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which camera should i buy?

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#1 hubble space telescope

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:25 AM

hello everyone

im currently using canon 650D on the esprit 120 and i thinking to move on to the next level. at the beginning i wanted the canon 6D but after reading a little bit i realized that cooled dedicated astronomy camera will be better (color camera not mono. i want to start at first in color camera). so i have couple of question:

 

1) which camera should i buy? (or to stay with the canon 6D or even other DSLR camera?) from my understanding the ZWO ASI currently the best in the market? (for beginners?)

 

2) what is it "read noise"? and which read noise is the best -  the highest or the lowest (i saw a numbers next to the read noise and i dont know if i need to search for the lower number or the higher number)?

 

thank you very much!!!


Edited by hubble space telescope, 16 June 2019 - 05:26 AM.


#2 ChrisWhite

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:41 AM

The Lower the read noise the better. With astroimaging you need to use long enough exposures to swamp or bury read noise of the camera. Lower read noise means you can use shorter exposures.

For osc I would avoid the 294. I've never used it but there are a ton of threads about issues. You can look them up.

The 071 is expensive. But would have the same size sensor you are used to and is a mature product with a lot of users.

The 1600 is a less expensive model with very low read noise and a smaller sensor. I'm not a big fan, but there are a ton of users here with the 1600 mono and osc. It's probably the most popular astro camera of all time.
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#3 hubble space telescope

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:52 AM

all of the suggestions are from ZWO?

 

and you said the lower the better and with lower read noise i can do shorter exposures, but we dont want longer exposures?



#4 ChrisWhite

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:28 AM

The qhy versions of zwo cameras are also good choices. A few other companies also use some of these sensors in their cameras.

For cmos, I have used zwo and find that they have excellent customer support as well.

We don't necessarily want longer exposures. We want longer total integration time. Exposure length doesn't need to be longer than that required to swamp read noise. It's preferable for most people to take shorter exposures as it is easier for guiding, allows you to combine many subs to gain back bit depth in an image, and if a sub gets ruined you don't lose much.

#5 hubble space telescope

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:45 AM

ohh i get it! thanks! :)

 

and what is it osc? i heard about the QHY but only on their polemaster...



#6 ChrisWhite

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:52 AM

ohh i get it! thanks! smile.gif

 

and what is it osc? i heard about the QHY but only on their polemaster...

 

Sorry!  OSC= One shot color.

 

I.E.- A color camera instead of a mono camera... So your current 650D is also an OSC.  wink.gif



#7 nimitz69

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:06 AM

I’ll put in a vote for the 294.  I purchased this camera 4 months ago moving from a D5300.. the only issue I had was in creating good calibrated flats but that was an issue with my LED source not the camera.  Several folks here helped me get to the bottom of it and I’ve been very happy with the camera.  Check out astrobin.com to see what kind of images folks are producing with this camera.  Below is a shot from 2 weeks ago with only 10 of the 80 frames stacked 

 

29DA3695-5061-4458-A6A3-D09BC715F78D.jpeg


Edited by nimitz69, 16 June 2019 - 08:48 AM.

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#8 hubble space telescope

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:26 AM

grin.gif grin.gif

thanks!



#9 hubble space telescope

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:56 AM

wow!

a beautiful image nimitz!

although the tings been said o the 294 this image is very beautiful!



#10 ChrisWhite

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:11 AM

wow!
a beautiful image nimitz!
although the tings been said o the 294 this image is very beautiful!


I have zero personal experience with this camera, but there seems to be variation from camera to camera. Uneven cooling, strange gradients, etc...

#11 hubble space telescope

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:28 AM

it seems that the ZWO is good camera to start with reasonable price

the QSI is too complicated

and the canon 6D is not dedicated, but good way to resume the astrophotography

and the QHYCCD is high quality? because i saw the QHYCCD with the esprit, and the picture was not 100%... but maybe much of this is editing...



#12 bobzeq25

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:35 AM

hello everyone

im currently using canon 650D on the esprit 120 and i thinking to move on to the next level. at the beginning i wanted the canon 6D but after reading a little bit i realized that cooled dedicated astronomy camera will be better (color camera not mono. i want to start at first in color camera). so i have couple of question:

 

1) which camera should i buy? (or to stay with the canon 6D or even other DSLR camera?) from my understanding the ZWO ASI currently the best in the market? (for beginners?)

 

2) what is it "read noise"? and which read noise is the best -  the highest or the lowest (i saw a numbers next to the read noise and i dont know if i need to search for the lower number or the higher number)?

 

thank you very much!!!

The 3 obvious color choices for a beginner are the QHY163C, the ASI294, or the ASI071.  All have plusses and minuses.  The ones that cost more work better.  (Surprise)  Any of them would be a decent choice, the more expensive 071 the best.

 

Read noise is the unavoidable noise any camera introduces to the data (each subexposure) when it reads the chip.  Smaller is better.  As far as choosing a camera now, it's a tweak, not a big deal.  It will affect the optimum subexposure length, but you shouldn't worry about it too much right now, it's more an experienced imager thing.


Edited by bobzeq25, 16 June 2019 - 10:38 AM.


#13 ChrisWhite

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:36 AM

You couldnt tell the difference looking at an astroimage between a QHY and a ZWO camera using the same sensor....

 

None of these cameras are more or less complicated IMO.  You mentioned QSI.  QSI cameras are using CCD sensors, not CMOS and cost a lot more than the ZWO/QHY. 



#14 nimitz69

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:32 AM

wow!

a beautiful image nimitz!

although the tings been said o the 294 this image is very beautiful!

Thx!  Still a long way to go .... when you read about issues folks are having w/294 some times you really need to understand the details ... not saying folks aren’t having issues but some times things can be traced to non-camera things. Like in my case, i needed to find a light panel that produced a balanced white light, nothing at all to do with the camera


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#15 hubble space telescope

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:34 PM

bobzeq - it looks like the qhy is better then the asi both in the resolution and noise... am i reading this right?

 

chris - yeah the price of the QSI is pretty high, so i think that the QSI for know i wilol not buy, although it looks like a wonderful camera!

 

nimitz - i saw fro, videos that trevor jones (astrobackyard), recommended this camera! so maybe i will buy it! but more research to come!



#16 bobzeq25

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:42 PM

bobzeq - it looks like the qhy is better then the asi both in the resolution and noise... am i reading this right?

Don't know, because you didn't say, specifically, _which_ QHY and ASI you're talking about.  As stated above, the real difference is between the chips, not the manufacturers.

 

Crucial points.  In astrophotography resolution depends on a number of factors, not just the camera.  It's a complicated deal.  And, there usually is a tradeoff between resolution and signal to noise ratio, which is also very important in making nice images.

 

All that said, I think ASI has better customer service.  It wouldn't stop me from getting a QHY I preferred for technical reasons.  (And hasn't <smile>, I have both)



#17 Stelios

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:53 PM

Trying to clear the irrelevancies in the choices:

 

Unless you can comfortably spend around $4K for *just* the camera, your options are limited to CMOS cameras, *not* CCD's.

 

Unless you will be happy with very limited fields of view, your choices in practice will come down to three cameras (I've made them all ZWO, because there's no difference between vendors (ZWO, QHY, Atik) as far as image quality is for the same sensor, and ZWO offers a convenient on-camera USB hub, plus I like the red color smile.gif).

 

ALL of your choices should be *cooled* cameras. Getting CMOS without cooling is like getting a car without tires. Even if you live in Alaska it's a poor choice. 

 

These three are:

 

ASI071MC-Pro: The largest sensor (APS-C sized). Pixel size 4.78um (in conjunction with F/L determines image scale). Very good darks, excellent image quality. Around $1,400.

 

ASI294MC-Pro: Medium sized (4/3rds) sensor (somewhat smaller than APS-C). Pixel size 4.63um. Erratic reports on quality. Around $1,000.

 

ASI183MC-Pro: Smaller (1") sensor. Pixel size 2.4um (makes it suitable for smaller targets, requires better seeing). Very sharp sensor. Significant Amp glow, correctable with darks. Around $800.

 

The difference in sensor and pixel size are what should determine your choice. They will, in practice, overwhelm all other criteria. Here's a comparison with a popular target (from Astronomy.Tools). I assumed 840mm F/L with the Esprit 120, if you are using the reduced version the FOV's would be correspondingly larger.

 

ThreeCMOS.JPG


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#18 bobzeq25

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 01:18 PM

I have a 183C, don't recommend it for beginners.  The tiny pixels are signal to noise ratio challenged, require more total imaging time.



#19 hubble space telescope

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:20 PM

bobzeq - yeah, its the best when you have them both, dont need to choosewink.gif grin.gif

 

stelios - wow! thank you so much! its really gave me a reference point of how a target will be in the chip! thank you very much!!



#20 hubble space telescope

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:30 PM

also i saw that its hard to take flat image with the 071 (i thought to buy it) and im using off axis guiding, and some people told me that with OAG i need to use flat frames...



#21 bobzeq25

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:34 PM

also i saw that its hard to take flat image with the 071 (i thought to buy it) and im using off axis guiding, and some people told me that with OAG i need to use flat frames...

Most important.  You _really_ need to take all the camera calibration frames; bias, flats, darks.  All the time.  Whether you're using an OAG or not, it's irrelevant.

 

Without them you will almost certainly learn bad habits in processing, and processing is hard enough to learn without having to unlearn bad habits.

 

Next.  Taking good flats can be hard for some people, for a variety of reasons.  It might be tempting to blame the camera.  But I know of no substantial number of experienced imagers saying it's unusually hard to take them with a 071.  I have heard that about the 294, there's disagreement about it.

 

AP is very complicated.  There's a lot of information available here and elsewhere, some good, some bad.

 

You just have to decide which of us clowns (note that I've included myself <smile>) to believe.


Edited by bobzeq25, 16 June 2019 - 05:36 PM.

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#22 hubble space telescope

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 04:14 AM

lol.gif   the question now is what is the easiest camera to to do the calibration frames...


Edited by hubble space telescope, 17 June 2019 - 04:15 AM.


#23 hubble space telescope

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 04:18 AM

nimitz - you did flats frames with the 294, you said that it was hard? you can elabarate on this?

thanks!



#24 terry59

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:05 AM

Trying to clear the irrelevancies in the choices:

 

Unless you can comfortably spend around $4K for *just* the camera, your options are limited to CMOS cameras, *not* CCD's.

 

This is just plain wrong but sounds good to stoke CMOS hysteria....CCD is so much easier than CMOS but around here it is always couched in financial terms as though that is the only decision point

 

My CCD camera did not cost that much and is still going strong after 8+ years


Edited by terry59, 17 June 2019 - 07:06 AM.

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#25 hubble space telescope

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:41 AM

what is the cheapest ccd?




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