#1  
Old 19-04-2010, 10:56 AM
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duncan
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Opinions Wanted!!

Hi All,
With only a relatively small budget of $1000 and wanting a colour CCD camera what do you recommend?
(1) DBK41
(2) Gstar kit
(3) ???
There may be something newer and better that i'm not aware of as yet.
Any and all help appreciated,
Duncan
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  #2  
Old 19-04-2010, 01:12 PM
Dennis
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Hi Duncan

I have a DBK31 which is okay for Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and colourful double stars. At a push I could shoot brighter deep sky objects, such as M42, M8, Eta carina, etc but exposures beyond say, 5 or 10 seconds (at F9 or f6.3 in my case) tend to show up a lot of noise and bright pixels. It is also an 8 bit camera.

So, to narrow your search, what type of objects do you want to image?

Moon
Planets
Colourful double stars
Galaxies
Nebulae, etc etc.

Also, what ‘scope will you be using it on?

Knowing the answers to some of these questions might narrow down the field to a handful of suitable and affordable candidates.

Cheers

Dennis
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  #3  
Old 19-04-2010, 05:15 PM
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Hi All,
Actually i was hoping to have a crack at all, that is Planetary and deep sky.
Maybe my budget is wishful thinking.
Cheers,
Duncan
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  #4  
Old 19-04-2010, 08:27 PM
Dennis
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Hi Duncan

The camera is but one part of the astrophotographer’s system. The mount is arguably the most important part for long exposure deep sky photography where most people use auto guiding, usually through an off axis guider plus auto guider, or a separate guide scope with an auto guider.

Several people on the Forum started lunar and planetary imaging with the lowly ToUcam and a manual dobsonian, but I think they soon found the limitations of their set up and moved onto equatorial mounts.

Wide field astrophotography with a short focal length refractor is relatively forgiving for exposures up to around 30 seconds, once you are polar aligned.

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 19-04-2010, 08:33 PM
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Hi Dennis,
I'll be using my Skywatcher 150x1200 f8 refractor on Heq5Pro.
Question really is What cameras are available in the stated budget, that are capable of both jobs?
Short exposure times 30secs up to 60secs shouldn't be a problem.
Cheers,
Duncan
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  #6  
Old 20-04-2010, 10:58 AM
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Any more opinions?
Duncan
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Old 20-04-2010, 11:21 AM
gbeal
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Yep.
ToUcam or cheaper DMK/whatever.
Modified (EzyStyles) DSLR.
Both should be under $1000.
Neither is suitable as an all rounder, you need both.
Gary
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Old 20-04-2010, 11:24 AM
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Thanks Gary, I already have the modded Toucam so Where to now?
Cheers
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Old 20-04-2010, 11:52 AM
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Hmmmm, not sure. First thought was sell the modded, buy a non-modded purely for lunar/planetary, and also get a 300D or similar for DSO.
Gary
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Old 20-04-2010, 12:01 PM
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Yeah i thought of that avenue but seems a shame to get rid of the Toucam. It still has normal mode as well. I might just hang off for a while longer and see if the flood of new cameras coming will lower the price on some of the existing ones.
Cheers,
Duncan
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  #11  
Old 20-04-2010, 12:08 PM
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mldee (Mike)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duncan View Post
Hi All,
With only a relatively small budget of $1000 and wanting a colour CCD camera what do you recommend?
(1) DBK41
(2) Gstar kit
(3) ???
There may be something newer and better that i'm not aware of as yet.
Any and all help appreciated,
Duncan
Do you have anything against buying used? DSI III's and similar, or even better, often come up for well under $1000, especially on AM and CN. I see you've got a decent refractor and goto mount, why not put a wanted ad in some of the astro classifieds and see what comes up? Then get the IIS guys to give you the benefit of their combined experiences.

Remember that for import of items under $1000, there are no fees or taxes at this end, just the sender's mail cost, which from the US normally runs around $40 for a camera, and it's insured and delivered right to your local post office.

I've been doing it for years and never had a bad experience as long as you use some common sense.
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Old 20-04-2010, 12:11 PM
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Thanks for the reply Mike. Not so much worried about it being s/hand or overseas. More just the guidance on what to get i suppose.
Cheers,
Duncan
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  #13  
Old 20-04-2010, 02:00 PM
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mldee (Mike)
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Yep. I have little brand knowledge outside of DSI's and QHY's. I bought a DSI III OSC for 850 from US and a DSI II Mono (for guiding) locally on IIS for under $300, if that's any guide. Used QHY8's are in high demand, but worth an ad.

I dunno about other brands, but I suspect you could pick up a reasonable, cooled 2-3MP type CCD after you do some research on the various brands, types, etc.

I think the wanted ads may unearth some sellers who can't be bothered/hesitant to place for sale ads, but would be happy to PM you.

Good luck
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Old 20-04-2010, 02:22 PM
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Thanks again Mike
Duncan
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Old 22-04-2010, 06:45 AM
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Hello Duncan,

I have an LX90-8" on an Alt-Az mount, and use a mono GStar with colour filters to good effect.

I'd recommend the GStar over a Meade DSI-c as I have both, and the GStar has low light ability that cannot be beaten easily. The One Shot Colour that you desire is hard to get right without a QHY8 or similar. The GStar mono + filters takes longer to produce a colour result but you can see objects in real-time that are far too dim for your eye at the scope.

For example I live in light polluted Sydney, and cannot see M1 in my LX90 visually. But the GStar shows it in real time. I cannot see M83 visually, but the GStar shows the spiral arms as well as the central bulge (in real time). M104 is just visible in the eyepiece and the GStar shows the dust lane down the middle (in real time).

I think the real-time ability is the must have bit for me. You get immediate feedback, you know the composition of your image and you can correct things as you go.

Drizzle stacking with Nebulosity gives very nice images of good quality.

If you want to go beyond the GStar, you need to start forking out some real money for a QHY8 / QSI / similar, a good mount, a good guider + guidescope ...

Regards,
Tony Barry
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