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ASI294 vs. ASI071 vs. ASI2600 - Camera for EAA and Astrophotography

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#1 graaja

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 08:10 AM

Hi All,

 

I have a Celestron 6SE SCT and have been into visual astronomy for a little over a year.  I would like to pursue EAA and astrophotography.  After reading lots of discussions here, I have put together the below list of equipment, some of which have arrived and some on the way.

 

1. EQ-6R Pro - Arrived
2. Meade 0.63x FR/FF for the SCT - Arrived
3. ZWO ASI 224 for planetary imaging and guide camera - Arrived
4. William Optics GT81 - Ordered
5. William Optics 50mm guide scope - Ordered
6. William Optics Flat 6AIII 0.8x FR/FF - Ordered

 

Now I need to finalize the main camera and need inputs from the community.  I want to start with an OSC camera.

 

I had almost finalized ZWO ASI294 MC Pro after seeing lots of good reviews for this camera.  But I also found many discussions about amp glow and calibration issues that many are facing with 294.  Found some good reviews about ASI071 which does not have this amp glow or calibration issues, but then found many threads about icing problem with this camera because of which users are not able to cool it enough.  Then there is the ASI2600 which by its specs (APS-C sensor, 16 bit resolution, 3.76u pixel size, 80% QE) looks like a camera that can last me for years, but is new and there maybe unreported problems yet.  At $2000, it is quite a stretch, but as this is going to be a one time purchase, I am willing to stretch.  I checked ASI533, but dropped it due to the square frame.

 

As there is a steep learning curve to get all the equipment working and I have very limited time to spend on the hobby (mostly only weekends), want to get the right equipment and reduce time spent on troubleshooting and workarounds.

 

So, if I were to drop ASI294 due to the calibration issues and amp glow and shortlist ASI071 and ASI2600:

 

1. Has ZWO addressed the frosting issue with ASI071?
2. Is there any showstopper issues reported on the ASI2600?  Some reviewers have mentioned about the huge file size that can increase processing time.  How will this affect live stacking for EAA?

 

Which of these would you suggest?  Is there any other good OSC camera that I should consider?

 

Thanks in advance for all the guidance and inputs.



#2 Stelios

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 06:03 PM

Moving to CCD/CMOS. 



#3 Lead_Weight

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 06:22 PM

Hi All,

 

I have a Celestron 6SE SCT and have been into visual astronomy for a little over a year.  I would like to pursue EAA and astrophotography.  After reading lots of discussions here, I have put together the below list of equipment, some of which have arrived and some on the way.

 

1. EQ-6R Pro - Arrived
2. Meade 0.63x FR/FF for the SCT - Arrived
3. ZWO ASI 224 for planetary imaging and guide camera - Arrived
4. William Optics GT81 - Ordered
5. William Optics 50mm guide scope - Ordered
6. William Optics Flat 6AIII 0.8x FR/FF - Ordered

 

Now I need to finalize the main camera and need inputs from the community.  I want to start with an OSC camera.

 

I had almost finalized ZWO ASI294 MC Pro after seeing lots of good reviews for this camera.  But I also found many discussions about amp glow and calibration issues that many are facing with 294.  Found some good reviews about ASI071 which does not have this amp glow or calibration issues, but then found many threads about icing problem with this camera because of which users are not able to cool it enough.  Then there is the ASI2600 which by its specs (APS-C sensor, 16 bit resolution, 3.76u pixel size, 80% QE) looks like a camera that can last me for years, but is new and there maybe unreported problems yet.  At $2000, it is quite a stretch, but as this is going to be a one time purchase, I am willing to stretch.  I checked ASI533, but dropped it due to the square frame.

 

As there is a steep learning curve to get all the equipment working and I have very limited time to spend on the hobby (mostly only weekends), want to get the right equipment and reduce time spent on troubleshooting and workarounds.

 

So, if I were to drop ASI294 due to the calibration issues and amp glow and shortlist ASI071 and ASI2600:

 

1. Has ZWO addressed the frosting issue with ASI071?
2. Is there any showstopper issues reported on the ASI2600?  Some reviewers have mentioned about the huge file size that can increase processing time.  How will this affect live stacking for EAA?

 

Which of these would you suggest?  Is there any other good OSC camera that I should consider?

 

Thanks in advance for all the guidance and inputs.

I've had both these cameras. While ZWO says they fixed or improved the frosting problems with the 071, I could never cool mine below +10. -10 was not in the cards, as I had to keep the camera warm enough that frost would not form. There was a slight amount of hot pixels at +10, but they could be corrected out for the most part.

 

The 2600 is better in every way except maybe the pixel size. More full well capacity, better QE, front illuminated sensor, no amp glow, new front face anti dew heater. Never once had it freeze up, and can cool it down pretty low. Your setup should do well with this camera. And unless you're using a super old laptop, or trying to image over a network, the file sizes shouldn't be an issue. I direct connect to a laptop and downloads are pretty instant. When I remote connect over the network, it takes about 8-10 seconds to get an image off the sensor. But I am using a wired connection, and not wireless.


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#4 LPA

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 06:52 PM

My experience is similar although I live in a much less humid location than Houston, so I can routinely bring the 071 down to +4c and to 0c if the humidity is low. The results are reasonable at these temps. However, I can take the 2600 to -4c with no problems and lower when it's not summer in Texas. I think the plots provided by ZWO show there are diminishing returns going much below -4c. Processing in PI of 2600 subs can be slow depending on your computer's memory and number of cores, but it's not bad on my 4-core macbook pro with 16gb ram. If the higher cost isn't an issue, I definitely would recommend the 2600 over the 071. I have no experience with the ASI294.

 

Larry


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#5 davidparks

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 07:08 PM

I too have both the 294 and 2600.  Both great cams for what they are, but if choosing between I would definitely take the 2600.  Super clean images, no amp glow, EAA is fantastic as well as more traditional AP.  File sizes are not a problem, even with EAA over wireless (I’m basing this on ASIAIR Pro @ 5ghz).   I’ve had no problems with cooling, no problems with calibration frames... the 2600 is a real game changer in my opinion.


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#6 graaja

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 08:38 PM

The 2600 is better in every way except maybe the pixel size. More full well capacity, better QE, front illuminated sensor, no amp glow, new front face anti dew heater. Never once had it freeze up, and can cool it down pretty low. Your setup should do well with this camera. And unless you're using a super old laptop, or trying to image over a network, the file sizes shouldn't be an issue. I direct connect to a laptop and downloads are pretty instant. When I remote connect over the network, it takes about 8-10 seconds to get an image off the sensor. But I am using a wired connection, and not wireless.

 

My experience is similar although I live in a much less humid location than Houston, so I can routinely bring the 071 down to +4c and to 0c if the humidity is low. The results are reasonable at these temps. However, I can take the 2600 to -4c with no problems and lower when it's not summer in Texas. I think the plots provided by ZWO show there are diminishing returns going much below -4c. Processing in PI of 2600 subs can be slow depending on your computer's memory and number of cores, but it's not bad on my 4-core macbook pro with 16gb ram. If the higher cost isn't an issue, I definitely would recommend the 2600 over the 071. I have no experience with the ASI294.

 

Larry

 

I too have both the 294 and 2600.  Both great cams for what they are, but if choosing between I would definitely take the 2600.  Super clean images, no amp glow, EAA is fantastic as well as more traditional AP.  File sizes are not a problem, even with EAA over wireless (I’m basing this on ASIAIR Pro @ 5ghz).   I’ve had no problems with cooling, no problems with calibration frames... the 2600 is a real game changer in my opinion.

Thank you all for the inputs.  It is very reassuring to know that the file size is not an issue for wireless EAA.  I have a desktop computer with an i7 processor and 16GB RAM which should be good enough.  I am now leaning towards stretching my budget and getting the 2600.



#7 sn2006gy

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 10:16 PM

2600 has a tilt adaptor and dew heater - not sure if the others have that. Both of those have proved super valuable to me...

 

Your i7/16gb of ram machine shouldn't have any problem doing EAA.  I do "live stacking" on an ancient i5 laptop with pixinsight using ez-live stack and it works.


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#8 calypsob

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 08:47 AM

Imo the 294 with its big pixels makes EAA more fun. The 2600 is great but its smaller pixels do not give you the immediate in your face wow factor that you get with the 294, just based on my eaa darksite experience. For serious imaging however, the 2600 is far superior in many aspects.
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#9 graaja

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 10:27 AM

2600 has a tilt adaptor and dew heater - not sure if the others have that. Both of those have proved super valuable to me...

 

Your i7/16gb of ram machine shouldn't have any problem doing EAA.  I do "live stacking" on an ancient i5 laptop with pixinsight using ez-live stack and it works.

Thank you.  Good to know about the tilt adapter and dew heater.  More points to 2600.

 

Imo the 294 with its big pixels makes EAA more fun. The 2600 is great but its smaller pixels do not give you the immediate in your face wow factor that you get with the 294, just based on my eaa darksite experience. For serious imaging however, the 2600 is far superior in many aspects.

Thank you for this feedback.  My first priority is photography followed by EAA. So, I think I will compromise a little for EAA for a better photography experience.



#10 calypsob

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 11:51 AM

Thank you. Good to know about the tilt adapter and dew heater. More points to 2600.

Thank you for this feedback. My first priority is photography followed by EAA. So, I think I will compromise a little for EAA for a better photography experience.


Gotcha, you will enjoy the 2600 for sure, it is an amazing camera
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#11 graaja

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:16 AM

I have another question.  Do I need UV/IR cut filter for the 2600?  Should I go for any other filter like L-Pro or L-Enhance?



#12 Umasscrew39

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:37 AM

The 2600 has a a built-in IR cut protect window.  I have used mine with various filters.  L-Pro works to help with galaxies but not emission or planetary nebulae.  It is ok but nothing super special.  The L-Enhance is excellent with this camera for emission & planetary nebulae and the L-Extreme is a newer option which isolates Ha and OII more so (no H beta) than the L-Enhance.  You can certainly use a UV/IR cut filter but really no reason to do so. 


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#13 graaja

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 06:33 AM

The 2600 has a a built-in IR cut protect window.  I have used mine with various filters.  L-Pro works to help with galaxies but not emission or planetary nebulae.  It is ok but nothing super special.  The L-Enhance is excellent with this camera for emission & planetary nebulae and the L-Extreme is a newer option which isolates Ha and OII more so (no H beta) than the L-Enhance.  You can certainly use a UV/IR cut filter but really no reason to do so. 

Thank you.  So to begin with, will it work if I don't use any filter at all?  I live in the outskirts of a city and the light pollution is Bortle class 4.



#14 Umasscrew39

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:00 AM

Absolutely.  I am Bortle 6 and it works fine with no filter.  Experiment without it and get a feel for it.  Then the proper filter will help enhance the DSO of interest. 


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#15 graaja

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:43 AM

Absolutely.  I am Bortle 6 and it works fine with no filter.  Experiment without it and get a feel for it.  Then the proper filter will help enhance the DSO of interest. 

Got it.  Thanks a lot.  I will start without a filter.




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