That's a tough nut to crack - especially since the energy in the hobby is clearly with imaging. Visual astronomy is becoming a small niche
Basically, what that means is that there are imaging systems to cover even modest budgets.
If you have not fainted yet, that is about $6850 for a higher (not highest) end CMOS camera outfit.
Other posters said my thoughts better than me so i'll add to it later, I still definately have an interest in both.
No fainting, i'm also a video/film production hobbyist so spending thousands on cameras and such is just part and parcel. I was expecting to possibly dump 4 grand on an NV setup, possibly considerably more (ultimately anyways years later) dreaming of huge dobsonians.. just like any hobby (cars, etc) we often fall head over heels and whether the money is spent on the scope or the intensifier is irrelevant.. it's more what do I want to view and i'm still figuring some of that out.
What would the highest of CMOS cameras be just for comparison and how does that compare to what you have?
Some top of mind thoughts, I’m sure others will add.
Benefits of NV
Night vision has all the “ergonomic advantages” that visual observing has and that “visual observers enjoy” over using a camera. NV is really enhanced visual observing
Thats kind of what pushes me more to NV for more routine things if i'm stuck in the Twin Cities for a few more years which I think I am. There's too much work and setup and even driving time to get to dark skies for imaging turning into an all day event - would I like to do some of that eventually, yes, when I have a huge Dob to stick in front of it.
Largely apples and oranges IMHO. Can't really say one is better. Really depends on what your goals are.
NV is mostly an extension of visual astronomy. Smartphone pictures are possible, though they could never compare to good CCD images.
On the other hand, CCD imaging is the successor to film astrophotography. Though it can be done on a budget, it can get very expensive,
Whereas with NV you're observing an object in real time, with CCD you're not observing at all--
Well in part i'm just curious of a performance comparison - snapping images of the view behind a Gen3 NV compared to a CMOS or CCD type system with more time, where is the crossover point in cost performance value... even though they are different experiences. I'm just trying to get a better idea in my head of what CAN be viewed or not.
I like visual astronomy because to some degree if i'm staring at a monitor right next to a camera on a telescope at a dark sky site, a part of me almost feels like I might as well just be staring at a jpeg from a professional scope at home - it loses some of the immediacy - i'm not saying it's zero, it's just looking in realtime at things like meteor trails is another thing that is cooler done with an eye through an eyepiece for me.
Another thing that offsets the cost to me is usability for other purposes, it's not just $4k for an astro imager, so it's easier for me to justify spending it if I can fulfill two, three or more hobby interests with the same purchase. (just like if I understand, astro-modified CMOS DSLR's can still be used to usually shoot normal footage with less convenient ergonomics, depending on what mods were done - like a cooled sensor, not deBayering, though the latter still shoots footage just B&W high res raw)
For those of us that are either 1) too lazy for imaging 2) don't want to learn it 3) don't want to setup a ton of equipment 4) don't want to spend a ton of time processing images 5) etc...NV is much more easy going.
Now, for what you will see compared to CCD images, quite frankly it's not near CCD images from
That's more me to start certainly - I need something that is grab and go and doesn't need to drive 2-3 hours to dark skies to stay interested in the hobby, or it gets so difficult i'll fall out of it just like I did in the past.
I'm curious how 'low' one can go on the CCD scale (older used equipment of whatever generation) that's comparable to Gen3 NV images snapped through the eyepiece - i'd assume for alot less cost than Gen3 hopefully? CCD probably gets better, perhaps even for the money, i'm just curious where the financial/performance crossover point is too compared to taking images or video from the smartphone in front of the Gen3 eyepiece.
Also I like your images and would be happy if I were taking the same - just something representing "what I was seeing in realtime" for people that I can't show directly.
Edited by bigdobsonfan, 14 July 2021 - 12:08 AM.