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RisingTech - cheap IMX224, IMX290, ICX829 alternatives

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#1 CharlesC

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 05:26 PM

This company was mentioned in another thread, but seems to deserve its own discussion. 

RisingTech is selling cheap Touptek alternatives of IMX224, IMX290, ICX829 cameras,

and a GPCMOS form factor IMX224 camera.

 

Anyone tried them yet?


Edited by Relativist, 06 March 2017 - 03:29 AM.
typo


#2 ccs_hello

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 07:35 PM

Charles,

 

First vendor's CMOS cams (IMX224 and IMX290 based) have the max exp time of 15 sec.  This is the default/natiev SONY Exmor capability (as the image sensor is driving in the streaming mode.)

GPCMOS 224 cam has the long exp (max time: 800 sec.)

 

This illustrate the facts that althought SONY Exmor image sensor is born with all its capabilities "designed in" by SONY design engineers, <-- this is how most of the imagers are using and made them almost common to each other,

some talented astro imager design firms managed to unlock some desirable features.

 

First baby step is to make the normally not so long-exp capable image sensor SoC to do long exposure,

second trick is to reduce sensor noise when in long exp mode.

The pioneer is QHY who pull tricks from the hat, ZWO is not too far behind in my view.  Other vendors/mfgs I have no clue.

In China, it is so easy to "learn" from each other.

 

Oh, BTW, some of the tricks are inside camera electronics with special firmware augmenting.  It's not just the PC software difference.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello


Edited by ccs_hello, 20 December 2016 - 07:36 PM.

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#3 blass

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 08:25 PM

Would someone also look at this IMX185© and MT9P001 from same producer, with Wifi to Android/iOS client?

 

Will them be mounted to an eyepiece with this T to C Adapter

 

If they can be mounted, will them work to take planetary pics or serve as good observing on phones/tablets tools?

 

thanks



#4 nic35

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 08:49 PM

Charles,

 

First vendor's CMOS cams (IMX224 and IMX290 based) have the max exp time of 15 sec.  This is the default/natiev SONY Exmor capability (as the image sensor is driving in the streaming mode.)

GPCMOS 224 cam has the long exp (max time: 800 sec.)

 

This illustrate the facts that althought SONY Exmor image sensor is born with all its capabilities "designed in" by SONY design engineers, <-- this is how most of the imagers are using and made them almost common to each other,

some talented astro imager design firms managed to unlock some desirable features.

 

First baby step is to make the normally not so long-exp capable image sensor SoC to do long exposure,

second trick is to reduce sensor noise when in long exp mode.

The pioneer is QHY who pull tricks from the hat, ZWO is not too far behind in my view.  Other vendors/mfgs I have no clue.

In China, it is so easy to "learn" from each other.

 

Oh, BTW, some of the tricks are inside camera electronics with special firmware augmenting.  It's not just the PC software difference.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello

FWIW the first two links are for cameras sold as microscope cameras, not astro cams. Im not sure why, but perhaps thats the difference

 

Clear skies yes!  Warm would be good, too.  



#5 ccs_hello

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 09:11 PM

microscope imager == as plain as possible imaging gadget



#6 ccs_hello

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 09:17 PM

Would someone also look at this IMX185© and MT9P001 from same producer, with Wifi to Android/iOS client?

 

Will them be mounted to an eyepiece with this T to C Adapter

 

If they can be mounted, will them work to take planetary pics or serve as good observing on phones/tablets tools?

 

thanks

For EAA purpose, I strongly suggest moving away from the Android/IOS tablet for displaying (and/or even processing) lala land.

 

These 2 cams should be best viewed as self-contained digital camera or car DVR type of devices.  It's core processing engine ruins everything.

WiFi will just distract, HDMI output without a helpful DSP isn't beneficial.

 

Going back to the USB based image head is the right approach.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello


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#7 blass

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 10:08 PM

 

Would someone also look at this IMX185© and MT9P001 from same producer, with Wifi to Android/iOS client?

 

Will them be mounted to an eyepiece with this T to C Adapter

 

If they can be mounted, will them work to take planetary pics or serve as good observing on phones/tablets tools?

 

thanks

For EAA purpose, I strongly suggest moving away from the Android/IOS tablet for displaying (and/or even processing) lala land.

 

These 2 cams should be best viewed as self-contained digital camera or car DVR type of devices.  It's core processing engine ruins everything.

WiFi will just distract, HDMI output without a helpful DSP isn't beneficial.

 

Going back to the USB based image head is the right approach.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello

 

Hi ccs_hello, thank you again for keep answering of these camera questions :)

 

I see, maybe they are fine to work as microscope lighting condition imaging, that's why they are made as one at the first place...



#8 ChrisFC

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 04:20 AM

They can probably sell them for more if stated usage in microscopy

 

I'm using astro cams at work for microscopy - fluorescence and near-infrared. I started because standard microscopy cameras are horrendously expensive. For example, its well over $5k in Oz for ICX825 based biological cameras, while an Atik 414EX mono is under $2k (plus the cost of a small adaptor).



#9 whwang

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 10:54 AM

I am more interested in the overall quality of their astro-cameras.  For example, how is the driver of their guiding cameras?  Is the USB interface stable/reliable?  Anyone had tried?



#10 Astrojedi

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 11:10 AM

I am more interested in the overall quality of their astro-cameras.  For example, how is the driver of their guiding cameras?  Is the USB interface stable/reliable?  Anyone had tried?

This is very important point. Driver issues and SW support can make or break the experience. Manufacturers like QHY and ASI are very active in working with and supporting developers such as SharpCap, Frirecapture and others. I used a QHY based 224 a few months ago with SharpCap before support for their cameras had stabilized. It was practically unusable. Just to be clear these issues have been fixed now. But was a clear example that all cameras are not equal even if they use the same sensor.


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#11 CharlesC

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 02:52 PM

Charles,

 

First vendor's CMOS cams (IMX224 and IMX290 based) have the max exp time of 15 sec.  This is the default/natiev SONY Exmor capability (as the image sensor is driving in the streaming mode.)

GPCMOS 224 cam has the long exp (max time: 800 sec.)

 

ccs_hello

Okay, so the first two cams are duds due to short exposure times.  The IMX829 maybe viable, but expensive experiment.  How about that GCMOS 224?  About $100 cheaper than competitors.  It could be a dynamite deal, but a risk till someone gets one and reviews it. 

 

Has anyone bought a RisingTech GCMOS 224 cam yet?


Edited by CharlesC, 27 December 2016 - 02:53 PM.


#12 ccs_hello

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 05:51 PM

The hallmark of an astro imager, IMHO, is able to

(1) support hardware-based long exposure (at least 5 seconds or longer)

and at the same time,

(2) still able to produce relatively low-noise in prolonged operation "before software algorithm beautifying it" is applied.  

 

The second criteria requires actual data outside the imager's product spec. sheet. :) .

 

In the old analog video world, we were able to purchase inexpensive camera boards ($15 - $60 each) and the tuition hit isn't so significant.

IMHO, in the new astro CMOS imager world where price is $150- $$$ each, with all kind of sellers, these mfgs should offer beta cameras to neutral evaporators to gain reputation.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello


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#13 nic35

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 11:24 PM

Well, I bit on one of the GPCMOS IMX224 cameras See OP for link.  Delivery took 9 days from date of order.  Packaging was acceptable, and everything arrived in good shape.  Fit and Finish are quite good.  One feature I really like is a small safety lanyard that you can use to secure the camera to you scope, to prevent it falling to the ground when you forget to tighten a thumbscrew someplace.  Never happended to anyone here, I'm sure !

 

It was delivered, of course in a driving rainstorm that turned to snow shortly after.  So there's not much (actually nothing) in the way of real world imaging to report.  Hopefully in the next couple of days, if holiday grog doesn't get in the way.

 

I gave it a test ride inside.  Sharpcap recognizes the camera, and all the controls seem to work.  Max exposure that SC reports is 1024 seconds.  

 

It comes bundled with some touptek software that seems to have been rebranded to Risingtech.  There is a users manual, but it is written around their microscope cams, and is in fractured english.  I spent almost zero time with it. The aplication looks a little daunting - certainly compared to SC.

 

ASCOM platform, camera drivers and ST4 drivers included. 

 

I'll post some images when I can.  Although I should note that I'm crawling up the EEA learning curve.

 

TTFN, and Happy New Year to all

 

john


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#14 mclewis1

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:06 AM

John,

 

A couple of things ...

 

- you can download the Mallincam SkyRaider manual. It covers a number of the Touptek cameras but I don't believe that the ver 5 manual specifically covers the SkyRaider AG1.2c camera (the one with the IMX 224 sensor). That said it does a good job of going over all the software's functionality.  http://www.mallincam..._manual_5.0.pdf

 

- There are multiple ways for your camera to be handled by SharpCap. As a Directshow device, as an ASCOM camera, etc. Does your camera show up as a specific device (with it's own name)? If not you should be able to download the Altar Astro drivers for their version of the camera.

http://cameras.altairastro.com/

 

This works for the Mallincam version of the camera (using it with the Altair drivers and the SharpCap software). It seems to offer the best control over the camera (compared to the DirectShow and ASCOM drivers).

 

 

When you use the camera pay close attention to the dark field subtraction feature and the histogram adjustments (it takes some practice to get comfortable with the histogram adjustments), they are IMHO the two most powerful image enhancement features in the software.



#15 nic35

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:03 AM

Mark:

 

Thanks for the tips.  

 

I forgot to mention that the direct show drivers are included.

 

Sharpcap ID's the camera as ToupcamAstro.  What makes you say "better control" using the Altair drivers ?  

 

john



#16 mclewis1

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:57 AM

John, The layout of the controls seemed better to me. I also found the smoothness of the controls better. A year ago I also noticed that there were more controls available via the specific camera driver (not sure exactly what to call these ... but they show up in SharpCap as a separate specific camera).

 

My experiences were based on using the Mallincam AGm with an early release of the Altair Astro camera drivers.

 

Those experiences were also similar with PHDGuide2. Initially the camera specific drivers worked better ... but over time the ASCOM drivers improved and I'm not sure there's much difference today.

 

Overall I found the DirectShow drivers the least functional, ASCOM drivers were initially pretty basic but really improved over time and the specific camera driver always seemed to be the best choice.



#17 nic35

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:59 PM

Seems like there are "brothers" of these available through Amazon for about the same price point.  

 

See https://www.amazon.c...1N3JZH45PB4CREW

 

Given Amazon's return policy, I'd probably have gone there rather than aliexpress.  Not that I have any experience, good or bad with aliexpress.

 

Looks like I should be able to get out Sunday night without gale force winds and 20 degree wind chills.

 

Happy New Year to all 



#18 ccs_hello

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 05:38 AM

Caution

 

That AMZ linked model probably is using Micron/Aptina/On-Semi AR0130C image sensor as opposed to SONY Exmor.

Never, ever buy any imaging product that does not disclose image sensor model number.

 

<edit to add product link

 

GCMOS01200C

http://www.microynte...gcmos01200.html


Edited by ccs_hello, 31 December 2016 - 06:23 AM.

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#19 ccs_hello

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 05:49 AM

Also, I've learned never mix up AMZ's own reputation with third party sellers'.

This includes independent listings (AMZ Marketplace) as well as the tag-on to the main AMZ listings (also sold by ...)



#20 CharlesC

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 08:03 AM

Seems like there are "brothers" of these available through Amazon for about the same price point.  

 

Given Amazon's return policy, I'd probably have gone there rather than aliexpress.  Not that I have any experience, good or bad with aliexpress.

 

Looks like I should be able to get out Sunday night without gale force winds and 20 degree wind chills.

It doesn't state sensor type, so almost for sure its Aptina.  There are a bunch on ebay and all are Aptina.  Many on Aliexpress but only Risingtech has 224 sensor.



#21 nic35

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 10:30 AM

So, indeed looks can be deceiving. In the spirit of trust, but verify, how does one confirm that t he rising tech camera indeed uses t he Sony sensor?

 

And I assume the alternati v es are less desirable?

 

J



#22 CA Curtis 17

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 10:44 AM

John,

 

The Alie Express add specifies the sensor.

 

Regards,

Curtis

 

Item specifics

Brand Name:RisingCam                          LensType:Reflective

Model Number:GPCMOS                        Type:Telescope

Weight(kg):1                                             Size:35*62mm

Sensor:Sony IMX224LQR - 1/3"              Resolution:1.2mp

Interface size:1.25"                                  output:USB2.0

Shell material :Aluminum                          FPS/Resolution:30@640x480 12@1280x960

feature:auto-guiding                                  application:telescope camera

Long exposure:0.4ms-800s



#23 CharlesC

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 11:33 AM

So, indeed looks can be deceiving. In the spirit of trust, but verify, how does one confirm that t he rising tech camera indeed uses t he Sony sensor?

 

And I assume the alternati v es are less desirable?

 

J

That's a good question. How it performs will be a big indicator.  The Aptina sensor is very noisy while the 224 sensor is extremely quiet.  Another method is to take a picture of the sensor and post it.  It can be compared to verify its really 224 sensor.  You would need one of those cheap USB microscopes to do that.

 

Given that Risingtech is selling several other astronomy cameras, most likely its a 224,

but hey its from china, so its best to verify. 


Edited by CharlesC, 31 December 2016 - 11:36 AM.


#24 ccs_hello

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 01:06 PM

Checking the image sensor patterns to avoid the "switch"

http://www.cloudynig...s/#entry6676040


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#25 nic35

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 03:23 PM

Checking the image sensor patterns to avoid the "switch"

http://www.cloudynig...s/#entry6676040

It looks just like the picture of the 225 sensor in post #3.  I didn't try to match each pair of connections, jusy the general layout.

 

No USB camera here, and no need to strain the WAF for a one-use gizmo.

 

j




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