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Not seeing color from ser files from ZWO ASI462MC

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#1 Dave 123

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 12:47 PM

Hi

 

Last night I tried using my first planetary camera ZWO ASI462MC for the first time to capture Mars on my C8. 

 

The image on my laptop screen showed barely any color. Same thing when I viewed the ser file, using PIPP on auto input frame color, and "Test Options" with all four debayer options.

 

The Colour Space=RGB24. I don't really know what that means or if it's the right color space. Someone told me "If you shoot in RGB24 then the camera will save the file in color space and run the debayer for you.  I believe that the 462C bayer matrix is GRGB." 

 

My focus was done with a bahtinov mask so I'm also suprised that the image looks mushy.

 

Any help will be very much appreciated! I hope to capture at least one decent image of Mars this month.

 

Thanks

Dave

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • PIPP test options auto.PNG

Attached Files



#2 johnpd

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 06:24 AM

I have the QHY version of this camera (QHY5III462C). The Bayer matrix is GBRG. You appear to have somewhat of a purple tint to your image so you may have defined the color incorrectly. The first images I was getting from my camera had a distinct green tint. I attached one .SER file showing this. After that I decided to determine what the white balance point was for the camera. I used a white balance gray card to do this and ended up with values of Red=158, Green=128, and Blue=224. I now get good color right out of the box.

 

I also focused using a Bahtinov mask. Getting a "mushy" result from stacking is not uncommon. Remember you are looking at a very small FOV. Atmospheric disturbances will be very apparent. Try to wait until Mars is high in the sky before imaging it.

 

I have been using .AVI files but .SER files were giving me the same result. AutoStakkert gives you an unsharpened and a sharpened result. Further processing is usually required. I have attached a better image I ended up with using a ROI and further processing such as using Topaz Sharpen. I used a 127mm refractor @ f/22.5.

 

Keep working at it. It is a great camera and should give you very good results.

 

JohnD

 

Mars_from_SER_Video.jpg

 

Mars_2020_0927_0039.jpg


Edited by johnpd, 19 October 2020 - 06:30 AM.

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#3 Dave 123

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 11:42 AM

I have the QHY version of this camera (QHY5III462C). The Bayer matrix is GBRG. You appear to have somewhat of a purple tint to your image so you may have defined the color incorrectly. The first images I was getting from my camera had a distinct green tint. I attached one .SER file showing this. After that I decided to determine what the white balance point was for the camera. I used a white balance gray card to do this and ended up with values of Red=158, Green=128, and Blue=224. I now get good color right out of the box.

 

I also focused using a Bahtinov mask. Getting a "mushy" result from stacking is not uncommon. Remember you are looking at a very small FOV. Atmospheric disturbances will be very apparent. Try to wait until Mars is high in the sky before imaging it.

 

I have been using .AVI files but .SER files were giving me the same result. AutoStakkert gives you an unsharpened and a sharpened result. Further processing is usually required. I have attached a better image I ended up with using a ROI and further processing such as using Topaz Sharpen. I used a 127mm refractor @ f/22.5.

 

Keep working at it. It is a great camera and should give you very good results.

 

JohnD

 

attachicon.gifMars_from_SER_Video.jpg

 

attachicon.gifMars_2020_0927_0039.jpg

 

Thanks John. I hope to produce results like yours some day.
 
Do you set the white balance in SharpCap or in PIPP? Is that something you need to do each time you image? What steps did you follow in which program to set the white balance? I wasn't aware that this is needed with planetary cameras. 
 
Here's a screenshot of SharpCap with the histogram lined up as best as I could, and a photo taken with my Samsung 9. At least my camera can capture both blue and red, but the objects in the screenshot are not as vibrant. Would you know why?
 
Thanks,
Dave

Attached Thumbnails

  • blue and red objects1.jpg
  • sharpcap screenshot2.png

Edited by Dave 123, 19 October 2020 - 11:46 AM.


#4 BlakPhoenix

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 07:14 PM

Thanks John. I hope to produce results like yours some day.
 
Do you set the white balance in SharpCap or in PIPP? Is that something you need to do each time you image? What steps did you follow in which program to set the white balance? I wasn't aware that this is needed with planetary cameras. 
 
Here's a screenshot of SharpCap with the histogram lined up as best as I could, and a photo taken with my Samsung 9. At least my camera can capture both blue and red, but the objects in the screenshot are not as vibrant. Would you know why?
 
Thanks,
Dave

Do you have a UV/IR cut filter on the camera Dave? The 462 is sensitive to light outside of the visible spectrum that can lead to de-saturated looking images as the luminance changes due to IR/UV wavelengths.



#5 johnpd

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 03:50 AM

 I set up a white balance gray card a distance away in a well sunlit room inside my house (it was too hot outside to do anything there) and I used SharpCap to determine the white balance. [NOTE: you want to use sunlight not artificial indoor light.] I had the camera installed in a short F/L refractor so there was nothing in the image but the gray card and had the UV/IR cut filter in the camera. It was a matter of getting the SharpCap image to match the gray card by aligning the red, green, and blue peaks in the histogram. Once I got the right numbers I have not touched color adjustment. If there is any minor color adjustment needed, I use RawTherapee to do it. That can be difficult if the image is small so you need to do an ROI to get the image a decent size.

 

JohnD


Edited by johnpd, 20 October 2020 - 03:56 AM.

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#6 happylimpet

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 03:55 AM

The bayer matrix is RGGB.

 

Best to capture in RAW, not RGB24, as the latter debayers in the software and therefore saves a much bigger file with unwanted interpolation. Nonetheless, it should work!

 

Dont focus with a bahtinov mask, focus on the planet.


Edited by happylimpet, 20 October 2020 - 03:55 AM.

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#7 johnpd

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 06:18 AM

happylimpet,

 

  Where did you get that Bayer matrix? Why would it be different from the QHY which uses the same chip? There is one site that has the ASI defined as GBRG (https://www.astrotti...ilter.html#tab2).

 

After focusing with the Bahtinov mask I do use the SharpCap focusing aid to fine tune focusing.

 

JohnD

 



#8 happylimpet

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 06:37 AM

happylimpet,

 

  Where did you get that Bayer matrix? Why would it be different from the QHY which uses the same chip? There is one site that has the ASI defined as GBRG (https://www.astrotti...ilter.html#tab2).

 

After focusing with the Bahtinov mask I do use the SharpCap focusing aid to fine tune focusing.

 

JohnD

Its a fair point - now i think about it, i'm not sure ive used my 462mc for anything except mono IR imaging, so I could be wrong! I defer to other sources.....



#9 Dave 123

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 05:17 PM

Do you have a UV/IR cut filter on the camera Dave? The 462 is sensitive to light outside of the visible spectrum that can lead to de-saturated looking images as the luminance changes due to IR/UV wavelengths.

I did not receive a UV/IR cut filter with the camera and did not know such a filter was necessary. Without any of the websites selling this camera saying that one of those filters was "required but not included" I don't know how I was supposed to know that, so thanks for letting me know!

 

How did you know that such a filter was necessary?

 

I took a photo holding the Optolong L-Pro in front of the 462 and it makes a notable difference so thanks very much!

 

On the ZWO website it says "It’s sensitivity in near infrared light regions ranks first among all ASI planetary cameras." In what circumstances would I want to image in near IR and how would I capture and combine images of near IR and color? 

 

Thanks again

Dave


Edited by Dave 123, 20 October 2020 - 05:18 PM.


#10 johnpd

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 04:36 AM

The 462C chip has high near IR sensitivity. To get normal color images you need the UV/IR filter to block the IR bands. The one advantage of the QHY version is that it comes with the UV/IR cut filter. The ZWO version does not. You have to buy it separately. The QHY also has an IR850 Near IR filter which allows only that wavelength. You can get a IR890 filter as well to view Jupiter and Saturn in the methane wavelength. If you have a reflector that can focus all the wavelengths (visible and NIR) together, it supposedly produces a very high luminance frame.

 

JohnD


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#11 happylimpet

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 06:05 AM

On the ZWO website it says "It’s sensitivity in near infrared light regions ranks first among all ASI planetary cameras." In what circumstances would I want to image in near IR and how would I capture and combine images of near IR and color? 

 

There are amazing things to be done in the near infrared, such as methane band imaging of jupiter/saturn, detecting clouds and storms on uranus and neptune, getting high contrast views of albedo markings on mars. And more....

 

One doesnt generally combine the IR with colour, usually its just shown as grey scale. But you can swap it for the r channel of a mars image , for exmaple. The world is your oyster.

 

Its fun! Get an 807 or 850 longpass filter would be my recommendation. And a methane band one for jupiter of youre tempted. You have the best camera already.


Edited by happylimpet, 21 October 2020 - 06:06 AM.

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#12 John Boudreau

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 09:24 PM

Its a fair point - now i think about it, i'm not sure ive used my 462mc for anything except mono IR imaging, so I could be wrong! I defer to other sources.....

The ASI462MC is RGGB, just like the 224MC. That's how mine works in FireCapture and that's the proper Bayer code in AutoStakkert. 



#13 johnpd

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 04:30 AM

That's strange. I have found two dealer sites that say it is GBRG.

 

JohnD




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