitive?



#62 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 08:11 PM

 

 

One additional thought for OP.... to really reduce entry cost...

 

Perhaps consider a used Mallincam Color Hyper plus (or thereabouts)... you can get them used over on A-mart pretty frequently... IIRC recently I think I saw one around $500? or so?

 

Anyways, I'm not selling mine; been a while since I used it, but I'm thinking about how nice it might be in my new and reasonably fast AP130GTX....

 

In my 3 years away from CN (only recently ended,btw) I haven't done so much... LOL

 

I remember way back agitating to create this very forum solely from the passion I got from first using the MCHP... and, of course, the resultant equipment upgrades in the search for ever more, and ever faster aperture...

 

the MCHP on my C11 with Hyperstar was pretty amazing last time I did it, probably 5+ years ago (shudder).

Zero to assisted visual in color in about 2 minutes...

 

So much has happened since that i need to catch up.

 

Anyways, sorry for slight diversion, but you could easily get a cost-effective taste of the Mallincam family that way, and, because you're buying used, resell to upgrade to latest at pretty much zero loss...

I really appreciate your suggestion but I have spent several thousand of $ on my astro gear and believe that I should go with a great camera to fit the bill. I think that spending just under 2000.00 for a top quality hand crafted video camera is a good investment for my love of the hobby!

 

For your intended use, money is not going to offer much improvement over what you can get for under $700. If you want to image, yes throw more money into the camera for a bigger less sensitive chip, cooled etc. To use as an eyepiece you won't gain anything beyond using a 828/829 based camera like the loadstar X2. As far as I know, it is still the most sensitive chip you can buy in your budget range. Maybe something new has come out that I'm not aware of that is more sensitive?

 

 

 

 

One additional thought for OP.... to really reduce entry cost...

 

Perhaps consider a used Mallincam Color Hyper plus (or thereabouts)... you can get them used over on A-mart pretty frequently... IIRC recently I think I saw one around $500? or so?

 

Anyways, I'm not selling mine; been a while since I used it, but I'm thinking about how nice it might be in my new and reasonably fast AP130GTX....

 

In my 3 years away from CN (only recently ended,btw) I haven't done so much... LOL

 

I remember way back agitating to create this very forum solely from the passion I got from first using the MCHP... and, of course, the resultant equipment upgrades in the search for ever more, and ever faster aperture...

 

the MCHP on my C11 with Hyperstar was pretty amazing last time I did it, probably 5+ years ago (shudder).

Zero to assisted visual in color in about 2 minutes...

 

So much has happened since that i need to catch up.

 

Anyways, sorry for slight diversion, but you could easily get a cost-effective taste of the Mallincam family that way, and, because you're buying used, resell to upgrade to latest at pretty much zero loss...

I really appreciate your suggestion but I have spent several thousand of $ on my astro gear and believe that I should go with a great camera to fit the bill. I think that spending just under 2000.00 for a top quality hand crafted video camera is a good investment for my love of the hobby!

 

For your intended use, money is not going to offer much improvement over what you can get for under $700. If you want to image, yes throw more money into the camera for a bigger less sensitive chip, cooled etc. To use as an eyepiece you won't gain anything beyond using a 828/829 based camera like the loadstar X2. As far as I know, it is still the most sensitive chip you can buy in your budget range. Maybe something new has come out that I'm not aware of that is more sensitive?

 

As I have said a multiple of times, I am interested mainly in obtaining the most sensitive camera on the market which is the Xterminator using the IMX828/829 which is even more sensitive than the LX2 even though it uses the same IMX829 CCD sensor because of the variable gain or AGC. The LX2 has a fixed gain that cannot be changed, I also really like having a TEC for those warm nights + I love the fact that my observing sessions are convenient if I choose not to use a computer due to the built-in camera memories, CPU and DSP. *This to me is worth paying the extra for these features + keep in mind that they are handcrafted and have fantastic support from the owner. 



#63 MDavid

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 09:48 PM

Is the SKYRAIDER DS2.3 to new to be a contender?



#64 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 10:52 PM

Is the SKYRAIDER DS2.3 to new to be a contender?

Sorry but what is this new Skyraider DS 2.3 that I am hearing about?



#65 mclewis1

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 12:27 AM

A new model camera in the SkyRaider series that uses a CMOS sensor (instead of a CCD). It's been released for a few months but very few are in the field. http://www.mallincam...aider-ds23.html



#66 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 12:56 AM

A new model camera in the SkyRaider series that uses a CMOS sensor (instead of a CCD). It's been released for a few months but very few are in the field. http://www.mallincam...aider-ds23.html

Okay thank you Mark.



#67 ccs_hello

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 05:24 PM

DSO Viewer:

 

SkyRaider DS 2.3 discussions here:

http://www.cloudynig...517022-new-dsc/

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello



#68 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 07:59 PM

DSO Viewer:

 

SkyRaider DS 2.3 discussions here:

http://www.cloudynig...517022-new-dsc/

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello

Thank you and I will check it out.



#69 Richard Whalen

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 11:06 AM

 

 

 

One additional thought for OP.... to really reduce entry cost...

 

Perhaps consider a used Mallincam Color Hyper plus (or thereabouts)... you can get them used over on A-mart pretty frequently... IIRC recently I think I saw one around $500? or so?

 

Anyways, I'm not selling mine; been a while since I used it, but I'm thinking about how nice it might be in my new and reasonably fast AP130GTX....

 

In my 3 years away from CN (only recently ended,btw) I haven't done so much... LOL

 

I remember way back agitating to create this very forum solely from the passion I got from first using the MCHP... and, of course, the resultant equipment upgrades in the search for ever more, and ever faster aperture...

 

the MCHP on my C11 with Hyperstar was pretty amazing last time I did it, probably 5+ years ago (shudder).

Zero to assisted visual in color in about 2 minutes...

 

So much has happened since that i need to catch up.

 

Anyways, sorry for slight diversion, but you could easily get a cost-effective taste of the Mallincam family that way, and, because you're buying used, resell to upgrade to latest at pretty much zero loss...

I really appreciate your suggestion but I have spent several thousand of $ on my astro gear and believe that I should go with a great camera to fit the bill. I think that spending just under 2000.00 for a top quality hand crafted video camera is a good investment for my love of the hobby!

 

For your intended use, money is not going to offer much improvement over what you can get for under $700. If you want to image, yes throw more money into the camera for a bigger less sensitive chip, cooled etc. To use as an eyepiece you won't gain anything beyond using a 828/829 based camera like the loadstar X2. As far as I know, it is still the most sensitive chip you can buy in your budget range. Maybe something new has come out that I'm not aware of that is more sensitive?

 

 

 

 

One additional thought for OP.... to really reduce entry cost...

 

Perhaps consider a used Mallincam Color Hyper plus (or thereabouts)... you can get them used over on A-mart pretty frequently... IIRC recently I think I saw one around $500? or so?

 

Anyways, I'm not selling mine; been a while since I used it, but I'm thinking about how nice it might be in my new and reasonably fast AP130GTX....

 

In my 3 years away from CN (only recently ended,btw) I haven't done so much... LOL

 

I remember way back agitating to create this very forum solely from the passion I got from first using the MCHP... and, of course, the resultant equipment upgrades in the search for ever more, and ever faster aperture...

 

the MCHP on my C11 with Hyperstar was pretty amazing last time I did it, probably 5+ years ago (shudder).

Zero to assisted visual in color in about 2 minutes...

 

So much has happened since that i need to catch up.

 

Anyways, sorry for slight diversion, but you could easily get a cost-effective taste of the Mallincam family that way, and, because you're buying used, resell to upgrade to latest at pretty much zero loss...

I really appreciate your suggestion but I have spent several thousand of $ on my astro gear and believe that I should go with a great camera to fit the bill. I think that spending just under 2000.00 for a top quality hand crafted video camera is a good investment for my love of the hobby!

 

For your intended use, money is not going to offer much improvement over what you can get for under $700. If you want to image, yes throw more money into the camera for a bigger less sensitive chip, cooled etc. To use as an eyepiece you won't gain anything beyond using a 828/829 based camera like the loadstar X2. As far as I know, it is still the most sensitive chip you can buy in your budget range. Maybe something new has come out that I'm not aware of that is more sensitive?

 

As I have said a multiple of times, I am interested mainly in obtaining the most sensitive camera on the market which is the Xterminator using the IMX828/829 which is even more sensitive than the LX2 even though it uses the same IMX829 CCD sensor because of the variable gain or AGC. The LX2 has a fixed gain that cannot be changed, I also really like having a TEC for those warm nights + I love the fact that my observing sessions are convenient if I choose not to use a computer due to the built-in camera memories, CPU and DSP. *This to me is worth paying the extra for these features + keep in mind that they are handcrafted and have fantastic support from the owner. 

 

I'm not sure the Mallincam using agc has any more useful gain than the factory defaults of the X2? Has anyone done a side by side tests? I do notice many use the Mallincam at agc = 0 to keep noise down. If it does, I would think you would need to be in dark skies to use it to full effect? Does anyone know what the factory default setting is for the Lodestar verses AGC settings?



#70 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 12:39 PM

 

 

 

 

One additional thought for OP.... to really reduce entry cost...

 

Perhaps consider a used Mallincam Color Hyper plus (or thereabouts)... you can get them used over on A-mart pretty frequently... IIRC recently I think I saw one around $500? or so?

 

Anyways, I'm not selling mine; been a while since I used it, but I'm thinking about how nice it might be in my new and reasonably fast AP130GTX....

 

In my 3 years away from CN (only recently ended,btw) I haven't done so much... LOL

 

I remember way back agitating to create this very forum solely from the passion I got from first using the MCHP... and, of course, the resultant equipment upgrades in the search for ever more, and ever faster aperture...

 

the MCHP on my C11 with Hyperstar was pretty amazing last time I did it, probably 5+ years ago (shudder).

Zero to assisted visual in color in about 2 minutes...

 

So much has happened since that i need to catch up.

 

Anyways, sorry for slight diversion, but you could easily get a cost-effective taste of the Mallincam family that way, and, because you're buying used, resell to upgrade to latest at pretty much zero loss...

I really appreciate your suggestion but I have spent several thousand of $ on my astro gear and believe that I should go with a great camera to fit the bill. I think that spending just under 2000.00 for a top quality hand crafted video camera is a good investment for my love of the hobby!

 

For your intended use, money is not going to offer much improvement over what you can get for under $700. If you want to image, yes throw more money into the camera for a bigger less sensitive chip, cooled etc. To use as an eyepiece you won't gain anything beyond using a 828/829 based camera like the loadstar X2. As far as I know, it is still the most sensitive chip you can buy in your budget range. Maybe something new has come out that I'm not aware of that is more sensitive?

 

 

 

 

One additional thought for OP.... to really reduce entry cost...

 

Perhaps consider a used Mallincam Color Hyper plus (or thereabouts)... you can get them used over on A-mart pretty frequently... IIRC recently I think I saw one around $500? or so?

 

Anyways, I'm not selling mine; been a while since I used it, but I'm thinking about how nice it might be in my new and reasonably fast AP130GTX....

 

In my 3 years away from CN (only recently ended,btw) I haven't done so much... LOL

 

I remember way back agitating to create this very forum solely from the passion I got from first using the MCHP... and, of course, the resultant equipment upgrades in the search for ever more, and ever faster aperture...

 

the MCHP on my C11 with Hyperstar was pretty amazing last time I did it, probably 5+ years ago (shudder).

Zero to assisted visual in color in about 2 minutes...

 

So much has happened since that i need to catch up.

 

Anyways, sorry for slight diversion, but you could easily get a cost-effective taste of the Mallincam family that way, and, because you're buying used, resell to upgrade to latest at pretty much zero loss...

I really appreciate your suggestion but I have spent several thousand of $ on my astro gear and believe that I should go with a great camera to fit the bill. I think that spending just under 2000.00 for a top quality hand crafted video camera is a good investment for my love of the hobby!

 

For your intended use, money is not going to offer much improvement over what you can get for under $700. If you want to image, yes throw more money into the camera for a bigger less sensitive chip, cooled etc. To use as an eyepiece you won't gain anything beyond using a 828/829 based camera like the loadstar X2. As far as I know, it is still the most sensitive chip you can buy in your budget range. Maybe something new has come out that I'm not aware of that is more sensitive?

 

As I have said a multiple of times, I am interested mainly in obtaining the most sensitive camera on the market which is the Xterminator using the IMX828/829 which is even more sensitive than the LX2 even though it uses the same IMX829 CCD sensor because of the variable gain or AGC. The LX2 has a fixed gain that cannot be changed, I also really like having a TEC for those warm nights + I love the fact that my observing sessions are convenient if I choose not to use a computer due to the built-in camera memories, CPU and DSP. *This to me is worth paying the extra for these features + keep in mind that they are handcrafted and have fantastic support from the owner. 

 

I'm not sure the Mallincam using agc has any more useful gain than the factory defaults of the X2? Has anyone done a side by side tests? I do notice many use the Mallincam at agc = 0 to keep noise down. If it does, I would think you would need to be in dark skies to use it to full effect? Does anyone know what the factory default setting is for the Lodestar verses AGC settings?

 

Richard, I was watching Astrogate on NSN and he was using a very narrow 7 nm Ha filter with his Xterminator and had ACG up to 6 out of 8 along with Milostack with it's live stacking. Just let me say that I was blown away how he could capture extremely fast images of faint DSO's (averaging about 5 to 10 secs only) using his VRC10" at f/3.7 using such a narrow filter from Toronto and only to need 2 to 3 images stacked live in order for a nice smooth background. The 2 to 3 stacked was amazingly crisp, clear with fantastic contrast and detail.


Edited by DSO_Viewer, 17 January 2016 - 12:40 PM.


#71 Dwight J

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 01:05 PM

Reducing AGC to "0" is using "CCD mode".  There is no amp glow at this setting and many use it for high dynamic range objects like M42, M81, M87, bright planetaries, and solar system objects.  I normally use AGC 3 and up to 4 using an UHC filter.  Using an Ha filter I would likely raise it to "5" or "6".   At "3" the central area of M42 is overexposed at the minimum exposure of 3 seconds in hyper mode using a C14 at F3.  With AGC at "0" I can just get the Trap and show it with surrounding nebulosity using the HDR function in Miloslick beginning at 3 seconds.  I would suppose it reduces noise as well but this is not the reason I use the camera at AGC "0".  Dark skies are not required.  That you can adjust AGC Is what advantage the OP is looking at.  Tuning the gain to match equipment to conditions and target adds a layer of flexibility in these "outdated" analogue cameras.  Fantastic software like Miloslick allows you to take full advantage of what these cameras can do.  



#72 Richard Whalen

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 01:22 PM

If you are planning on doing narrow band imaging I can see where having extra gain would be handy, but I thought you were going to use it as a eyepiece? Chris does excellent work with his 10" RC at f3.7, no doubt about it. A 10" scope at that short focal length is a formidable tool. I also have a VRC10-T, which I use at f6 with the Lodestar or f8 with a DSLR. A Ha filter hides a lot of sins, so I would not judge it on that alone.

 

It may well be the Xterminator with the 828/829 is the one for you, if you don't mind the added complexity of frame grabbers etc. It is a true video camera, not a usb camera as the Lodestar is and can be used with just a monitor or computer unlike the X2. I also have a video camera which requires a frame grabber etc. I find them a pain in the neck, added complexity compared to a USB camera with it's single cable. Good luck with whatever you choose, both are fine units.



#73 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 01:25 PM

I often use my Xtreme with AGC OFF from my backyard because I prefer not to see the amp glow.  It depends upon the target, scope and sky conditions.  At dark sites I rarely use AGC.

 

Nice thing about the AVS cameras and the Lntech300 PAL is that they don't suffer from amp glow even with AGC at the highest setting.

 

Regards,

Curtis



#74 Richard Whalen

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 05:04 PM

No amp glow with the Lodestar ever```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````



#75 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 07:43 PM

If you are planning on doing narrow band imaging I can see where having extra gain would be handy, but I thought you were going to use it as a eyepiece? Chris does excellent work with his 10" RC at f3.7, no doubt about it. A 10" scope at that short focal length is a formidable tool. I also have a VRC10-T, which I use at f6 with the Lodestar or f8 with a DSLR. A Ha filter hides a lot of sins, so I would not judge it on that alone.

 

It may well be the Xterminator with the 828/829 is the one for you, if you don't mind the added complexity of frame grabbers etc. It is a true video camera, not a usb camera as the Lodestar is and can be used with just a monitor or computer unlike the X2. I also have a video camera which requires a frame grabber etc. I find them a pain in the neck, added complexity compared to a USB camera with it's single cable. Good luck with whatever you choose, both are fine units.

I do plan on using it as an eyepiece and I just provided an example of how AGC or gain comes in handy, but I must say that 5 to 10 secs tops using a very narrow 7 nm Ha sure comes close to that eyepiece experience ;) .




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