I am considering making the leap from DSLR to mono camera and I'm a little overwhelmed trying to read about everything.
I am thinking about something along the lines of the ASI183MM Pro or ASI1600MM Pro although I'm not tied to anything. In addition to mono, I want cooling -- but pixel size vs quantum efficiency vs sensor size vs read noise... How do I decide? I want to image large nebulae as well as small DSO's. Short of multiple cameras on multiple scopes are mosaics a viable option?
My current scope for photography is an ES 102ED 714mm f/7. I sometimes use a 0.75X flattener/reducer.
I most often image from my backyard at Bortle 5 because it is easy. But I have easy access to Bortle 3.
CCD suitability calculator seems to say the 183 is a better fit.
Filters: what size? 31mm? I also have a 18" f/4.2 dob for visual - I never use that for photography but would it make sense if I wanted to do planetary or anything else? They would have to be very short exposures without real guiding. Do you even use filters for planetary? Does it make sense to go with 36mm in case of a new scope sometime?
Starting with LRGB and adding others later seems a good idea. I'm unclear what L adds - is it to collect more light faster at the expense of less color information -- making the assumption that some color is enough color?
For a filter wheel, I need unmounted filters?
This is a personal decision. But here are things to consider. There are some simplifications involved, I believe they're useful for someone in your situation.
For most people sensor size is the big deal. Quantum efficiencies cover a small range among your likely candidates. Ditto read noise, which can be dealt with pretty well by changing the subexposure.
Pixel size cuts a number of ways. Smaller pixels could theoretically give better resolution, but other things like tracking and seeing have to cooperate. Larger pixels are easier, more "forgiving".
I have a 183C, like it, but can see that the small pixels are demanding. I bought it in anticipation of a Celstron 8 RASA, 400mm, F2. The speed and focal length are well tailored to a 183.
A virtue of a 1600 is that so many people own one, your user support base is large.
Mosaics can work well, but are not trivial to do. Some people do them, most don't.
Bottom line. 2 good choices, either could work. People here will have their recommendation. Mine is the 1600, but, as I said, personal choice.
Minor points. Filters need to be compatible with your filter wheel.
LRGB is a nice trick. The L filter gathers a lot of data fast. Your eye see detail in the L. You can get away with less RGB data, you basically use it to paint the L. A strategy to save even more time is to bin the RGB 2X2, that goes in and out of fashion.
The very best color comes from straight RGB, but that carries a big penalty because it requires a lot more total imaging time. I've used it on bright targets, like the Ring Nebula and star clusters. Personally wouldn't dream of using it on a dim nebula or galaxy. The darker your skies, the less total imaging time you need, the more RGB becomes viable.
The 1600 is a competent planetary camera, the 183 can do planetary. If you want color planets with a mono camera, you need to use filters.
Additional point. Consider getting an Ha filter. Black and white Ha can be very nice. Combining Ha and RGB can also be good, the processing is not trivial. (understatement)
Edited by bobzeq25, 19 April 2019 - 08:23 AM.