Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Moravian G2-8300 Mark ll or ZWO 1600mm

  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 higs

higs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2018

Posted 19 August 2019 - 07:09 AM

Has anyone had experience with the G2-8300 camera? I can't decide which one to go with and it's hard to find reviews for this camera. I've heard a lot of good reviews for the 1600mm and have seen photos taken with it. I am getting the William Optics 132mm F7 telescope. If you have other cameras to recommend let me know.



#2 pyrasanth

pyrasanth

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1738
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2016

Posted 19 August 2019 - 08:17 AM

I would go with the Moravian. Great build and superb driver stability. I will keep my opinions to myself with regard to ZWO lest I upset the moderators.



#3 2ghouls

2ghouls

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 753
  • Joined: 19 Sep 2016

Posted 19 August 2019 - 09:11 AM

Mostly shooting narrowband or LRGB?

#4 higs

higs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2018

Posted 19 August 2019 - 09:23 AM

Mostly shooting narrowband or LRGB?

I'll be shooting both, it's really 50/50


Edited by higs, 19 August 2019 - 09:24 AM.


#5 lucam

lucam

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 563
  • Joined: 09 Oct 2017
  • Loc: Upstate NY, USA

Posted 19 August 2019 - 09:45 AM

I have not used the Moravian camera but I use both the ZWO ASI1600 and the Atik 383L+ (same KAF-8300 sensor). I like both cameras but if I had to pick one, I would probably go with the ASI1600. Aside from obvious sampling differences (3.8 um vs 5.4um pixels), the KAF-8300 sensor performs superbly for LRGB imaging but it is pretty noisy and with tight narrowband filters, it's a struggle to get enough signal to dominate read noise and fixed pattern noise. The ASI1600 is the opposite: very low noise and at unity gain with 6-8 minute subs I get very clean data. The mount that you use and your skies play a big role here as well. If you have steady skies and a mount that allow 45 minute exposures, the KAF-8300 will be awesome. I shoot 20 minute exposures because there is too much variability in my sky and with a fast scope, Bortle 5 sky, and 3nm narrowband filters I am still very much in the read-noise dominated regime. For this reason, I have to bump up integration time to make up for the less efficient noise averaging.

 

For LRGB imaging, the situation is reversed. The deeper wells of the KAF-8300 allow for longer subs and less saturation near bright stars. The ASI1600 has also the microlens issue near very bright stars. There are a handful of stars in the sky that really are problematic (Alnitak, Vega, Gamma Cas, ..., M45) but I avoid shooting near these stars with the ASI1600. By the way, some KAF-8300 sensors also exhibit a microlens pattern but quite different from the Panasonic sensor. It shows as a faint cross on bright stars (like a diffraction spike) even on refractors. 

 

12bit vs 16bit ADC is somewhat of a moot point. You need the higher bit-depth ADC with the KAF because the subs have lower count (especially narrowband) and you collect fewer subs. For the same integration time, with the ASI1600 you will get 3-4x subs so the average will recover a lot of that bit depth difference between ADCs. 

 

You can take a look at my Astrobin, you'll find examples with both cameras on a Newt astrograph and a 4in refractor. 


  • bmhjr, 2ghouls, RossW and 1 other like this

#6 higs

higs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2018

Posted 19 August 2019 - 10:12 AM

I have not used the Moravian camera but I use both the ZWO ASI1600 and the Atik 383L+ (same KAF-8300 sensor). I like both cameras but if I had to pick one, I would probably go with the ASI1600. Aside from obvious sampling differences (3.8 um vs 5.4um pixels), the KAF-8300 sensor performs superbly for LRGB imaging but it is pretty noisy and with tight narrowband filters, it's a struggle to get enough signal to dominate read noise and fixed pattern noise. The ASI1600 is the opposite: very low noise and at unity gain with 6-8 minute subs I get very clean data. The mount that you use and your skies play a big role here as well. If you have steady skies and a mount that allow 45 minute exposures, the KAF-8300 will be awesome. I shoot 20 minute exposures because there is too much variability in my sky and with a fast scope, Bortle 5 sky, and 3nm narrowband filters I am still very much in the read-noise dominated regime. For this reason, I have to bump up integration time to make up for the less efficient noise averaging.

 

For LRGB imaging, the situation is reversed. The deeper wells of the KAF-8300 allow for longer subs and less saturation near bright stars. The ASI1600 has also the microlens issue near very bright stars. There are a handful of stars in the sky that really are problematic (Alnitak, Vega, Gamma Cas, ..., M45) but I avoid shooting near these stars with the ASI1600. By the way, some KAF-8300 sensors also exhibit a microlens pattern but quite different from the Panasonic sensor. It shows as a faint cross on bright stars (like a diffraction spike) even on refractors. 

 

12bit vs 16bit ADC is somewhat of a moot point. You need the higher bit-depth ADC with the KAF because the subs have lower count (especially narrowband) and you collect fewer subs. For the same integration time, with the ASI1600 you will get 3-4x subs so the average will recover a lot of that bit depth difference between ADCs. 

 

You can take a look at my Astrobin, you'll find examples with both cameras on a Newt astrograph and a 4in refractor. 

So I have the CELESTRON CGX EQUATORIAL MOUNT, I'm not sure if i can do 45 minute exposures with that but it's a tough decision with the camera. I'm on long island and there's a good amount of light pollution. I'm going to get astrodon filters LRGB, Ha, Sll and Olll once I figure out which camera im getting. I'm in the 5K budget range including the 7 filters so i have a few options. Thank you for the information, It's a big help



#7 higs

higs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2018

Posted 19 August 2019 - 10:12 AM

I would go with the Moravian. Great build and superb driver stability. I will keep my opinions to myself with regard to ZWO lest I upset the moderators.

Thank you for the advice. It's a hard decision 



#8 ManuelJ

ManuelJ

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1434
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Madrid, Spain

Posted 19 August 2019 - 10:51 AM

If you can manage 30 minutes subs in narrowband, then the moravian is the winner hands down.

#9 higs

higs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2018

Posted 19 August 2019 - 10:59 AM

If you can manage 30 minutes subs in narrowband, then the moravian is the winner hands down.

Do you know if the Celestron CGX can do that or do i need to get a different mount?



#10 lucam

lucam

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 563
  • Joined: 09 Oct 2017
  • Loc: Upstate NY, USA

Posted 19 August 2019 - 11:42 AM

Do you know if the Celestron CGX can do that or do i need to get a different mount?

It's not just a question of mount. I use a AP Mach1GTO with the 10in Newt and the mount is perfectly capable of holding the scope but if the wind starts blowing, a sub may be ruined, if seeing gets worse for a while, a sub may be ruined, if clouds move in and out, a few subs may be ruined.

 

I can certainly stretch my subs to 30 minutes, the reason I work with 20 minute subs is that I don't want to take more than 20 minute hit in integration time for each sub I have to discard. With low-noise cameras, you are looking at discarding 6-8 minutes per sub. 



#11 higs

higs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2018

Posted 19 August 2019 - 11:50 AM

It's not just a question of mount. I use a AP Mach1GTO with the 10in Newt and the mount is perfectly capable of holding the scope but if the wind starts blowing, a sub may be ruined, if seeing gets worse for a while, a sub may be ruined, if clouds move in and out, a few subs may be ruined.

 

I can certainly stretch my subs to 30 minutes, the reason I work with 20 minute subs is that I don't want to take more than 20 minute hit in integration time for each sub I have to discard. With low-noise cameras, you are looking at discarding 6-8 minutes per sub. 

Got it, I'm still new to this so I'm picking up on a lot of things. Thank you for the help.



#12 2ghouls

2ghouls

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 753
  • Joined: 19 Sep 2016

Posted 19 August 2019 - 01:10 PM

I'll be shooting both, it's really 50/50

The KAF-8300 sensor performs superbly for LRGB imaging but it is pretty noisy and with tight narrowband filters, it's a struggle to get enough signal to dominate read noise and fixed pattern noise. The ASI1600 is the opposite: very low noise and at unity gain with 6-8 minute subs I get very clean data.

What Luca said. I've seen first-hand people struggling to swamp the read noise on OIII and SII with the 8300 because they can't do the really long subs. The 50/50 is what makes it a tough decision as for me the ASI1600 is a clear winner for narrowband, and the KAF8300 would be the better choice for broadband.

 

Since you are still new to this, I would probably suggest learning on the ASI1600 (cheaper), and then down the road you could upgrade to something even better like a full frame mono 16-bit CMOS (coming soon) or the KAI-16200. There is a lot of good info on the ASI1600 and how to tackle calibration, etc. here on CN since it is a very popular camera.


  • lucam likes this

#13 higs

higs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2018

Posted 19 August 2019 - 01:31 PM

What Luca said. I've seen first-hand people struggling to swamp the read noise on OIII and SII with the 8300 because they can't do the really long subs. The 50/50 is what makes it a tough decision as for me the ASI1600 is a clear winner for narrowband, and the KAF8300 would be the better choice for broadband.

 

Since you are still new to this, I would probably suggest learning on the ASI1600 (cheaper), and then down the road you could upgrade to something even better like a full frame mono 16-bit CMOS (coming soon) or the KAI-16200. There is a lot of good info on the ASI1600 and how to tackle calibration, etc. here on CN since it is a very popular camera.

Thanks for the information. 



#14 ManuelJ

ManuelJ

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1434
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Madrid, Spain

Posted 19 August 2019 - 03:48 PM

Do you know if the Celestron CGX can do that or do i need to get a different mount?


I think that if you are asking that question, the answer is no :)

30 minutes subs are pretty hard. But long exposures and ccds in narrowband is the way to succeed, at least for the moment. Just if you want to go deep, it depends on your expectations.

#15 higs

higs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2018

Posted 19 August 2019 - 04:11 PM

I think that if you are asking that question, the answer is no smile.gif

30 minutes subs are pretty hard. But long exposures and ccds in narrowband is the way to succeed, at least for the moment. Just if you want to go deep, it depends on your expectations.

I have high hopes for the amount of money planned on being spent for the set up haha. I just want to make sure i have the right set up for getting as much detail and clarity out of my photos as i possibly can.



#16 Suavi

Suavi

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 409
  • Joined: 05 May 2017
  • Loc: 20.25 deg South of the Equator

Posted 19 August 2019 - 04:30 PM

One additional factor is that the scope is f/7, so it is a little bit slow for narrowband, therefore it might be worthwhile looking into getting a nice reducer for narrowband. With a reducer, the 1600 will give better sampling since the 8300 will be under-sampling. However, 5.4 micron pixels will collect photons twice as fast as 3.8 micron pixels with the same telescope, so 8300's higher read noise may not be as big disadvantage as it looks on paper when just looking at each camera's specs.



#17 higs

higs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2018

Posted 19 August 2019 - 04:55 PM

One additional factor is that the scope is f/7, so it is a little bit slow for narrowband, therefore it might be worthwhile looking into getting a nice reducer for narrowband. With a reducer, the 1600 will give better sampling since the 8300 will be under-sampling. However, 5.4 micron pixels will collect photons twice as fast as 3.8 micron pixels with the same telescope, so 8300's higher read noise may not be as big disadvantage as it looks on paper when just looking at each camera's specs.

I was looking at a .72 focal reducer/flattener, I think that brings it to F5. 


  • Suavi likes this

#18 billdan

billdan

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 244
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2012
  • Loc: SE Queensland

Posted 20 August 2019 - 12:14 PM

For a good image, I believe it's the total integration time that counts not the sub length that's important.  So 8 hours worth of 30 minute subs will produce the same result as 8 hours worth of 5 minute subs. 

 

Having said that the KAF8300 sensor is old technology, it came to market in 2005 that's 14 years ago.

 

If it was me I would go with the more modern ZWO -1600 or QHY163 and live with its quirks (microlens issue on bright stars), and you get a high frame rate video camera in the bargain as well for planets.

 

In addition you get much lower readout noise, higher QE (78% vs 56% at 550nm) and if you use a USB3.0 port it downloads an image in approx'  6 secs vs 25 secs for the 8300.

One more thing the ZWO 1600 can use 1.25" filters as the sensor is close to the front of the camera, most 8300 based cameras, the sensor is recessed 20mm from the front and requires 36mm filters, more money to spend.


Edited by billdan, 20 August 2019 - 12:39 PM.


#19 higs

higs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2018

Posted 21 August 2019 - 08:06 AM

For a good image, I believe it's the total integration time that counts not the sub length that's important.  So 8 hours worth of 30 minute subs will produce the same result as 8 hours worth of 5 minute subs. 

 

Having said that the KAF8300 sensor is old technology, it came to market in 2005 that's 14 years ago.

 

If it was me I would go with the more modern ZWO -1600 or QHY163 and live with its quirks (microlens issue on bright stars), and you get a high frame rate video camera in the bargain as well for planets.

 

In addition you get much lower readout noise, higher QE (78% vs 56% at 550nm) and if you use a USB3.0 port it downloads an image in approx'  6 secs vs 25 secs for the 8300.

One more thing the ZWO 1600 can use 1.25" filters as the sensor is close to the front of the camera, most 8300 based cameras, the sensor is recessed 20mm from the front and requires 36mm filters, more money to spend.

Yeah I'm leaning away from the 8300. Now I can't decide if i wanna get the WO FLT132mm or go with the Sky-Watcher 100mm Esprit. I'm looking at the 1600mm camera but there is a part of me that wants to go for the QHY 16200A (with 50mm filters) but I'm not sure if that would be a good camera choice if i went with the 100mm Esprit. Money isn't an issue here that's why there's a big price difference in the things i want.



#20 billdan

billdan

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 244
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2012
  • Loc: SE Queensland

Posted 21 August 2019 - 09:59 AM

The Espirit 100 is designed to provide flat field for a full frame camera so the QHY16200  will be OK and you will not get vignetting.

The QHY16200 is available with a 5 or 7 pos filter wheel, I would get the 7 pos version so you don't have to open it up to swap out filters. However the 7 pos version weighs nearly 2.4Kg (without the optional OAG) and I would check that the Espirit focuser can hang on to that weight without slipping.



#21 buckeyestargazer

buckeyestargazer

    Vendor - Buckeyestargazer.net

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 4691
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2008
  • Loc: IN, USA

Posted 21 August 2019 - 10:02 AM

Yeah I'm leaning away from the 8300. Now I can't decide if i wanna get the WO FLT132mm or go with the Sky-Watcher 100mm Esprit. I'm looking at the 1600mm camera but there is a part of me that wants to go for the QHY 16200A (with 50mm filters) but I'm not sure if that would be a good camera choice if i went with the 100mm Esprit. Money isn't an issue here that's why there's a big price difference in the things i want.

If it were me and cost wasn't an issue I would go with a 16200 based camera without any question in my mind.  The 16200 is cleaner than the 8300 was, and of course is a larger chip too.  My preference would be for the Moravian G3-16200 over the QHY (honestly, I don't understand why Moravian doesn't get more love on here).  I currently use a Moravian G3-16200M, QHY163M and QHY183M.  If I had to choose to keep one it would be the 16200 hands down. 

 

There's a lot of factors at play here.  Of the equipment you have mentioned, the WO 132 matched with the 16200 gives a very pleasing 1.34 arcs/px image scale.  Even with a reducer that scale is 1.67 which is still good.  The Esprit would give you a much larger FOV but at the cost of reduced resolution with an image scale around 2.25.  However if your skies aren't great 2.25 might look just as good as 1.34.  But at a dark site you'll notice a significant difference.  

 

One question:  if cost isn't really an issue, why not get a 16200 for LRGB and a 1600 for narrowband?  That would be the ideal solution in my mind. You could use the same filters and filter wheel with both cameras.  Currently I use a QHY CFW3-L with both my G3-16200 and QHY163M depending on the target. 



#22 higs

higs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2018

Posted 21 August 2019 - 10:24 AM

If it were me and cost wasn't an issue I would go with a 16200 based camera without any question in my mind.  The 16200 is cleaner than the 8300 was, and of course is a larger chip too.  My preference would be for the Moravian G3-16200 over the QHY (honestly, I don't understand why Moravian doesn't get more love on here).  I currently use a Moravian G3-16200M, QHY163M and QHY183M.  If I had to choose to keep one it would be the 16200 hands down. 

 

There's a lot of factors at play here.  Of the equipment you have mentioned, the WO 132 matched with the 16200 gives a very pleasing 1.34 arcs/px image scale.  Even with a reducer that scale is 1.67 which is still good.  The Esprit would give you a much larger FOV but at the cost of reduced resolution with an image scale around 2.25.  However if your skies aren't great 2.25 might look just as good as 1.34.  But at a dark site you'll notice a significant difference.  

 

One question:  if cost isn't really an issue, why not get a 16200 for LRGB and a 1600 for narrowband?  That would be the ideal solution in my mind. You could use the same filters and filter wheel with both cameras.  Currently I use a QHY CFW3-L with both my G3-16200 and QHY163M depending on the target. 

My skies are class 7 so It's pretty bad. I thought about that but if I could have one camera that would be better. I also saw a Sky-Watcher 20th anniversary kit that looked pretty cool, comes with a STARLIGHT XPRESS TRIUS SX-42 CCD CAMERA but the camera I don't have a lot of knowledge on it. My problem is I see something and go oh I like that, then I see something else and I'm like oh that's even better.



#23 buckeyestargazer

buckeyestargazer

    Vendor - Buckeyestargazer.net

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 4691
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2008
  • Loc: IN, USA

Posted 21 August 2019 - 10:27 AM

My problem is I see something and go oh I like that, then I see something else and I'm like oh that's even better.

We all have that problem.  foreheadslap.gif



#24 higs

higs

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2018

Posted 21 August 2019 - 10:28 AM

The Espirit 100 is designed to provide flat field for a full frame camera so the QHY16200  will be OK and you will not get vignetting.

The QHY16200 is available with a 5 or 7 pos filter wheel, I would get the 7 pos version so you don't have to open it up to swap out filters. However the 7 pos version weighs nearly 2.4Kg (without the optional OAG) and I would check that the Espirit focuser can hang on to that weight without slipping.

Yeah if I get that camera I would get the 7 filter wheel. I was looking at the primaluce motor focuser and has a load capacity of 18lbs so I think I would be good


Edited by higs, 21 August 2019 - 01:14 PM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics