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#1 Dpasqa

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 11:02 AM

I posted recently asking about the minimum set up to get into Astros photography. I think I was misunderstood. Most people responded with complicated suggestions that seem to be oriented to tracking and shooting multiple images for the sake of stacking. I am not looking to do that. I am looking to simply locate a target like a cluster and take a picture of it.

 

I’ve been looking at these little orange cameras some of them are as low as 200 and $300. Is this what I need to buy to take simple pictures? Again I must stress, I don’t wish to get deep in the Astro photography therefore I don’t care about being capable of taking multiple images the same target. Just a simple snap and shoot. Are these little cameras going to give me what I am looking for?

 

From what I read it seems to me the these small cameras that attach to the telescope of seem to be what I’m looking for, but I don’t wanna waste money if I’m wrong. Thank you. 


Edited by Dpasqa, 14 May 2022 - 11:12 AM.


#2 Dren

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 11:14 AM

I posted recently asking about the minimum set up to get into Astros photography. Most people responded with very complicated suggestions that seem to be oriented to tracking and shooting multiple images for the sake of stacking. I am not looking to do that. I am looking to simply locate a target like a cluster and take a picture of it.

 

I’ve been looking at these little orange cameras some of them are as low as 200 and $300. Is this what I need to buy to take simple pictures? Again I must stress, I don’t wish to get deep in the Astro photography therefore I could care less about being capable of taking multiple images the same target. Just a simple snap and shoot. Are these little cameras going to give me what I am looking for?

 

From what I read it seems to me the these small cameras that attach to the telescope of seem to be what I’m looking for, but I don’t wanna waste money if I’m wrong. Thank you. 

Would you be able to post a type of picture you're interested in getting from your setup?

 

The reason why people focused on the mount/tracking is because for most targets a single image won't get you much.  Many objects in the sky are very faint, and we bring out faint details using tracking, stacking, etc.  Even with a star cluster, if you wish to have nice colors in your stars, I believe you'll want to track/stack.

 

But tracking/stacking is what many of us do because they are needed for the types of images we want.  If what you want is to take simple and single pictures of views through your telescope, like a view of what you can see with your eye through your eyepiece, that's different.  Having an example of the type of picture you're wanting to get out of your setup would be helpful in providing advice.  


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#3 AtlantaAstro

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 11:16 AM

One thing to understand is that a lot of objects won’t show any detail with a single shot exposure. Most targets are just so dim the noise will outweigh the signal almost every time. Unless you’re photographing planets or bright objects, you have to stack multiple images to overcome the noise. If you’re looking for single shot photography, stick to moon and planetary imaging


Edited by AtlantaAstro, 14 May 2022 - 11:23 AM.

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#4 imtl

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 11:20 AM

Don,

 

From what you describe, you are in the wrong forum. Try the EAA forum when you'll find better advice about your wanting. Also, planetary imaging forum might suit you better.


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#5 idclimber

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 11:23 AM

Yes, any of the small color astro cameras can be used with your scope preferably with at the focal reducer installed. You would also need some type of computer and USB cable to control and record these image. ZWO who makes the most popular cameras has software that will do everything you ask. As I stated yesterday to your previous inquiry. 

 

A single image is not going to show nearly as much as a stack of photos. The good new is you do not have to take a bunch of photos and do any complicated post processing or advanced imaging. You can keep things extremely simple. Just use the EAA software and techniques I suggested yesterday. Then simply click a button and watch in real time as the image develops right before your eyes. When you are happy with how it looks, click save. It really is not that much harder than using an eyepiece. 

 

Again there is a separate section of Cloudy Nights that helps people like you do this type of imaging. You will get better advice there. 


Edited by idclimber, 14 May 2022 - 11:24 AM.

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#6 B 26354

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 11:24 AM

I am looking to simply locate a target like a cluster and take a picture of it.

 

I don’t care about being capable of taking multiple images the same target. Just a simple snap and shoot. Are these little cameras going to give me what I am looking for?

Astro-photography doesn't work like that. I think some research and reading would greatly help you to get a better view of what the possibilities are. I would strongly recommend looking into getting used copies of one (or all) of these:

 

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/1937538435/

 

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/1316639932/

 

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/0999470906/

 

biggrin.png


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#7 MarMax

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 12:21 PM

As suggested, you should look into Electronic Assisted Astronomy (EAA). It's the simplest way to get into astrophotography (AP).

 

To get started with EAA you should have a Windows laptop, use SharpCap software, and buy an inexpensive camera. If you are OK without color (monochrome), the ZWO ASI290MM is a great choice. This monochrome camera provides great sensitivity and is available for $300 new.

 

If you prefer color there are many more choices. I have and would recommend a Player One Neptune-CII color camera. It's a great way to start off in color and is available for $330 new.

 

If the above is till too much for you then I suggest you get a cell phone adapter for your phone and try taking some pictures through the eyepiece. This may actually be the best way to start off.

 

There is a ton of information available to you via the search feature in both the EAA forum and in the Smartphone Astrophotography thread.

 

EDITED to say the link puts you near the end of the thread on a post with a link to an index of the topic.


Edited by MarMax, 14 May 2022 - 12:25 PM.


#8 Dpasqa

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 02:54 PM

I should’ve stated that my telescope is a Celestron evolution 8. I guess I would want a photograph things like the moon and the planets when they come back in season, maybe some of the brighter open clusters. For example I took a great picture of the moon with just my iPhone. But connecting an iPhone to the eyepiece is a hassle at night in the dark. Therefore the little orange ones that screw on to the the back seem to be more practical. So all I’m trying to do is take a simple picture like I would with my iPhone but get it accurately centered with something that mounts to the back of the telescope. Will those cameras give me that type of photo? If that’s not possible then I’ll just give up on this thought. 



#9 Dpasqa

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 02:57 PM

Would you be able to post a type of picture you're interested in getting from your setup?

 

The reason why people focused on the mount/tracking is because for most targets a single image won't get you much.  Many objects in the sky are very faint, and we bring out faint details using tracking, stacking, etc.  Even with a star cluster, if you wish to have nice colors in your stars, I believe you'll want to track/stack.

 

But tracking/stacking is what many of us do because they are needed for the types of images we want.  If what you want is to take simple and single pictures of views through your telescope, like a view of what you can see with your eye through your eyepiece, that's different.  Having an example of the type of picture you're wanting to get out of your setup would be helpful in providing advice.  

Yes that’s all I’m trying to do, take a single picture of something like the moon or Jupiter. May be a brighter open cluster. I understand that you folks are more into this than I am, and who knows maybe someday I’ll want to do that. But for now I’d be happy to take pictures of the moon and planets. 



#10 Dpasqa

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 02:59 PM

Yes, any of the small color astro cameras can be used with your scope preferably with at the focal reducer installed. You would also need some type of computer and USB cable to control and record these image. ZWO who makes the most popular cameras has software that will do everything you ask. As I stated yesterday to your previous inquiry. 

 

A single image is not going to show nearly as much as a stack of photos. The good new is you do not have to take a bunch of photos and do any complicated post processing or advanced imaging. You can keep things extremely simple. Just use the EAA software and techniques I suggested yesterday. Then simply click a button and watch in real time as the image develops right before your eyes. When you are happy with how it looks, click save. It really is not that much harder than using an eyepiece. 

 

Again there is a separate section of Cloudy Nights that helps people like you do this type of imaging. You will get better advice there. 

Thank you for responding again. I do have a focal reducer and I can buy whatever other extension pieces are needed. But I’m just trying to keep it simple. I doubt I’ll ever advance into more detail photography, my sky is not the darkest and the learning curve would be quite high. At my age I don’t wish to go through that. Just wanna have a little fun taking a few pictures here and there. Which section in cloudy nights covers this topic? Thanks again.


Edited by Dpasqa, 14 May 2022 - 03:03 PM.


#11 Dpasqa

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 03:01 PM

As suggested, you should look into Electronic Assisted Astronomy (EAA). It's the simplest way to get into astrophotography (AP).

 

To get started with EAA you should have a Windows laptop, use SharpCap software, and buy an inexpensive camera. If you are OK without color (monochrome), the ZWO ASI290MM is a great choice. This monochrome camera provides great sensitivity and is available for $300 new.

 

If you prefer color there are many more choices. I have and would recommend a Player One Neptune-CII color camera. It's a great way to start off in color and is available for $330 new.

 

If the above is till too much for you then I suggest you get a cell phone adapter for your phone and try taking some pictures through the eyepiece. This may actually be the best way to start off.

 

There is a ton of information available to you via the search feature in both the EAA forum and in the Smartphone Astrophotography thread.

 

EDITED to say the link puts you near the end of the thread on a post with a link to an index of the topic.

Thank you, I do have a cell phone adapter but it’s a hassle to get it set up in the dark. But the two you’re describing are in the price range that I could justify. Is there an EAA part of this form that I missing? Or is it a different form you’re recommending? Can’t I use a Mac? Is there wn EAA forum?


Edited by Dpasqa, 14 May 2022 - 03:05 PM.


#12 imtl

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 03:08 PM

Thank you, I do have a cell phone adapter but it’s a hassle to get it set up in the dark. But the two you’re describing are in the price range that I could justify. Is there an EAA part of this form that I missing? Or is it a different form you’re recommending? Can’t I use a Mac? Is there wn EAA forum?

https://www.cloudyni...-astronomy-eaa/



#13 idclimber

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 03:22 PM

Yes that’s all I’m trying to do, take a single picture of something like the moon or Jupiter. May be a brighter open cluster. I understand that you folks are more into this than I am, and who knows maybe someday I’ll want to do that. But for now I’d be happy to take pictures of the moon and planets. 

Thank you for responding again. I do have a focal reducer and I can buy whatever other extension pieces are needed. But I’m just trying to keep it simple. I doubt I’ll ever advance into more detail photography, my sky is not the darkest and the learning curve would be quite high. At my age I don’t wish to go through that. Just wanna have a little fun taking a few pictures here and there. Which section in cloudy nights covers this topic? Thanks again.

I understand exactly what you are asking for and am trying my very best to answer. Follow the link that Eyal posted. 

 

Thank you, I do have a cell phone adapter but it’s a hassle to get it set up in the dark. But the two you’re describing are in the price range that I could justify. Is there an EAA part of this form that I missing? Or is it a different form you’re recommending? Can’t I use a Mac? Is there wn EAA forum?

Yes there is Mac software. ZWO the main astro camera company that I mentioned earlier  has software that runs on my MacBook perfectly. 


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#14 AtlantaAstro

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 03:46 PM

I’m not sure which orange cameras you’re referring to but if you just want to take pics of moon and planets then I’m sure whatever camera you’re thinking of would be fine as long as you can get it to focus. Try it out and see what you get! Might surprise you!


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#15 Dren

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 04:19 PM

Yes that’s all I’m trying to do, take a single picture of something like the moon or Jupiter. May be a brighter open cluster. I understand that you folks are more into this than I am, and who knows maybe someday I’ll want to do that. But for now I’d be happy to take pictures of the moon and planets. 

Got it. As others have stated, you may get better help at eaa forum. Take a look at this. Is this your scope?  Wasn't sure if  edgehd is something different. These are not single pictures, but it shows you what's possible with the setup. And if you can get these types of images with this setup, you can certainly take single pictures. 



#16 Dpasqa

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 05:03 PM

Geesh, I’m a dummy, I never noticed this section of CN, thanks, I’ll hang out there for a while. 



#17 Dpasqa

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 05:06 PM

I’m not sure which orange cameras you’re referring to but if you just want to take pics of moon and planets then I’m sure whatever camera you’re thinking of would be fine as long as you can get it to focus. Try it out and see what you get! Might surprise you!

Here are the cameras, they range $200 to $900, even higher. Would these do what I want? 
 

https://optcorp.com/...BSABEgJqhvD_BwE



#18 Dpasqa

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 05:10 PM

Got it. As others have stated, you may get better help at eaa forum. Take a look at this. Is this your scope?  Wasn't sure if  edgehd is something different. These are not single pictures, but it shows you what's possible with the setup. And if you can get these types of images with this setup, you can certainly take single pictures. 

Thanks for for link, I’ll  check it out and check out the EAA forum. What y’all are providing is pointing me in the right direction. Who knows, I might hooked and advance to what y’all are doing. But doubt it, I just want to have fun. 


Edited by Dpasqa, 14 May 2022 - 08:27 PM.

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#19 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 06:06 PM

The "little orange cameras" are basically naked DSLRs.  No fancy body, no LCD screen, no battery, no controls.  Just a sensor in a case, often with an active cooler to lower the noise.  The sensor is missing the aggressive UV / IR filter that makes capturing the deep red colors prevalent in deep space, so they have an advantage there, but this isn't a big issue for imaging the Moon, planets, and many of the broadband deep space targets. 

 

If you already own a DSLR you should really try using that first.  All you should need is a "T-Ring", which is a camera-specific adapter that connects the camera to your scope.  An inexpensive "Intervalometer" will automate the taking of the many images used in deep sky astrophotography.  Or, even the taking of one.  But most targets aren't "snapshot" candidates.  Stacking and processing of images isn't hard, nor expensive.  Lots of free software out there to do this.  Whatever you do, don't physically push the shutter; get some sort of remote.  The tiniest jiggles will ruin your images.


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#20 17.5Dob

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 06:32 PM

The "little orange cameras" are basically naked DSLRs.  No fancy body, no LCD screen, no battery, no controls.  Just a sensor in a case,

 

Actually the "little orange cameras" that sell for ~$300 aren't even close to the size of a dSLR frame. The image might be only 1/4 as large. The only thing they can do better is high speed video for lunar/planetary. If the OP is interested in any sort of wider field view, a dSLR is far superior.
 


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#21 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 06:40 PM

Actually the "little orange cameras" that sell for ~$300 aren't even close to the size of a dSLR frame. The image might be only 1/4 as large. The only thing they can do better is high speed video for lunar/planetary. If the OP is interested in any sort of wider field view, a dSLR is far superior.
 

Oh, absolutely.  But the point is that if they already have a DSLR, try using that first.  They're much easier and cheaper to get some sort of image than hassling with all the added stuff needed with an astro camera.  My bet is that they will soon outgrow the desire to take single "snapshots", and transition to either EAA, more traditional DSO AP, or planetary imaging.  What sort of images they take, and what continues to excite them, will direct the next steps.  If it's more in the planetary realm, the need for a higher frame rate will drive the need for a different camera.  If EAA or DSO AP, the DSLR might just do for quite a while.



#22 Dren

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 08:00 PM

Here are the cameras, they range $200 to $900, even higher. Would these do what I want? 
 

https://optcorp.com/...BSABEgJqhvD_BwE

The link takes me to a planetary camera. Frankly any of the planetary cameras should work for you. You probably want color rather than mono.

 

There are variety of factors to consider when buying a camera, such as sensor size, pixel size, max FPS, etc.  I would think sensor size and max FFS is pretty important for what you want to do now and where you may want to go to in the near future. I would ask for recommendation for your scope and desired targets at eaa forum. 

 

You will need to place the image sensor at a specific distance from the end of the telescope, and probably need spacers. I don't know what the distance value is for your telescope, but folks in eaa probably know. It seems like a number of people use evo8 for eaa.  Again I would defer to them for how to connect the camera to the telescope. 


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#23 Dpasqa

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 08:29 PM

The "little orange cameras" are basically naked DSLRs.  No fancy body, no LCD screen, no battery, no controls.  Just a sensor in a case, often with an active cooler to lower the noise.  The sensor is missing the aggressive UV / IR filter that makes capturing the deep red colors prevalent in deep space, so they have an advantage there, but this isn't a big issue for imaging the Moon, planets, and many of the broadband deep space targets. 

 

If you already own a DSLR you should really try using that first.  All you should need is a "T-Ring", which is a camera-specific adapter that connects the camera to your scope.  An inexpensive "Intervalometer" will automate the taking of the many images used in deep sky astrophotography.  Or, even the taking of one.  But most targets aren't "snapshot" candidates.  Stacking and processing of images isn't hard, nor expensive.  Lots of free software out there to do this.  Whatever you do, don't physically push the shutter; get some sort of remote.  The tiniest jiggles will ruin your images.

It’s a moot point, I don’t have a DSLR. But I’m very interested in these little cameras were talking about. I’m hoping they will give me what I want. And that is to be able to snap simple pictures of planets and things like the blood moon that’s happening tomorrow.



#24 Dpasqa

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 08:39 PM

The link takes me to a planetary camera. Frankly any of the planetary cameras should work for you. You probably want color rather than mono.

 

There are variety of factors to consider when buying a camera, such as sensor size, pixel size, max FPS, etc.  I would think sensor size and max FFS is pretty important for what you want to do now and where you may want to go to in the near future. I would ask for recommendation for your scope and desired targets at eaa forum. 

 

You will need to place the image sensor at a specific distance from the end of the telescope, and probably need spacers. I don't know what the distance value is for your telescope, but folks in eaa probably know. It seems like a number of people use evo8 for eaa.  Again I would defer to them for how to connect the camera to the telescope. 

Thank you I’ll keep all of this in mind, And I’ve already looked at the EAA section of the forum. I think I’ll spend a lot of time there and talk to folks on that form as well. I think it’s a good idea to tell them what I have, what I wanna do and  what is the best option for a camera for my telescope. I honestly don’t want to go overboard with this, I don’t mind spending a couple hundred dollars to see if I like this or not. Knowing me I will probably be satisfied just to take simple pictures of the planets in the moon, like the blood moon tomorrow. If I get a thrill out of it I can always upgrade at a later time, but I think this will hold me for good while. This is how I got into my Celestron Evolution 8 inch, I asked questions like this on the forum and folks like you all responded and in the end I found a telescope that I really love. Photography is not something I don’t want to delve too deep into. I’m old and there’s a huge learning curve, I want to keep it as simple as possible. It sounds like you’re thinking the little orange cameras would work for what I want to do right now, is that correct? I will continue talking on forums, reading about imaging and talking to some of the folks at places like B&H and high point scientific. They were very helpful when I was looking for my telescope. Thanks again. Don



#25 Dren

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 08:59 PM

Thank you I’ll keep all of this in mind, And I’ve already looked at the EAA section of the forum. I think I’ll spend a lot of time there and talk to folks on that form as well. I think it’s a good idea to tell them what I have, what I wanna do and  what is the best option for a camera for my telescope. I honestly don’t want to go overboard with this, I don’t mind spending a couple hundred dollars to see if I like this or not. Knowing me I will probably be satisfied just to take simple pictures of the planets in the moon, like the blood moon tomorrow. If I get a thrill out of it I can always upgrade at a later time, but I think this will hold me for good while. This is how I got into my Celestron Evolution 8 inch, I asked questions like this on the forum and folks like you all responded and in the end I found a telescope that I really love. Photography is not something I don’t want to delve too deep into. I’m old and there’s a huge learning curve, I want to keep it as simple as possible. It sounds like you’re thinking the little orange cameras would work for what I want to do right now, is that correct? I will continue talking on forums, reading about imaging and talking to some of the folks at places like B&H and high point scientific. They were very helpful when I was looking for my telescope. Thanks again. Don

Yup, and by little orange cameras I'm referring to planetary cameras. To me they are red so hopefully we're talking about the same cameras. The little cameras don't have cooling, which is important for dso imaging people do on this forum. If you ever decide to do dso imaging, you'll probably want to consider cooling.

 

But for what you want to do now, the little cameras will work. Please pay close attention to the size of the image sensor and your telescope focal length. You can go to sites like telescopius.com, enter your sensor dimensions and telescope focal length, and see how the objects will look. If you buy a camera with a tiny sensor, you may have hard time getting entirety of the object in your view. For example, when I was looking at objects through 750mm telescope using asi120mm, which has a tiny sensor, I could not see the entire moon at once.  I believe max fps is important for eaa but not really sure as I've almost no experience with it.

 

Sharpcap is a good software to use with these cameras. If you buy zwo camera, I believe they have software you can use to capture single pictures, videos, eaa, etc. 


Edited by Dren, 14 May 2022 - 09:13 PM.



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