My latest learning/amusement with my ASI178MM-Cool camera is the result of experimenting with the gain and offset settings. Does anyone have any advice or experience in optimizing these settings for ZWO cameras?
In my case the camera has 15K full well depth and 2^14 = 16 k bit depth, so initially I left the gain at 0 and adjusted the exposure time. But two nights ago I increased the gain to 375 and shot 1000 subs at 3 seconds. I think I went deeper than ever before (I was also clipping the brightest stars). So perhaps previously I wasn't filling my well up very efficiently.
How can I know what the pixel values are? In a given image, how many pixels should be at max (clipped)? Is the histogram a good enough guide (peak at 1/4 to 1/3 from the left) and not touching/barely touching the right?
I also increased the offset. Even though I shoot in a white zone, due to the small pixel size and short exposures and quantization error some of my pixels might still read zero. Does it make sense to increase the offset? How can I optimize this? Again, does the histogram serve as a guide (not touching the left)?
Thanks for your invaluable advice and experience.