I recently upgraded to ZWO ASI224MC and Firecapture, having previously used NexImage5 and iCap. I'm getting poor results, which are evident when I try to post process the stacked TIF files.
I have found that if I set the histogram too high at capture (say, 80%) then I've only got 20% to play around with in post processing (Registax). Am I right in thinking that the primary reason in keeping the histogram at a chosen level (let's say 55 - 60% as per Kokatha man's suggestion) is to allow for enough elbow room in post processing so that the wavelet adjustments, gamma adjustments etc will still result in a final histogram that is less than 100%? Any final histogram over 100% is undesirable, right? This modus operandi served me well with the NexImage 5 in iCap.
I know that more frames captured means a better final picture (as there are more to choose the best 40% from, say). This is why I upgraded to the ZWO ASI224MC.
My way of thinking is this -
The histogram is a function of fps and gain. The higher the fps the better, clearly. Once I've set the fps, I set the gain next, but not so that it means exceeding the preferred % histogram. Would you agree that this is the right methodology?
My settings are as follows
For my Jupiter captures in Firecapture, Red is 54 and Blue is 96. Brightness is down at zero, gamma is set to 50 (OFF). Autoexposure is OFF. HighSpeed is OFF(for now, anyway). HardwareBin is OFF, as is AutoHist. Are these the settings that you super-imaging folks use?
..... is there something I'm overlooking?
I open the avi in Autostakkert!2.
I analyse it.
Quality Estimator is set to Local. Noise Robust is set to 6. Gradient for Jupiter.
I set align points, about 30. On the planet, not on the edges.
I stack it.
Question: Should I locate the bar to the highest quality location (the gray graph, not the green one) in the quality graph first (so at the highest quality frame, right?) and set my align points there?
I open the TIF in Registax.
Wavelet Scheme is set to Linear
Wavelet Filter is set to Gaussian
I run the histogram
The Red, Green and Blue frequency lines extend beyond the 100% mark. But hang on! I captured with a 50% histogram! What's going on?
The planet's image looks way too exposed. Now, obviously, any trimming of the histogram makes it even worse.
There is no clearly defined left hand side bump in the histogram which depicts the abundance of pixels which captured the black background. There was when I used NI5 and iCap.
OK, in the RGB Balance window I can pull the red, green and blue lines back into the histogram.... but why are they beyond 100% in the first place?
Another issue - Processing Area
In Registax, under Settings, I can adjust the size of the processing area, because who wants to process a whole expanse of black sky when you can adjust to the processing area to snugly fit around the planet, right? No matter what size, I set the processing area to, the four right-angled corners are always in the corners of the window. Help!
I collimated the scope a week ago. I got it spot on.
I now have a motorized focuser. My focussing is better now than before.
I can thus rule out collimation and focussing as contributing factors.
I don't do anything else in the right hand window.
No point in going near wavelets now as they're just going to blow out the planet even worse....
I'm sure the ASI224 is way better than the NI5, the proof is in the pictures all over CN.
Here's the result - it's pretty bad.
If you have any pointers I'd be extremely grateful.
Many thanks folks