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Binning with CMOS color chip

astrophotography CMOS imaging
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#1 cshelley999

cshelley999

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 11:01 AM

Can I use 2x2 and 3x3 binning on a modern CMOS color chip without loosing the color data? Specifically, the Sony IMX183 BSI found in ZWO's ASI183MC Pro.

High Point Scientific originally set me up with a non-cooled ZWO ASI178MM. However, capturing darks 
accurate enough to deal with the amp glow with an uncooled chip is nearly impossible.

 

I've been using astronomy.tools CCD suitability calculator to find the right pixel size to match my scope: Sky-Watcher Evostar 100ED Pro (900mm with a 0.85 reducer/flattener). It seems the 2.4 um pixel size does work for my system so long as I can take advantage of binning to adjust for my seeing conditions. While not a perfect match form my current scope, it appears to work well for scopes I expect to use in the future too such as the RASA 8.

At home I'll being sitting in the 2-5" FWHM range. My intention is to just bin the camera at 2x2 or 3x3 to match the seeing conditions. However, half the year I will be able to image from 10,000 feet well removed from light pollution in both elevation and distance from electricity. During those times using no binning should put it in a nice spot assuming the seeing is good and maybe even exceptional up there.
 

I'm moving to the color camera in order to avoid the extra complications of imaging through multiple filters etc while trying to learn everything else too. A simplification so I can focus on getting good at the stuff required to capture the data. After I'm good and confident in all of that I will move back to a mono camera and filters.
 

However, none of this plan will work out if I go to bin the camera at 2x2 and suddenly can't get a color image out of the data. ZWO says the 183MC can be binned at 2, 3, and 4 but says nothing about color loss. I know it must be software binning since it is a CMOS chip. That only maters to me if that type of binning does not, in fact, change my pixel scale which would be the entire reason for doing it here.

 

In summary, can I use bin2 and bin3 with the Sony IMX183 BSI Exmor R without loosing the color data and does this binning actually change the pixel scale so I can adapt to variable seeing conditions?
 


Edited by cshelley999, 03 December 2019 - 11:57 AM.



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