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Is a 2600MM really coming, or is it just a myth?

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#1 Henry from NZ

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 11:15 PM

I do not have much time on the forum these days but when I did log in recently I encountered a few mentions of a "2600MM".

I can't seem to find any info on the ZWO site.

Are there some kind of beta units that people are testing? Or is it still pretty much a myth / vapourware?

 

I have a QHY183 and a Atik460, but I really crave a mono camera that has bigger (micro 4/3 or APS-C) sensor real estate, with pixel size in between the two (around 3), and hopefully with NO amp glow, but not as expensive as the 6200. IS there such a thing? I have resisted the long-in-the-tooth 1600 as I do not care for the microlens artefacts, but it seems like the only one that will work (glow aside).

 

Am I missing other alternatives? (I don't think so...but does not hurt to check)


Edited by Henry from NZ, 18 September 2020 - 11:18 PM.

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#2 rockstarbill

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 11:25 PM

It is coming. Hold your horses, although I would probably look at the QHY268M instead. 



#3 Jim Waters

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 11:30 PM

Why the QHY268M?



#4 khursh

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 11:31 PM

ASI294MM Pro


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#5 rockstarbill

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 11:33 PM

Why the QHY268M?

I think they produce better hardware overall. 


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#6 Henry from NZ

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 11:34 PM

294MM - interesting, not sure how I missed it....Something to ponder.

 

The pixel size is probably a little bit bigger than I need. Does it have amp glow calibration problem like its colour counterpart?


Edited by Henry from NZ, 18 September 2020 - 11:37 PM.


#7 ZL4PLM

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 11:54 PM

I do not have much time on the forum these days but when I did log in recently I encountered a few mentions of a "2600MM".

I can't seem to find any info on the ZWO site.

Are there some kind of beta units that people are testing? Or is it still pretty much a myth / vapourware?

 

I have a QHY183 and a Atik460, but I really crave a mono camera that has bigger (micro 4/3 or APS-C) sensor real estate, with pixel size in between the two (around 3), and hopefully with NO amp glow, but not as expensive as the 6200. IS there such a thing? I have resisted the long-in-the-tooth 1600 as I do not care for the microlens artefacts, but it seems like the only one that will work (glow aside).

 

Am I missing other alternatives? (I don't think so...but does not hurt to check)

its coming Henry .. as soon as Sony release the sensors to the vendors they will be in test ;)



#8 ZL4PLM

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 11:56 PM

294MM - interesting, not sure how I missed it....Something to ponder.

 

The pixel size is probably a little bit bigger than I need. Does it have amp glow calibration problem like its colour counterpart?

294mm yes - I'll be able to show you next week how much :) 

 

Andy has been testing one here too - https://www.cloudyni...m#entry10512946


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#9 Jim Waters

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 12:00 AM

I think they produce better hardware overall. 

Not sure their SW and drivers equal their HW.


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#10 Henry from NZ

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 12:39 AM

How is the rumoured ASI2600MM going to compare with the shipping (but out of stock) ASI294MM?

 

It sounds like the 294MM uses a sensor with 2.?? micron pixels that are binned 2x2 to get the larger pixel size, and still has amp glow but can be calibrated out. Looking at Andy's thread on it a few weeks ago it does not have the uneven calibration issue that plagued the colour version. So if one can be had now, why should one wait for the rumoured 2600MM, sensor size aside? Is there something that is promised by the 2600MM that is not available on the 294MM?


Edited by Henry from NZ, 19 September 2020 - 12:51 AM.


#11 bugbit

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 12:58 AM

Not sure their SW and drivers equal their HW.

The drivers are just fine if you use the correct one.


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#12 aatdalton

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 01:34 AM

QHY drivers work fine these days. At least the native drivers for NINA. They have improved significantly.

 

If anything, the drivers for this new generation of cams is a reason to choose QHY over ZWO. They have and continue to add extra readout modes for different gain/ readnoise/ application situations.

 

QHY Drivers Bad is an outdated blanket statement.


Edited by aatdalton, 19 September 2020 - 01:40 AM.

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#13 Henry from NZ

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 03:39 AM

I have a QHY camera and it works fine, software looks a bit "quirky" but functionally it is ok. I think for me the decision between QHY and ZWO will come down to price and adaptability with my existing filter wheel / OAG. Ideally I like something with back focus at or less than 13 mm so I can plug it into my SX FW/OAG combo and keep the universal back focus of 55/56 mm.

 

I am actually quite excited to find out about the 294MM, more so than the rumoured 2600MM. Its smaller (but still big enough) sensor means that I do not need expensive upgrade of filters / filter wheel, and is less demanding on the optics. The pixel size is a bit big though, so I may under sample with my shorter FL scopes... Unfortunately it is now out of stock but I guess it will give me time to see what the early experience is like before I commit to it.


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#14 andysea

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 04:56 AM

I was reading a Facebook post where zwo was saying that the 2600 mono will probably not happen until next year due to sensor availability.

#15 Henry from NZ

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 05:15 AM

Hi Andy!

 

How are you liking the 294MM? Is it a keeper? Any quirks one should be aware of? You have produced nice sample images with this camera in your thread, but then all your images are nice so it's difficult to tell whether the nice samples are a reflection of a good camera or whether it is just your great skills!

 

It is a shame about the 2600MM not being available until next year. Can you provide me a link or screenshot where you read this (I actually don't have Facebook)? The delay may be enough to sway me towards a 294MM...



#16 andysea

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:12 AM

Here is a screenshot of the post.

 

Regarding the 294mm, I think it’s a fantastic camera. The sensor is one of the best that I have ever used. What I find exciting is that it will put such a high performance sensor in the hands of a lot of very talented photographers who might not have the budget for the 6200. I’m really looking forward to the great images the people are going to produce with it.

I’m not sure if I will keep it because I have the 6200 and all my scopes can do full frame.

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#17 dghent

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:54 AM

I have a QHY camera and it works fine, software looks a bit "quirky" but functionally it is ok. I think for me the decision between QHY and ZWO will come down to price and adaptability with my existing filter wheel / OAG. Ideally I like something with back focus at or less than 13 mm so I can plug it into my SX FW/OAG combo and keep the universal back focus of 55/56 mm.

I am actually quite excited to find out about the 294MM, more so than the rumoured 2600MM. Its smaller (but still big enough) sensor means that I do not need expensive upgrade of filters / filter wheel, and is less demanding on the optics. The pixel size is a bit big though, so I may under sample with my shorter FL scopes... Unfortunately it is now out of stock but I guess it will give me time to see what the early experience is like before I commit to it.

To your points, QHY seems to have been working on their own mono cam based on the IMX492, and has the ability to run the sensor in an unlocked mode at 46.8 megapixels of 2.315um pixels. If it’s anything like what they do with some of their other cameras, switching between modes can be done in software so you can have a 11.6mp/4.63um/14 bit mode or operate in a 46.8mp/2.315um/12 bit mode. They are calling it the QHY294 Pro but say price is TBD. Same backfocus as the QHY163 (ca. 8mm I think?)

https://www.qhyccd.c...w&catid=94&id=9


Edited by dghent, 19 September 2020 - 11:03 AM.

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#18 Stelios

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 10:59 AM

I was considering buying the mono version of the ASI2600 (I am a hardcore ZWO fan), but if the cost is going to be comparable to the QHY at $2,999 it's a bridge too far. 



#19 andysea

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 11:31 AM

The price is probably driven by the cost of the sensor itself. I would imagine that everything else should be the same as the color version. Has QHY announced a release date?



#20 Lead_Weight

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 11:48 AM

I think the performance between the 294mm and 2600mm will be pretty close, with the edge to the 2600. However there will be one noticeable difference between the two. Cost for the camera, and cost for the filters and wheel, as you have to step up a size in filter wheel and filters for the 2600, which comes with increased cost for all the gear. 

 

Many, including myself were and are looking forward to the 2600 as the holy grail of sensors for most inexpensive imaging setups, and as the hopeful successor of the 1600 which has been fantastic for the industry. Then seemingly out of the blue the 294mm showed up. This is really the holy grail replacement for the 1600. It’s better than the 1600 in almost every way, and can take advantage of your existing filters and filter wheels if you have it.

 

Anyhow, just some food for thought.


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#21 AAbby

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 12:05 PM

I think the performance between the 294mm and 2600mm will be pretty close, with the edge to the 2600. However there will be one noticeable difference between the two. Cost for the camera, and cost for the filters and wheel, as you have to step up a size in filter wheel and filters for the 2600, which comes with increased cost for all the gear. 

 

Many, including myself were and are looking forward to the 2600 as the holy grail of sensors for most inexpensive imaging setups, and as the hopeful successor of the 1600 which has been fantastic for the industry. Then seemingly out of the blue the 294mm showed up. This is really the holy grail replacement for the 1600. It’s better than the 1600 in almost every way, and can take advantage of your existing filters and filter wheels if you have it.

 

Anyhow, just some food for thought.

I'm just starting out in AP, and still accumulating equipment.  Took the advise of someone here on the forum to buy only 2" filters for the very reason you cite.  I don't want to have to re-buy filters based on future camera decisions.


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#22 Umasscrew39

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 12:26 PM

I have a couple of thoughts but maybe your opinions differ.  So, would be curious to hear your feedback...........

 

I think they produce better hardware overall. 

Completely agree... but my experience has been ZWO outshines them in other areas like drivers, accessories, etc.  Maybe I just had a bad experience.

 

I think the performance between the 294mm and 2600mm will be pretty close, with the edge to the 2600. However there will be one noticeable difference between the two. Cost for the camera, and cost for the filters and wheel, as you have to step up a size in filter wheel and filters for the 2600, which comes with increased cost for all the gear. 

 

Many, including myself were and are looking forward to the 2600 as the holy grail of sensors for most inexpensive imaging setups, and as the hopeful successor of the 1600 which has been fantastic for the industry. Then seemingly out of the blue the 294mm showed up. This is really the holy grail replacement for the 1600. It’s better than the 1600 in almost every way, and can take advantage of your existing filters and filter wheels if you have it.

 

Anyhow, just some food for thought.

Other than a lack of the micro-lensing effect, the other features only seem to slightly favor the 294mm, not making it a big leap better than the 1600mm.  Am I looking at this wrong?  



#23 Lead_Weight

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 12:43 PM



Other than a lack of the micro-lensing effect, the other features only seem to slightly favor the 294mm, not making it a big leap better than the 1600mm.  Am I looking at this wrong?  

Two main things other than being able to use your existing filter wheel and filters.

 

30% better QE, no microlens issues, and larger pixels too which will be better for longer focal length scopes.

 

The QE I think is a pretty big deal. I’ve seen this somewhat bear out on my ASI6200 vs the 1600 as it’s also 90% QE (claimed by ZWO). I can image the same object in 6 hours vs 9 hours with similar results.

 

I realize this isn’t really a fair comparison but here’s 10 hours on the wizard with the 1600 at F5.9

get.jpg?insecure

 

Here’s 7 hours on the wizard with the 6200 at F7.

get.jpg?insecure

 

There’s a quality difference for sure due to the two scopes, but I’m just amazed at how much better the OIII and HA looked with less hours on a slower scope.


Edited by Lead_Weight, 19 September 2020 - 12:49 PM.

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#24 dghent

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 12:51 PM

I have a couple of thoughts but maybe your opinions differ.  So, would be curious to hear your feedback...........

 

Completely agree... but my experience has been ZWO outshines them in other areas like drivers, accessories, etc.  Maybe I just had a bad experience.

 

Other than a lack of the micro-lensing effect, the other features only seem to slightly favor the 294mm, not making it a big leap better than the 1600mm.  Am I looking at this wrong?  

Having worked with QHY over the past 2 years due to being the implementer of the native driver in NINA, providing feedback and reports, their rewrite of their SDK - the underpinnings of native and ASCOM drivers alike - has resulted in their driver quality coming a long way. In particular, they have added a lot of low-level hardening and error state recovery to the USB code paths in their SDK since February, which I have noticed paid off a lot. Since a lot of NINA users with QHY cameras come to me with issues, I've noticed this drop in complaints. So this is just my take on it from sitting in the software trenches and kinda being forced into the position of acting as an interface between vendor and user when it comes to this stuff.

 

As for IMX294/IMX492-chipped cameras versus the 4/3 format stalwart that is the ASI1600MM and its Panasonic chip, there are some additional considerations. First, Panasonic has discontinued its CMOS imaging sensor division and the production of the Panasonic MN34230 sensor that is used in these cameras has been discontinued for some time now, with ZWO, QHY, and other makers of astro cams with this chip drawing on remaining stock to produce cameras. So this mono IMX492 comes not a moment too soon as there now is a proper chip to carry the mono 4/3 torch.

 

Second, the IMX492 is Sony's 5th gen Exmor R design; while it's not 6th gen (stacked silicon) it is still fairly recent tech and thus has the improvements one would expect over the MN34230 sensor - a much higher QE due to the back-illuminated design and a dual conversion gain amplifier system that grants you extremely low read noise (1e-) at a high conversion gain. This HCG mode is pretty much a godsend to DSO astrophotography... all the DR without the noise consequences. The full well size takes a hit due to this, however it is a very tolerable one.


Edited by dghent, 19 September 2020 - 12:53 PM.

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#25 idclimber

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 01:29 PM

I would think the 36mm filters would be large enough for 2600mm ??




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