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Old 16-12-2015, 06:58 AM
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konstantinos75 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Athens,Greece
Posts: 60

Thank you all for your valuable input regarding this interesting topic.

Let me add some references from bibliography about binning.


"In LRGB cases where this occurs, taking an unfiltered luminance frame using full sensor resolution and creating the individual RGB images in a binned 2×2 pixel mode will improve the SNR."

Creating and Enhancing Digital Astro Images
Grant Privett
Patrick Moore’s Practical Astronomy Series ISSN 1617-7185
Springer Science Business Media,2007


"Obtain your luminance frames when the skies are most steady and obtain your binned RGB frames when skies are more turbulent.
"you can acquire the clear exposures binned 2 × 2 to improve your signalto-noise ratio in the dim areas."

"If you are using an H-alpha filter, consider binning your H-alpha channel 2 × 2 if needed to speed up light collection."
"Furthermore, most monochrome cameras are easy to bin 2 × 2, 3 × 3, or even 9 × 9 to allow very short exposures of deep sky objects to check centering and framing, which can be critical when trying to locate your target on a small CCD chip."
"You can gather light more efficiently if you bin your red, green, and blue channels to collect color information more rapidly while acquiring luminance information at full resolution. Because color data can be acquired with lower resolution, the color exposures in an LRGB sequence can be binned 2 × 2, accumulating in 15 min the same signal-to-noise as a 1-h color exposure unbinned."

"For very dim objects, you can obtain your clear luminance exposures binned 2 × 2 and your RGB exposures binned 3 × 3."

The 100 Best Targets for Astrophotography
Ruben Kier
© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009
Patrick Moore’s Practical Astronomy Series


"This is especially true for the commonly used strategy of binning color data with the ultimate goal of combining
it with unbinned luminance data, which may be an acceptable approach for a well sampled image but can lead to loss of valuable color information when the image is already on the verge of being critically undersampled, as is typical of
many wide field images."
"However for dim galaxies and nebulae binning the detector can yield significant time savings by lowering the read noise and making the camera act as if it is more sensitive."
"A final word about binned data. Many think that binning 2 Χ 2 automatically doubles SNR, but in reality the benefits of binning are reduced as light pollution increases."
"Even though RGB data is more forgiving than Lum data for LRGB imaging, and the reduced resolution with 2 Χ 2 binning won’t be noticeable in most LRGB images, we still shoot everything unbinned."

The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series
Lessons from the Masters Current Concepts in Astronomical Image Processing
Robert Gendler Editor
© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

"Luminance and color layers binned 1x1 (no binning). This provides a sharp image and good color. Highly recommended,
as it will provide the sharpest detail and excellent color. Requires additional imaging time relative to 2x2 binned color components."

"Luminance 1x1 and color layers 2x2, combined in MaxIm DL. Star images are very slightly larger when FWHM is measured, but still good."
"The main advantage of binned color components is that they take less time to acquire. If time is limited, use 1x1 binning for your luminance image and 2x2 binning for your color images."
"For higher resolution and longer exposure times, use 1x1 binning for all images."
"The ability to process the luminance image independently of the color components is a significant advantage of LRGB imaging versus RGB imaging. However, RGB images tend to have richer color, so you should choose the color combination method based on what is more important to you: color (RGB) or details (LRGB). If you want the best of both
worlds, either shoot your LRGB with the color images binned 1x1 instead of the more usual 2x2, or take longer and more RGB images to reduce noise and improve color accuracy."

The New CCD Astronomy
Ron Wodaski
New Astronomy Press
© 2002 Ron Wodaski

"The argument proposes that for any given overall imaging time, a better result is obtained by using RGB at 1×1 binning than L (1×1) and RGB (2×2)."
"Binning is however, a useful technique to improve the quality of weak signals, not only for color exposures but also when used for expediency during focusing and plate solving."

The Astrophotography Manual
A Practical and Scientific Approach to Deep Space Imaging
Chris Woodhouse
© 2016 Chris Woodhouse

So My understanding is that if someone has the possibility to go for 1x1 binning for all filters this is the choice to go.
2x2 or 3x3 binning is preferable for very dim objects.
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