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ASI294MC Pro vs SkyRaider DS10C-TEC comparison

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#26 will w

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 06:48 PM

Al, Brian has 7 pictures posted. Wich one is showing the red mottling you are talking about? will w



#27 A. Viegas

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 07:03 PM

This one https://www.cloudyni...-1541593952.jpg

And the following two of the veil for instance. Again this is a common issue with the 294 sensor. But firmware correction as ZWO has done has remedied the issue.

There was a very long discussion in the CCD\CMOS forum regarding this issue almost a year ago. ZWO rewrote parts of the firmware to try and address the issue. Unfortunately as a rebrander Mallincam has to wait and hope Touptek can reprogram the firmware

Al
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#28 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:11 PM

This one https://www.cloudyni...-1541593952.jpg

And the following two of the veil for instance. Again this is a common issue with the 294 sensor. But firmware correction as ZWO has done has remedied the issue.

There was a very long discussion in the CCD\CMOS forum regarding this issue almost a year ago. ZWO rewrote parts of the firmware to try and address the issue. Unfortunately as a rebrander Mallincam has to wait and hope Touptek can reprogram the firmware

Al

Very good spot Al! I also noticed some streaks going horizontally in the upper part of the image. The stars look also like the RGB pattern is not aligning properly causing color halos.

 

Steve 



#29 mclewis1

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 09:53 AM

It's going to take a direct side by side image comparison between the MC and ZWO cameras to start any constructive involvement from Rock, otherwise the comments will be predictable.

 

Oh wait ...  Jim? lol.gif



#30 jimthompson

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 09:59 AM

It's going to take a direct side by side image comparison between the MC and ZWO cameras to start any constructive involvement from Rock, otherwise the comments will be predictable.

 

Oh wait ...  Jim? lol.gif

I'm working on it Mark.  Just juggling this with many other things, for example been in Denver last 3 days for work.  I will try to get the dark frame comparison posted today or tomorrow.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.



#31 mvas

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 09:44 AM

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 

 

 

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....

The question was answered by someone, who actually knows.

And answered by Sony, who actually knows.

And answered by ZWO, who actually knows.

 

Whether you can or cannot locate the temperature sensor on the pcb, proves nothing.



#32 jimthompson

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 11:35 AM

The question was answered by someone, who actually knows.

And answered by Sony, who actually knows.

And answered by ZWO, who actually knows.

 

Whether you can or cannot locate the temperature sensor on the pcb, proves nothing.

Perhaps I missed something but I have seen nothing presented here that says with certainty where the temperature sensors are located on the Mallincam or ZWO cameras.  If it is located on the PCB, it may not be obvious.  If it is located on the sensor die itself or on the edge of the wafer, well there wouldn't be any way for us to know by visual inspection.  Because of this uncertainty in temperature sensor placement, my sensor temp measurements can't be used on their own to make any real conclusions about camera performance.  The dark frame and SNR measurements yet to come will have to be used together with the temperature measurements to paint a complete picture.

 

Regards,

 

Jim T.


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#33 will w

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 01:38 PM

The question was answered by someone, who actually knows.

And answered by Sony, who actually knows.

And answered by ZWO, who actually knows.

 

Whether you can or cannot locate the temperature sensor on the pcb, proves nothing.

MVAS, Can you show us here where sony and zwo are stating where the temperature sensor is ON the BOARD or in the SENSOR ??  will w



#34 orangeusa

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 07:39 PM

I think the point is that there is no sensor in the Sony data sheet. So it's gotta be on the board somewhere....

.



#35 jimthompson

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 09:46 PM

I think the point is that there is no sensor in the Sony data sheet. So it's gotta be on the board somewhere....

.

What data sheet?  I have not seen the engineering specification document for an IMX294 anywhere.  If somebody has, please share with the group.

 

Best Regards,

 

Jim T.


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#36 DonBoy

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 03:09 PM

https://www.sony-sem...94CJK_Flyer.pdf

 

https://www.sony-sem...mx294cjk_e.html


Edited by DonBoy, 01 December 2018 - 03:11 PM.


#37 orangeusa

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 04:26 PM

^^^^ Thanks. 

 

Wow, the link on post #24 is broken. That is where I saw the data sheet. But Don's link works. 



#38 OleCuss

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Posted 01 December 2018 - 07:55 PM

 

I don't think that is what he is looking for although I've seen that information called a "datasheet".

 

I'd guess that most of us have been to this site:  https://www.sony-sem...ucts/index.html  where you can find links like that to all the Starvis sensors.  Those are effectively flyers or summaries for those of us who are not delving seriously into the information required in order to build a camera around the sensor or program the drivers in order to use the sensor/camera.

 

Mostly the information needed in order to determine whether one should be interested in the sensor or in the camera containing the sensor.  But the information is actually quite limited.

 

What is difficult to find is the datasheet information which gives the information about exactly which pins do what, what functions are exposed for exploitation, what pixels are designated for which use, etc.  It may be that the information of interest here is released only to customers whom Sony expects to develop a camera and it may be subject to a NDA and other agreements.  Sony might have multiple reasons not to let people without the requisite skills, resources, and intent have access to the information.

 

It might be easier to get the information from Framos but I'd not bet too much on it.  I don't have much (read any) luck finding the information there, either.

 

This is obviously not an IMX294 sensor datasheet, but it will give you the idea of the kind of detail it should contain:  https://www.onsemi.c.../AP0100CS-D.PDF


Edited by OleCuss, 01 December 2018 - 08:04 PM.

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#39 beammeup

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 03:10 PM

So the mallincam ds10c is a touptek camera?



#40 jimthompson

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 05:15 PM

I don't think that is what he is looking for although I've seen that information called a "datasheet".

 

I'd guess that most of us have been to this site:  https://www.sony-sem...ucts/index.html  where you can find links like that to all the Starvis sensors.  Those are effectively flyers or summaries for those of us who are not delving seriously into the information required in order to build a camera around the sensor or program the drivers in order to use the sensor/camera.

 

Mostly the information needed in order to determine whether one should be interested in the sensor or in the camera containing the sensor.  But the information is actually quite limited.

 

What is difficult to find is the datasheet information which gives the information about exactly which pins do what, what functions are exposed for exploitation, what pixels are designated for which use, etc.  It may be that the information of interest here is released only to customers whom Sony expects to develop a camera and it may be subject to a NDA and other agreements.  Sony might have multiple reasons not to let people without the requisite skills, resources, and intent have access to the information.

 

It might be easier to get the information from Framos but I'd not bet too much on it.  I don't have much (read any) luck finding the information there, either.

 

This is obviously not an IMX294 sensor datasheet, but it will give you the idea of the kind of detail it should contain:  https://www.onsemi.c.../AP0100CS-D.PDF

You are correct, I am referring to the engineering design manual not the spec sheet.  It is the document that camera manufacturers would use to be able to integrate the Sony sensor into their cameras.  You can find these documents online for much older sensors, like the CCD's used in Mallincam analog cameras.  Sony does not make them public knowledge for new sensors.  I assume that ZWO and Touptek has access to these documents, perhaps Rock does as well?

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.


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#41 DrewR

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 05:23 PM

So the mallincam ds10c is a touptek camera?

The world is not that simple.

 

Drew


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#42 jimthompson

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 05:36 PM

This one https://www.cloudyni...-1541593952.jpg

And the following two of the veil for instance. Again this is a common issue with the 294 sensor. But firmware correction as ZWO has done has remedied the issue.

There was a very long discussion in the CCD\CMOS forum regarding this issue almost a year ago. ZWO rewrote parts of the firmware to try and address the issue. Unfortunately as a rebrander Mallincam has to wait and hope Touptek can reprogram the firmware

Al

I can't recall ever seeing such a mottling before when I used a DS10C this past summer.  You can see some of my images using a very portable rig here:

 

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiSHB9S

 

I wonder if in Brian's images it is a light pollution issue?  Also, the red halo on some of the stars is not something I have experienced with the DS10C either.  It may be a colour balance or stacking issue?  I see Brian was using a Baader UHC filter.  I have seen similar behavior (strong reddish-orange cast, difficulty with white balancing, etc) when trying that filter in the past with my Xtreme.  I don't normally recommend that filter for EAA for that reason plus the built in UV/IR cut.  Maybe some day soon I will get clear skies here in Ottawa and I can get some more example images with the DS10C-TEC before I have to give it back to the owner.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.


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#43 A. Viegas

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 09:42 PM

The world is not that simple.

Drew


Actually... there is no doubt really that Touptek is the manufacturer for the rebranded - Orion, Altair, Mallincam and rising sky cameras. Some of these rebranders can ask for some customization but realistically it's all the same inside... just look at the software to run these cameras it's the same. Only Altair is able to use Sharpcap because of the arrangement Altair has with Sharpcap.

Al

#44 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 05:14 AM

About colored halos. They can be particularly prominent when using bandpass filters which have two or more relatively widely separated passbands. Such as the 'UHC' types which pass both in the ~500nm bue-green region and the ~650nm red region, with a broad blocking region separating. The intrinsic chromatic aberration is 'enhanced' by the color separation of blue-green and red, with no 'blending' by intermediate spectral light. And so, for example, if the red is more defocused via longitudinal spherical aberration or spherochromatism, its blur circle will stand out like the proverbial sore thumb.

 

Another potential source for haloing around stars is internal reflections within filters, or reflections within/off the sensor's window. Optical system f/ratio plays a role here, as well as substrate thickness of the filter/window.


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#45 DrewR

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 09:30 AM

Actually... there is no doubt really that Touptek is the manufacturer for the rebranded - Orion, Altair, Mallincam and rising sky cameras. Some of these rebranders can ask for some customization but realistically it's all the same inside... just look at the software to run these cameras it's the same. Only Altair is able to use Sharpcap because of the arrangement Altair has with Sharpcap.

Al

Al 

 

We have already discussed the differences with Orion and Mallincam on another thread specifically relating to dark frames. Altair and Mallincam look similar on specs but Altair can run Sharpcap and Mallincam supposedly can't. (Jack says Sharpcap can run with ds10c-TEC. I don't know about ds-10c). So to say "rebranding" is a little too simple explanation.

 

So is Mallincam the chicken or the egg. I don't know. The world is not that simple.

Drew


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#46 jimthompson

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 10:17 AM

Greetings all,

 

I finally finished Part 2 of my testing.  In this report I compare dark frames captured by each camera under a variety of different settings.  The quick summary result is that the DS10C-TEC produces the same ampglow pattern as the ASI294, and also produces dark frames with more warm pixels.  I believe the increased visibility of warm pixels in the DS10C-TEC is due to it running at a higher gain setting plus the observation that the ASI294 seems to clip data at the dark end of the histogram when using default settings.  Links to the report and raw dark frames below.  Note that the archive files with the dark frames are large in size (ASI > 500MB, DS10 > 100MB).

 

http://karmalimbo.co...0C - Part 2.pdf

http://karmalimbo.co...SI294 darks.zip

http://karmalimbo.co...C-TEC darks.zip

 

Part 3 will be a comparison of SNR performance, which is the main performance point of interest I think.  It will take me a while to record the data and reduce it so please stay tuned.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.


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#47 OleCuss

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 10:19 AM

Oh, I'm pretty sure ToupTek has ASCOM drivers and that means you can run SharpCap with any of the cameras they manufactured.  The support is not, however, native and that means you may not have all the functionality.

 

And that is where the problem with doing the comparisons comes in.  Software is a big part of what we do at this time and if you can't run the same software and run it the same way then IMHO you really cannot do a great comparison between two cameras.  You can compare the overall experience of using each camera with the software package of your choice (or of the camera-maker's choice) and there is real value in that, but it gets a bit more subjective.

 

Al 

 

We have already discussed the differences with Orion and Mallincam on another thread specifically relating to dark frames. Altair and Mallincam look similar on specs but Altair can run Sharpcap and Mallincam supposedly can't. (Jack says Sharpcap can run with ds10c-TEC. I don't know about ds-10c). So to say "rebranding" is a little too simple explanation.

 

So is Mallincam the chicken or the egg. I don't know. The world is not that simple.

Drew

There is no real reason to question whether the IMX294 cameras being sold by Mallincam, Altair, RisingCam, etc. are made by ToupTek.

 

The DS10cTEC is pretty clearly further modified by Mallincam which just might be a significant improvement.  I think it is reasonable to call them ToupTek cameras which have been re-branded even if they are customized by ToupTek or after received by the re-seller.

 

Every time I've bought a new vehicle the dealer has been sure to have their name on it somewhere even if it is only on a license plate frame.

 

Seriously, those Shelby Mustangs are still Fords.  It'd be stupid for Shelby to try to duplicate everything that Ford has done.  So Shelby buys the base car and then does some significant modifications to it and puts their name on it.  It's still a Ford car but with lots of customization and now the Shelby name applies as well.

 

Saying that a camera has been re-branded should not be considered an insult at all.  For some vendors it is likely the smartest way to go and their consumers can be argued to benefit from the choice.


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#48 OleCuss

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 10:39 AM

Greetings all,

 

I finally finished Part 2 of my testing.  In this report I compare dark frames captured by each camera under a variety of different settings.  The quick summary result is that the DS10C-TEC produces the same ampglow pattern as the ASI294, and also produces dark frames with more warm pixels.  I believe the increased visibility of warm pixels in the DS10C-TEC is due to it running at a higher gain setting plus the observation that the ASI294 seems to clip data at the dark end of the histogram when using default settings.  Links to the report and raw dark frames below.  Note that the archive files with the dark frames are large in size (ASI > 500MB, DS10 > 100MB).

 

http://karmalimbo.co...0C - Part 2.pdf

http://karmalimbo.co...SI294 darks.zip

http://karmalimbo.co...C-TEC darks.zip

 

Part 3 will be a comparison of SNR performance, which is the main performance point of interest I think.  It will take me a while to record the data and reduce it so please stay tuned.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.

I like your write-up.  Nicely done.

 

The 2nd and 3rd links I've not been able to open.  I'll take another shot at that when I'm home and can use a different computer and have more time.



#49 DrewR

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 11:23 AM

Oh, I'm pretty sure ToupTek has ASCOM drivers and that means you can run SharpCap with any of the cameras they manufactured.  The support is not, however, native and that means you may not have all the functionality.

 

And that is where the problem with doing the comparisons comes in.  Software is a big part of what we do at this time and if you can't run the same software and run it the same way then IMHO you really cannot do a great comparison between two cameras.  You can compare the overall experience of using each camera with the software package of your choice (or of the camera-maker's choice) and there is real value in that, but it gets a bit more subjective.

 

There is no real reason to question whether the IMX294 cameras being sold by Mallincam, Altair, RisingCam, etc. are made by ToupTek.

 

The DS10cTEC is pretty clearly further modified by Mallincam which just might be a significant improvement.  I think it is reasonable to call them ToupTek cameras which have been re-branded even if they are customized by ToupTek or after received by the re-seller.

 

Every time I've bought a new vehicle the dealer has been sure to have their name on it somewhere even if it is only on a license plate frame.

 

Seriously, those Shelby Mustangs are still Fords.  It'd be stupid for Shelby to try to duplicate everything that Ford has done.  So Shelby buys the base car and then does some significant modifications to it and puts their name on it.  It's still a Ford car but with lots of customization and now the Shelby name applies as well.

 

Saying that a camera has been re-branded should not be considered an insult at all.  For some vendors it is likely the smartest way to go and their consumers can be argued to benefit from the choice.

OleCuss I agree with you. To me, rebranding implies just sticking a different company label on the camera which in this case, as you suggest, something else is going on. We also don't know what design elements are the direct input from Mallincam manufactured by ToupTek. From what I have loosely put together - ToupTek designs the software and Mallincam designs the electronics and ToupTek manufacturers the camera  We also don't know what agreement there is between Mallincam and ToupTek. There must be some agreement in place because ToupTek doesn't have a distributor in N. America (I haven't done extensive research to confirm this) ToupTek must be allowed to sell in markets that Mallincam doesn't. It may get around this by truly rebranding and maybe modifying or just selling it on Alibaba in China. This is what I meant by not being simple.

 

Drew


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#50 OleCuss

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 11:44 AM

I'd bet pretty strongly that Mallincam doesn't design the electronics.  That would be a horrible waste of their time and money.  The IMX294 is a SoC sensor and ToupTek already makes most of the support electronics.  And then manufacturing the same stuff that ToupTek manufactures would be a way of simply inflating the price without added value.

 

I'd hope that Mallincam talks to ToupTek to make sure the proper specifications are followed and that quality control will be to their requirements.  Any customization can be specified as well and since ToupTek already has the engineers and technicians in place and they know both the base camera specs and the sensor they'll be best suited to make any agreed-upon modifications.

 

But the micro-refrigerator cooling I'm betting means that Mallincam is making some significant modifications to the front end of the camera after it arrives in their shop.  I'm betting Rock and his techs also check to make sure the camera is functioning to their specifications.  There is significant value to the consumer to their checking the performance prior to shipping, and if the micro-refrigerator is an improvement (I don't know myself at this time) then that is added value as well.

 

I sincerely hope that sellers of ToupTek-sourced cameras let ToupTek do what they do best, and then the seller does what they do best.

 

In the meantime I hope folk read through what Jim has done.  I think his write-up is well done.  And I find his summary/conclusions to be pretty reasonable and I hope folk don't come to their own conclusions before they have read through to the end.

 

It's interesting to read what I'm interpreting (perhaps wrongly) as meaning that the Mallincam can effectively give you higher gain.  Now that can mean more noise showing up in a single image but at least in the CMOS world as I read the experts, higher gain actually results in better SNR.  Stack and process (automatically or otherwise) a bunch of higher gain subs and you should have a better image?

 

I'm really looking forward to part 3 of his report!


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