I have a 8" Meade LX90ACF, Fujifilm X-T100 mirrorless camera, GSO 0.5 focal reducer and an HDMI to USB converter that turns my camera into a HD 30 frame per second webcam. I recently did a live view share to Zoom, with this equipment, for my club on "observe the moon" day. I was impressed with the results, but was just the moon during good conditions.I am hoping with good software stacking I could do deepsky objects. Has anyone used a similar setup? What software would be best?
I would like to start doing EAA with what I got.
Posted 18 October 2020 - 06:08 AM
the most popular software for EAA is SharpCap. In order to observe DSO you will need to do longer exposures - like 4 to 16 sec for EAA and then live-stack this exposures.
The 8" SCT is a good choice for EAA, however I prefer a 6.3 reducer which is made for this kind of scopes.
About how to use your camera for EAA you might check out this thread: https://www.cloudyni...dslr/?p=9286412
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Posted 18 October 2020 - 06:27 AM
I don't think the 6.3 Meade reducer/corrector would work well with a ACF telescope This is why I use the 0.5 GSO. The working distance of this reducer at 0.5 is 53mm, I use it at about 40mm which brings it to about a 0.6 reducer with less vignetting. It is very compact and fits on my camera adaptor replacing the normal nose piece. Unlike as with other reducers there is no protrusion at the back of my scope and I can get full Alt or Dec movement.
Edited by Piet Le Roux, 18 October 2020 - 06:29 AM.
Posted 18 October 2020 - 07:48 AM
Some people use DSLR cameras for EAA with EAA software like Astrotoaster or SharpCap. Search this Forum for discussion threads on using these two software programs with a DSLR. I believe the basic idea is to have your DSLR capture frames to a monitor folder in real time, and have either SharpCap or AstroToaster livestack the frames as they appear in the monitor folder, and then display the stack on your computer screen, again in near real time.
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Posted 18 October 2020 - 10:54 AM
I cant help with the particulars of Fuji cameras, but I can say that you can do EAA with your camera as long as you can download images as they are taken.
You can do it with Sharpcap as described in the thread linked above. Be sure to check out the latest developments linked in that thread.
Or you can also use Astrotoaster/Deep Sky Stacker. CN member Howie1 has posted a number of videos on the subject. https://www.youtube....y=astrotoaster
I tend to prefer ATT/DSS, most likely because I once used ATT/DSS with a LX90 and a Canon DSLR. Either method described above will give you similar final results. How you get there is the difference.
If you get stuck along the way, come on back. There are a number of us here who can help.
Posted 18 October 2020 - 01:51 PM
I don't see how Astrotoaster is going to work for me because way I have it setup is that my camera gives a webcam output on USB so I need software that can work with a webcam, not send files to a folder. I think SharpCap can do that.
Posted 18 October 2020 - 10:39 PM
Sharpcap and Astrotoaster both take a series of individual images. These images are then registered and stacked. The webcam days are over.
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Posted 19 October 2020 - 07:16 AM
In addition to the video that Rick mentions, I know that there are threads in this Forum on using SharpCap and AstroToaster with DSLRs. Worth searching for.
Posted 19 October 2020 - 08:07 AM
This is from the SharpCap website :
"SharpCap supports a wide range of cameras. These can be divided into 3 basic categories:
1. Cameras supported directly by SharpCap – these include many brands of dedicated astronomy cameras including models by Altair, Basler, Celestron, Imaging Source, iNova, QHY and ZWO.
2. Cameras supported via a Windows Webcam driver – includes most webcams (modified and unmodified), USB frame grabbers and is also an option for many specialised cameras where the manufacturer provides a webcam driver (sometimes called a WDM or DirectShow driver).
3. Cameras supported via an ASCOM driver – many astronomy camera manufacturers provide ASCOM drivers for their products and SharpCap can use these to communicate with the camera."
so webcams can still be used. I am not interested in AP only live viewing, I know there is a driver available for Canon but the chances for one for Fujifilm is slim. But my Fujifilm makes a good HD webam.
Posted 19 October 2020 - 02:48 PM
Even webcams transfer a series of still images (frames). The problem is that webcams are limited to ~1/30 sec frames (unless hacked). 1/30sec will work with bright objects like the moon. But dimmer objects do not provide enough photons in 1/30 sec to give a sensor signal that is more than a small fraction of sensor noise. The result is a black or grossly noisy image. The solution is to use longer frame exposures, in the range of 5 to 30 sec to collect enough photons to overcome the sensor noise. SC or AT are used to stack (average) the individual frames on the fly (near real time) as they come in. The end result is that you get your first (mediocre) image in 5 to 30 sec, and the image continues to improve in quality as long as you keep stacking more frames. When the image reaches the quality that you want, you can save it, or not, and move on to the next target. Both SC and AT have basic image processing software that allow you to enhance the image on the fly. It is actually an intriguing experience watching more and more detail become visible as the image stacks. It is the closest that you will get to real time with your equipment.
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