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Color balance far off in new ZWO ASI2600MC Pro

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#1 Peterson Engineering

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 09:59 AM

For the past 10 or more years I've been doing near Earth asteroid astrometry with an SBIG camera rig hanging off of the back of a Meade 14".  A recent magazine article on a latest technology large format CMOS camera caught my fancy.  In the distant past I've used a small chip CCD color camera and a slightly larger mono camera with which I'd done LRGB.  Purchased this ASI2600MC 2 weeks back as flats, darks and post processing didn't seem necessary.

 

Well, maybe it is.  Histograms show colors to be significantly shifted, and while images are large and sharp the color's way way off. 

 

I'm controlling the camera using SharpCap 3.2 as recommended by ZWO.  Still very early stages of setup and have only run one DSO - the Veil.  While awaiting delivery of a guide camera I've been running AVIs , stacking with AutoStakkert 3.0.14 (x64) and processing with Registax 6.

 

Here's an example of the moon:1.jpg

1.jpg

 

Thought the problem might be with choice of the wrong Bayer matrix.  The camera control software has choices but forcing RGGB seems to disappear the RG so I'm letting SharpCap do an auto select as far as the camera matrix.

 

Maybe the problem was that Luna was low and there was significant atmospheric refraction, even with an SCT.  So here's an analysis of Mars before addressing color shifts: and then after in more realistic coloring after aligning color.  Nope, not an atmospheric refraction thing.

 

2.jpg3.jpg

 

Let's analyze this.  Here's the initial histogram shown in Registax:

4.jpg

 

Stretching the histogram we get:

 

6.jpg

 

Stretching just a bit more:

7.jpg

 

And finally applying the Registax RGB autobalance routine:

8.jpg

 

Is this kind of color mis-registration normal?  I've never had to play with color using previous planet cams or color CCDs or even the very first ToUcam.  Bad camera possible but unlikely.  Much color in scope, but with an SCT that's unlikely.  Bad setup probably, but what?

 

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

 

Pete


Edited by Peterson Engineering, 03 September 2020 - 10:01 AM.

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#2 sn2006gy

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 10:43 AM

There is a quirk with the native drivers that causes this issue.

 

the ZWO ASI SDK supports setting the white balance by the 2 parameters

ASI_WB_R, R,//red component of white balance
ASI_WB_B, B,// blue component of white balance

 

If you don't set these, the defaults are something like 90/52 where they should be 50/50

 

NINA 1.10 update 1 hotfix fixed this.

 

I believe if you use the ascom drivers, it correctly sets this.

 

If you use other acquisition tools, they should update their code to set those parameters or make them definable.

 

You may be able to use sharpcap to set these and see if they're preserved between uses. (or that asitool you can download from their website... maybe sharp cap doesn't expose these parameters)


Edited by sn2006gy, 03 September 2020 - 10:47 AM.

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#3 Peterson Engineering

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 11:37 AM

Thank you so much for the almost instant reply Bryon.  You were right on.

 

I'm avoiding ASCOM where possible and using the latest SharpCap 3.2  White balance ® and White balance (B) are set with two slider controls and were indeed set at 90 & 52.  I've reset them to 50/50 and have set the program so that it retains these settings.

 

Didn't understand the white balance settings.  Do now.  Thanks for the education.  Wonder why the software got the white balance offset in the first place.

 

Stay well,

 

Pete


Edited by Peterson Engineering, 03 September 2020 - 11:37 AM.

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#4 sn2006gy

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 12:23 PM

It happens on the 533,2600 and probably the 6200mc drivers for some reason. Seems like they should programmatically set to 50/50 in their code. I tried emailing zwo for a bit but their website was broken. Will follow up and see if they release updated drivers with sane defaults.

 

Glad that was it though!



#5 Xentex

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 12:17 PM

It's also easily adjusted in the ASIcap program (in the ASIStudio download).  For whatever reason the cameras seem to default to that 90/52 setting out of the box.

 

I set mine to 50/50 in ASIcap once, and Nina and everything else stayed with those values ever since.



#6 kjeanpaul

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 03:03 AM

anyone using the Zwo Asi Air pro? there are some settings for white balance I do not understand, 

any update of the camera's fw could fix this?


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#7 gbellman

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 08:30 AM

I am using the ASIAir Pro also and am having this issue with ASI2600MC Pro. I checked settings in ASICap and it's already set to 50/05 but that setting doesn't seem to carry over to ASIAir Pro. This is really disappointing, it appears to have been a known issue for at least a year!

 

Anyone kknow how to adjust white balance in ASIAir Pro?

 

Thanks


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#8 davidparks

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 09:49 AM

I use the ASI2600MC Pro with the ASIAIR Pro without any issue at all, color or otherwise.  I believe there is simply a On/Off toggle for Auto-White Balance in the Main Camera Settings > Advanced Settings    (going from memory, I'll have to check later tonight to confirm)


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#9 gbellman

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 12:10 PM

I use the ASI2600MC Pro with the ASIAIR Pro without any issue at all, color or otherwise.  I believe there is simply a On/Off toggle for Auto-White Balance in the Main Camera Settings > Advanced Settings    (going from memory, I'll have to check later tonight to confirm)

Thank you, I'll give it a try!



#10 Walter T

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 10:10 PM

Thank you, I'll give it a try!

Hi, did this solve it for you, did you check the box or uncheck it?  I'd try it myself but it's full of clouds for days so it'd be a while.  I set my white balance to 50/50 in ASICAP an it persists to other programs like in your case just want to make sure it persists to the AAP.



#11 Peterson Engineering

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Posted 19 June 2021 - 08:55 AM

After playing with astro imaging for a bit I've come to realize that for the most part color is in the mind of the person doing post processing.  For starters one aligns OSC color histograms and from there it is (sometimes) what one wants it to be.  

 

This original post was made very shortly after receipt of a new ASI2600MC-P and was a startup problem only.  Running a 14" Meade LX200GPS out of a TI Home Dome with SharpCap Pro, Autostakkret, Registax, Images Plus and PhotoShop.  Keeping it simple.  Never felt the need for ASIAIR as cables just run down the pier and under the floor.




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