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Go Back   IceInSpace > Beginners Start Here > Beginners Equipment Discussions

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  #61  
Old 13-11-2015, 05:19 PM
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csb (Craig)
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Alex, that's great to see what can be seen by a novice(?). So the LN300 can see further? It's also helpful you listed the equipment used.

I had a look at the Aputure monitors but I don't really want to spend that much. Rechargeable would be great! And slimline helps for weight.

How long does a charge last? How long to recharge?

I have found some 7" monitors with 800 X 480 resolution. $115 from oogadgets.com.au. I've never biught from oo but I've seen them on the web for years.
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  #62  
Old 13-11-2015, 09:31 PM
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AG Hybrid (Adrian)
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Hey Alex. I find it interesting that the back ground color of the 47 tuc pictures is different. The first picture is clearly brighter in all aspects including the sky glow. Am I correct in the assumption that the reason this is the case is due to the focal length used in the first scope was F4 and the second F10? If someone was wanting to do VA to beat the light pollution some what. Longer focal length is better?
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  #63  
Old 14-11-2015, 02:35 PM
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Hi Adrian ,
a few years ago i used the G star and samsung 4000 to observe and capture DSO's . Accurate treacking was not so important and being able to see objects in near real time was great.Below are some pics aquired using G star and samsung 4000(colour) with a C9.25" , followed by stacking and processing in photoshop.
regards philip
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  #64  
Old 14-11-2015, 10:11 PM
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AG Hybrid (Adrian)
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Nice one. Seeing them in real time and in color must be great.
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  #65  
Old 14-11-2015, 11:33 PM
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Adrian, you should note that Philip's images have been processed with photoshop and image stacking to bring out the best of each image. These processes are not done at the scope but afterwards on a pc.

When viewing live on the screen I dont think you will get the same detail and sharpness and even colour can be enhanced wirh processing.

Possibly Alex's images of M42 and globulars more accurately represent what will be seen on screen. Note that he used a Gstar and said that he was a novice to AV at the time.
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  #66  
Old 15-11-2015, 12:07 AM
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I knew. He said so himself. Doesn't mean it still wont be great.
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  #67  
Old 15-11-2015, 07:52 AM
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Yeah, I thought you probably had noticed. But your comment on the images did not show that realisation so I wanted to clarify for others who are new to astronomy.

Seeing dso's at the eyepiece is thrilling but I have always wanted more. Buy all accounts observing with a video camera and a small monitor will be great.

I took note of your gear. What telescope do you plan on using for video? Possibly a new purchase is upcoming.

Last edited by csb; 15-11-2015 at 08:04 AM.
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  #68  
Old 15-11-2015, 11:54 AM
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This may not be "Live Video Astronomy" but it is similar, after all the light from deep space objects has taken many thousands of years to travel here so adding another 5 to 10 seconds to the journey to bring out detail and colour is not too much to ask.

I have used a Sony A6000 DSLR to do this with my scope with reasonable results but this setup has limitations.

The Sony A6000 DSLR has a wifi connection mode to connect live with a phone or tablet using the inbuilt Sony wifi Remote software in the camera and Sony Play Memories wifi Remote software on the tablet or phone, some of the camera settings can be adjusted on the tablet, other camera settings were set to vivid colour and extra colour saturation of +5 with auto white balance, this brings out more colour in the image.

I used a 10 inch Samsung tablet wifi connected to the camera, live view was great for the moon and planets but deep sky objects showed only the bright stars.

The more faint deep sky objects needed just one quick 5 to 10 second exposure at iso 6400 to show reasonably good detail and colour on the tablet screen and this can be done remotely from the tablet software. At iso 6400 the image shows some noise and hot and cold pixels but on the 10 inch tablet screen it still looked very impressive.

Advantages of this method is simple quick setup and the ability to be free to move about with the tablet wifi connected and also others with you on the viewing night can also connect to the camera and take their own shots away with them on their tablets.

Disadvantages are the live view is not sensitive enough to show detail in deep space objects and having to wait 5 to 10 seconds for a detailed image and at iso 6400 the image can be a little noisy

Other modern DSLR cameras may also have live wifi connect, some may have better live view sensitivity making this work better.

Attached below are examples taken using this method


Note: these files have been made much smaller 1200x 800 to allow posting here the original files were 24mp in size 6000x4000 and much better in quality

Scope: 12 inch Meade LX200 at f6.3 (alt/az de rotated setup)
Camera: Sony A6000 DSLR

M20 Triffid Nebula (single 10 second shot and simulation of live view detail)

47 Tucana (single 5 second shot and simulation of live view detail)
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  #69  
Old 15-11-2015, 07:59 PM
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Hi Wayne those 10sec views look fantastic , much better than a low resolution video camera. Colour is much much better as well .
Regards philip
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  #70  
Old 15-11-2015, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csb View Post
Yeah, I thought you probably had noticed. But your comment on the images did not show that realisation so I wanted to clarify for others who are new to astronomy.

Seeing dso's at the eyepiece is thrilling but I have always wanted more. Buy all accounts observing with a video camera and a small monitor will be great.

I took note of your gear. What telescope do you plan on using for video? Possibly a new purchase is upcoming.
Probably an Advance DX for the mount and I'm, trying to decide between a Skywatcher 8" F4 CF newt or a C8. Both of which the Advance DX can handle weight wise with ease. Might even grab one of the Skywatcher stand-alone auto guider units and make a finder-guider with a leftover Stellarvue 60mm finder I'm not using. Reviews suggest it seems to work.

Only just got a new job after 14 months not working. Will need to save up some money before I even consider another hefty astro purchase.
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  #71  
Old 15-11-2015, 09:40 PM
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14months? You certainly need to keep motivated and positive when out of work for so long. Congrats on the new job.

I only recently bought my Celestron C8 & cg5 GOTO mount Found it on eBay from Qld. I preferred it over a newtonian due to shorter physical length. It is the best performing scope I have owned.
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  #72  
Old 16-11-2015, 06:30 AM
mental4astro (Alexander)
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Adrian, the difference between the pics of mine firstly are due to the focal ratio of each scope - one's f/4 the other f/10. But also the camera. The GSTAR colour camera I used has too much gamma gain, so things come washed out quickly under urban skies. The monochrome GSTAR camera has more gain control, so doesn't wash out, as too does the LN300. I might be able to get a pic or two using the LN300 over the next few days as the clouds have cleared for a few days. You'll see quite a difference.

Philip, I'm glad you posted those pics. They show that video not only provides a live feed, but the saved AV can be post processed using the same software as for AP to produce outstanding results, not just with DSO's but also the Moon and planets.

Mallincam is also close to releasing their most sensitive monochrome camera shortly (a little bird told me, ) More sensitive and better resolution. Rock Mallin is always on the lookout for the best CCD chips available to produce better video astronomy cameras. Another camera line to keep an eye out for. Mallincams have a following here in Oz.
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  #73  
Old 16-11-2015, 07:20 AM
glend (Glen)
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I had an email from Sam at ZWO who advised they are releasing their range of two-stage TEC cooled ASI cameras at the end of this month. This could be a cost effective solution for video astronomy as some of the ASI cameras offer high frame rate video, usb3 connection, and two-stage TEC cooling for high QE performance. The two-stage TEC cooling adds $300USD to the cost of the uncooled cameras.

Last edited by glend; 16-11-2015 at 07:55 AM.
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  #74  
Old 16-11-2015, 11:29 PM
mental4astro (Alexander)
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Just came back in from a session with my little 114mm scope and the LN300 camera. I have to say that I am disappointed with the image I was getting on my computer monitor - not as good as that with the camera connected to my kids' portable DVD player. I first suspect that the video program may not be good enough. I just did not get the same image quality.

Anyway, the pics I took are good enough for comparison reasons, if nothing else. So squint your eyes a bit when looking at the following photos!

I've set up the photos to compare the GSTAR EX colour camera, followed with the LN-300. Same objects, same scope, same single screen snapshot. The sense-up function on the GSTAR goes to 256X, and limited gamma gain control. The sense-up function on the LN-300 goes to 1064X, and a whole lot more gain control. On the kids' player, NGC 253 extends beyond the reach of the screen!

The GSTAR images are much more washed out. And the computer monitor just does not do justice to the image seen on the kids' DVD player, particularly for NGC 253.

So, in order of appearance, 47 Tuc, M42 and NGC 253. The Gain on the LN-300 photos was turned OFF, except with the additional pic of NGC 253 where gain is set to medium by way of comparison.

I now need to find a better image capture program for the computer. A live video feed on a humble little portable DVD player is so much better than my computer screen. Honest!

Edit: It may not be the software that's corrupting the image quality, but the usb video grabber gadget that lies between the computer and the co-ax cable.
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Last edited by mental4astro; 17-11-2015 at 06:01 AM.
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  #75  
Old 17-11-2015, 08:28 AM
sharptrack2 (Kevin)
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Curiosity...

This is probably really left field but... I'm about to scrap a Samsung laptop and have been making a list of parts I will scavenge. Would it be worth salvaging the camera chip for DYI video or still image setup? I think it was 2 or 3MP, standard resolutions. Have to check if it supported HD.
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  #76  
Old 17-11-2015, 09:43 AM
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In most reviews with screen shots, the LN300 (and similar cameras) come out tops compared to the Mallincam & Gstar. This includes the dso-1 and Revolution Imager. Thanks for the comparison shots.

Alex, is it possible that the larger screen is why the images appear less quality? I would think that without higher resolution from the camera the image quality would degrade with larger screens (even if the screen has higher resolution). Similar to digital zooming - increase image size but after a point image sharpness decreases.

I have just ordered the dso-1 with Bluetooth control. Matt from AVS is putting together a batch of cameras now and said that is a 3week process. Then it will be on it's way here.
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  #77  
Old 17-11-2015, 10:10 AM
mental4astro (Alexander)
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It wasn't the screen size, Craig. The screen image was a small window on the computer screen, comparable to the DVD player. The problem I've been narrowing it down to is the video grabber that's converting the signal from the camera to a format that the computer can read. "Lost in translation" comes to mind...

There are also a few more settings I can play with on the camera. See how I go. But the image quality I'm getting on a dedicated monitor is just what I'm after. I don't do many screen grabs, and I don't capture video for post-processing work, so the camera-straight-to-monitor rig is good for me, But it is a good idea to improve my on-computer image too.
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  #78  
Old 17-11-2015, 11:37 AM
mental4astro (Alexander)
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The first lot of pictures below show the neat screen grab - nothing altered in the image.

I've played around with the images, and while detail improves, it comes at the cost of graininess. But the altered pictures do give a better account of what is seen on a dedicated monitor. I've added a pic of the Tarantula nebula from last night too.
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  #79  
Old 17-11-2015, 01:52 PM
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Very impressive from a modest video camera. I will certainly be happy with viewing images of that quality.

It has been reported that the LN300 defaults to mono mode when AGC is on & high settings used. You seem to have found how to correct this perhaps?
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  #80  
Old 17-11-2015, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mental4astro View Post
The first lot of pictures below show the neat screen grab - nothing altered in the image.

I've played around with the images, and while detail improves, it comes at the cost of graininess. But the altered pictures do give a better account of what is seen on a dedicated monitor. I've added a pic of the Tarantula nebula from last night too.
I'm sorry Alex but that is thoroughly underwhelming compared to your sketches or my own visual experience at the EP.



Don't get me wrong, there are no doubt benefits to this approach, but I guess it can also make one appreciate one's ability to experience stuff first-hand at the eyepiece.
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