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  #1  
Old 25-08-2018, 07:47 AM
TareqPhoto (Tareq)
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ZWO cameras for solar system imaging

Hi again,

I know that ZWO has many cameras can be used for planetary, and there are 2 or 3 models can be used as popular for planets, but if we are planning to add the moon and the sun in the equation or question, are there benefits for another cameras? And why another cameras aren't good to be used for planetary and solar system imaging too as the recommended ones?

Here i am talking about ASI174 [mono or color] and ASI178 [both] vs. 290/224/385/120, i see some planetary imagers using 174 but it is not widely recommended, and 178 has the smallest pixel size so why not good choice for planets then?

Just want to know what are good or bad about those two cameras of ASI17x ones, and if someone has for example 224 and 290 mono then is there any benefit for 178 or 174 for solar system imaging and not just planets alone?
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  #2  
Old 25-08-2018, 10:29 AM
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Nikolas (Nik)
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I have the 224 colour and have had excellent results with that, either the 224 or the 290 colour or mono with filters are excellent planetary cameras.
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  #3  
Old 25-08-2018, 10:30 AM
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the 174 is more widefield and the 178 is 6mp which is overkill for planets.
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  #4  
Old 25-08-2018, 10:38 AM
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Nik,
For AP comparisons can we "standardise" on pixel size, frame size, Chip size rather than the camera descriptions of 6mp which doesn't really mean much for AP.....
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  #5  
Old 25-08-2018, 10:54 AM
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Thank you very much!


I mentioned solar system, so not only planets, i know about 224 and 290 already, but about the moon and the sun?
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  #6  
Old 25-08-2018, 10:58 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Tareq,
I successfully use the ASI 174MM (with a T2 tilter) for long fl (>1000mm) solar imaging and the ASI 1600MM for shorter focal lengths.
This seems to work well for me.
Good frame rates, good performance.
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  #7  
Old 25-08-2018, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin66 View Post
Tareq,
I successfully use the ASI 174MM (with a T2 tilter) for long fl (>1000mm) solar imaging and the ASI 1600MM for shorter focal lengths.
This seems to work well for me.
Good frame rates, good performance.

Forget about ASI1600mm, i already have a camera from QHY for DSO, it is only about solar system imaging, i do have 2 cameras for planets great ones, they can be used for the sun and the moon, but i want to know why i see some planetary imagers using 174 on their images regardless they already have 290 or 224.
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  #8  
Old 25-08-2018, 11:07 AM
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The reason I use the ASI 1600MM (not the Pro cooled version) , is that the original "preferred" ASI 183MM
small pixel, medium FOV coverage....was returned to ZWO due to a "technical problem when imaging solar in Ha" they refunded and I replaced with an ASI1600 to get the smaller pixel and good ROI frame rates (similar frame rate to the ASI 183)
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  #9  
Old 25-08-2018, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin66 View Post
The reason I use the ASI 1600MM (not the Pro cooled version) , is that the original "preferred" ASI 183MM
small pixel, medium FOV coverage....was returned to ZWO due to a "technical problem when imaging solar in Ha" they refunded and I replaced with an ASI1600 to get the smaller pixel and good ROI frame rates (similar frame rate to the ASI 183)

Someone mentioned me about ASI183, well, if you said that you prefer ASI1600 over it then i just use my camera from QHY, it is almost same as ASI1600mm exactly with very minimal differences, it is like a copy paste camera from another company, so this can be used for solar then, but i still want to know what is the place of 174 and 178 then in the whole story?
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  #10  
Old 25-08-2018, 11:12 AM
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Hi Tarek,

I now use a 290mm with filters for planetary and works wonderfully well for the money. Very fast frame rate, and noticeably better resolution than I was able to able to achieve with a 290mc.

As suggested by Nik, I think the larger sensors on some of the other models you mention do not add much, if anything.

Excellent full frame pics of the moon do not really need planetary (video) techniques. Frame rates are typically poor when using larger chips with many pixels, and you will typically need an SSD-drive to use in conjunction with USB3 to get close to "camera specification" frame rates. Very high frame rate captures typically need a smaller chips, or a reduced "region of interest" anyway.

Have used my ZWO ASI-094mc for planetary with some success (with ROI limited 299x296), but could not get the frame rate anywhere near the 290mm.

The small pixels on the 290mm (2.9 microns) give a larger resulting planetary image (for a given focal length) than would be achieved with larger pixels (eg. 4.88 microns with my 094mc). Of course, there are tradeoffs involved re. seeing conditions, exposure length, and gain settings.

I have no experience with solar . but it's on my bucket list for one day.
Good solar imaging scopes/filters are currently so expensive, I figure cameras will have evolved a fair bit by the time I eventually get bored enough to start dabbling with solar.

Hope this helps.
Enjoy whatever you choose!

Jeff
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  #11  
Old 25-08-2018, 11:21 AM
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Hi Jeff,


I already bought 290MM for planetary to be next to my color camera 385MC, so let's say planets are already done, but i want to know more about the sun and the moon, because i saw known names of planetary imaging are using 174MM cameras too for some targets including planets itself although they have 290, so i wanted to know which areas that 174 will be a good choice over 290, that is all, and when i asked one of them they didn't give me any clear answer more than "All of them are great, can't choose one as a favorite", not helping really.
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  #12  
Old 26-08-2018, 08:35 PM
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Nikolas (Nik)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TareqPhoto View Post
Hi Jeff,


I already bought 290MM for planetary to be next to my color camera 385MC, so let's say planets are already done, but i want to know more about the sun and the moon, because i saw known names of planetary imaging are using 174MM cameras too for some targets including planets itself although they have 290, so i wanted to know which areas that 174 will be a good choice over 290, that is all, and when i asked one of them they didn't give me any clear answer more than "All of them are great, can't choose one as a favorite", not helping really.
I used the 174 mc version exclusively for the moon and sun as I could fit the whole disk in my refractors, it is excellent for lunar if that helps
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  #13  
Old 27-08-2018, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolas View Post
I used the 174 mc version exclusively for the moon and sun as I could fit the whole disk in my refractors, it is excellent for lunar if that helps

From you signature i see you have 224 and 174 and also 178, why all these?
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  #14  
Old 27-08-2018, 05:27 PM
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I sold the 174, the 178 is cooled for astroimaging although I'm considering selling the 178 for a 183mc cooled for the greater field of view
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  #15  
Old 27-08-2018, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Hi Jeff,


I already bought 290MM for planetary to be next to my color camera 385MC, so let's say planets are already done, but i want to know more about the sun and the moon, because i saw known names of planetary imaging are using 174MM cameras too for some targets including planets itself although they have 290, so i wanted to know which areas that 174 will be a good choice over 290, that is all, and when i asked one of them they didn't give me any clear answer more than "All of them are great, can't choose one as a favorite", not helping really.
Yes, fair questions Tareq. I noticed the 183 (MM or MC) has nice small pixels too, plus the frame rates and sensitivity specs look impressive also. Damn you now have me thinking about an upgrade for planetary/lunar/solar also.
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  #16  
Old 27-08-2018, 09:01 PM
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Jeff,
the ASI 183MM is no good for narrow band (Ha) solar imaging.......
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  #17  
Old 27-08-2018, 11:13 PM
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Thanks Ken.
Forgot about your earlier post.
Just curious .... were the symptoms?
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  #18  
Old 27-08-2018, 11:49 PM
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183MM isn't much for solar system imaging regardless it can be done, it is slower than other cameras, but it is a camera that you can say it is in the middle, for those who can't afford either or want to to DSO but can't afford so expensive one, so i feel 183MM is a combination of both but not have each strength anyway.
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  #19  
Old 28-08-2018, 07:00 AM
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Jeff,
The ASI 183 issues reported to ZWO varied from ghost matrices showing to "ants crawling" in the images.
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  #20  
Old 30-08-2018, 08:31 AM
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I use the 178MC-C primarily for planetary, a massive step up from the 120MC. When you go through the zwo cameras by spec you find each is strong for some targets and weak for others. None are perfect for everything, much like asking is a reflector better than a refractor? sort of meaningless. I mainly wanted a camera for planetary, that could also do well (not best) at everything else. I wanted cooled and also colour not mono. I settled on the 178 for small pixel size (for surface details, and gives you more pixels of the planet itself (nothing to do with megapixels)) It is also one of the fastest frame rate cameras so I can grab more subs persecond (important for planetary). One shot colour since rotation of mars and jupiter limits recording time before planet rotation starts smearing details, and wasn't keen on having that time further reduced by using three filters recording on a mono to get my colour. I wanted to take best advantage of Mars' recent approach and opposition. Cooling I wanted so I would get good results all year round.

As a side the 178 also has 6mp and can do longer exposures (but not as long as most of the others can do) so i can dabble a bit with it for wide field if i want. and Lunar imaging is superb. Havent used for solar, repurposing my 120 for that.

Solar, galaxies and nebula I want (and will get later) cooled-mono and filter wheel. But if i want to do some right now I can with the 178 and expect it'll do a good job, not as good as some of the other zwo imagers but it wont be totally useless for it either. Noise in the 178 is hugely reduced compared to the 120 and clean to a gain around 300 (if i need it) but can go to 500.

I guess you could call it a planetary all-rounder imager in that it does everything but excels for planetary. Specifically for Tareq's original question, the 178 is spot on for planets (use small region resolution to capture at higher speeds) plus great details for lunar/solar and its 6mp means you can cover the lunar and solar discs using less shots to mosaic it all. Mono should give even more detail and contrast but colour should be ok but not ideal, i know the 120mc was just very red and a bit hard to process doing solar on coronado and may be same on all osc, so doable but not ideal. As i said earlier every zwo has things to offer depending what you want to image, so understand whats required for planetary, solar, deep space , lunar imaging and you can narrow down which imager will suit your needs. For me the choice was 178 (forgot its sensor can do 14bit, while most of the others do 12bit). For you it might be too or maybe another, depending how much use you want in the different areas. Plus there's always going to be another camera around the corner if you want to wait for certain specs but the current zwo lineup I think is pretty good and they are all good (even the current 120mc, mine was the earlier generation so don't take my comparisons as applying to the new 120). Hope this helps.
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