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asi533mc pro as first astro cam quandary

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#1 Dyno05

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Posted 18 April 2021 - 08:52 PM

Hi,

    I'm planning on taking the leap into dedicated astro cam territory as a step up from my current stock Canon T3i. 

I have an AT80 EDT F7 a C8, and a C9.25 and also have access to an ES 127ED. My plan is to use the 533 on all of these scopes. I was thinking about getting the Starizona .4 SCT corrector/reducer which has a 16mm corrected image circle and I think this would make this camera a good fit for basically all of the scopes. Am I missing something, and or does anybody have any other suggestions? I'm a bit iffy on the square sensor but I do like the fact there really isn't any amp glow from this camera and has a little bit larger pixels than the asi294mc which I was also looking at. I see a lot of 533s for sale lately in the classifieds and I was wondering if there's something wrong with them since so many have been for sale lately. I've looked at images on Astrobin and I like what I'm seeing. I'm just trying to make the best decision I can before I take the leap. Any advice or feedback from some 533 users is greatly appreciated.

            Thank you


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#2 NuTek

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Posted 18 April 2021 - 10:02 PM

I have the ASI533MC.  I really like it. I came from an astro modified T4i. Big difference!  Love how sensitive the ASI533MC is.  Very low noise.  Dark frames are pure dark with no amp glow.

I have seen several go on sale recently also and when I asked why, I was told they are moving up to the ASI2600 series.  A few are moving to monochrome.  Nothing wrong with the camera.

I have paired mine with my Orion 10" astrograph, my Celestron C8 and my Orion 100mm refractor.  Might not be perfect for all of them but I haven't noticed.  I did pair it with a Optolong L-Extreme and a L-Pro filter to work in my Bortel 8 (Chicago) area.     


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#3 ravenhawk82

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Posted 18 April 2021 - 10:12 PM

They look like fine cameras to me. A couple things I'd point out-

1) The zero amp glow is nice on paper, but it's not as big of an issue as you'd think. You're still going to want to use darks (not all noise is amp glow) and that will calibrate out any amp glow you might get. The 294MM is known for pretty severe amp glow but you won't see it in any pictures in my gallery. That's just the result of stacking with darks, no further post processing needed to correct for it. It's not that you should or shouldn't get this camera because of it, I just wouldn't base any decisions on whether or not the camera has some amp glow.

2) The 294 actually has larger pixels than the 533. Sort of. There's some confusion here because the 294 uses a 12-bit 8288x5644 sensor binned (and originally locked) at Bin2 to achieve a 14 bit resolution of 4144x2822. This gives you 4.63um pixels as opposed to the 533's 3.76um pixels. More recent firmware allows you to shoot at the full 8288x5644 resolution but only in 12-bit mode. For best results you use this camera at Bin2+ all the time, otherwise you're limiting your dynamic range and making your file sizes needlessly huge. I'm not sure if the color version has an unlocked high-res mode as well though or if this is just on the monochrome model. 

All that being said, what matters is the results and either the 533 or 294 is capable of producing beautiful photos. I think the small sensor size of the 533 would really shine more on shorter focal length refractors than on a big SCT, for those I think the 294 would be a better option. I'm more concerned with the reducer you plan to use though... a 16mm image circle means you'll be using almost the whole image circle with the 533's 15.9mm diagonal, and SCTs aren't exactly known for rendering pretty stars at the edge of the field. I'd recommend a little less reduction, but beyond that either camera will serve you well. 


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#4 Dyno05

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Posted 19 April 2021 - 06:56 AM

They look like fine cameras to me. A couple things I'd point out-

1) The zero amp glow is nice on paper, but it's not as big of an issue as you'd think. You're still going to want to use darks (not all noise is amp glow) and that will calibrate out any amp glow you might get. The 294MM is known for pretty severe amp glow but you won't see it in any pictures in my gallery. That's just the result of stacking with darks, no further post processing needed to correct for it. It's not that you should or shouldn't get this camera because of it, I just wouldn't base any decisions on whether or not the camera has some amp glow.

2) The 294 actually has larger pixels than the 533. Sort of. There's some confusion here because the 294 uses a 12-bit 8288x5644 sensor binned (and originally locked) at Bin2 to achieve a 14 bit resolution of 4144x2822. This gives you 4.63um pixels as opposed to the 533's 3.76um pixels. More recent firmware allows you to shoot at the full 8288x5644 resolution but only in 12-bit mode. For best results you use this camera at Bin2+ all the time, otherwise you're limiting your dynamic range and making your file sizes needlessly huge. I'm not sure if the color version has an unlocked high-res mode as well though or if this is just on the monochrome model. 

All that being said, what matters is the results and either the 533 or 294 is capable of producing beautiful photos. I think the small sensor size of the 533 would really shine more on shorter focal length refractors than on a big SCT, for those I think the 294 would be a better option. I'm more concerned with the reducer you plan to use though... a 16mm image circle means you'll be using almost the whole image circle with the 533's 15.9mm diagonal, and SCTs aren't exactly known for rendering pretty stars at the edge of the field. I'd recommend a little less reduction, but beyond that either camera will serve you well. 

Thank you for your input. I have a friend who has the 294 and he said sometimes getting the amp glow to calibrate out correctly can be troublesome. From others I hear it’s no issue. That’s why I mentioned it. The reason I’m thinking of the .4 reducer is for a few reasons. It will keep the focal length down to reasonable lengths for use with my AVX. The reducer I want to use the. https://optcorp.com/...ASABEgJIL_D_BwE   If I read the information correctly, it provides a flat field of 16mm and the edges are not corrected, which are the bad areas of an SCT. I figured that keeping the camera sensor inside this 16mm should provide a flat field similar to an EDGE HD but with a limited FOV. My original plan was a 294 with a starizona .7 corrector. Now I’m torn.



#5 CCD-Freak

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Posted 19 April 2021 - 11:13 AM

I have the ASI-533MCp and I love it. I use with a wide variety of scopes and it works well on all of them. 

 

My latest image was at 2000mm with an AT10RC using a UV-IR filter.

 

NGC5033  73 x 180 seconds (3.65 hours)  captured and processed with Astro Art 7

 

NGC5033-Cal-Sigma-Curves-CB-DN-3x3-3.jpg

 

My 2¢

 

 

 

 


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#6 ravenhawk82

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Posted 19 April 2021 - 12:24 PM

Thank you for your input. I have a friend who has the 294 and he said sometimes getting the amp glow to calibrate out correctly can be troublesome. From others I hear it’s no issue. That’s why I mentioned it. The reason I’m thinking of the .4 reducer is for a few reasons. It will keep the focal length down to reasonable lengths for use with my AVX. The reducer I want to use the. https://optcorp.com/...ASABEgJIL_D_BwE   If I read the information correctly, it provides a flat field of 16mm and the edges are not corrected, which are the bad areas of an SCT. I figured that keeping the camera sensor inside this 16mm should provide a flat field similar to an EDGE HD but with a limited FOV. My original plan was a 294 with a starizona .7 corrector. Now I’m torn.

My personal choice would be a 294 with a less aggressive reducer, but I can't speak to the merits of this particular reducer. If the 16mm figure is the corrected area and not the entire image circle that might actually be a better deal than I thought, in which case you're on the right track.

At this point though, either is a good choice. My personal preference is a larger FOV chip and the ability to crop which is why I ultimately chose the 294, but your preferences may be different. As you've found and others have demonstrated either is capable of great results so you neither is a bad choice. Whichever way you go you won't regret it so don't stress too hard smile.gif


Edited by ravenhawk82, 19 April 2021 - 12:24 PM.

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