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Planetary with my Skywatcher Mak127 - need camera advice

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#1 reddog1972

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 09:28 AM

All of my previous imaging experience lies with DSOs, and I'm aware that planetary imaging is an entirely different ballgame.  My Mak127 (f/12) will be the OTA of choice (this won't be changing anytime soon) for this task, and I'm looking to acquire a color ZWO camera that will be ideally suited for use with this particular OTA.  I'm aware of the pixel size (um) x 5 is the optimal focal length for proper sampling, and I've been looking at two particular cameras:

 

1)  ASI224MC - pixel size 3.75 um, max FPS 150 at full resolution

2) ASI290MC - pixel size 2.9um, max FPS 170 at full resolution

 

Initially I was gravitating towards the Asi290 before I became aware of the "x5 rule", as I'd naturally assumed smaller pixels would provide a larger perceived image (as would occur with DSO imaging), however when looking at the numbers am I wrong to assume that I'd be best suited imaging with the Asi224 and pairing it with a 1.5x barlow to image at f/18? 

 

This was my first attempt on Friday 6/14 from Northern NJ with the Mak127 paired with a Celestron 3x barlow and Canon T3i.  Capture in BYEOS (1,000 frames), Stacked in Autostakkert 3 (best 50%), Processed in Registax 6.

Thanks in advance and clear skies!

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#2 eros312

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:21 AM

I would go with the ASI224 with a 1.5X Barlow. 


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#3 TareqPhoto

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:21 PM

For this Mak yes 224, but it it was a Newt or even SCT then i may recommend 290 with Barlow.



#4 Tulloch

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 05:27 PM

Hi there, I am currently taking planetary photos using similar equipment (Celestron 6" SCT with a Canon 700D/T5i and 2x Barlow) running BYEOS and stacking etc.

 

While I am also looking to upgrade my camera to a dedicated planetary camera (and the same ones you are looking at), it is certainly possible to create great looking planetary images using your current setup (with the DSLR). Were you streaming the Liveview video at 5X straight from the camera?

 

Have a look at my gallery for some examples I've taken with my setup if you like, FYI I'm taking 10,000 frames at 20 fps, stacking the best 25% - 50% and processing the same way as you.

 

If and when you do decide on an ASI224 or ASI290, please let us know and see the results, I'd be interested in what improvements can be made over a DSLR smile.gif .

 

Thanks,

 

Andrew



#5 TareqPhoto

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 05:36 PM

Hi there, I am currently taking planetary photos using similar equipment (Celestron 6" SCT with a Canon 700D/T5i and 2x Barlow) running BYEOS and stacking etc.

 

While I am also looking to upgrade my camera to a dedicated planetary camera (and the same ones you are looking at), it is certainly possible to create great looking planetary images using your current setup (with the DSLR). Were you streaming the Liveview video at 5X straight from the camera?

 

Have a look at my gallery for some examples I've taken with my setup if you like, FYI I'm taking 10,000 frames at 20 fps, stacking the best 25% - 50% and processing the same way as you.

 

If and when you do decide on an ASI224 or ASI290, please let us know and see the results, I'd be interested in what improvements can be made over a DSLR smile.gif .

 

Thanks,

 

Andrew

Just upgrade and don't ask or look back or wait for comparison, big names of planetary imaging using planetary cameras for reasons, not about how good is DSLR, but how much they can go far with planetary camera actually, so DSLR is like a second less choice for them, i do have also DSLR and mirrorless cameras and i didn't think about using them, i needed much smaller sensor and smaller pixel sizes for planetary, you know DSLRs are with full frame or APS-C/APS-H sensors sizes, and pixel sizes big a bit like maybe minimum is 4.5um, so it is like DSLR although can get nice results but they aren't the best option out there, otherwise all images i saw of planets from ALPO at least since last year will be done with DSLRs.



#6 Tulloch

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:11 PM

Just upgrade and don't ask or look back or wait for comparison, big names of planetary imaging using planetary cameras for reasons, not about how good is DSLR, but how much they can go far with planetary camera actually, so DSLR is like a second less choice for them, i do have also DSLR and mirrorless cameras and i didn't think about using them, i needed much smaller sensor and smaller pixel sizes for planetary, you know DSLRs are with full frame or APS-C/APS-H sensors sizes, and pixel sizes big a bit like maybe minimum is 4.5um, so it is like DSLR although can get nice results but they aren't the best option out there, otherwise all images i saw of planets from ALPO at least since last year will be done with DSLRs.

Hi there, thanks for your reply. I'm not saying that DSLRs are better than dedicated planetary cameras for taking photos of the planets, just that it's possible to get reasonable quality images from a DSLR if you don't have access to one. My camera has a pixel size of 4.3 microns which isn't a million miles away from the 224, but it's limited to 20 fps and has worse sensitivity and noise levels than the 224. 

 

I was more interested in seeing how much of an difference in image quality it would have, prior to me spending $400+ on a new camera.

 

Andrew



#7 TareqPhoto

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:29 PM

Hi there, thanks for your reply. I'm not saying that DSLRs are better than dedicated planetary cameras for taking photos of the planets, just that it's possible to get reasonable quality images from a DSLR if you don't have access to one. My camera has a pixel size of 4.3 microns which isn't a million miles away from the 224, but it's limited to 20 fps and has worse sensitivity and noise levels than the 224. 

 

I was more interested in seeing how much of an difference in image quality it would have, prior to me spending $400+ on a new camera.

 

Andrew

Yes, i understand your point, but why? i mean why you want to see how much difference? waiting to see that there is not much big difference or there is? For me it is easy, DSLR is very good but it won't surpass planetary cameras, and if DSLR is very good then planetary is way better, it s just you go and buy and never look back and don't wait the differences, i did although i have many DSLRs as i mentioned and i never looked back, WAIT, i bought 4 cameras actually and one is damaged grin.gif wink.gif



#8 reddog1972

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:36 PM

Tareq - given my initial question at the top of the thread, would you go with the asi224mc or asi290mc and why?

#9 TareqPhoto

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:51 PM

Tareq - given my initial question at the top of the thread, would you go with the asi224mc or asi290mc and why?

Difficult decision, but i solved it, with 385MC, because somehow i wanted larger pixel size, and also larger resolution, let's say like a combination of 224MC and 290MC, ZWO responded with ASI385MC and i am happy with that.

 

I don't know if 2.9 pixel size is better or 3.75 pixel size is better, going with x5-x7 rules for sampling it sounds most of the time i will be at F/20 or more, so in this case 224MC will be a choice, if less than F20 like F15 or F12 then 290 is the choice, so you decide according your scope and if you will use a Barlow later to be at F20 or more, think twice .... think wise.



#10 reddog1972

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:57 PM

How does max fps factor into the equation for selection. I understand the desire for a larger chip, but the 385 has max fps of 120, the 224 has max fps of 150 and the 29p has max fps of 170 at max resolution.

#11 TareqPhoto

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 08:24 PM

How does max fps factor into the equation for selection. I understand the desire for a larger chip, but the 385 has max fps of 120, the 224 has max fps of 150 and the 29p has max fps of 170 at max resolution.

fps isn't the main decision factor for met to be honest, when i use larger ROI it is slower, if smaller it can go faster, i mean i tested 385 and 290, with both i can go up to 250fps or more, when i use ROI for example 400x400 or 500x500 with high gain at 1/250 exposure i get nearly 240 fps from both cameras, i connect the camera directly to USB3.0 port, and it is an old laptop too, even if 385MC is less it is not a big deal for me really.




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