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Image transfer time from CanonEOS T4i using NINA or BYEOS?

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#1 photon08

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Posted 09 March 2021 - 02:17 AM

Hi, 

 

When I used NINA or Backyard EOS with Canon EOS T4i connected to my WIndows laptop (11th gen Intel core i7) via USB 2, I found that there is a 4 to 6 seconds between each frames.  See the NINA log. Captures are logged every 10 or 11 seconds when the exposure time is 6 s. 

 

 

Because I have a Dobs (Alt Az), I can't have a long exposure. My subs are short (e.g. 6s or 10s). With 6s subs, 4-6 second delay between subs is substantial and the number of subs I can take for any given telescope time is significantly reduced.  

 

When I use an intervalometer, I can use a 1 second pause between subs, but the max # of frames is 399 with my intervalometer.

 

The raw image size is about 24MB so that the transfer rate is 32 - 48 Mbps for 4-6 sec download time. USB2 max speed is 480Mbps. Obviously, I'd not get anything close to it unless everything is optimal. However, is it asking too much to expect  2 seconds download time for 24 MB images ( corresponding to 96Mbps, about 20% of max USB2 speed)?  

 

What's the experience of others who use a DSLR with NINA or BYEOS?   Is there any recommendation for a good usb cable (USB mini to USB-C)  ?  Unlike for some dedicated CCD/CMOS camera,  NINA does not offer an option to set the max download speed for DSLR (either ASCOM DSLR driver or NINA's native driver).  

 

Thank you in advance,

[2021-03-07T02:41:23.5129]   [INFO]   [MemberName] Capture
[2021-03-07T02:41:23.5129]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\ViewModel\Equipment\Camera\CameraVM.cs
[2021-03-07T02:41:23.5129]   [INFO]   [Message] Starting Exposure - Exposure Time: 6s; Filter: ; Gain: 4; Offset -1; Binning: 1x1;

[2021-03-07T02:41:33.9835]   [INFO]   [MemberName] Capture
[2021-03-07T02:41:33.9835]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\ViewModel\Equipment\Camera\CameraVM.cs
[2021-03-07T02:41:33.9835]   [INFO]   [Message] Starting Exposure - Exposure Time: 6s; Filter: ; Gain: 4; Offset -1; Binning: 1x1;

[2021-03-07T02:41:35.5824]   [INFO]   [MemberName] FinalizeSave
[2021-03-07T02:41:35.5824]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\Model\ImageData\ImageData.cs
[2021-03-07T02:41:35.5824]   [INFO]   [Message] Saving image at C:\...\NINA\LIGHT\2021-03-07_02-41-23__5.00_6.00s_0001.fits

[2021-03-07T02:41:44.1112]   [INFO]   [MemberName] Capture
[2021-03-07T02:41:44.1112]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\ViewModel\Equipment\Camera\CameraVM.cs
[2021-03-07T02:41:44.1112]   [INFO]   [Message] Starting Exposure - Exposure Time: 6s; Filter: ; Gain: 4; Offset -1; Binning: 1x1;

[2021-03-07T02:41:46.1430]   [INFO]   [MemberName] FinalizeSave
[2021-03-07T02:41:46.1430]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\Model\ImageData\ImageData.cs
[2021-03-07T02:41:46.1430]   [INFO]   [Message] Saving image at C:\...\NINA\LIGHT\2021-03-07_02-41-33__6.00_6.00s_0002.fits

[2021-03-07T02:41:54.4095]   [INFO]   [MemberName] Capture
[2021-03-07T02:41:54.4095]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\ViewModel\Equipment\Camera\CameraVM.cs
[2021-03-07T02:41:54.4095]   [INFO]   [Message] Starting Exposure - Exposure Time: 6s; Filter: ; Gain: 4; Offset -1; Binning: 1x1;

[2021-03-07T02:41:56.1407]   [INFO]   [MemberName] FinalizeSave
[2021-03-07T02:41:56.1407]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\Model\ImageData\ImageData.cs
[2021-03-07T02:41:56.1407]   [INFO]   [Message] Saving image at C:\...\NINA\LIGHT\2021-03-07_02-41-44__6.00_6.00s_0003.fits

[2021-03-07T02:42:04.7814]   [INFO]   [MemberName] Capture
[2021-03-07T02:42:04.7814]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\ViewModel\Equipment\Camera\CameraVM.cs
[2021-03-07T02:42:04.7814]   [INFO]   [Message] Starting Exposure - Exposure Time: 6s; Filter: ; Gain: 4; Offset -1; Binning: 1x1;

[2021-03-07T02:42:06.4527]   [INFO]   [MemberName] FinalizeSave
[2021-03-07T02:42:06.4527]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\Model\ImageData\ImageData.cs
[2021-03-07T02:42:06.4527]   [INFO]   [Message] Saving image at C:\...\NINA\LIGHT\2021-03-07_02-41-54__7.00_6.00s_0004.fits

[2021-03-07T02:42:15.2650]   [INFO]   [MemberName] Capture
[2021-03-07T02:42:15.2650]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\ViewModel\Equipment\Camera\CameraVM.cs
[2021-03-07T02:42:15.2650]   [INFO]   [Message] Starting Exposure - Exposure Time: 6s; Filter: ; Gain: 4; Offset -1; Binning: 1x1;

[2021-03-07T02:42:17.4418]   [INFO]   [MemberName] FinalizeSave
[2021-03-07T02:42:17.4418]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\Model\ImageData\ImageData.cs
[2021-03-07T02:42:17.4418]   [INFO]   [Message] Saving image at C:\...\NINA\LIGHT\2021-03-07_02-42-04__7.00_6.00s_0005.fits

[2021-03-07T02:42:25.5500]   [INFO]   [MemberName] Capture
[2021-03-07T02:42:25.5500]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\ViewModel\Equipment\Camera\CameraVM.cs
[2021-03-07T02:42:25.5500]   [INFO]   [Message] Starting Exposure - Exposure Time: 6s; Filter: ; Gain: 4; Offset -1; Binning: 1x1;

[2021-03-07T02:42:27.9297]   [INFO]   [MemberName] FinalizeSave
[2021-03-07T02:42:27.9297]   [INFO]   [FileName] E:\Projects\nina\NINA\Model\ImageData\ImageData.cs
[2021-03-07T02:42:27.9297]   [INFO]   [Message] Saving image at C:\...\NINA\LIGHT\2021-03-07_02-42-15__7.00_6.00s_0006.fits



#2 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 09 March 2021 - 02:37 AM

I don't use Nina, but before getting an astro camera I used an Intervalometer and saved my DSLR's images to the camera's SD card.  Takes basically no time.  Is that an option?


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#3 photon08

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Posted 09 March 2021 - 04:02 AM

I don't use Nina, but before getting an astro camera I used an Intervalometer and saved my DSLR's images to the camera's SD card.  Takes basically no time.  Is that an option?

That's what I had been doing before I discovered NINA. It has an advantage of not wasting observation time in file transfer as you mentioned. 

 

OTOH, I have to spend more time (transfer images to a computer, need to identify which files are light and calibration frames and to rename them accordingly for the future reference/processing, etc). That's an acceptable trade-off for more subs taken for a given observation time.  

 

A couple of other inconveniences with an intervalometer  are:  that changing # of subs (say, 399 for lights to 50 for dark) requires a lot of button presses (or long press) and that the max # of subs is capped at 399 ((at least one I have does not let me go above 399). 



#4 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 09 March 2021 - 07:28 AM

I use the card also....although i am connected to a computer during the shooting.

 

i don't take darks and flats well maybe the day after.

 

I just copy the sd card to a another laptop and then to an USB stick and then to my processing desktop...in the process at least i have 2 backups...should anything happen ....



#5 sbharrat

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Posted 09 March 2021 - 08:02 AM

Your timing for the image download to NINA is roughly in line with what I see. My setup is NINA on Windows10/USB2 to a Canon EOS XS (1000D) using a relatively short (8ft) USB cable. My images are about 10MB and there is a 2-3s "hiccup" after the image for NINA download to PC. 

 

AFAIK, there isn't a way when driving with NINA to *not* automatically download the image after capture. 



#6 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 09 March 2021 - 12:19 PM

In APT you have the choice....on the card, on the computer , or both....never tested it on the computer because i worked a couple of times wireless....did not want that sent over the wifi, only controlling the Canon . I use a cable now but did not alter my procedure....

 

I don't have time to loose either....my skies are limited by trees or houses...and the often bad weather wich compromises shooting time....


Edited by F.Meiresonne, 09 March 2021 - 12:23 PM.


#7 photon08

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 05:07 AM

Thank you, Shaun and Freddy

 

Your timing for the image download to NINA is roughly in line with what I see. My setup is NINA on Windows10/USB2 to a Canon EOS XS (1000D) using a relatively short (8ft) USB cable. My images are about 10MB and there is a 2-3s "hiccup" after the image for NINA download to PC. 

 

AFAIK, there isn't a way when driving with NINA to *not* automatically download the image after capture. 

 

Neither did I find an option to save images on the camera's sd card in NINA.  Perhaps, I can use NINA to frame, plate-solve, etc before taking images with an intervalometer.  Or, I'll try APT as suggested by Freddy below.  

 

 

In APT you have the choice....on the card, on the computer , or both....never tested it on the computer because i worked a couple of times wireless....did not want that sent over the wifi, only controlling the Canon . I use a cable now but did not alter my procedure....

 

I don't have time to loose either....my skies are limited by trees or houses...and the often bad weather wich compromises shooting time....

 

In APT with images saved on the sd card (no download), how long a pause do you need between subs (if necessary at all)?  BYEOS also has an option to save on the sd card without downloading to a computer, but it didn't help because somehow there are still a few seconds pause between subs.  Given what you wrote about not wanting to lose precious time,  I guess APT does not have that issue.  I'll give it a try. 



#8 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 01:35 PM

Thank you, Shaun and Freddy

 

 

Neither did I find an option to save images on the camera's sd card in NINA.  Perhaps, I can use NINA to frame, plate-solve, etc before taking images with an intervalometer.  Or, I'll try APT as suggested by Freddy below.  

 

 

 

In APT with images saved on the sd card (no download), how long a pause do you need between subs (if necessary at all)?  BYEOS also has an option to save on the sd card without downloading to a computer, but it didn't help because somehow there are still a few seconds pause between subs.  Given what you wrote about not wanting to lose precious time,  I guess APT does not have that issue.  I'll give it a try. 

APT knows this from itself, it comes it status 'busy' time needed to write it on the SD. I write a .CR2 file but also a .jpg file so i can check afterwards without needing special software that can read RAW. Never checked the time , guess 5 sec...sort off...maybe a bit less. It does need a couple of seconds....but sending it over to a computer might take even more time...usb 2.0 ....My subs are 25-30 mb + 3-5 mb .jpg

 

I do let it sent to wait 5 seconds after the mirror claps down.Then after 5 sec diagfragma opens, to avoid any vibration. The only bit bothersome thing is that you need  canon software be loaded to get APT connect to the camera. No big deal when you know it, works every time but still...odd.I believe it is the canon utility. Once the camera is turned on, it starts from itself, you have to close it , then start APT, so i guess some service of Canon is running in the background. As i have no further issues with it i did not investigate further....

You can test APT for free, all those functions work , with no licence.

 

I tested BYEOS too, for some reason status 'BUSY' stayed forever...just kind of froze...as APT had no issues, i did not investigate further....

 

I like APT, for my stuff it seem to work well...controls my camera flawlessly, sent the dither commands, sofar , once knewing what to do i encountered no issues.

 

Best thing is to test....and see what with it comes up...


Edited by F.Meiresonne, 11 March 2021 - 01:47 PM.


#9 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 06:15 PM

Perhaps, I can use NINA to frame, plate-solve, etc before taking images with an intervalometer. 

Early on I was able to do this, but ended up having the camera fight back.  Once it was being talked to by the computer, it wouldn't allow the intervalometer (or any manual operation like using the preview button to see stuff on the camera back) to happen.  Had to power-cycle the camera in order to do so.  It ended up not being worth the hassle.

 

This was with an old Nikon D3200, so your Canon could behave differently.  But I can imagine it's a fairly universal behavior.
 



#10 photon08

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 03:07 PM

APT knows this from itself, it comes it status 'busy' time needed to write it on the SD. I write a .CR2 file but also a .jpg file so i can check afterwards without needing special software that can read RAW. Never checked the time , guess 5 sec...sort off...maybe a bit less. It does need a couple of seconds....but sending it over to a computer might take even more time...usb 2.0 ....My subs are 25-30 mb + 3-5 mb .jpg

 

Did you mean APT has a 5 seconds pause between frames even if it's configured to save images on the SD card without downloading to a computer?  That's huge (my sub is only 6 sec so that it'd almost double the image acquisition time losing almost half of the time.) :-).

 

I've just tried APT myself to take test shots and indeed there's 4-5 seconds long interval between subs. Perhaps, I'll just use an intervalometer (take 399 subs,  come back and take another 399 subs, etc). With an intervalometer, 1 second pause works well. 



#11 photon08

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 03:12 PM

Early on I was able to do this, but ended up having the camera fight back.  Once it was being talked to by the computer, it wouldn't allow the intervalometer (or any manual operation like using the preview button to see stuff on the camera back) to happen.  Had to power-cycle the camera in order to do so.  It ended up not being worth the hassle.

 

This was with an old Nikon D3200, so your Canon could behave differently.  But I can imagine it's a fairly universal behavior.
 

I remember something similar with BYEOS. On another night, the camera control on the camera still seemed to work (this time, I think it was NINA using ASCOM DSLR instead of its native driver). Anyway, after slewing, plate solving, framing, I wouldn't mind power-cycling the camera. 



#12 photon08

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 11:47 PM

Did you mean APT has a 5 seconds pause between frames even if it's configured to save images on the SD card without downloading to a computer?  That's huge (my sub is only 6 sec so that it'd almost double the image acquisition time losing almost half of the time.) :-).

 

I've just tried APT myself to take test shots and indeed there's 4-5 seconds long interval between subs. Perhaps, I'll just use an intervalometer (take 399 subs,  come back and take another 399 subs, etc). With an intervalometer, 1 second pause works well. 

Update: Last night and tonight, I used NINA and my Canon T4i via NINA's native driver. Somehow, the image download time last night was 2.5 seconds on the average (before, it's 4 ~ 5 sec) and tonight it's even faster ( ~1.5 seconds). So, I'm happy now with NINA. 

 

The only difference I can think of from a week ago is that I now have a USB hub (camera - mini-usb - usb3 cable - usb-A - USB-C hub - computer) instead of "camera - mini-usb - usb3 cable - usb A-to-usb C adaptor - computer's usb-c port).  Obviously, Canon T4i is almost 10 yrs old and only supports USB 2 afaik. 



#13 photon08

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Posted 15 March 2021 - 11:00 PM

Update: Last night and tonight, I used NINA and my Canon T4i via NINA's native driver. Somehow, the image download time last night was 2.5 seconds on the average (before, it's 4 ~ 5 sec) and tonight it's even faster ( ~1.5 seconds). So, I'm happy now with NINA. 

 

'Even faster at 1.5 seconds' part turned out to be an 'illusion'. I set the exposure time to 7s in NINA but left the camera at manual with 6 second exposure. Because it's not at B and the camera does not have 7s exposure (it has 5s, 6s, 8s,10s), the actual exposure was 6s.  So, the extra 1 second speed up was not real. So, the last night's download time (~ 2.5s) was the same as that of the previous night. Still 2.5s is much better than 4-5 seconds for my short sub length (6 ~ 10s). 




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