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Go Back   IceInSpace > Equipment > Astrophotography and Imaging Equipment and Discussions

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  #1  
Old 18-02-2009, 07:49 PM
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iceman (Mike)
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Review of the DMK41AF02 with High Resolution Images

Hi all

Back in January 2008, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a DMK41AF02 from Astronomy Cameras. Itís a monochrome webcam with a 1/2″ CCD that can capture at 15fps in 1280◊960 pixel resolution - just perfect for lunar astrophotography where a large field of view really matters.

The images in the review were captured on the 27th January 2008 in average seeing, but werenít processed until now due to limitations in Registax 4. The large frame size produced by the DMK41AF02 meant that a 2 minute AVI was over 2 gigabytes in size (using the Y800 codec), and Registax 4 just couldnít load those large files.

Luckily though, in recent months Iíve been on the Registax 5 beta-testing program (itís due for release any week now!) and so Iíve been able to use Registax 5 to process these AVIís, as it handles large file sizes without a problem.

It was worth the wait - the large field of view combined with a mosaic of several frames has allowed me to capture some larger than normal patches of the moon in high-resolution, when compared with the DMK21AU04 which has 640◊480 pixel resolution.

Find out how the DMK41AF02 stacks up as a lunar and planetary imaging camera at:

Review of the DMK41AF02 with High Resolution Images

Thanks for reading.
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  #2  
Old 18-02-2009, 07:58 PM
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Bassnut (Fred)
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Holly cow Mike, I think thats the 1st lunar pic ive zoomed in on and it was actually better .

Exceptional detail, the higher res certainly works there.

Look forward to Saturn and Jupiter from you
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Old 18-02-2009, 09:18 PM
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Quark (Trevor)
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Very interesting and thorough review Mike.

When compared to the DMK 21AU, the only real benefit would seem to be with imaging the Moon. It really surprises me that DMK have not come up with an improved planetary camera, to stay abreast with the advances being offered by other manufacturers in the field of planetary imaging.

Don't get me wrong, I love my DMK but there are better options available now.

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Trevor
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Old 19-02-2009, 04:21 PM
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iceman (Mike)
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Thanks for taking the time to read it, guys.

Trevor - definitely. The DMK41 is definitely more suited to the moon, but the DMK21 excels in all other areas including guiding.

It's also a good point you make about The Imaging Source coming up with the next generation of planetary imaging cameras. I wonder if they're working on it?

The next-gen planetary imaging cameras are considerably more expensive than the DMK21's, but if you want the best results, for some people they'd be prepared to pay that extra if they can afford it.
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Old 19-02-2009, 04:28 PM
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[1ponders] (Paul)
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Wow!! I'd be interested to see what can be done with the 41 on h0ughy's double stacked 60mm Lunt.
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Old 19-02-2009, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman View Post
Thanks for taking the time to read it, guys.

Trevor - definitely. The DMK41 is definitely more suited to the moon, but the DMK21 excels in all other areas including guiding.

It's also a good point you make about The Imaging Source coming up with the next generation of planetary imaging cameras. I wonder if they're working on it?

The next-gen planetary imaging cameras are considerably more expensive than the DMK21's, but if you want the best results, for some people they'd be prepared to pay that extra if they can afford it.
Mike, I look at the images I can now produce with the DMK21AU and they are just worlds apart from the images produced by my original ToUcam.

Your point regarding the relative cost of the newer planetary cameras is well taken. It really does astound me how the relatively cheap DMK can produce the level of scientifically useful data that it does.

Me thinks that my pockets are definitely not deep enough to accommodate the latest and greatest, along with all of the other changes in equipment and computers required to run them.

It is fascinating to look back, at the reaction of the astro community to the ToUcam and then to the next major breakthrough with The Imaging Source cameras. Nothing really has yet surpassed them insofar as the broad acceptance they have enjoyed.

I think there is still more fine tuning that can be done with the DMK to eek out a bit more detail, then again, I suppose the most important thing in all of this is the quality of the seeing at your observing site, regardless of which camera happens to be mounted on the scope.

Regards
Trevor
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  #7  
Old 20-02-2009, 06:45 AM
Dennis
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Hi Mike

Thanks for producing such an interesting, informative and well illustrated article, comparing and contrasting the DMK21 and DMK41 CCD cameras from The Imaging Source.

The details and overall image tone in the Theophilus mosaic are excellent. The complex, central peak structure and the terraced walls of the main crater are recorded in quite astonishing detail.

It was also very informative to see the differences in the raw Saturn image captures; the grain/noise of the DMK41 looked quite unusable yet you still managed to produce a pleasing portrait of Saturn.

I acquired a DMK31 (1024x768) at the Qld Astrofest and on the few times I have been able to point it at the Moon, I really appreciated its wider views compared to the DMK21.

Cheers

Dennis
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  #8  
Old 20-02-2009, 06:53 AM
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sheeny (Al)
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The wider view looks impressive! I like it.

Excellent processing there, Mike, for average seeing conditions!

Al.
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