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Looking for help choosing a mono camera that is a good match for my telescope

Astrophotography Refractor
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#1 FloridaNebula

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Posted 17 August 2022 - 10:45 PM

I have a Sharp Star 61EDPHII and I'm currently using a Canon SL1 DSLR for imaging. I'm wanting to step up to a cooled astronomy camera (to deal with the Florida heat) and go to monochrome. Using the CCD Suitability calculator from Astronomy Tools, I'm trying to compare three cameras from ZWO: ASI183MM Pro, ASI1600MM Pro and ASI294MM Pro. With OK seeing, the 183 and 294 just fit in on the recommended ideal pixel size. At good seeing or better none of the cameras meet the ideal pixel size. I was leaning toward a used 183 but now I'm questioning if my telescope would be a good match for a mono camera. Thoughts?

 

T4.JPG T5.JPG T6.JPG



#2 idclimber

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Posted 17 August 2022 - 11:21 PM

I would go with either the 2600mm or the 533mm. Much better/newer sensors and that outweighs pixel scale IMHO. Regardless make sure you get 36mm filters so when you do upgrade to the 2600mm you will be ready. The 2600 is the best ZWO camera for that scope, no question. 


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#3 daveco2

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 12:10 AM

I agree with idclimber. I use a 2600 mono on my AT60ED (same as your scope) and it’s excellent under all seeing conditions.   Lowest read noise at gain 100.  I have a second 2600 mono on a 150mm reflector, in tandem, also excellent. And sometimes switch out to an SCT.  
 

I would call the 2600 “future proof”.


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#4 Jure_13

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 12:26 AM

Another recommendation for ASI2600. I was imaging with a 60mm APO and ASI2600MM until I got a bigger refractor. Great camera, never a single problem. I know the combination isn't ideal and you will be under sampling somewhat, but for me that wasn't a problem. Then again, I am not too **** about small and perfectly round stars. lol.gif

 

There are some images with the 60mm on my Astrobin page, if you want some examples. In my sig. :)



#5 Pantilas

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 12:39 AM

I would also call the 533 future proof. It's a very similar sensor as the 2600 has, just smaller.
I also think that pixel scale is generally overrated. Yes, it makes a difference, when you image with a TAK FSQ with very good seeing and like to squeeze the last percent out of your images, but that's about it.
You can mitigate the effects of undersampling by drizzle and star reduction in post pretty well.
idclimber is right: don't buy a worst camera like the 183 or 294 just because of the pixel scale.

For example, these images where made with a pixel scale of 5.7"/pixel:
https://www.astrobin.com/vx7797/0/
https://www.astrobin.com/qs8ynk/

https://www.astrobin.com/81fsen/


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#6 fewayne

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 10:54 AM

A183 is a fine camera, but it's a bit long in the tooth. And the tiny pixels and sensor make it a bit of specialist kit. For example, it's oversampled for my AT8RC by quite a bit, but it carves out the flat-field portion in the center of the FOV and that's just fine with me -- I can add integration time to deal with the oversampling.

 

The amp glow calibrates out, but meh, I'd rather not have to deal with it if I had my druthers.


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#7 FloridaNebula

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 02:29 PM

I didn't even realize that the 533 was available in mono. As much as I would love to have the 2600, it is out of the budget for now, especially since I need a filter wheel and filters going to mono. 

 

I wasn't sure how much weight the calculator results should factor in on the decision. I think the points about the improvements with the newer sensors would make for a better real world use experience for me. Thanks for all of the helpful replies! 


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#8 idclimber

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 04:36 PM

To repeat, get the newer ZWO 36mm x 7 slot filter wheel. It can be used with the 533 just like the older one. Then when funds allow you can sell the 533mm and upgrade to the 2600 without having to also replace the filters and the filter wheel. This is only marginally more expensive now. 


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#9 dx_ron

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 04:41 PM

Calculating ideal pixel size is a non-issue these days. All the best mainstream cameras have 3.76u pixels, and they are enough better than the few alternatives that it overcomes any sampling inefficiency.




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