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Old 02-12-2009, 10:38 AM
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SBIG or QHY9

I am poised at the edge of the diving board, ready to leap into the unknown.

Both Peter and Theo have been very helpful in answering my questions. The new SBIG 8300 and QHY9 mono cameras use the same chip and have similar specs. They both look like great cameras and I have drooled over them for some time.

The big difference in price centres on the filters and filter wheels and the excellent reputation of SBIG.

I have 2 inch Ha and OIII filters so I'm leaning towards the 2 inch rather than the 36mm filter wheel that SBIG is proposing to introduce.

So my question is simple - is the additional cost of the SBIG set up worth it for me?

I use an 8 inch schmidt newtonian operating at f4. I am in light polluted Sydney only 7 km from the CBD.

I'd appreciate any guidance from you all.

Pete
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:25 PM
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Tough choice. The QHY9 is on special this week and includes RGB filters (not sure which ones). SBIG is not available yet.
Does that swing it for you?

I wonder if the effort SBIG is putting into the ST-8300M + new filter wheel has delayed the STX range?

Next job for SBIG (or QHY) should be a lowprice KAF-16803 based camera.
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:43 PM
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the odd thing is James, this once I can wait. Its most unusual for me.

Pete
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:52 PM
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I'm looking at them as well and for me the cost of filters is the turn off. Looking at those QHY filters, apparently the red filter isn't parfocal with the GB filters and there is no L filter so you'll have to buy a real set of 2" filters anyway

From my manual wheel experience, you can refocus between colours but you don't want to shoot all L then R then G then B, you want to shoot across the filters to randomise the data collected. So many times I've shot LRG and got to blue with the manual wheel and it's then clouded over

Regardless, the qhy is still in the lead for me as I believe this production run of the sbig is sold out so you'll be waiting till February for the next batch. Similarly the starlight xpress one has no dollar value on it but they are taking orders for a mid january release.
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:58 PM
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It's a tough time to buy equipment - lots of promising stuff 'just around the corner'.
Maybe this will be the standard rig for 2010:
- Mini Paramount ME
- GSO 10" RC
- ST-8300

Best to wait a bit and see what happens ...
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:00 PM
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I went for the SBIG ST8300 as at the time it was cheaper than the QHY9 by about $600 AUD. Now that the ST8300 is paid for the QHY9 has dropped quite a packet in price.. Some places in the US are advertising them at $2100USD with the wheel and filters...

The price however was not the only reason I went for the SBIG over the QHY9. There's just something about SBIG cameras... They work... Pure functionality... I'm not saying the QHY9 doesn't, I've got no experience first hand with the QHY9, however my QHY8, whilst it was a great camera, had its quirks, and little annoyances... Both the SBIG cameras I've owned in the past have been fantastic cameras, real work horses. Their overall design, fit and finish are fantastic etc...

Delivery is expected between christmas and new years..

As for filters/filter wheel.. The SBIG has a female T-thread on it, so the Orion 2" motorised wheel is a direct fit to the ST8300, you could get the QHY filter wheel and fit that straight up... Being the extremist that I am, I went for the FLI 7 position 2" filter wheel, and had to get some adapters custom made to fit it all up, however this setup is likely to be a real performer..

Either the ST8300 or QHY9 will serve you very well I'm sure.. but going on my experience of the two brands, SBIG is the better of the two...

Note - The SBIG setup will ---WILL--- cost you more money.

SBIG ST8300 - $2900ish AUD
Orion 2" 5 Position CFW - $650AUD
LRGB filters - $895 (Astronomik Type II)

QHY9 + QHY CFW + QHY RGB filters - $2700AUD if you order now from Gama (Theo) Add in the price of a good lum filter, like the Baader U filter and you're looking at $3050 total... Maybe throw in a 2" Ha filter as well to fill the CFW up, so you're looking at $3450 or there abouts....

The ST8300 + CFW with no filters is going to cost you that much... then a further 900 or there abouts for top of the line 2" LRGB filters..
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:19 PM
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Alex you can get that filter set a lot cheaper from OPT, I did earlier this year.

Mark
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:34 PM
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Thanks maaate... I probably should have checked that before buying.. never mind.. its all done and dusted now... just waiting for the camera to arrive so I can screw it on the back of this mammoth CFW and start imaging!!
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:35 PM
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Alex, my basic rule of purchasing astrogoodies goes like this.

1. Check prices at OPT.
2. calculate currency exchange
3. add shipping.
4. check the local boys.
5. utter many profanities whilst shaking fist and howling at the moon .
6. Place order with OPT and save at least 20% (more if you are a member).

For big things sure buy local, warranty and all that + prices are usually fairly close. But the little things......... I also bought a 2" astronoik Ha filter from them ($279 us) and will be completing the set (OIII and SII) this payday.

Mark
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:47 PM
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I got my NB filters from Opt... Nowhere in Aus sells the Astrodon 5nm NB set at a price I would even consider paying.. Really, I wanted the 3nm filters, but who has the money to spend $1200 AU on one filter?
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:39 AM
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I have some unmounted 2" series one Astrodon filters ( LRGB ) that were used in my STL-11000m. If you are interested I will do you a real good deal on them. PM me.
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:44 AM
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I can only really comment personally on the QHY9 but found it to be a very good imaging platform. Both the camera and filterwheel work flawlessly together and the filterwheel also give full functionality when driven via a com port. The wheel is also transprtable between other cameras functioning via the com port. I believe, and I may be wrong about the SBIG filter wheel but believe the 36mm filterwheel produced by SBIG will only work with this camera and the standard filterwheels made by SBIG won't work with this camera either. (Check with the dealer).
The QHY9 has a better cooling delta also and with the Kodak CCD you do need cooling and lots of it.
I don't want to argue this with every 2 minute expert on the forum, I have owned one.

Overall I doubt there is much diference between the 2 cameras operation and results, just quite a diference in price. Local dealer service for both seems very good when things go wrong and they do for both manufacturers at times.
I can speak about Theo (Gama), his aftersales service is second to none.

Good luck with your choice.

Last edited by Hagar; 03-12-2009 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:36 PM
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Yeah, us "2 minute experts" can be really annoying... Especially the ones who actually do have a fair idea what they are talking about. The ones who research the net for weeks before making decisions based on the marketing of a product etc etc.

Like I said previously Doug, Im not saying the QHY9 is not a good
camera. I also never said the QHY filter wheel was not good. And to be fair, One of the best imagers I know uses a QHY9 to produce amazing, award winning images.

That said, there are a lot of problems with them, whether or not these problems get sorted out in a timely fashion is not at question. its whether the problem was there in the first place..

Now, all I did, was make a comparison based on my personal experience.

I'm wondering, because I've not been on the forums since 2006, and have only been into astronomy for a relatively short amount of time, does that make my personal experience less worthy of consideration in your opinion?

In my, unvalued and probably insignificant, personal experience, the QHY camera that I have owned was not as well built, fully featured or reliable as the SBIG camera's I've owned.. I'm sorry you disagree Doug, but I really don't like the whole "2 minute expert" comment... Its rather condescending and completely unnecessary.

A couple of threads for your consideration.

http://qhyccd.com/ccdbbs/index.php?topic=1247.0
http://qhyccd.com/ccdbbs/index.php?topic=1262.0
http://qhyccd.com/ccdbbs/index.php?topic=1589.0
http://qhyccd.com/ccdbbs/index.php?topic=1264.0
And my favorite, the DIY electronics repair..
http://qhyccd.com/ccdbbs/index.php?topic=1729.0

No user should have to open a camera up to clean up the factory soldering mishaps.. It just shouldn't ever be necessary..

Granted, Theo does a lot more thorough testing of the cameras he sells, and your chances of getting something like that here are low, however how did that camera make it out of the factory??


Theo's support and service is fantastic, and its unlikely that you will have a problem with a camera you buy from him...

Kind regards.

Ps. All current SBIG CFW's will work with the ST8300, The CFW9 and CFW10 may cause vignetting depending on the optical system used.. The FW8-STL CFW will work, but it will require a custom adapter... Precise parts could easily make up the adapter...
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:47 PM
Hagar (Doug)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexN View Post
Yeah, us "2 minute experts" can be really annoying... Especially the ones who actually do have a fair idea what they are talking about. The ones who research the net for weeks before making decisions based on the marketing of a product etc etc.

Like I said previously Doug, Im not saying the QHY9 is not a good
camera. I also never said the QHY filter wheel was not good. And to be fair, One of the best imagers I know uses a QHY9 to produce amazing, award winning images.

That said, there are a lot of problems with them, whether or not these problems get sorted out in a timely fashion is not at question. its whether the problem was there in the first place..

Now, all I did, was make a comparison based on my personal experience.

I'm wondering, because I've not been on the forums since 2006, and have only been into astronomy for a relatively short amount of time, does that make my personal experience less worthy of consideration in your opinion?

In my, unvalued and probably insignificant, personal experience, the QHY camera that I have owned was not as well built, fully featured or reliable as the SBIG camera's I've owned.. I'm sorry you disagree Doug, but I really don't like the whole "2 minute expert" comment... Its rather condescending and completely unnecessary.

A couple of threads for your consideration.

http://qhyccd.com/ccdbbs/index.php?topic=1247.0
http://qhyccd.com/ccdbbs/index.php?topic=1262.0
http://qhyccd.com/ccdbbs/index.php?topic=1589.0
http://qhyccd.com/ccdbbs/index.php?topic=1264.0
And my favorite, the DIY electronics repair..
http://qhyccd.com/ccdbbs/index.php?topic=1729.0

No user should have to open a camera up to clean up the factory soldering mishaps.. It just shouldn't ever be necessary..

Granted, Theo does a lot more thorough testing of the cameras he sells, and your chances of getting something like that here are low, however how did that camera make it out of the factory??


Theo's support and service is fantastic, and its unlikely that you will have a problem with a camera you buy from him...

Kind regards.

Ps. All current SBIG CFW's will work with the ST8300, The CFW9 and CFW10 may cause vignetting depending on the optical system used.. The FW8-STL CFW will work, but it will require a custom adapter... Precise parts could easily make up the adapter...
Looks like I must justify my statements again.

Firstly, If you wish to be included in the 2 minute expert group, feel free to include yourself. I actually pointed at no one in particular with the comment.

Web research: Much of information that gets posted on the web is quite inacurate and usually the thoughts and ramblings of disgruntled or very satisfied peeople. Often the only way to know if equipment is suitable for your use is to buy and try.

QHY9 Vs SBIG..... Two cameras based on a very similar operating protocol and the same CCD. My thoughts. I was not interested in a debate on the two camers in question, but then again I have owned and used one of the said cameras so I feel I can at least compare apples from a understanding of the use of at least oneof them, where your arguments are based purely from a spec sheet review.

To quote the membership period or personal experience is a rather pathetic attempt to justify some of your comment here, at least in this post. You mention your limited experience wth QHY cameras and build quality etc. I think you just hit the nail square on the head, yes it is very limited and in this case you are discussing a camera you have never used or owned. I know you have tested an awful lot of gear over the past couple of years but the question has to be asked. How well has it been tested?

To use the QHY forum threads to justify your arguments is again a pathetic attempt. You are not going to tell me that if I scour the web I can't find some comments which will have you thinking why purchase SBIG. Come on Alex you can do better than that.
The fact that the QHY cameras are priced quite significantly lower than any SBIG cameras has to be justification enough for the lack of features and in your opinion build quality. Tell me how much of the SBIG price is added for the name.
I can tell you of 3 SBIG cameras which had to be returned for repair in the first few months of their lives for what could or could not have turned the owners into disgruntled owners.
You wish to display threads posted by me on the QHY forum with regards to small problems which may have been QA problems but you also have to realise the QHY9 was one of the very first QHY9's manufactured and was a learning game for all. I will await your results with your SBIG with interest.

Lastly. If you consider yourself a 2 minute expert, try only commenting on equipment you have personal experience with and try to sit back and learn from those with the experience.
The comments I made in the previous post were from personal experience and equipment specs. At no stage did I run down your beloved SBIG. I just made an educated and justifiable statement about the two cameras.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:52 PM
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Alex,
I wont comment on your skill in finding out about cameras, but the above links you posted is just too outdated, thus why are you comparing issues from a year ago to todays version ?.
If you have done a "Proper research", then you would have known the above links are out dated and irrelavent.

But im sure you'll go about dredging up these issues over and over, instead of "Asking" actual Aussie owners.

As Doug and many others have said, both cameras are excellent value, you just need to decide which you prefer, and which you feel comftable with. Im sure you will be perfectly happy with your purchase, and why wouldnt you, the prices are at the best for some time.


Theo.
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:29 PM
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Again, I never said that the QHY9 was a bad camera, or less value for money than the SBIG or any other KAF8300 based CCD..

I'm pretty sure that my first post mentioned that the QHY9 or the ST8300 would serve the original poster very well, I also mentioned that I had no experience first hand with the QHY9, although, I do know a fair few people who own them, and have had long discussions with them about the camera as I myself was going to buy one... The ST8300 was released at nearly $600 cheaper, I bought one. Simple as that.

I did also mention that now, the QHY9 setup including CFW and filters is a hell of a lot cheaper than buying the ST8300 + CFW, + filters etc etc.

Yeah, pretty sure I had nothing negative to say in the first place, hence not really understanding where all this hoo har has come from...

Doug - No matter who the "2 minute experts" comment was pointed at, its still condescending.. I was of the opinion that it was directed at me, because, A) as I had said, I have no experience with the QHY9.. and B) You've said that same thing in other threads where I've posted an opinion before.. Ok, I made an assumption, and apparently I was wrong. but if not me, who? if it wasn't directed at anyone, then why would you say it?

Theo - Yes, they are outdated links, and I know the dewing/frosting problem has been sorted with the internal heater that you designed. I have spoken to many actual Aussie owners, including yourself reguarding the QHY9, and agree, as I did in my first post in this thread, that both cameras are excellent value for money..

I sure hope that we all understand that we've all be saying the same thing, and the argument is over...
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:53 PM
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Alex, sometimes you make claims without understanding either the history or situation.
Example :
"http://qhyccd.com/ccdbbs/index.php?topic=1729.0

No user should have to open a camera up to clean up the factory soldering mishaps.. It just shouldn't ever be necessary.. "

Yes, your right here, but you fail to realise that he could have just sent it in. But the user, like many of us, dont want to be without our toys for too long, so requested info, and QHY provided that, which he decided to take up on his own, and fixed him himself without sending it out.
Of course the right thing was to return it. But im sure you change your own plugs and filters on your car without taking it back to the dealer ?.
This has NO bearing on QHY, or be it any manufacturer, if the user decides to take up repairs themselves. Yet you made it sound as if you are left in the lurch to do it all yourself. Also, beleive me, EVERY manufacturer has these failures/faults, not limited to one. But again, made it sound as if QHY was the only ones failing.

I do get the gist of what your saying, its just not put into words correctly.

Theo.
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:12 PM
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If that is how it sounded Theo, then you are right, I didn't word it correctly. That was not what I was saying at all.. I know every manufacturer has similar instances of random errors and failures during the manufacturing process...

With my initial post mentioning a few annoying problems I had with my QHY camera, essentially, they were all able to be worked around, and now, I believe they have been solved (QHY8 dewing, DC-101 S-Video socket not lining up with the hole in the box making it difficult to get a good connection etc.) I know you can now get the heating ring for the QHY8 nose piece to stop the dewing, or as I did, wrapping a dew heater around the nose piece, and the DC-101 I shaved the hole in the box so that the S-Video lead could more easily be firmly seated in the socket.. Not major problems, but an annoyance untill they are sufficiently worked around or solved..

Apologies the way things were worded.. I meant no disrespect to you or QHY..
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:49 PM
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Dont panic, your still on my Xmas list..

Oh wait, that's the "People to hunt down list"..


Theo
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:50 PM
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Alex, If you read my original post you will notice I said I didn't want to go into a protracted argument wit 2 minute experts. It was not directed at anyone as yet but I seem to attract these fools. You will notice by my post count I only comment about things I have direct experience about. Condisending ..... Tough. These type threads seem to attract this type of poster and in most cases they end up leaving information for those who use the forums for research, often quite incorrect. Just take a look at the posts and justification Paul Haese has had to endure when a thread appears re the GSO RC8 he has purchased. I believe when you look at these posts you would have to agree the 2 minute expert tag certainly fits several people on the forum. I am sure Paul is sick to death of the persistant negatives he has endured, particularly from a group who have no experience and even with the best gear could not replicate the quality of the images he is posting.
Threads about cheaper equipment tends to pull the know all's out of the wood work. All with an opinion all be it misguided or wrong.

All cameras have their fors and againsts and in my opinion why pay for something I don't want. I am quite happy paying $2500 for a QHY8 and would not pay for the similar ST4000XCM at $7000Au (Guesses on price) as I don't want internal guiding and for me the QHY8 or 8Pro has better cooling without have to add water cooling. I am quite happy at this price to provide a little feedback to Theo or QHY to allow the camera to work better and maybe put up with helping with the research as to be honest I am not paying for it.
You mentioned the solder thread from a year ago, and I believe it was a one of anyway. I find it hard to believe any other camera manufacturer is prepared to allow you to carry out such a repair and still honour a warranty.
As in Pauls case where the only good RC is made by Star Instruments or RCOS, The only good cameras are the most expensive.

Not always true, it depends a lot on the user and his requirements.
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