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ASI1600MC Cooled - Testing and Initial Impressions

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#126 Ron in Michigan

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:51 AM

would the 120MC make a good guide camera?  Am I better off guiding with mono vs color? 



#127 OleCuss

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:52 AM

When the ASI1600 was first announced the "window" was an IR filter.  There was a lot of concern voiced about that on this forum since many of us have well-corrected optics and want to access Hydrogen-alpha.  ZWO pointed out that their IR filter was allowing the H-Alpha and so far as many of us were concerned that was good enough.

 

But ZWO had heard the concern and took away the IR filter idea and just made the window an Anti-Reflectance bit of glass.

 

So early on the idea was to have the built-in IR filter but that was rapidly changed.

 

So far as needing the filter?  If you have a refractive element in your optics you at least need to think about needing an IR filter.  So if you are using something like a typical ED-Doublet or an Achromatic refractor you will have star-bloat if you don't use the IR filter.

 

But a good triplet apochromatic refractor will do a very good job of focusing the IR along with the other wavelengths and for most purposes we then do not want the IR filter.

 

So the question of whether or not you want an IR filter depends significantly on the optics you are using.


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#128 Ron in Michigan

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:13 AM

I think  ASI 071MC  due to sony sensor (I hate that they don't want to say what sensor is in the 1600).

Then the 120MM for guiding. With the orion finder scope at 109.00

 

I should then be complete. Yea I'd like the 120MC for planets too - but mono will guide better and find a star easier. 

sound good?



#129 mclewis1

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:15 AM

would the 120MC make a good guide camera?  Am I better off guiding with mono vs color? 

The ASI120 and cameras with the same sensor are a bit noisy but make good guiding cameras. If all you are doing is guiding (and perhaps collimation and things like that) then mono is preferred. If you are going to do some planetary imaging or basic DSO work then you will want a color model (the color version of the ASI120 is however quite noisy and doesn't do well even with basic DSO work).

 

I think the combination of a 1600 color camera as your primary DSO camera and an imx290 mono camera for guiding, collimation, mono imaging, advanced planetary (where you will need filters), etc. would a good effective combination rather than spending more on a single 071 based camera.



#130 Aivar88

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 10:12 AM

anyone tested 1600mc-c against 183c for eaa ?



#131 BigBanger

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 11:23 AM

I have first hand experience with the 1600MC-C and 071MC-C. I have found the 071MC-C to be vastly superior to the 1600MC-C. Due to its greater full well capacity, and 14bit vs 12bit ADU, it generates richly colored stars, unlike the near colorless stars produced by the 1600MC-C. I believe this is because the 1600MC-C more quickly and fully saturates the RGB pixels leading to more "white extrapolations" when debayering is performed..... My understanding might be a bit shaky but the results I've gotten have been clear - The 071MC-C is the superior camera..... If you can swing the extra dollars, get the 071MC-C. You won't regret it.


Edited by BigBanger, 21 March 2017 - 11:27 AM.

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#132 AstroOlly

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 11:45 AM

I think  ASI 071MC  due to sony sensor (I hate that they don't want to say what sensor is in the 1600).

Then the 120MM for guiding. With the orion finder scope at 109.00

 

I should then be complete. Yea I'd like the 120MC for planets too - but mono will guide better and find a star easier. 

sound good?

I think the 1600 sensors are Panasonic.....but not 100% sure, I read that on the UK SGL forum site... :)

Olly



#133 AstroOlly

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 11:50 AM

I have first hand experience with the 1600MC-C and 071MC-C. I have found the 071MC-C to be vastly superior to the 1600MC-C. Due to its greater full well capacity, and 14bit vs 12bit ADU, it generates richly colored stars, unlike the near colorless stars produced by the 1600MC-C. I believe this is because the 1600MC-C more quickly and fully saturates the RGB pixels leading to more "white extrapolations" when debayering is performed..... My understanding might be a bit shaky but the results I've gotten have been clear - The 071MC-C is the superior camera..... If you can swing the extra dollars, get the 071MC-C. You won't regret it.

Very interesting, I am keen on info on these 071MC cameras, does this one come with IR window or plain glass..?

lly



#134 BigBanger

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 12:00 PM

 

I have first hand experience with the 1600MC-C and 071MC-C. I have found the 071MC-C to be vastly superior to the 1600MC-C. Due to its greater full well capacity, and 14bit vs 12bit ADU, it generates richly colored stars, unlike the near colorless stars produced by the 1600MC-C. I believe this is because the 1600MC-C more quickly and fully saturates the RGB pixels leading to more "white extrapolations" when debayering is performed..... My understanding might be a bit shaky but the results I've gotten have been clear - The 071MC-C is the superior camera..... If you can swing the extra dollars, get the 071MC-C. You won't regret it.

Very interesting, I am keen on info on these 071MC cameras, does this one come with IR window or plain glass..?

lly

 

I don't know and the ZWO website does not specify the type of glass used. Maybe because I use APO's to image (which do a good job on bringing relevant frequencies to a common focus) that has not been a consideration.



#135 DonBoy

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 02:52 PM

I also have the ASI1600MC-C and the ASI071MC-C.  The sensor in the 1600 is a Panasonic.  The 1600MC and ASI071MC come with AR glass.

 

I don't do traditional AP but a modified version where I do enough stacks with short exposure to get a reasonable image.

 

I'm currently testing the ASI071 and haven't formed an opinion one way or the other in regards to which I prefer. 

 

Here are links to my ASI1600 and ASI071 albums for comparison:

 

https://www.flickr.c...157668962841446

 

https://www.flickr.c...157679587372466

 

 

Here is a link to my thread on the testing of the ASI071:

 

https://www.cloudyni...a/#entry7673546


Edited by DonBoy, 21 March 2017 - 03:33 PM.

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#136 Ron in Michigan

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 03:31 PM

I went between.  McLewis1  suggested a upgrade for the guide camera so I went for that one.  

sales person said the same -  12bit vs 14bit and larger pixels so I went for the better camera. (thanks BigBanger)

 

I hate to spend - then upgrade 6mo later. 

 

 

 

ZWO ASI071MC Color CMOS Cooled Imaging Camera - ASI071MC-COOL
ZWO-ASI071MC-Cool
$1,257.00

Ordered: 1
$1,257.00

Orion Mini 50 mm Guide Scope - 08891
ORI-08891
$102.99

Ordered: 1
$102.99

ZWO ASI290MM USB 3.0 Monochrome Imaging Camera - ASI290MM
ZWO-ASI290MM
$339.00

Ordered: 1
$339.00



#137 Astrojedi

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:28 AM

I have first hand experience with the 1600MC-C and 071MC-C. I have found the 071MC-C to be vastly superior to the 1600MC-C. Due to its greater full well capacity, and 14bit vs 12bit ADU, it generates richly colored stars, unlike the near colorless stars produced by the 1600MC-C. I believe this is because the 1600MC-C more quickly and fully saturates the RGB pixels leading to more "white extrapolations" when debayering is performed..... My understanding might be a bit shaky but the results I've gotten have been clear - The 071MC-C is the superior camera..... If you can swing the extra dollars, get the 071MC-C. You won't regret it.

The saturated stars are likely due to using too high a gain setting with too long an exposure for that gain setting and then stretching the image in SW. The 14bit adc does not help as much as you think it does especially if you are stacking.

 

The Panasonic sensor is actually very clean and very low power consumption compared to some of the Sony sensors. The appeal of the 071 is really the larger APS-C sensor.



#138 BigBanger

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:47 AM

 

I have first hand experience with the 1600MC-C and 071MC-C. I have found the 071MC-C to be vastly superior to the 1600MC-C. Due to its greater full well capacity, and 14bit vs 12bit ADU, it generates richly colored stars, unlike the near colorless stars produced by the 1600MC-C. I believe this is because the 1600MC-C more quickly and fully saturates the RGB pixels leading to more "white extrapolations" when debayering is performed..... My understanding might be a bit shaky but the results I've gotten have been clear - The 071MC-C is the superior camera..... If you can swing the extra dollars, get the 071MC-C. You won't regret it.

The saturated stars are likely due to using too high a gain setting with too long an exposure for that gain setting and then stretching the image in SW. The 14bit adc does not help as much as you think it does especially if you are stacking.

 

The Panasonic sensor is actually very clean and very low power consumption compared to some of the Sony sensors. The appeal of the 071 is really the larger APS-C sensor.

 

 

Both cameras were running at unity gain, and both took 2-3 minute exposures (depending on my imaging scale and how well my mount was tracking on a given night). So I believe my conclusion was based on an "apples to apples" comparison.

 

I've read the "14bit is not that helpful when stacking" argument and I remain largely unconvinced.

 

In general I find your position to be based on stats and probably not on real world experience. My conclusion are based on having used both cameras and obtaining noticeably better results with the 071.


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#139 Relativist

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:55 AM

Since this is the EAA forum the discussion here is primarily EAA use. Comparing cameras at unity gain does not give us EAA practitioners enough information.

Also it'd be nice if there were a separate VS thread. I'm sure there's interest.
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#140 Astrojedi

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 12:42 PM

 

 

I have first hand experience with the 1600MC-C and 071MC-C. I have found the 071MC-C to be vastly superior to the 1600MC-C. Due to its greater full well capacity, and 14bit vs 12bit ADU, it generates richly colored stars, unlike the near colorless stars produced by the 1600MC-C. I believe this is because the 1600MC-C more quickly and fully saturates the RGB pixels leading to more "white extrapolations" when debayering is performed..... My understanding might be a bit shaky but the results I've gotten have been clear - The 071MC-C is the superior camera..... If you can swing the extra dollars, get the 071MC-C. You won't regret it.

The saturated stars are likely due to using too high a gain setting with too long an exposure for that gain setting and then stretching the image in SW. The 14bit adc does not help as much as you think it does especially if you are stacking.

 

The Panasonic sensor is actually very clean and very low power consumption compared to some of the Sony sensors. The appeal of the 071 is really the larger APS-C sensor.

 

 

Both cameras were running at unity gain, and both took 2-3 minute exposures (depending on my imaging scale and how well my mount was tracking on a given night). So I believe my conclusion was based on an "apples to apples" comparison.

 

I've read the "14bit is not that helpful when stacking" argument and I remain largely unconvinced.

 

In general I find your position to be based on stats and probably not on real world experience. My conclusion are based on having used both cameras and obtaining noticeably better results with the 071.

 

 

If used properly you should not be getting saturated stars with the 1600. I own most of these cameras and I use the ASI1600 extensively for imaging and photometry. I have not experienced any saturated stars.

 

Given the very low read noise and the 12 bit ADC you should not be doing long exposures (relatively speaking) for bright objects as it introduces quantization loss (similar to clipping) which is likely what you are experiencing with the 1600.

 

If imaging brighter stars and clusters I would watch the histogram closely for clipping. If you think you are clipping on the high end I would reduce the exposure time and/or gain.

 

And loss of dynamic range in a single exposure if any is quite easy to recover with stacking. This is quite easy to show mathematically. Many including me prefer shorter exposures at high gain and continuous stacking for a more live EAA experience in which case the 14bit ADC makes little difference.


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#141 OleCuss

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 07:06 PM

 

Shorter exposure = Lower signal to noise ration and larger number of raw images to preprocess. Also lowering the gain is not ideal for deep sky imagers (as I am) trying capture low signal, extended objects (nebulae, etc.).

 

It's one thing if you purchased a 1600MC before the 071's came out and you're trying to work around its limitations. It's another thing to choose to save a few hundred dollars by buying the 1600MC instead of the 071 then having to deal with the above mentioned limitations.

 

 

 
 
 

I'm not sure that is entirely correct in all ways.

 

A shorter single exposure at the same ISO/gain does have a worse SNR than would a somewhat longer exposure properly done.

 

However, the result of a series of stacked shorter exposures properly collected will not necessarily have a worse SNR than a series of stacked longer exposures.  Depending on the characteristics of the sensor and such it is actually possible to have a better SNR for a series of stacked shorter exposures (with higher gain) than with a stacked series of longer exposures with equivalent total acquisition time.  I'm not saying that this is generally the case, but I believe it can be the case.

 

And yup, processing a whole lot of shorter exposures can be a processor and memory hog.  For some of us that isn't too much of a problem because we may have a really fast system.

 

All that said, I actually agree that for many of us the IMX071 camera may be a better deal.  If the image circle is big enough for the IMX071 sensor then I think the price increment would probably be worth getting the ASI071 over the ASI1600.  I like starting with better quality - it makes it easier to get better quality results in the end.



#142 ChrisFC

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 04:24 AM

I got the asi071 for the sensor size and bigger well depth and bit size. I use it on a refractor and a newt with no focal reduction.

I think for most eaa'ers the aps-c sensor might be too big as they use a lot of focal reduction. The vignetting would be horrendous

#143 mclewis1

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:41 AM

I think for most eaa'ers the aps-c sensor might be too big as they use a lot of focal reduction. The vignetting would be horrendous

Yes, I think for most folks achieving more aggressive focal reduction with these larger sensors is going to cost real money (not to mention the time and frustration getting these custom configurations properly set up). Some of the more cost effective solutions using these larger sensor cameras are going to be with fast imaging oriented Newtonians with a field flattener. 



#144 A. Viegas

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 10:04 AM

EAA  is simply  using an electronic device, being a night vision electronic device or a camera based on CMOS or CCD technology to capture a 'Live" view in as quickly as possible and with as little effort as possible, such that it approximates visual with an eyepiece in terms of immediate results...

 

of course nowadays the above description can apply to lots of stuff... when you use SGP or Maxim to frame and focus your image and you download your first 120s exposure of your target, that technically could be considered EAA, as you have not done any post processing or adustments...    usually in this forum, users with equipment just like you would work with a 'live' viewing program like Sharpcap or AstroToaster for instance and on the fly-view and stack frames as they come in, live tweaking histograms and getting enjoyment in the chase of 'viewing' astro targets...      Later we can take our saved stack of files and do exactly what you may do with pixinsight or DSS or photoshop and make nice pictures, but its during the acquisition that we are maybe more engaged in viewing the objects rather than intent on collecting data for later processing...

 

 

Al


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#145 BigBanger

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 12:00 PM

Thank you, Al!

#146 mclewis1

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:19 AM

Please educate me, what is EAA and how does it differ from CCD/ CMOS imaging, especially as it applies to what enjoy doing, deep sky imaging?

I had a feeling from your earlier posts that you might eventually ask a question like that. In addition to what Al said it would probably be helpful to read the TOS for this forum - https://www.cloudyni...tion=rules&f=73

 

There's also a little leeway in the interpretation of how to create appropriate images for posting here ... it's not all about special rules and such.

 

To understand why things are they way they are today I've found it's often helpful to understand where we came from. The catalyst for EAA style observing was analogue video camera use. There originally it was actually somewhat difficult to actually capture an image (old complex frame grabbers were sometimes used and some folks even simply used a regular camera to capture what's displayed on a video monitor, something that still takes place today).


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#147 chuckscap

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 02:09 PM

how is this 16 megapixel sensor going to be used for EAA? too many pixels . This is AP .

 

If you're not doing planetary but DSO EAA and taking 5 to 10 second exposures, the data rate shouldn't be an issue, should it?



#148 OleCuss

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 02:41 PM

 

how is this 16 megapixel sensor going to be used for EAA? too many pixels . This is AP .

 

If you're not doing planetary but DSO EAA and taking 5 to 10 second exposures, the data rate shouldn't be an issue, should it?

 

 

With 5-10 second exposures data rate should not be an issue for pretty much any of our systems.

 

I think I saw where someone was doing even planetary imaging with the ASI1600 at (I think) 23FPS.  At 23FPS you can do some pretty good planetary imaging (likely not the best, but good).  IIRC they did recommend that your hard drive be a SSD because at 23FPS you may have problems with a normal hard drive keeping up with the data.

 

I think that either/both the ASI1600 and the ASI071 (and similar) are very good for doing NRTV - and save your subs to process great images for posterity!




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