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ASI294MC Pro vs SkyRaider DS10C-TEC comparison

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#1 jimthompson

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 10:44 AM

Greetings all,

 

Below is the link to my first test report.  In it I compare the ASI294 and DS10C-TEC cameras in terms of physical characteristics.  Soon to follow will be reports comparing dark frames and signal-to-noise ratio.

 

http://karmalimbo.co...0C - Part 1.pdf

 

Summary:

- The DS10C-TEC is slightly longer and slightly heavier than the ASI294, but roughly the same diameter. 

- The ASI294 had a very slightly faster frame rate when using a USB2 interface.  The ASI294 was very slightly faster than the DS10C-TEC when using USB3 interface, but only at frame sizes greater than 4000x2000.  For output resolutions below that the DS10C-TEC was significantly faster (2x) than the ASI294.  Note that it is entirely likely that each camera would give a different frame rate if used on a different computer, but since I used both cameras on the same computer I believe the frame rates are comparable.

- The DS10C-TEC shows strong evidence for a different sensor enclosure design than the ASI294.  With TEC off the DS10C-TEC sensor runs warmer than the ASI294, but with TEC on the DS10C-TEC sensor is cooler.  The TEC on to TEC off sensor temperature delta on the ASI294 is 40degC, and on the DS10C-TEC is just over 50degC.

 

Regards,

 

Jim T.


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#2 OleCuss

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 11:13 AM

50 degrees!!!  That is really impressive!



#3 will w

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:33 PM

Jim, Nice part 1 test. Cant wait to see the out side part of your test. will w



#4 LaCasaCorp

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:36 PM

One note on the framerate: you verified they were using the same color space? (i'm asking you because I made a quick test and i saw my ZWO reaching framerates similar to the mallincam when switching from RAW16 to RAW8 or RGB8)



#5 jimthompson

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:43 PM

One note on the framerate: you verified they were using the same color space? (i'm asking you because I made a quick test and i saw my ZWO reaching framerates similar to the mallincam when switching from RAW16 to RAW8 or RGB8)

That is a good point.  It is not noted in my summary report but for all the tests I had the ASI294 in RAW8 mode, and the DS10C-TEC in 8-bit mode.  My thought is that these settings should provide the fastest refresh rate from each camera.

 

Regards,

 

Jim T.



#6 LaCasaCorp

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 02:12 PM

Thanx for the clarification. I see slightly different numbers (still quite lower than the Mallincam, so, is not relevant for the conclusions of your analysis) but probably the difference is just because of the USB3 chipset on our computers. 

 

as an example, see below: 50.0fps @ 1280x1024 (RAW8) - basically same framerate in MONO8 or RGB24, 43fps in RAW16

 

 

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#7 ccs_hello

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 08:41 AM

Where is the temperature sensor located on these two imaging devices?

If adjacent, how is it bonded to the image sensor's ceramic chip carrier?

 

(We know in DSLR/mirrorless world, the thermistor is located on the main controller (DSP) motherboard thus at best, measuring the camera body internal temperature, as image sensor temperature's approximation.)

 

P.S. to be honest, I thought the emphasis will be on EAA use cases, say try 2 second (or more) exposure...

(Don't understand the point of putting energy on how many frames can be shot within 1 second time in astro, other than lucky imaging.)


Edited by ccs_hello, 15 November 2018 - 08:45 AM.

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#8 jimthompson

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 09:58 AM

Where is the temperature sensor located on these two imaging devices?

If adjacent, how is it bonded to the image sensor's ceramic chip carrier?

 

(We know in DSLR/mirrorless world, the thermistor is located on the main controller (DSP) motherboard thus at best, measuring the camera body internal temperature, as image sensor temperature's approximation.)

 

P.S. to be honest, I thought the emphasis will be on EAA use cases, say try 2 second (or more) exposure...

(Don't understand the point of putting energy on how many frames can be shot within 1 second time in astro, other than lucky imaging.)

The location of the temperature sensor is a good question.  I was under the impression that it is located somewhere in the IMX294 IC package itself, but I do not have a copy of the detailed engineering specification to confirm where exactly.  It seems reasonable to me that it could be included on the main die of the sensor chip.  Is that not how it is done on CPUs?  It is also possible (and sneaky) that it is located on the cold side of the TEC, but if that were the case I would have expected much lower temperatures to be measured when the TEC was at 100% load.

 

With regards to the measurement of frame rate, I assume I am not alone in that I use cameras not only to observe deep sky objects but all heavenly bodies including solar system objects.  It is therefore useful information to know if the cameras under test here are also suitable for solar system work.  There is value in being able to buy only one camera to perform all of your observing/imaging tasks.

 

Regards,

 

Jim T.



#9 OleCuss

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 10:58 AM

At least the IMX350 has a built-in temperature sensor.  Since the IMX294 is a fairly recent sensor is it possible that it has its own on-board temperature sensor as well?



#10 mvas

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 12:37 PM

50 degrees!!!  That is really impressive!

Yes, but the DS10C-TEC actually runs 7.3°C warmer when the TEC is OFF, therefore ...

 

DS10C-TEC 

**************

TEC OFF = +35.0° C

TEC ON  = -15.6°  C  <<< final temperature

---------------------------

Difference = 50.6° C

 

 

ZWO ASI294

***************

TEC OFF = +27.7° C

TEC ON  = -12.3°  C   <<< final temperature

--------------------------

Difference = 40.0° C

 

With the TEC ON there is only a 2.7° C difference between the final temperatures of the two cameras.

So, only a very slight advantage for the DS10C-TEC.

But is this irrelevant for EAA exposures when less than 30 seconds each?


Edited by mvas, 15 November 2018 - 12:42 PM.

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#11 OleCuss

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 01:17 PM

Very good points^^^^

 

Actually, I've now very little interest in a comparison between the two cameras.  When different software is being used and temperature sensor placement is not yet fully understood - I don't see much value in a comparison since with these systems the software is very important and I don't currently want to change from SharpCap unless APT proves an apt competitor (it'll do unguided dithering).

 

But we have good reason to believe that the DS10cTEC is pretty well-cooled and that is information I wanted.  We know that data transfer is pretty good.  Now if Jim can get some good darks and get a good idea that the convection going on in the micro-refrigerator environment isn't causing imaging problems?  I'll be pretty satisfied that it is a good camera worthy of serious consideration despite the higher cost.

 

I'm not sure there is a way to really test the convection concern so it may be that Jim will just say that he doesn't see anything which suggests it is an issue of significance.  After all, there are thermal differences in the sensor chambers where you are using a cold-finger system as well and it is possible that this could be a greater issue in the other cameras than in the DS10cTEC.

 

So while I'm very interested in what Jim is doing, I'm looking it as a review of two different cameras which cannot be properly compared in a rigorous way - and I'm really looking forward to his impressions of each.  I think his impressions will be of significant value!

 

So far I'm very encouraged by what he found early on.


Edited by OleCuss, 15 November 2018 - 01:20 PM.


#12 ccs_hello

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 09:01 PM

At least the IMX350 has a built-in temperature sensor.  Since the IMX294 is a fairly recent sensor is it possible that it has its own on-board temperature sensor as well?

IMX350 is EXMOR RS (stacked) with 1.0um pitch super-crazy tiny pixel pitch, to be used in smartphones:

One Plus 5, Meizu 16, ZTE AXON M, etc.

 

It has many crazy functions, typically only reside in a camera's ISP.  It's in that "stacked" layer of the same image sensor.

 

I cannot speak for '294, but I can say many of the EXMOR sensors do not have internal integrated temperature sensor.


Edited by ccs_hello, 15 November 2018 - 09:02 PM.

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#13 ccs_hello

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 07:31 AM

Yes, but the DS10C-TEC actually runs 7.3°C warmer when the TEC is OFF, therefore ...

 

DS10C-TEC 

**************

TEC OFF = +35.0° C

TEC ON  = -15.6°  C  <<< final temperature

---------------------------

Difference = 50.6° C

 

 

ZWO ASI294

***************

TEC OFF = +27.7° C

TEC ON  = -12.3°  C   <<< final temperature

--------------------------

Difference = 40.0° C

 

With the TEC ON there is only a 2.7° C difference between the final temperatures of the two cameras.

So, only a very slight advantage for the DS10C-TEC.

But is this irrelevant for EAA exposures when less than 30 seconds each?

This is very helpful.

Indeed the cooling capability of a cooling system is a useful parameter.

However, at the end of day, what is REALLY useful is how the camera system's temperature is going to be cooled down to.

 

If you have a warmer camera to start with (why? why? is it possible some electronics should have been shutdown to reduce amp-glow, were not?? I don't know...), it offsets the stronger cooling capability when final number is measured.



#14 jimthompson

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 11:36 AM

.....

 

With the TEC ON there is only a 2.7° C difference between the final temperatures of the two cameras.

So, only a very slight advantage for the DS10C-TEC.

But is this irrelevant for EAA exposures when less than 30 seconds each?

...It is nit-picking I know but (-15.6) - (-12.3) = 3.3degC delta...not 2.7degC

 

The only data point we have from the inside of the camera is the Tsensor value reported by the camera software.  We know nothing about the temperature of the rest of the camera components, or even the temperatures of the rest of the sensor outside of where the temperature sensor is located.  My measurement of the outer casing temperature does give some additional information though, in this case that with TEC on the ASI camera had a casing temp 4.6degC warmer than the DS10C-TEC.  It may not seem like a big difference, but to me it is a clear indication that the cooling system in the ASI294 is not removing as much heat from the camera interior as the cooling system in the DS10C-TEC.  That means that everything inside the DS10C-TEC is able to run cooler, not just the sensor.  Intuitively that would seem like a good thing for overall camera performance.  How the more effective cooling system of the DS10C-TEC is reflected in the imaging performance is yet to be determined.  That is what I am working on right now, dark frames with and without TEC engaged.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.


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#15 jimthompson

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 11:51 AM

This is very helpful.

Indeed the cooling capability of a cooling system is a useful parameter.

However, at the end of day, what is REALLY useful is how the camera system's temperature is going to be cooled down to.

 

If you have a warmer camera to start with (why? why? is it possible some electronics should have been shutdown to reduce amp-glow, were not?? I don't know...), it offsets the stronger cooling capability when final number is measured.

I don't believe there is any mystery here about why the TEC-on/TEC-off temperatures are different between these two cameras.  On the DS10C-TEC the entire sensor is contained within a sealed refrigerated chamber.  In such a configuration it is more difficult for heat to be rejected from the sensor to the surroundings when TEC is off since the only path for heat to flow is via the TEC.  In the ASI294 the sensor is not isolated from the rest of the camera, so heat can be rejected not only via the TEC but also through the camera casing itself.

 

I recommend we defer the discussion of whether the stronger cooling is offset by the isolation of the sensor until after we see how the dark frames and SNR measurements compare.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.


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#16 diceless

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 04:56 PM

...It is nit-picking I know but (-15.6) - (-12.3) = 3.3degC delta...not 2.7degC

 

The only data point we have from the inside of the camera is the Tsensor value reported by the camera software.  We know nothing about the temperature of the rest of the camera components, or even the temperatures of the rest of the sensor outside of where the temperature sensor is located.  My measurement of the outer casing temperature does give some additional information though, in this case that with TEC on the ASI camera had a casing temp 4.6degC warmer than the DS10C-TEC.  It may not seem like a big difference, but to me it is a clear indication that the cooling system in the ASI294 is not removing as much heat from the camera interior as the cooling system in the DS10C-TEC.  That means that everything inside the DS10C-TEC is able to run cooler, not just the sensor.  Intuitively that would seem like a good thing for overall camera performance.  How the more effective cooling system of the DS10C-TEC is reflected in the imaging performance is yet to be determined.  That is what I am working on right now, dark frames with and without TEC engaged.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.

Really case temperature is a toss up because there is too many things that go into play.  Think about this...  what will keep a cup of coffee hotter, a thin paper cup that is too hot to hold or a insulated foam cup that is comfortable to hold.  In this case, the too hot to hold paper cup will let the coffee get colder faster.  So hotter outside is better for colder insides.  But that is in the case when both have the same thermal output.  But if you consider putting hotter coffee in one cup and colder coffee in another but similar cup, well the colder to touch cup will have colder coffee.  Then you have the problem of surface to volume ratio, the cup that has the largest surface to volume ratio will feel the same temperature as the other cup at first but will allow the coffee to get cold faster over time.



#17 Relativist

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 07:32 PM

I’m guessing so, but are they the same sensor?

The ASI has been out for a while now.

#18 jimthompson

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 08:11 PM

Curtis,  I believe the sensor IC package itself is the same for all the different cameras.  The PCB it is on and the associated circuitry is what is custom designed by each camera company, as well as the enclosure.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.


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#19 barbarosa

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 01:29 PM

Jim first I think we owe you one for doing this kind of comparison. Someone contemplating a camera for EAA can get many opinions about almost any camera, some are even from actual users, but darn seldom do we get a head to head comparison. 

 

There are however two places in the comparison that suggest a bias. I am not close to certain that there is a bias and a slight revision might clear it up.

 

You wrote " It is my understanding that blue is the preferred colour for indicator lights since camera sensors are least sensitive to that colour." Could you cite a source for that or explain why it is your understanding and then perhaps put it to a test. The red LED on the rear of the ZWO is not bright and I don't see that the light from that LED is likely to bounce around and enter the objective or add a discernable amount of scattered red to the sky glow. Is it possible or likely that light from the LED could travel through the interior of the camera and enter the sensor?

 

At the end of your text you wrote,

 

 "I urge caution when comparing the MSRP I listed at the top of this report.  There may be other hidden costs such as shipping charges and import fees that need to be included when looking at the landed cost of each camera.  Also to be considered is the cost in time and money of support, should it be necessary down the road.  There is value there that also needs to be considered."

 

What you say is or could be true and it is a point to consider in buying any astronomy gear. However without some specifics it can be taken as an attempt to explain the higher price of the Mallincam  as the cost of a benefit that the ZWO does not have.

 

Otherwise I just need to say keep up the good work.waytogo.gif



#20 mvas

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 04:39 PM

At least the IMX350 has a built-in temperature sensor.  Since the IMX294 is a fairly recent sensor is it possible that it has its own on-board temperature sensor as well?

Unfortunately, the IMX294 does not have its own / built-in temperature sensor.

The manufacture of the 294 camera adds the temperature sensor.

And not on the CMOS Sensor, but near the CMOS Sensor

Its actual external location can make a difference ...


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#21 jimthompson

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 06:58 PM

Unfortunately, the IMX294 does not have its own / built-in temperature sensor.

The manufacture of the 294 camera adds the temperature sensor.

And not on the CMOS Sensor, but near the CMOS Sensor

Its actual external location can make a difference ...

I am curious, how do you know this to be true?

 

Thanks,

 

Jim T.


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#22 Alien Observatory

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 11:00 PM

I am curious, how do you know this to be true?

 

Thanks,

 

Jim T.

I am sure Rock and Sam both know the answer...but for me I think if it was available in the Sony Sensor Output Data, I would think Sony would say so (as they have for a few sensors).  Looking at a 70 page Sony Spec for a Camera Sensor, nothing in the 70 page spec about Temp Readout....Pat Utah smile.gif

 

http://support.hkvst.../IMX323LQ-C.pdf

 

 

p.s.  and just for fun (EEEKKK) I looked at a ZWO Sensor PCB (both sides) and did not see a Temp Sensor / Thermal Sensor Device nomenclature (maybe U5 Far Side), so the Question remains to be answered by someone who actually knows....and Yes the Cam still works perfectly (TY ESD Mat)...smile.gif

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Edited by Alien Observatory, 27 November 2018 - 11:54 PM.


#23 Kaikul

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 11:51 PM

I am sure Rock and Sam both know the answer...but for me I think if it was available in the Sony Sensor Output Data, I would think Sony would say so (as they have for a few sensors).  Looking at a 70 page Sony Spec for a Camera Sensor nothing in the 70 page spec about Temp Readout....Pat Utah smile.gif

 

http://support.hkvst.../IMX323LQ-C.pdf

 

 

p.s.  and just for fun (EEEKKK) I looked at a ZWO Sensor PCB (both sides) and did not see a Temp Sensor / Thermal Sensor Device nomenclature (maybe U5 Far Side), so the Question remains to be answered by someone who actually knows....smile.gif

"EEEKKK" indeed!

 

  To quote that turtle from Finding Nemo, "you got some serious thrill issues dude." lol.gif


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#24 Alien Observatory

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 12:27 AM

"EEEKKK" indeed!

 

  To quote that turtle from Finding Nemo, "you got some serious thrill issues dude." lol.gif

Anything in the search for the Truth... and as a side note the Engineering and Quality of the ZWO Printed Circuit Boards as assembled are Top Notch .... (who me...40 years of doing that stuff)...a Tip of the Hat to ZWO for their Excellent Work and Vendors...Pat Utah :)


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#25 A. Viegas

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 11:56 AM

I noticed in the ds10c images posted by Brian in the gallery that we see the same exact red mottling that earlier ZWO 294 sensors had before ZWO fixed the firmware. Seems like Mallincam has to wait for Touptek to apply that fix

Al


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