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Use of Video Astro Cameras by CN Members??

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#151 rolandskythree

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 09:59 PM

For those who have followed this thread, there is developing news over the last few months as the MallinCAM Hyper Color Plus video camera has been making quite a stir among users. You can follow some of the news by looking at the MallinCAM related threads in equipment, the MallinCAN yahoo group, or recent postings of images on the WaningMoonII.com site. My Hyper Color went back to be upgraded to the Plus so I cannot make a new report at this juncture, but the news in these locations plus various private emails that I have been privy to have said the same thing: the live views are beautiful. Scopes being exercised range from small refractors to SCTs to some very large Dobsonians. Interestingly, the shorter integration times (2 sec) are still being reported as very valuable because they are used for finding things easier. Then the extended integrations are used. In the extended integrations, the longest is not always reported as the best. In otherwords, the wide range of integrations and settings provides the dynamic range that users have wanted because the objects so often have that kind of dynamic range also. There is also an increase in user interest in downsizing (this is not a mistake) scopes because of what can be reasonably seen with good apertures (with sky and atmospheric conditions included in the equation) but not necessarily huge apertures. The latter always deliver best, but the price is so much higher also.

In summary, the reports have consistently illustrated that the new tool set is really being enjoyed and appreciated. Once I have my camera back and upgraded, I will try to post a few sketches, but there are an increasing number of users whose single frame recordings or comparisons are very very good. I solicit some reports from MC Hyper Color or B&W Plus users to post some reports on this thread since it is pretty well read. Thanks for reading.

Roland Beard
Crozet VA

#152 rolandskythree

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 09:12 AM

M66 Comparative sketches -- see rolandlinda3 album (last sketch) for examples of sketching using Pro Dob and Color Hyper Plus MallinCAM video astro cameras. Report details are in a separate post on this forum.

#153 BradH

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 01:15 PM

M51 with Mallicam Hyper Color Plus. Its a single 56sec capture no processing. The capture card I used is 16x9 and the Mallicam is 4x3 so my stars are not round. Iam still tring to figure out how to convert the 16x9 back to 4x3.

Brad

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  • 1623448-m 51 5-22.JPG


#154 BradH

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 01:27 PM

Here is M57 with the Mallicam FR and without. A 28sec single frame no processing.

Brad

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  • 1623464-m57 5-22 FR and No FR 28sec.JPG


#155 PatchleAD

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 08:11 PM

Wow, this has added new ideas into my head....

Just for reference, as i am a very green observer, could you see any of the images showen in this thread (long exposure or short) with just using an eye peice and looking? or is it only become visable with the camera?

#156 Chris Schroeder

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 08:33 AM

Maybe, depending on your equipment, but without the color. I live in a suburban area and can not see the Whirlpool Galaxy with my 10" DOB, but I do see it with my 8" SCT and Mallincam.

#157 jsmiller58

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 02:15 PM

As a Mallincam owner and user I would say that there is no comparison - you will see much more with a video set up than with simply an eyepiece, certainly at the longer integrations, but also at the lower end. This includes both detail and color. For example, I see much fainter objects and in much more detail with my Mallincam and my 11" SCT than I can see visually through my CDK-17 - and keep in mind that the 17" has almost 2.5X the light gathering power of the 11". Another advantage is that if you do "group viewing" - family, friends, public outreach - a video setup that everyone can gather around is great!

While there are lots of benefits to using a video system, you do need to keep in mind a number of downsides. For one, the infrastructure needed is much greater (you need power, and a laptop or monitor at the minimum). Another disadvantage is the smaller field of view. Because I have a permanent observatory setup, the infrastructure overhead is not an issue for me. And, let's not forget the cost - these systems can be expensive.

Finally, there is the whole issue of the "purity" of the experience. There are those that will argue that using a video system is not real visual astronomy. Of course, there are those that don't believe in GOTO systems either. Anyway, it is all a personal choice - for me a GOTO mount and a video system help me see things that I would never see, but then I am about the destination, and not the journey. For others it is about the journey, and not the destination (an argument nicely made in the beautiful poem "Ithaca").

Anyway, I love the setup, though I don't use it exclusively - I do enjoy using my eyepieces as well.

James


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