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Old 28-05-2015, 10:40 AM
loc46south (Geoffrey)
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Recommendations for DSLR Control

Hi - I need some advice - What is a good reliable camera control program for a Canon 550D DSLR. I am all set up for CCD Imaging and have had no experience with a DSLR other than the odd family or holiday snap.

Reason - a couple of nights ago the Aurora put on a really good show while I was up at my observatory - I attempted to catch it with the DSLR. You can guess what the result was.

Any help would be appreciated. I've tried the software that comes with the camera - Don't like it. I've also tried The SKY X Camera Control - it will hook up to the camera then it crashes.

Thanks
Geof Wingham
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  #2  
Old 28-05-2015, 10:48 AM
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rustigsmed (Russell)
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Backyard Eos however you need a laptop and shutter control cords

http://www.otelescope.com/index.php?/page/index.html

http://www.store.shoestringastronomy...roducts_ds.htm
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Old 28-05-2015, 11:58 AM
raymo
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For simplicity you could use a $20 ebay intervalometer. Let it take shots
during your session, and then delete what is of no interest at the end of the session.
raymo
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Old 28-05-2015, 11:58 AM
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Rod771 (Rod)
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+1 for Backyard EOS.
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Old 28-05-2015, 12:16 PM
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kosh (Goran)
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Hi Geoffrey,

I use APT ( Astrophotography Tool ) and find that it is pretty good. You can also use it for a CCD... As other have mentioned BackyardEOS is also nice.
Nebulosity should work too, but is a bit more pricey, although i have had trouble with my DSLR's and nebulosity.
All I have used with my 450D and 1000D is just the USB cable to laptop.

Also, an intervalometer from eBay is a good idea as ray mentioned if you don't want to have a laptop with you. Mine cost me $15.

Goran.
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Old 28-05-2015, 12:49 PM
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rustigsmed (Russell)
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if you are after an intervalometer you may as well consider downloading magic lantern http://www.magiclantern.fm/ (its free)
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Old 28-05-2015, 12:59 PM
jjz (Joe)
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+1 for Backyard EOS.
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Old 28-05-2015, 01:00 PM
glend (Glen)
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I have had some problems with Backyard EOS running on my netbook. I use the netbook to run Metaguide for the guide camera and find that BYEOS will freeze from time to time which eats up CPU cycles and thus stops Metaguide as well which ruins my imaging run. I believe it freezes during image download to BYEOS. So I prefer to use a simple intervalmetre from ebay for the Canon control, and rely on a Bathinkov mask to focus. It would probably work if I got a new laptop but I can manage.
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Old 28-05-2015, 01:09 PM
Tony Law
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Same as you Glenn, intervelometer and Bahtinov mask but use PHD Guiding. Running on an Acer Aspire one. Also use PHD for drift alignment.
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Old 28-05-2015, 01:09 PM
bugeater (Marty)
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I used magic lantern on the camera for quite a while. That worked well. No need for anything external to the camera, plus it adds extra features to your camera. I'm now experimenting with APT since it's free for the basic features and it seems okay. But the only reason I've moved to APT is so I can use the camera with Astrotortilla - otherwise I'd stick with magic lantern.
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Old 28-05-2015, 02:16 PM
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redbeard (Damien)
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Backyard EOS is a great bit of software.

Beware of the cheap invalometers, they are not exactly accurate. There was another article here on IIS about that.

Try EOS for free and you only need a USB cable for it to work
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Old 28-05-2015, 04:38 PM
loc46south (Geoffrey)
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Seems like Backyard EOS is favorite - I downloaded the test version but seem to be having problems with it. I can connect to the Canon 550D using USB but it will only give me limited TV options for the shutter speed - I can only get Bulb, AV, Program and 10". Everything else works OK. If I use the EOS program that come with the camera I get full control of the camera, Primary use at this point is for Aurora recording, so I want it to be able to run a pre established sequence unattended.

Cheers
Geof Wingham
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Old 28-05-2015, 07:41 PM
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rustigsmed (Russell)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loc46south View Post
Seems like Backyard EOS is favorite - I downloaded the test version but seem to be having problems with it. I can connect to the Canon 550D using USB but it will only give me limited TV options for the shutter speed - I can only get Bulb, AV, Program and 10". Everything else works OK. If I use the EOS program that come with the camera I get full control of the camera, Primary use at this point is for Aurora recording, so I want it to be able to run a pre established sequence unattended.

Cheers
Geof Wingham
Hi Geoff

I'm not sure if you have/know this already but as well as the USB plugged into the camera you need

http://www.bintel.com.au/Astrophotog...oductview.aspx

and i believe this cord
http://www.bintel.com.au/Astrophotog...oductview.aspx


Cheers

Russ
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Old 29-05-2015, 07:31 AM
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andyc (Andy)
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I go with a little intervalometer for my Canon - it cost about $40 and so far () has been completely reliable. It also uses almost no battery power (batteries last a very long time indeed), so it's one less thing to worry on power drain. The downside is perhaps as much about no having instant access to frames as they are taken - so to check a frame I have to stop between exposures, check the preview, then recheck the guiding, then start imaging again. Upside is that it's really easy, and you can set it to do a bunch of darks after you go to bed!

But I'm tempted to try the Backyard EOS...
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Old 29-05-2015, 07:53 AM
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tlgerdes (Trevor)
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Canon's own EOS Utility SW works well and is free to Canon owners. Should have come with your camera.

You connect PC to Camera with USB cable and you are all set. Allows remote focusing, Liveview connection and remote shooting.
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Old 29-05-2015, 07:57 AM
glend (Glen)
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Thanks Russell, I think the Shoestring cable links explain the problems I have had with BYEOS. I was relying on the laptop usb connector to the camera - thinking it also provided the bulb control, after reading info on Shoestring's site I see that is not the case. Yet another thing to buy, plus extension of course, at astro prices: over $140 just for the adaptor and extension from Bintel to replace my $19 ebay intervalmeter. Is it feasible to use my existing intervalmeter to control bulb, delay, run exposures, etc and just use BYEOS for framing, focusing, etc? Framing is one of the major time consumers when setting up a run, as often I cannot see the object I am imaging through the finderscope, and have to do numerous test subs to frame it.

Last edited by glend; 29-05-2015 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 29-05-2015, 09:03 AM
loc46south (Geoffrey)
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I have downloaded Canon EOS V2 and tried it - the software will provide full use of the camera including full Bulb and TV exposure function - I have also tried the camera with Maxim DL V6.08 and it also gives full functionality.

The camera is able to communicate fully with the PC by the USB2 cable. I have run a series of exposure tests from 1/4000 to 120 sec.

The camera is going to be used in an Observatory situation where it is powered by an AC Adapter and hooked up to a desktop computer -

The advantage that Backyard EOS gives is the sequencing ability to use different exposure settings and f ratio settings and the looping function. I could probably accomplish a similar result using Maxim and CCD Commander - it is just that Backyard EOS can do the same thing a lot more efficiently and the less software in the loop the less chance of problems.

Cheers
Geof Wingham
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Old 30-05-2015, 05:49 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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+1 for BYEos and PHD2. Never had an issue on a normal desktop PC running Win7. For the sake of one dedicated cable to the camera (450D) it has give me total control and flexibility for my sessions.
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Old 31-05-2015, 04:18 PM
loc46south (Geoffrey)
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Problems been sorted - it was the cache on BYEOS - used the "Flush Cache" function in Settings and now everything works as expected.

Thanks
Geof Wingham
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