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Old 29-05-2016, 01:18 PM
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ChrisV (Chris)
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ChrisV is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,222

This was going to be short, but ...

I started with the LN300 as mentioned by Alex previously. In fact it was Alex's images that got me started with this. Ended up getting the revolution imager as I couldn't source a good LN300 camera on aliexpress etc. The LN300 in various forms uses a really sensitive 1/3" CCD chip but as we all know CCDs are being phased out by the manufacturers. These analog are great if you are just using a screen to monitor things. But if you want to put it on a computer and stretch images on the fly you have to use a frame grabber - and these are really poor resolution.

I've been on the CN-EAA forum for a while and it is really informative. But discussions there get a lot more robust than here at times.

- The great USB cameras are expensive so I went for the zwo ASI224MC - after I read Astrojedi's testing of it on that forum. It was only about $500 from Bintel (can I mention vendors?) so is also a great starter. Its reasonably sensitive. And the good thing is its really low read noise so you can stack a pile of short subs. Its still just a 1/3" chip but I use massive focal reduction (x0.33 - 0.75) for a faster image and wider FOV. And it works seamlessly with sharpcap.

- The best 'tried and tested' cameras for astro video currently are the Atik Infinity and the Starlight Express Ultrastar (or even the lodestar X2). These both have really good, easy to use software - which is a must for this stuff. They are very sensitive and have a slightly larger 1/2" format chip. They cost 3x as much as my 224, but if you have the $$ they are worth it. I'll get one of these when I've had a year or so with my 224 (or otherwise whatever is the new big thing). Check out the images in CN-EAA forum, or watch the live broadcasts on

- The current one they are getting excited about is the zwo1600. But there's not a lot of testing on it yet as only a few people in the USA have them. There's also a long thread about it here in the astrophotography forum - but I don't think anyone has actually used one yet ??

So it depends on whether you want to
1. just use a monitor - then analog camera is best.
2. Want to use a computer - then the usb cameras are better.
3. Also people use digital cameras to great effect. My son has a canon 600d which I've 'borrowed' a few times.

And with the latter, while the camera is king, its the combination of camera and software that is important. AND focal redcuers !!! I have a nice little x0.5 that came with the rev imager. But mainly use a x0.33 Meade, or Optec and vary spacing to change reduction. Yes, you get vignetting and you get coma but it don't matter for my needs on a small chip.

The rev imager is a good entry. Beware the DSO1 as of vendor issues - I won't say more, but it won't take long for you to figure out the issues on the CN forum. I mostly use the analog camera when I go down the park with just scope, camera and monitor AND at home the USB camera with computer.


Originally Posted by csb View Post
Chris, what camera are you thinking about?

Cloudynights is a good place for user reviews of astrovideo cameras.

The dso1 gets good reviews. I really need to make time to learn how to use on faint dso's.

The dso1 & Revolution camera are both well priced.

Last edited by ChrisV; 29-05-2016 at 01:32 PM.
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