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ZWO ASI224MC Camera compared to a DLSR

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#1 bluesilver

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 06:50 PM

Hi,  I have a Skywatcher Evostar 150ED and currently been using a DLSR for taking Planetary video.

I was just interested to here anyone's thought or advise on what the ZWO ASI224MC Camera is like for Planetary work.

It might be a silly question,  but will i get better results using this ZWO ASI224MC Camera compared to my DLSR  ( 5 DSR )

The main reason is as some might know,  you can't get true 1:1 ratio with a DLSR when recording video unless you use a special program like Backyard EOS.

I don't have this,  just using the DLSR as it is at the moment.

 

If the ZWO ASI224MC Camera is a better option,  is there anything else that i need to get with it ? 

I have read somewhere that some are saying you need a IR blocking filter if using on planets,  something like this from badder :

https://www.firstlig...cut-filter.html

Do i need to use a barlow with this ZWO ASI224MC Camera or is the magnification all done via the software in the camera?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.



#2 bobzeq25

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 06:53 PM

You'll get more frames per second with the 224.  More frames is good.

 

You'll get more and better answers on the Solar System Imaging forum.



#3 bluesilver

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:12 PM

Thanks for the advise,  I will post it there,  sorry if i have got this in the wrong area also.

Thanks.



#4 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:26 PM

Yes you need the IR cut filter. The optimal focal ratio for the 224 is f/19 to f/26. If your scope is f/8 then a 2.5x or 3x Barlow would give best results. I have a web site with YouTube videos to help you get started. There is even a video about using a DSLR (or why you're better off not using one).

 

PlanetaryImagingTutorials.com


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#5 KTAZ

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:28 PM

Yes you need the IR cut filter. The optimal focal ratio for the 224 is f/19 to f/26. If your scope is f/8 then a 2.5x or 3x Barlow would give best results. I have a web site with YouTube videos to help you get started. There is even a video about using a DSLR (or why you're better off not using one).

 

PlanetaryImagingTutorials.com

Just curious what formula you used to determine the optimal focal ratio.



#6 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:31 PM

For planetary imaging the optimal focal ratio is 5 to 7 times the pixel size in microns.

 

Planetary imaging rule of thumb - which Barlow?

 

You might also be interested in my video Which Barlow? at the bottom of this web page.



#7 bluesilver

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:14 PM

Yes you need the IR cut filter. The optimal focal ratio for the 224 is f/19 to f/26. If your scope is f/8 then a 2.5x or 3x Barlow would give best results. I have a web site with YouTube videos to help you get started. There is even a video about using a DSLR (or why you're better off not using one).

 

PlanetaryImagingTutorials.com

Thanks for the link,  great information.

I have a Televue powermate 2.5X and also a 5X,  so have the barlows.

I also have 16" GOTO Dobsonian also,  so that works out to a 5X barlow.

I take it that the ZWO ASI224MC Camera is a good choice for planetary work?

 

From your videos,  it looks like you just need a simple laptop to work with the camera,

I take it that you just download the software to drive the camera,  unless the software comes with the camera?

 

From your link,  it makes sense now to look at getting a ZWO Camera.



#8 KTAZ

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:29 PM

For planetary imaging the optimal focal ratio is 5 to 7 times the pixel size in microns.

 

Planetary imaging rule of thumb - which Barlow?

 

You might also be interested in my video Which Barlow? at the bottom of this web page.

Ah, I didn’t understand that you were talking about when coupled to a Barlow. I am aware of that formula! grin.gif



#9 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:55 PM


I take it that the ZWO ASI224MC Camera is a good choice for planetary work?

 

From your videos,  it looks like you just need a simple laptop to work with the camera,

I take it that you just download the software to drive the camera,  unless the software comes with the camera?

 

From your link,  it makes sense now to look at getting a ZWO Camera.

The ZWO ASI224MC is a great camera and is what I use. In addition to a Barlow you will need an IR-Cut filter. I use a very old laptop that has USB3 and I put in a 1TB SSD. I use FireCapture to run the camera. You end up with large avi files that you then feed to AutoStakkert. The output of AutoStakkert is a single .tif for each avi file. Then you can make adjustments and sharpen the picture using RegiStax. If you're happy with the picture you get with RegiStax then save it as a .jpg otherwise save it as a 16 bit .tif and continue processing it in some other picture editing program like PhotoShop or AstraImage. FireCapture, AutoStakkert, and RegiStax are free but only work on Windows.
 



#10 bluesilver

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 10:11 PM

I should of also asked about software to drive the camera.

Do i need to download a specific program to run this  camera?

Something like Sharpcap,  or does it come with its own software?

Thanks again.



#11 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 10:40 PM

It's been a long time since I got it working. There may be a driver that comes with the camera. I believe it did come with some software but I never used it. I use FireCapture instead.



#12 bluesilver

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 12:32 AM

Thanks for the reply,  I have heard of that program,  i will go and take a look at it.

Just trying to get a good idea on what i need to get this ZWO ASI224MC up and running so to speak.

 

I need to get a laptop to run the camera also,  It sounds like i don't need anything too fancy,  but how much storage do i need or do i have to also run and external drive aswell?

 

I was looking at this laptop:

Asus 14-inch Celeron-N4020/4GB/64GB eMMC Laptop

https://www.harveyno...acock-blue.html

 

It basically tells me it has 1 x USB 2.0 (Type-A), 1x USB 3.2 (Type A, Gen1), 1x USB 3.2 (Type C, Gen1), HDMI 1.4

Although i can only see two USB ports

 

Primary storage 64GB

Ram DDR4

Installed Ram 4GB

 

I am just guessing that when you record the image of a planet,  you might need a bit of storage,   as most are using laptops to drive these cameras,  i am hoping i might be able to get a bit of advice if my choice is right or way off.

 

Would this work ok?


Edited by bluesilver, 20 September 2020 - 12:43 AM.


#13 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 07:02 AM

As far as capture goes you need a lot of hard drive space but not so much RAM. For processing you need more RAM. That laptop only has 64GB of hard drive which is way too little. It would need to be upgraded. The laptop I got for capture had 500GB which had a slow spinning disk and limited my frame rate. I upgraded to a 500GB SSD but one night I had to quit because I filled it up. So I upgraded to a 1TB SSD.

 

For processing I'm sure 4GB of RAM won't be enough and I don't know if 8GB would be enough. I used a PC for processing that had 16GB of ram and that seemed to be enough most of the time.

 

When you capture one picture of a planet you make an AVI file that is 10 to 20 GB or more. If you have a steady mount you can shrink the ROI more and still keep the planet inside the capture area. This uses less disk space because there is less black space around the planet. Because we capture uncompressed that black space contributes to the file size as much as the planet data. If your mount is less steady, say it has no drive motor at all or bad periodic error, then you need a larger ROI so you can keep the planet inside the field of view the whole 2 to 3 minutes that you are making the AVI movie file.



#14 KTAZ

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:07 PM

With multiple USB ports you have a couple of options.

 

1) A 500GB to 1TB external SSD. Helpful since you can easily move it to your processing PC.

 

2) A SD memory card - if the laptop doesn’t have a slot, you can get a USB hub with one integrated into it.



#15 sctbrd

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 12:00 PM

SharpCap can be used with DSLRs, but you have to download ASCOM-drivers. Maybe you can get the frame ratio you are looking for...

 

https://www.cloudyni...ap-with-a-dslr/




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