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Old 04-04-2015, 05:06 AM
griz11 (Dan)
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Sbig sti 8300c

I'm looking for a cooled camera. Its just March and already my DSLR is running in the 90degF range. In a couple of months I have a feeling its going to be unworkable or too noisy. I really don't want to get into filters and a mono camera so I'm looking for an OSC. I like the SBIG 8300C so far I've had several of their cameras and they all worked fine. But that was late 90's so much has changed. So I'm wondering if any of you have this camera and what you think about it. Or others that are similar in price and capabilities. I'll be mating it to a WO 102GT with a Flat6. I'd like to keep it under 2K if possible.

Griz
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:31 PM
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I had an 8300C. It was a great camera and I can recommend it. The only reason I went to an STF 8300M was to get into LRGB imaging

One point I would note is the download times are longer in the 8300c I had. The STF is much faster
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by dcalleja View Post
I had an 8300C.
As the next owner of Dan's camera I too can vouch for the SBIG 8300c. Nice camera and easy to use, albiet somewhat noisy.

It suffered a PCB board failure though which required a trip back to the factory in the USA, which took about 2-3 months. The camera was around 3 yrs old by then.

I eventually sold it and moved to mono, (but opted for QSI as it offered better value for money imo).

The new model 8300c has significantly better cooling than the old one, so my noise concerns should be resolved now.

Andy
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Old 08-04-2015, 05:15 PM
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Andy
I'm certainly sorry to hear of the board failure. I've not of this before on SBIG cameras on these forums. I wonder how often it happens?
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Old 13-04-2015, 05:12 PM
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Hi Dan,

There is also Atik 383L+ that utilises the same sensor and it is currently for 1790 US$ at Optcorp.

I have not used this particular camera but had Atik 428ex and it was a quality product.

Although I have just checked and SBIG STF 8300 is currently priced only $5 more than Atik.
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Old 13-04-2015, 07:44 PM
clive milne
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I wonder how many people start out with mono chips and rgb filters then swap to colour ccd's?

Last edited by clive milne; 13-04-2015 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 13-04-2015, 08:35 PM
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... There is also Atik 383L+ that utilises the same sensor and it is currently for 1790 US$ at Optcorp ...
Bintel stock Atik. Approx $2400 from OPT + $100 shipping + $250 duties and taxes. I'd go ahead and pay the extra $50 to Bintel for local warranty...
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:51 PM
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Bintel stock Atik. Approx $2400 from OPT + $100 shipping + $250 duties and taxes. I'd go ahead and pay the extra $50 to Bintel for local warranty...
Hi Logan,

I suggested Optcorp because it seems that Dan is writing from Texas.

Otherwise, Bintel would surely be a better deal
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Old 14-04-2015, 05:44 AM
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Nice. I'm not sure that I'd buy an Atik 383L+ at this time. Atik appears to be phasing out their entire series 3000 line. They've replaced the 314L+ with the series 4000, 414EX. I suspect we'll see an upgraded 8300 chip in a series 4000 body, with better cooling etc, in the not too distant future.
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Old 18-04-2015, 01:53 AM
griz11 (Dan)
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Thanks all I decided to go mono after all. The bayer filter just eats up too much signal when you are doing narrow band and I really want to get heavily into narrow band. I found one at a store here in the US and I should be able to get that puppy Monday. Going to pair it with an Atik filter wheel. I'm sure that is going to get me another month at least of cloudy weather. I still haven't gotten to image with the 102GT. Had it out twice but by the time I had everything set up and drift aligned the clouds moved back in. The seeing was terrible and I kept loosing my guidestar so I finally packed it in. I think the 8300 chip size will be a good match for the 102GT. The pixel size gives me 1.9 arc sec per pixel with that scope. And I have really dark skies here. Its black to the ground everywhere but east which has a little glow. So with a camera with full sensitivity I should be good to go.

Griz
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Old 18-04-2015, 01:34 PM
clive milne
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Dan, If you're priority is narrow band imaging, then you're two cameras of choice would be the qhy22 or qhy23.
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Old 18-04-2015, 01:43 PM
clive milne
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If you have US $6k to spend, then it would be a toss up between a microline 694 or the Raptor Photonics Kingfisher V. The 8300 chip would not be on my list.
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Old 18-04-2015, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by clive milne View Post
If you have US $6k to spend, then it would be a toss up between a microline 694 or the Raptor Photonics Kingfisher V. The 8300 chip would not be on my list.
While sublime due its lack of noise, the Sony is just 2.8Mp..... the KAF8300
has 3x more acreage..and when running at -35C is hardly a dog...plus some versions let you add an AO....or 30% higher signal on a good night
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Old 19-04-2015, 06:05 PM
clive milne
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While sublime due its lack of noise, the Sony is just 2.8Mp.....
Actually, the Sony chips in the QHY22 & QHY23 cameras have 6.1 & 9.2 Mpixels respectively.


Quote:
The KAF8300 has 3x more acreage..
The Sony chips have an active area of 12.8mm x 10.1mm
The 8300 has an active area of 17.96mm x 13.52mm (Which is not 3x the acreage)
With the ota that Griz is using,
This translates to 1.83 x 1.38 degrees (Kaf 8300)
Versus 1.34 x 1.03 degrees for the Sony chips.


Whilst significant, it isn't a huge difference.

Quote:
when running at -35C is hardly a dog...plus some versions let you add an AO....or 30% higher signal on a good night
The 8300 is an excellent camera for all the reasons you have stated Peter, and for all four LRGB channels it will be the equal of the Sony ex-view chipped cameras in most respects and actually be better (though not significantly) wrt the field of view. However, when it comes to narrowband imaging, signal to noise is everything and in that respect there is no better chip technology on the market, irrespective of price than the Sony ex-view CCD's.... period.

fwiw) The icx-694 is now being taken seriously by the professional scientific community. If memory serves me correctly, Mt Stromlo are an early adopter of the Kingfisher V camera. It has extraordinary specs, >1.5e readout noise and 1e- of thermal noise every 10 days or so. That is an order of magnitude better than the finest CCD's from E2V et, al (which would cost you the equivalent of a red sports car).... Astounding that it can be offered commercially for US$6k.
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Old 19-04-2015, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by clive milne View Post
Actually, the Sony chips in the QHY22 & QHY23 cameras have 6.1 & 9.2 Mpixels respectively............... If memory serves me correctly, Mt Stromlo are an early adopter of the Kingfisher V camera. It has extraordinary specs, >1.5e readout noise and 1e- of thermal noise every 10 days or so. That is an order of magnitude better than the finest CCD's from E2V et, al (which would cost you the equivalent of a red sports car).... Astounding that it can be offered commercially for US$6k.
Ah...I was being obtuse, and only referring to the Kingfisher specs...which read 2.8Mp on the page I pulled up.

So they make one with 6 or 9 MP? Do you have a link?
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Old 19-04-2015, 08:09 PM
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There are actually 3 chips, the ICX694 at 6.1mp, the ICX834 at 9mp and there is now a 12mp version. All about the same size physically around 12 x 10mm. The 694 has 4.54 micron pixels , 5 electron read noise and
77% QE (they all have 77% peak QE) and very sensitive in O111 (twice that of KAF6303). Full well is around 18,000 (the weak point). ICX834 3.69 micron pixels 77% QE with lower full well not sure what but around 12-14,000K.

The 12mp has 3 electrons read noise 77% QE and 3.1 micron pixels.Its the Sony ICX834.

Not sure what setup you'd use the 12mp, perhaps an FSQ with reducer.

The 834 chip is more for widefield refractors and the 694 is kind of handy all round. Binning 4.54 micron pixels of the 694 gives you back your 9 micron pixels but lower noise again.

KAF8300 versus Sony ICX694 - similar results at the end of the day with the Sony being better suited to narrowband where it really shines. The Sony helps with higher QE and lower read noise requiring less total exposure. It also does not need darks, flats and bias if your filters and camera is clean (darks and flats actually make the images more noisy - hard to believe until you try it several times). So the marketing claim they don't require flats and darks is somewhat true within limitations.
The small sensor size does help with image scale if you want to use a shortish focal length scope to image a galaxy. FLI Microline 694 gets the read noise down to 3 electrons. KAF8300 is higher, hard to find out what but typically Kodak chips have 9-12 electron read noise.

The KAF8300 has about 30% greater field of view at 17.96 x 13.52mm size. Its currently the most popular sensor being used. You see it listed on many many images. Its a proven performer. 56-60% QE is good as well.
KAF8300 does not bin properly at 2x2 so you don't get the full benefits of binning. The ICX694 does bin correctly with the full gains from binning.
KAF8300 has slightly lower than normal dynamic range at 64db(its often 66db) compared to the higher than Kodak 74db of the Sony. This must be from the higher read noise than normal as the sensor is supposed to have 25,500 electron well depth.

Sony has announced it is closing its CCD manufacturing to concentrate on CMOS so the future of updated CCDs seems to be over and this may be all they put out.

Both are great sensors.

Greg.

Last edited by gregbradley; 19-04-2015 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 19-04-2015, 08:19 PM
clive milne
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Peter, if I were in your shoes I would contemplate establishing a working relationship with the Raptor Photonics guys (they are based in Ireland, fwiw) They have a rep in Australia (in Perth) but his business is pretty much oriented towards the security industry.

Here is the link to the press release for the icx-694 Kingfisher V :
http://www.raptorphotonics.com/lates...g-to--111-c-27

The 2.8Mp camera you alluded to is based on the icx-674 chip (not the icx-694)

The main issues I see with this camera are that it currently has zero penetration in to the amateur market so probably isn't supported by the popular software vendors (at this time) It has has the field limitations defined by the physical dimensions of the icx-694 chip (not a big issue depending on target) And lastly, Alluxa really needs to step up to the plate for this camera to work at its best.

Other than that, it is without peer. (But somewhat irrelevant to Griz's original question)

Last edited by clive milne; 19-04-2015 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 19-04-2015, 08:29 PM
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They also list the number of pixels incorrectly. The 694 is 2758 x 2208 pixels not what they list.

Greg.
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Old 19-04-2015, 08:36 PM
clive milne
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Greg, the Kingfisher V is a camera body... they house the 674 chip in it as well as the 694, that's probably where the error is.
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Old 19-04-2015, 09:10 PM
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.......... so probably isn't supported by the popular software vendors (at this time) It has has the field limitations defined by the physical dimensions of the icx-694 chip (not a big issue depending on target)
Indeed I've done a little more research. The interface is via frame grabber card (not cheap, inconvenient or both) and the software is...expensive quaint to say the least.

Then there is the problem of no shutter....plus a tiny 12,000 e- well depth (Ok the noise with a 111 degree delta is bugger all)...but the read noise is still 7e- qashing the dynamic range down quite a bit.

That said...it still would be interesting to see what one can do on the back of telescope (rather than microscope)
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