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ASI New Camera -- 294 Pro ! - beta testing

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#76 Astrojedi

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 02:03 PM

Butterfly Nebula next to Sadr. A single unstacked 8s exposure using the C8 Hyperstar and Astronomik CLS filter. x2 bin. SharpCap Pro v3 running on Compute Stick. No calibration or post processing. Click to see full size.

 

 

Butterfly Nebula Capture_0001 8s.jpg


Edited by Astrojedi, 19 September 2017 - 02:05 PM.

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#77 Astrojedi

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 02:07 PM

Hiten--

 

Great report. Very pleased to see you re beta testing this camera also! Now if SX would just announce they have a version coming out I would be bounce.gif Would love to see how my MN190 would handle this sensor.

Thanks. I would love to have an SX version (assuming it is priced right) just so that I can use SLL. Although SharpCap Live Stacking now works just as well and is very stable. One SLL feature I miss is color saturation controls which really used to make my Lodestar and Ultrastar captures look colorful.


Edited by Astrojedi, 19 September 2017 - 02:51 PM.


#78 Astrojedi

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 02:10 PM

NGC 7000 North American Nebula. Stack of 8x15s exposures. Same setup as above. There was a light layer of clouds due to which the image is pretty bright and the vignetting more obvious.

 

Click for full size.

 

NGC7000 Stack_8frames_120s.jpg

 

 


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#79 Ain Soph Aur

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 02:23 PM

Guys,  big question for me, is this ZWO camera USB3? I am guessing it is since they have seem to make that their standard. I have been unable to get my ASI224MC to work via my Startech USB2 over CAT extender out to my remote mount in the pasture, 100% dropped frames no matter settings or exposures.



#80 Astrojedi

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 02:34 PM

Brandon,

 

This is a USB 3 camera.

 

Both my ASI224 and ASI1600 have USB 3 and work fine for me over the StarTech. This seems to be some other issue since you are getting 100% dropped frames which should never happen.

 

What is your total cable length and is it a Cat5 or Cat6?

 

Hiten


Edited by Astrojedi, 19 September 2017 - 02:36 PM.


#81 A. Viegas

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 03:11 PM

Guys,  big question for me, is this ZWO camera USB3? I am guessing it is since they have seem to make that their standard. I have been unable to get my ASI224MC to work via my Startech USB2 over CAT extender out to my remote mount in the pasture, 100% dropped frames no matter settings or exposures.

Hi Brandon

Do you have a powered USB2 hub at both ends of your CAT5 cable?   I find that unless you have power on both ends that you will not be able to use USB extenders even the powered CAT5 ones.   I have two different USB2 cat 5 extenders and I can get one of them to work with my Dazzle frame grabber and it works with my RT224 (clone of ASI224).   However, I highly recommend placing a laptop out there or a compute stick.  You can alway stick a repeater out there if your signal is low.

 

 

Al



#82 A. Viegas

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 03:14 PM

Great captures Hiten!    You really make me want to get a Hyperstar... unfortunately both my C8 and C11 are the OLD non fastar scopes and it becomes expensive quick to add hyperstar and the conversion kit!!!

I am glad you got binning to work.  I am going to go back and see why the binning was not working for me when I last tested.   This coming weekend looks good so I plan on using the 294 Pro again.   
 

By the way "PRO" means there is a dedicated 256mb capture buffer so as Hiten mentioned this means the risk of dropping frames EVEN AT SLOWER USB2 speeds is very low, which is good news for many of us who run at USB2.

 

Al



#83 XS_Man

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 03:16 PM

Hi Al,

Hi Astrojedi,

Hi all,

 

Thanks Astrojedi for these new images and "feeling".

 

For those interested, Sam has given the price of ASI 294, here :

 

https://zwoug.org/vi...php?f=21&t=7406

 

"the price will be around $100 more than color 1600
it will come in cooled and uncooled version"

 

An other question for Al and Astrojedi :

 

Do you have tested max frame rate ?

Is 120 fps really possible at full frame  when recording video using USB 3.0 (need a big PC

configuration with a good SSD, I guess !) ????

 

Thanks

 

Albéric


Edited by XS_Man, 19 September 2017 - 03:17 PM.


#84 Astrojedi

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 03:38 PM

Good find Albéric. If so, that would be an excellent price. The sensor/camera is significantly better than the 1600 Color. I would imagine these would sell quick at $1099 (I would not buy the uncooled one).

 

I have not tested full frame rate. If I do planetary I would anyways use ROI. Capturing the whole sensor would be a waste of bandwidth. If I have time I will give it a try.


Edited by Astrojedi, 19 September 2017 - 03:39 PM.


#85 Astrojedi

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 03:47 PM

Great captures Hiten!    You really make me want to get a Hyperstar... unfortunately both my C8 and C11 are the OLD non fastar scopes and it becomes expensive quick to add hyperstar and the conversion kit!!!

I am glad you got binning to work.  I am going to go back and see why the binning was not working for me when I last tested.   This coming weekend looks good so I plan on using the 294 Pro again.   
 

By the way "PRO" means there is a dedicated 256mb capture buffer so as Hiten mentioned this means the risk of dropping frames EVEN AT SLOWER USB2 speeds is very low, which is good news for many of us who run at USB2.

 

Al

Thanks Al. Make sure hardware binning is turned off. Serves no purpose at all. Software binning has exactly the same impact on shot noise as hardware binning. And since the read noise is so low already the hypothetical SNR benefit if any from hardware would be de minimis.


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#86 jimthompson

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 03:55 PM

Hi Hiten,

 

Thanks for posting your results and impressions so far.  One question I have is whether or not the HDR feature of the IMX294 sensor is accessible from within Sharpcap?  As it is described online it seems like it should be possible to set a different exposure time on 2 of the four pixels in each Bayer matrix group and have that somehow output simultaneously in a single integrated HDR image.  Perhaps this is a feature that is only functional at very short exposure times?

 

Regards,

 

Jim T.


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#87 Astrojedi

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 04:02 PM

Jim,

Unclear if the ZWO drivers support this. I did not see this option in SharpCap. Maybe as you said it gets activated in certain situations. Needs more investigation.

 

Hiten


Edited by Astrojedi, 19 September 2017 - 05:32 PM.


#88 Stargazer3236

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 06:19 PM

$800 for a new sensor sounds affordable, in the realm of the ASI1600. However, I am going to wait until all the kinks have been worked out before jumping on this new ASI camera.



#89 XS_Man

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 11:59 AM

I have not tested full frame rate. If I do planetary I would anyways use ROI. Capturing the whole sensor would be a waste of bandwidth. If I have time I will give it a try.

 

 

Hi Astrojedi,

 

I agree, for pure planetary imaging, ROI will be necessary.

But for color lunar imaging using full frame at full fps would be absolutly cool ! No more

boring mosaicing work, all done in only one set of raw images !

That's why I'm so interested to know if 120 fps could be achieved at full frame ?

 

 

Hi Hiten,

 

Thanks for posting your results and impressions so far.  One question I have is whether or not the HDR feature of the IMX294 sensor is accessible from within Sharpcap?  As it is described online it seems like it should be possible to set a different exposure time on 2 of the four pixels in each Bayer matrix group and have that somehow output simultaneously in a single integrated HDR image.  Perhaps this is a feature that is only functional at very short exposure times?

 

Regards,

 

Jim T.

Hi,

 

HDR may be interesting for EEA, I agree.

But it has strictly no interest for classical astronomy imaging use as it could be done

easily in post-processing with different exposure RAW images.

 

Albéric


Edited by XS_Man, 21 September 2017 - 12:00 PM.


#90 XS_Man

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 12:04 PM

$800 for a new sensor sounds affordable, in the realm of the ASI1600. However, I am going to wait until all the kinks have been worked out before jumping on this new ASI camera.

QHYCCD is working on an enhanced  version of camera with anti-amp glow

circuit.

 

Albéric



#91 A. Viegas

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 12:53 PM

Hi Alberic

As you saw with my posted dark frames this camera already seems to have very low amp glow.

Sometimes with these manufacturers it is difficult to know just how original the products really are. We have to be careful in paying premium prices for essentially the same thing. Let's see what the competitor products look like before jumping to conclusions. But one thing I think is for certain... the first one to market with a product that works will capture the lion share of the market. Just look at the 1600 series of cameras. QHY, touptek, Malincam, RT and now ATIK all have the same sensor in their all-too-similar looking form factor (except for Atik). Anyhow I am guessing here... but I bet ZWO has sold over 2/3rds of all these same Panasonic based sensor cameras.

I think that is what ZWO does particularly well. Identify a market opportunity and match it with a product that has mass appeal

Al

#92 jimthompson

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 01:06 PM

I agree with your thoughts Al.  I wonder though if ZWO has laid out an overall road map for their camera models.  Even now there is a lot of overlap amongst their various models, and for a newbie the selection of what camera best suits their needs is a little daunting.  It has become a bit like trying to buy a new TV. grin.gif   The same is true for other OEM camera manufacturers like Touptek.  Having a camera for every sensor Sony makes is great for the consumer but eventually it could get out of hand (eg. manufacturing costs).

 

Best Regards,

 

Jim T.



#93 XS_Man

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 03:49 PM

Hi Alberic

As you saw with my posted dark frames this camera already seems to have very low amp glow.

Sometimes with these manufacturers it is difficult to know just how original the products really are. We have to be careful in paying premium prices for essentially the same thing. Let's see what the competitor products look like before jumping to conclusions. But one thing I think is for certain... the first one to market with a product that works will capture the lion share of the market. Just look at the 1600 series of cameras. QHY, touptek, Malincam, RT and now ATIK all have the same sensor in their all-too-similar looking form factor (except for Atik). Anyhow I am guessing here... but I bet ZWO has sold over 2/3rds of all these same Panasonic based sensor cameras.

I think that is what ZWO does particularly well. Identify a market opportunity and match it with a product that has mass appeal

Al

 

Hi Al,

 

I partially agree with you. Here, the post is about EEA use. My interest is
not really EEA but deepsky with short exposures. And amp glow is a critical point
to manage in this case, believe me. Short exposures means raw images and very
reduced dynamic compared to long exposures. Amp glow acts as a noise and faint
objects may be drowned into it. That's why my "religion" is to remove maximum
amp glow signal directly at the source. The sooner, the better !
 
I agree that BSI sensor have lower amp glow than FSI. On IMX 174 FSI sensor,
QHYCCD anti-amp glow system is very effective, I've made a comparison as I use a
QHY 174 M. QHYCCD was the first to implement it and strangely ZWO finaly decide
to update their ASI 224 electronic board with anti-amp glow circuit because...
it's really useful !

 

And next ASI 385 will have an anti-amp glow circuit.  

 

That's why if QHYCCD really succeed in reducing more amp glow signal of IMX294,
I'll sign for it, for sure !

 

Let's wait and see...

Albéric



#94 A. Viegas

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 04:11 PM

I just retested with my wimpy laptop the USB speed of the new ASI294

 

In USB2  full frame it is 3.4fps in Raw8 and 1.6fps in Raw16

In USB3  full frame it is 16.7fps in Raw8 and 13.3fps in Raw16

 

dropping down to HDMI resolution 1920x1080  and USB3 at Raw16  i got 20.2fps

 

not sure about the claim for 120fps...

 

but I will test with my more powerful desktop to rule out wimpy laptop issue

 

Al



#95 Astrojedi

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 04:23 PM

 

I have not tested full frame rate. If I do planetary I would anyways use ROI. Capturing the whole sensor would be a waste of bandwidth. If I have time I will give it a try.

 

 

Hi Astrojedi,

 

I agree, for pure planetary imaging, ROI will be necessary.

But for color lunar imaging using full frame at full fps would be absolutly cool ! No more

boring mosaicing work, all done in only one set of raw images !

That's why I'm so interested to know if 120 fps could be achieved at full frame

 

 

Albéric,

 

Looks like you want one camera to do it all. You have also not mentioned what scope you want to use this camera with.

 

A smaller dedicated planetary imager is more appropriate for lunar / planetary imaging. A large sensor at full resolution will always be constrained in the frame rate it can achieve for a number of reasons (data bus bandwidth, internal silicon clock speeds, I/O processing constraints, host computer processing and storage speeds etc.)

 

Most lunar imagers usually focus on certain areas or detail with larger scopes. But for the whole thing a 174 or 178 will easily fit the whole moon on my refractors.

 

I would have realistic expectations as to what frame rate you can achieve with such large sensors even with USB3. You will not match the frame rates of the smaller sensors.

 

-Hiten



#96 Astrojedi

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 05:29 PM

Here is another capture. This time in a different configuration.

 

The transparency has been really poor here lately with heavy moisture and clouds due to the hurricanes in Baja. The white LP zone does not help either which is why you are seeing a color cast.

 

C8 @ F6.3, ASI294Pro x2 bin. No guiding. No calibration. SharpCap Pro v3.

 

N7331 10x30s Full size

Stack_10frames_300s.jpg

 

Crop of the galaxy.

Stack_10frames_300s Crop.jpg


Edited by Astrojedi, 21 September 2017 - 05:30 PM.

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#97 OleCuss

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 06:54 PM

.

.

.

not sure about the claim for 120fps...

 

but I will test with my more powerful desktop to rule out wimpy laptop issue

 

Al

Yeah, some USB3 interfaces are slow and sometimes a HHD just won't write fast enough and you have to swap in an SSD in order to get the maximum.  Looking forward to seeing what your faster laptop will do!



#98 A. Viegas

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 06:41 AM

Ran the USB3 test with my fast desktop, no difference in speed.  22fps  was about the fastest I got at RAW16 and full frame

 

 

Oh an interesting option in this camera is "Mono Bin"   It apparently will add RGGB 4 color pixels into 1 so according to Sam from ZWO, you can use it for Ha imaging under bin2

 

I have not yet tried this, but hopefully this weekend looks like Saturday will be clear

 

Al



#99 XS_Man

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 06:47 AM

I just retested with my wimpy laptop the USB speed of the new ASI294

 

In USB2  full frame it is 3.4fps in Raw8 and 1.6fps in Raw16

In USB3  full frame it is 16.7fps in Raw8 and 13.3fps in Raw16

dropping down to HDMI resolution 1920x1080  and USB3 at Raw16  i got 20.2fps

not sure about the claim for 120fps...

but I will test with my more powerful desktop to rule out wimpy laptop issue

 

Al

 

Hi Al,

 

If you have a computer (laptop powered on 230V or tower, don't care) with a SSD,  Sata 3, USB 3.0, it

would be cool !

 

Looks like you want one camera to do it all. You have also not mentioned what scope you want to use this camera with.

 

 

Hi Astrojedi,

 

Yes for me this camera have to be multipurpose so that you are free to choose what you 

want to do. One night, EEA, Next one, lunar imaging, Next one, Jupiter. Next one, M57, etc...

 

Most lunar imagers usually focus on certain areas or detail with larger scopes. But for the whole thing

a 174 or 178 will easily fit the whole moon on my refractors.

 

 

For my 300/1600 and 400/1800 telescopes, I want a big sensor with high fps.

Believe me, it's useful in this case for high resolution imaging !

 

You will not match the frame rates of the smaller sensors.

 

The more that can be done with a big PC setup, the best it will be !!

And we have to keep in mind the evolution of computers for next years...

 

Albéric



#100 XS_Man

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 06:55 AM

Ran the USB3 test with my fast desktop, no difference in speed.  22fps  was about the fastest I got at RAW16 and full frame

 

 

Oh an interesting option in this camera is "Mono Bin"   It apparently will add RGGB 4 color pixels into 1 so according to Sam from ZWO, you can use it for Ha imaging under bin2

 

I have not yet tried this, but hopefully this weekend looks like Saturday will be clear

 

Al

 

Al,

 

Strange. Do you have disable the sleep mode and anti-virus ?

Moreover I guess you can adjust USB 3.0 bandwidth use, it's a parameter in Firecapture

or Sharpcap.

 

For Ha, let us know, it's interesting, yes !

 

Albéric


Edited by XS_Man, 22 September 2017 - 06:55 AM.



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